What is the current investment appetite in the region? Do you see this changing in 2022?
Based on the reports from the Director of Information Services and Chief Government Spokesperson, the Tanzania Investment Center (TIC – a one stop shop for investment) has registered 235 projects during the 2021 fiscal year, up from 219 projects registered in the correspondent period last year. This reflected a great investment appetite in 2021 and it is expected that it will continue to grow in 2022.
There are many more other investment projects that are not registered through TIC or registered with the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and the Mining Commission, depending on the sector. With the projected investment appetite, the TIC is creating a better playfield for investment in Tanzania.
In addition, major changes regarding investment begun to spark since the passing of the Late President John Joseph Pombe Magufuli on 17 March 2021, followed by the accession to power of his Vice President, Madame President Samia Suluhu Hassan on 19 March 2021. The new administration under President Samia has witnessed a massive policy shift aimed at attracting investment, especially foreign investment. President Samia has made it very clear that investment has declined and the government needs to do all it takes to strengthen investment in the country.
The investment appetite in Tanzania is growing steadily and fast, given the strategy in place by the government to ensure it attracts more investment as well as eradicate all practices that in the past, tended to chase away investors.
What sectors do you expect to see increased investment and / or financial movement in over the next 18 months?
Following the initiatives by the government, it is expected that the key areas that will have increased investment will trade exports, particularly exports in the manufacturing industry, agriculture, mining and tourism. The African Development Bank in its Africa Economic Outlook 2021 Report stated that Tanzania’s economic outlook is positive, with real GDP projected to grow 4.1% in 2021 and 5.8% in 2022, due to improved performance of the tourism sector and the reopening of trade corridors.
Where do you see the key areas of growth or opportunity for businesses operating in your country?
Tanzania has ratified the agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), through which Africa is relaxing trade conditions in a market of more than 1.3 billion people. Ratification will open up the market for trade in Tanzania as well as investments in the manufacturing industry.
What sectors have been most impacted by COVID-19 and what have businesses in that sector done to cope with these challenges or potentially benefit from opportunities arising?
It is imperative to understand that the United Republic of Tanzania did not exercise the recommended measures of undergoing a lockdown. The government took the stance that a lockdown would adversely impact the economy and so people should take the necessary precautions and get accustomed to the pandemic.
The intervention of the Bank of Tanzania mitigated the negative impact of COVID-19 in the economy. Among the measures enacted, haircuts on government securities helped sustain commercial banks’ ability to borrow from the central bank, which ultimately helped to sustain the bank operations.
What is the general business mood in-country in the next 18 months?
Tanzania’s foreign policy under President Samia has shifted from inward-looking to embracing the world in search of growth and investment. We have witnessed immediate changes in the manner in which various government institutions have begun to embrace the idea of attracting foreign investment. Institutions such as the Tanzania Investment Center have taken initiatives in ensuring all relevant regulatory services are availed under it.
With the new administration in place and the shift in foreign and investment policies, the general business mood in Tanzania is hopeful and attractive for new investments.