Tanzania has launched an economics think tank dubbed the Economics Society of Tanzania (EST).
The launch was led by Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango and its membership comprises a pool of Tanzanian professional economists from across the country and abroad.
The think tank, which is actually been revived after it ceased operations in the 90’s and will now serve as a platform for the country’s economists to deliberate the nation’s economic development and advice on the best way forward.
It provides a forum for emerging ideas and empirical results of economic research with policy makers, regulators and opinion makers in the United Republic of Tanzania – EST.
Registered as an NGO, the primary objective of the society is to raise public awareness, and stimulate public interest and debate in economic issues.
It does this by organizing conferences, talks, workshops and public lectures and by conducting studies on issues, either on its own or in partnership with other organizations.
EST brings together members of the economics profession in academia, research institutes, the government and business sectors and provides a platform for discussions on issues facing the Tanzania economy and the region.
Objectives of the EST
- To encourage and promote a high standard of ethics and professional competence in its members
- Foster continuing advanced education in the fields of economics for its members
- Provide a common meeting ground for economists of all disciplines on subjects of mutual interest
- Promote the work and status of the economics profession in the community
- Promote professional development researchers at all levels including Undergraduate, Masters and PhD students in academic and nonacademic environments
- Encourage entry into and advancement of the field of economics
While Tanzania’s economy has remained strong, it has had a bit of an uphill climb of late. Non Performing Loans are on the rise while credit has fallen.
Only recently, the Bank of Tanzania ordered banks and financial institutions in the country to take immediate and comprehensive action to address the situation.
The BoT said the shrinking credit and rising NPLs spells trouble for the economy and should the trend continue, it could have diverse negative effects on the country’s development plans.
So the central bank ordered banks and other financial institutions to take several measures but also offered them incentives.
Several regulations were eased for the next few years to allow for more lending, however, new borrowers will now under go more stringent vetting before they can borrow.
ALSO SEE: https://www.exchange.co.tz/tanzania-banks-in-an-npl-lending-tango/
Unemployment remains considerably high and agriculture (which employs over 80%) of the country is under performing.
On the positive side of things, inflation is down to a single digit (4.8% as of Dec 2017) and GDP continues to rise (6.8%).
Tanzania also topped the region in inclusive development and was ranked number one in the Africa Inclusive Development Index