Investing in Tanzania: 2023 outlook

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  • The tripling of investment in 2022 is a statement to the world that the East African nation is open for business.
  • The success is a straightforward strategic plan from President Samia’s administration since she assumed office in March 2021.

Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) records show that the year 2022 has made the statement ‘Invest in Tanzania’ hold water. Over the past months, several activities have echoed across multiple fields, including manufacturing, transportation and tourism.

TIC records show that from July to November 2022 there was an increase of 22.2 percent in investment projects (132 registered projects) compared to 102 projects registered during the same period in July to November 2021.

In October, the American firm Moody’s Investors Service changed its status on Tanzania’s outlook from stable to positive, noting that political risks have declined under President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s administration, which concurrently promotes economic development and strong diplomatic ties.

Tanzania’s current outlook didn’t come by chance. The success is a straightforward strategic plan from President Samia’s administration since she assumed office in March 2021. By complementing various strategies left by her predecessor and adding a little spice (economic diplomacy moves with superpowers USA and China).

READ: Tanzania’s New Investment Act: “Same – Same but Different”

The past years came with a bittersweet scenario for Tanzania. In 2017 the mining industry experience sharp law and policy changes which swept global miners Barrick Gold (formerly Acacia) with a $190 billion tax bill for unpaid taxes to Tanzanian authorities.

However, the previous administration received mixed emotions locally and internationally—ultimately impacting the investment trend over time. In that context, the report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) pointed out that the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) dwindled by 24 percent between 2015 and 2017.

The tripling of investment in 2022 is a statement to the world that the East African nation is open for business and stable enough to accelerate its ambitions.

According to TIC, the industrial, transportation and tourism sectors dominated the investment sheet. Nearly 51 percent of the projects are in the manufacturing industry.

READ: Tanzania, Qatar end double taxation inking trade and investment pact

The investment centre’s acting Executive Director, Mr John Mnali, said that the increase of number and value of manufacturing deals is attributed to Tanzania’s economic and business environment pivoting investors’ confidence within our borders.

“The number of registered projects increased by 22.2 percent, which shows the impact of economic diplomacy and favourable investment policies that the government has been promoting,” the TIC chief commented during a media briefing.

Mnali said the registered projects are in Manufacturing (67) followed by transportation (25), Tourism (12), Agriculture (9), services (8), commercial building (7) and lastly financial services (1).

Tanzania also carries an added benefit from investment drawn from various investors worldwide—job creation, which stands to be 21,297 compared to only $881 million worth of investment in 2021, which created 13,578 jobs.

Invest opportunities

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The above numbers point towards multiple reasons why companies invest in Tanzania. The journey of this recent achievement is a key feature of Samia’s administration’s strategic move to ensure Tanzania’s position across economic diplomacy, and international business relations is secured.

The TIC chief argues crucial meetings with international investors, neighbouring heads of state (Kenya and Uganda) on energy deals, top global economies (US and China) and trade partners will propel the investment strides.

Tanzania has managed to do away with various issues that were sucking the life out investment sector including an unfriendly taxation system and bureaucracy in issuing work permits

President Samia’s state visit to the US attracted $1 billion investment from various companies in the US following her meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris, government officials and corporate leaders. i

The $30 billion Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) deal with international oil companies—Shell, Exxon Mobil, Equinor and Ophir Energy continued to improve investor confidence and solidified Tanzania’s conducive business environment

2023 outlook

Investment, Industry and Trade Minister, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, said the government is in the final stages of establishing a single window that will provide prompt services to investors in an attempt to improve Tanzania’s investment climate.

According to the minister, the one-stop shop  would make sure that investors get their licences in a span of one to three working days

Further, the investment window will be different from other one-stop centres because it will contain some top decision-makers who will be in a position to solve some issues instantly.

Tanzania stands to change its economic trajectory with the level of high-end investment inked over time, thus with Tanzania Investment Centre staged strategically it is a matter for more opportunities to open up for swathe of businesses to invest in Tanzania.

 

 

Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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