Tanzania is an independent republic with a democratic government which lies on the Indian Ocean coast and forms part of the East African Region. The capital city is Dar es Salaam. Other major cities are Arusha, Dodoma and Mwanza.
The official language is Swahili but English is widely spoken. The local currency is the Tanzania shilling. (US$ / TSh – current exchange rate).
Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda have decided to rekindle the East African Community (ECA). Co-operation will commence in the priority areas of transport and communications, trade and industry, security, immigration and promotion of investment in the region.
The Tanzanian economy relies on agriculture, with the main crops being tea, cotton, coffee, cashew nuts, wheat, sisal, cassava, rice, tobacco and maize. Agriculture employs about 90% of the labour force and contributes approximately 50% to GDP. Industry in Tanzania is limited mainly to the processing of agricultural products and the production of light consumer goods. There is potential for Tanzania to become a significant exporter of seafood to Japan.
Tanzania’s tourism industry has grown in the past few years and the service and informal sectors continue to be important sectors of the economy.
The government has aimed to improve the fiscal performance of the country and implement several structural reforms, including deregulating investments, promoting local infrastructure, implementing privatisation reforms, supporting health care and primary education facilities, restructuring the financial sector of the economy and implementing a solid fiscal policy.
Donor assistance as well as government reforms have led to a real increase in GDP and a significant drop in inflation.
Tanzania has an under-developed mining sector which shows good potential. The country is rich in mineral resources and its mining industry is an important contributor to the country’s GDP. The oil industry in Tanzania is a key sub-sector in the economy of the country. Apart from the Songo Songo gas field off the South coast of Tanzania, there are no oil or gas reserves. The small Tiper refinery in Dar es Salaam provides most of the petroleum products required by the local market. The Tanzanian Petroleum Distribution Company (TPDC) is responsible for managing and the production and supply of fuel products to Tanzania. The downstream oil industry is also well-developed. In addition to its oil industry, Tanzania has an active chemicals industry.
The international time zone for Tanzania is GMT +3 and the international dialling code is +255. There are international airports at Dar-Es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro served by 13 foreign airlines. Air Tanzania operates an internal service to 18 towns. Kenya Airlines links Zanzibar to Nairobi and Mombassa. As at January 1996 most visitors to Tanzania require visas except nationals of Commonwealth, Scandinavian, and West European countries and the USA. All non-nationals require a resident permit, issued by the Immigration office, in order to work or invest in Tanzania.
As of May 1999, foreign nationals are no longer allowed to run small businesses in the country. In 1999 the government issued a list of fewer than 15 enterprises which non-Tanzanians are allowed to run, with 50% Tanzanian participation. They also issued a list of around 24 types of organisations that only Tanzanian nationals are allowed to run. The move was taken in order to protect Tanzanian nationals from the foreign monopolisation of jobs.
Companies and organisations and associations, excluding partnerships, must pay corporate income tax on world-wide earnings in Tanzania. Residents must also pay income tax on their world-wide incomes. Non-residents are only taxed on incomes gained in Tanzania.
Malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, yellow fever (regional), schistosomiasis and dengue fever may be contracted while travelling in Tanzania. Travellers should be aware that advance payment for medical services may be required. Vaccinations should be obtained before entering Tanzania.