TAN­ZA­NIA:

BOOSTING AGRI­CUL­TURAL PRO­DUC­TIV­ITY

Nomad Africa Magazine - - On The Cover | Africa’s Fastest Growing Economies - Words: BRUCE GERMAINE

Tan­za­nia – an ex­otic name that rolls off the tongue like a well-in­tended metaphor. Cer­tainly a coun­try that has at­tracted in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion in terms of its eco­nomic growth and mak­ing its mark among the top 5 fastest grow­ing economies in Africa.

ith a pop­u­la­tion of 49 mil­lion and the ninth largest econ­omy in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, it has main­tained a steady growth rate of around 7 % for the last cou­ple of years. Among the ad­van­tages is the ef­fi­cient air trans­port sys­tem, po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, a free mar­ket econ­omy, and it is strate­gi­cally lo­cated in terms of Dar es Salaam be­ing the gate­way port that ser­vices 8 land-locked coun­tries, plus it has an abun­dance of nat­u­ral re­sources, cou­pled with 44 mil­lion hectares of arable fer­tile land – an allin-one pack­age for in­vestors.

Al­though Tan­za­nia’s econ­omy has been steadily grow­ing in the last decade, agri­cul­ture dom­i­nates the land­scape in terms of em­ploy­ing ap­prox­i­mately 80% of the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion, and Tan­za­nia is slowly mak­ing progress to­wards di­ver­si­fy­ing its re­liance from agri­cul­ture to other in­dus­tries.

The eco­nomic growth has been im­proved by progress within the con­struc­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, power gen­er­a­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing , health and ad­min­is­tra­tion sec­tors.

In 2013, its econ­omy ex­panded and over­took that of Kenya and Uganda, a pos­i­tive sign, which helps in keep­ing Tan­za­nia one of the pre­ferred des­ti­na­tions for for­eign in­vest­ments in Africa and cer­tainly top spot in East Africa. Some of the key is­sues that are at­tract­ing in­vestors are the Tan­za­nian gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to sound macro-eco­nomic poli­cies, an ef­fec­tive pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­gramme and rich min­eral re­sources.

Large in­fra­struc­ture projects also at­tracted for­eign in­vest­ments with port fa­cil­i­ties, oil and en­ergy pro­duc­tion and gas liquifi­ca­tion projects tak­ing the front po­si­tions. Tan­za­nia’s ma­jor in­vestors come from the United King­dom, China, South Africa, the Euro­pean Union and Canada.

Al­though Tan­za­nia shows amaz­ing progress in terms of its growth, one can­not lose sight of the fact that it re­mains emerg­ing mar­ket ter­rain with cer­tain chal­lenges such as un­re­li­able power, an un­der­de­vel­oped trans­port sys­tem, bu­reau­cracy, a lack of tech­no­log­i­cal re­sources and com­plex land laws.

De­spite the pos­i­tive eco­nomic growth rate, Tan­za­nia has not ad­e­quately ad­dressed poverty re­duc­tion by not suc­ceed­ing to raise its pro­duc­tiv­ity in agri­cul­ture over the last 20 years. With a pre­dom­i­nantly agri­cul­tural sec­tor dom­i­nat­ing the labour force with a 4% growth rate, three quar­ters of the pop­u­la­tion still live in ru­ral ar­eas and eighty per­cent of its cit­i­zens live in ru­ral house­holds.

The Tan­za­nian gov­ern­ment has not been sit­ting idle though, to­gether with donors they both have used re­sources to im­prove some so­cial sec­tors, but sim­ply do not have enough re­sources to also ad­dress the agri­cul­ture sec­tor. The lack of se­cure land ten­ure to guar­an­tee that farm­ers in the ru­ral dis­tricts do not lose their land is one of the most sen­si­tive is­sues and has led to re­straint from in­vestors that could have oth­er­wise en­hanced pro­duc­tiv­ity. The food pro­cess­ing and other re­lated agricul-

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