2023 Investment Climate Statements: Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania achieved lower-middle income country status in July 2020, following two decades of sustained economic growth. The country’s solid macroeconomic foundation, sound fiscal policies, rich natural endowments, and strategic geographic position have fostered a diverse economy resilient to external shocks. This proved critical amidst persistent global crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, food security concerns, and Russia’s war in Ukraine. While these conditions resulted in an economic downturn, Tanzania avoided a more severe recession and economic growth is recovering on an upward trajectory, reaching 4.6 percent in 2022 and projected to expand to 5.2 percent for 2023.The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania welcomes foreign direct investment, though investors cite regulatory bureaucracy; land acquisition and ownership; logistics and infrastructure inefficiencies; and investment facilitation coordination as ongoing challenges. President Samia Suluhu Hassan continues to prioritize sustainable economic growth at the forefront of the administration’s policies, strategies, and goals. Consistent with a positive rhetorical shift towards the private sector, promised reforms to improve the investment climate continue to take shape. Building on favorable changes made early in her tenure – including improvements to the work permits process and timeline, disbandment of the special ‘Tax Task Force’, and strengthened regional trade cooperation – President Hassan’s administration has sought to engage stakeholders, including local private sector organizations and development partners, to improve the business climate and regain investor confidence. Notably, a new Tanzania Investment Act was passed and enacted in 2022, introducing reforms broadly intended to create a more favorable investment environment for domestic and foreign investors. Key changes include elevating Tanzania Investment Center’s role in promoting, facilitating, and coordinating investment; establishing an integrated electronic system for investment promotion and facilitation; removing the time limitation for an investor’s appeal of a rejected application; clarifying and codifying timeframes for certificates of incentives; reducing the minimum investment capital threshold for domestic investors; protecting existing certificates of incentives; and granting access to international arbitration for foreign investors for settling disputes with TIC or the Tanzanian government through arbitration.However, while several laws have been reviewed, business climate legislative reforms have not yet been sweeping. There remain significant legislative obstacles to foreign investment such as the Natural Resources and Wealth Act, Permanent Sovereignty Act, Public Private Partnership Act, and the Mining Laws and Regulations. Despite pledges by President Hassan and senior government officials, these have yet to be resolved; rather, the administration has selectively eased the application of these laws. The primary business and investment challenges lie in tax administration; opening and closing businesses; inconsistent institutions compounded by corruption and requests for “facilitation payments” at many levels of government; late payment issues; and cross-border trade obstacles. Corruption, especially in government procurement, taxation, and customs clearance remains a concern for foreign investors, though the government has prioritized efforts to combat the practice.Sectors presenting opportunities for U.S. investment include agriculture and agro-processing; tourism; information and communications technology; infrastructure and transportation; energy; mining and extractive industries; and manufacturing. Other opportunities exist in workforce development, microfinance solutions, technology, and consumer products and services.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings 
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 94 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview
Global Innovation Index 2022 103 of 132 https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator
U.S. FDI in partner country (historical stock positions) USD 1,014 Million https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
World Bank GNI per capita 2021 USD 1,200 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

POLICIES TOWARDS FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania (GoT) welcomes foreign direct investment (FDI) as it pursues its industrialization and development agenda. President Samia Suluhu Hassan continually cites removing obstacles to inward foreign investment as a key priority, along with other measures to improve the overall business climate and rebuild trust between the private sector and government. Investors and potential investors note the biggest challenges to investment include difficulty in hiring foreign workers, unfriendly and opaque tax policies, increased local content requirements, regulatory and policy instability, lack of trust between the GoT and the private sector, and mandatory initial public offerings (IPOs) in key industries. Over the past several years, the GoT recognized many of these concerns’ impacts on both foreign and domestic investment and created task forces and working groups to engage the private sector to identify solutions. These efforts have been expanded by the Hassan administration.

The United Republic of Tanzania has framework agreements on investment and offers various incentives and the services of investment promotion agencies. Investment is mainly a non-Union matter, meaning that there are different laws, policies, and practices between mainland Tanzania and the semi-autonomous state of Zanzibar. Both the mainland and Zanzibar maintain separate investment policies, though international agreements on investment are covered as Union matters and therefore apply to both regions.

The Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) is intended to be a one-stop center for investors, providing services such as permits, licenses, visas, and land ( view TIC’s portal ). The Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) provides the same function in Zanzibar ( view ZIPA ).

The GoT has an ongoing dialogue with the private sector via the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC). TNBC meetings are chaired by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and co-chaired by the head of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF). There is also a Zanzibar Business Council (ZBC), as well as Regional Business Councils (RBCs), and District Business Councils (DBCs).

Investors have found that technical expertise of their negotiating partners is a stumbling block to completing their investment plans.  Investors should examine the level of sophistication of their negotiating partners at the onset of discussions to determine if outside expertise or training may be necessary.  The U.S. government offers programs to develop expertise to facilitate investments and investors are encouraged to work with the Embassy’s economic and commercial sections to determine what, if any, programs may be available.

LIMITS ON FOREIGN CONTROL AND RIGHT TO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP AND ESTABLISHMENT

Foreign investors generally receive treatment equivalent to domestic investors, though limits persist in a number of sectors. There are no geographical restrictions on private establishments with foreign participation or ownership, no limitations on number of foreign entities that can operate in any given sector, and no sectors in which approval is required for greenfield FDI but not for domestic investment.

However, Tanzania discourages foreign investment in several sectors through limitations on foreign equity ownership or other activities, including aerospace; agribusiness (fishing); banking; insurance; construction and heavy equipment; travel and tourism; energy and environmental industries; information and communication; and publishing, media, and entertainment. In 2020, Tanzania relaxed but did not eliminate the foreign ownership limitations in the mining sector. Mining investors continue to complain about local banking requirements, which are real impediments to investment, though both domestic and foreign investors are subject to these regulations.

Specific examples include the following:

  • The Tourism Act of 2008 bars foreign companies from engaging in mountain guiding activities, and states that only Tanzanian citizens can operate travel agencies, car rental services, or engage in tour guide activities (with limited exceptions).
  • Per the Merchant Shipping Act of 2003, only citizen-owned ships are authorized to engage in local trade, a requirement that can be waived at the minister’s discretion. Furthermore, the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Act of November 2017 gives exclusive monopoly power to the Tanzania Shipping Agency Corporation (TASAC) to conduct business as shipping agent, shipping regulator, and licensor of other private shipping agencies. The Act also gives TASAC an exclusive mandate to provide clearing and forwarding functions relating to imports and exports of minerals, mineral concentrates, machinery and equipment for the mining and petroleum sector, products and/or extracts related to minerals and petroleum. arms and ammunition, live animals, government trophies, and any other goods that the minister responsible for maritime transport may specify. A 2019 amendment extended this exclusive mandate to additional imports, including fertilizers, sugar (both industrial and domestic), cooking oil, wheat, oil products, liquefied gas, and chemicals related to the products. As of May 2021, the extended mandate has yet to go into effect, following extensive objections for private sector stakeholders.
  • A 2009 amendment to the Fisheries Regulations imposes onerous conditions for foreign citizens to engage in commercial fishing and the export of fishery products, sets separate licensing costs for foreign citizens and Tanzanians, and limits the types of fishery products with which foreign citizens may work.
  • Foreign construction contractors can only obtain temporary licenses, per the Contractors Registration Act of 1997, and contractors must commit in writing to leave Tanzania upon completion of the set project. 2004 amendments to the Contractors Registration By-Laws limit foreign contractor participation to specified, more complex classes of work.
  • Foreign capital participation in the telecommunications sector is limited to a maximum of 75 percent.
  • All insurers require one-third controlling interest by Tanzanian citizens, per the Insurance Act.
  • The Electronic and Postal Communications (Licensing) Regulations 2011 limits foreign ownership of Tanzanian TV stations to 49 percent and prohibits foreign capital participation in national newspapers.
  • Mining projects must be at least partially owned by the GoT and “indigenous” companies, and hire – or at least favor – local suppliers, service providers, and employees. (See Chapter 4: Laws and Regulations on FDI for details.) Gemstone mining is limited to Tanzanian citizens with waivers of the limitation at ministerial discretion. In February 2019, responding to low growth and investment in the sector, the government revised the 2018 Mining Regulations to reduce local ownership requirements from 51 percent to 20 percent.

Currently, foreigners can invest in stock traded on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), but only East African residents can invest in government bonds. East Africans, excluding Tanzanian residents, however, are not allowed to sell government bonds bought in the primary market for at least one year following purchase.

OTHER INVESTMENT POLICY REVIEWS

There have not been any third-party investment policy reviews (IPRs) on Tanzania in the past several years, the most recent OECD report is for 2013. The World Trade Organization (WTO) published a Trade Policy Review in 2019 on all the East African Community states, including Tanzania.

BUSINESS FACILITATION

The Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) issues certificates of compliance for foreign companies, certificates of incorporation for private and public companies, and business name registrations for sole proprietor and corporate bodies. After registering with BRELA, the company must: obtain a taxpayer identification number (TIN) certificate, apply for a business license, apply for a VAT certificate, register for workmen’s compensation insurance, register with the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA), receive inspection from OSHA, and obtain a Social Security registration number.

TIC now sits directly under the President’s Office, after being shifted several times in recent years. TIC is a one-stop shop which provides simultaneous registration with BRELA, TRA, and social security for enterprises whose minimum capital investment is not less than $500,000 if foreign-owned, or $50,000 if locally owned.

The GoT has been slow to implement its May 2018 Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms to improve the business environment and attract more investors. The reforms seek to improve the country’s ease of doing business through regulatory reforms and to increase efficiency in dealing with the government and its regulatory authorities. The official implementation of the Business Environment Improvement Blueprint started in July 2019, though there have been few tangible changes or advancements. President Hassan’s administration identified implementation of the Blueprint as a priority for her first term.

In 2022, Parliament enacted a new Tanzania Investment Act, repealing the 1997 Investment Act. The act has introduced reforms broadly intended to create a more favorable investment environment for domestic and foreign investors. Some of these notable changes include elevating TIC’s role in promoting, facilitating, and coordinating investment; establishing an integrated electronic system for investment promotion and facilitation; removing the time limitation for an investor’s appeal of a rejected application; clarifying and codifying timeframes for certificates of incentives; reducing the minimum investment capital threshold for domestic investors; protecting existing certificates of incentives; and granting access to international arbitration for foreign investors for settling disputes with TIC or the GoT through arbitration, with the decision to utilize local or foreign avenues has been left for parties to a dispute to agree mutually.

OUTWARD INVESTMENT

Tanzania does not promote or incentivize outward investment. There are restrictions on Tanzanian residents’ participation in foreign capital markets and ability to purchase foreign securities. Under the Foreign Exchange (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (FEAR), however, there are circumstances when Tanzanian residents may trade securities within the East African Community (EAC). In addition, FEAR provides some opportunities for residents to engage in foreign direct investment and acquire real assets outside of the EAC.

2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties

Tanzania has signed bilateral investment treaties with 19 countries (11 in force), and six investment agreements with regional economic blocs. The country is also a signatory to global investment instruments such as the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention, the New York Convention, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The United States and Tanzania do not have bilateral investment or taxation agreements. Tanzania is a member of the EAC, which signed a 2008 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and a 2012 Trade and Investment Partnership (TIP) with the United States. Under the U.S.-EAC TIFA and TIP, the United States and EAC seek to expand trade, investment, and dialogue with the private sector.

3. Legal Regime

TRANSPARENCY OF THE REGULATORY SYSTEM

According to the World Bank’s Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance ( view the World Bank’s Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance ), Tanzania scores low in regulatory governance with 1.25 out of 5 totals in transparency of regulatory governance (neighboring Kenya and Uganda, by contrast, both score 3.25).

Tanzania has formal processes for drafting and implementing rules and regulations. Generally, after an Act is passed by Parliament, the creation of regulations is delegated to a designated ministry. In theory, stakeholders are legally entitled to comment on regulations before they are implemented. However, ministries and regulatory agencies frequently fail to provide adequate opportunity for meaningful input as there is no minimum period of time for public comment set forth in law. Stakeholders often report that they are either not consulted or given too little time to provide meaningful input. Ministries or regulatory agencies do not have the legal obligation to publish the text of proposed regulations before their enactment. Sometimes, it is difficult to obtain the final, adopted version of a bill in a timely manner nor is it always public information if and when the President signed the bill. Moreover, the government over the past few years used presidential decree powers to bypass regulatory and legal structures.

The 2016 Access to Information law in theory grants citizens more rights to information; however, some claim that the Act gives too much discretion to the GoT to withhold disclosure. Although information, including rules and regulations, is available on the GoT’s “Government Portal” ( view the Government Portal ), the website is generally not current and is incomplete. Alternatively, rules and regulations can be obtained on the relevant ministry’s website, but many offer insufficient information.

Nominally, independent regulators are mandated with impartially following the regulations. The process, however, has been criticized as being subject to political influence, depriving the regulator of the independence it is granted under the law.

Tanzania does not meet the minimum standards for transparency of public finances and debt obligations ( view the Department of State’s Fiscal Transparency Report).

INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS

Tanzania is part of both the EAC and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and subject to their respective regulations. Notably in 2021, Tanzania ratified the EAC’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Protocol after a protracted period of deliberation.

Tanzania is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The national standards body, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards, was established in 1975. It has been most active in promoting standards and quality in process technology, including agro-processing, chemicals and textiles, and engineering, including mining and construction.

Tanzania is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and its National Enquiry Point (NEP) is the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS). As the WTO NEP, TBS handles information on adopted or proposed technical regulations, as well as on standards and conformity assessment procedures. Tanzania does not notify all draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).

LEGAL SYSTEM AND JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

Tanzania’s legal system is based on the English Common Law system. The first source of law is the 1977 Constitution, followed by statutes or acts of Parliament; and case law, which are reported or unreported cases from the High Courts and Courts of Appeal and are used as precedents to guide lower courts. The Court of Appeal, which handles appeals from Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, is the highest court, followed by the High Court, which handles civil, criminal and commercial cases. There are four specialized divisions within the High Courts: Labor, Land, Commercial, and Corruption and Economic Crimes. The Labor, Land, and Corruption and Economic Crimes divisions have exclusive jurisdiction over their respective matters, while the Commercial division does not claim exclusive jurisdiction. The High Court and the District and Resident Magistrate Courts also have original jurisdiction in commercial cases subject to specified financial limitations.

Apart from the formal court system, there are quasi-judicial bodies, including the Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal and the Fair Competition Tribunal, as well as alternate dispute resolution procedures in the form of arbitration proceedings. Judgments originating from countries whose courts are recognized under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (REFJA) are enforceable in Tanzania. To enforce such judgments, the judgment holder must make an application to the High Court of Tanzania to have the judgment registered. Countries currently listed in the REFJA include Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Zambia, Seychelles, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, the United Kingdom, and Sri Lanka.

The Tanzanian constitution guarantees judicial independence. However, many perceive that political interference and corruption in the form of illicit payments to influence decisions infringes on judicial independence.

Regulations and enforcement actions are appealable, and they are adjudicated in the national court system.

LAWS AND REGULATIONS ON FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

Several laws and regulations enacted over the past six years affect the risk-return profile on foreign investments, especially those in the extractives and natural resources industries. The laws/regulations include the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act 2017, Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Renegotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act 2017, Written Laws (Miscellaneous Act) 2017, and Mining (Local Content) Regulations 2019. These acts were introduced by the executive branch under a certificate of urgency, meaning that standard advance publication requirements were waived to expedite passage. As a result, there was minimal stakeholder engagement. Stakeholders continue to call for revision to these laws.

Investors, especially those in natural resources and mining, express concern about the effects of these laws. Two laws apply to “natural wealth and resources,” which are broadly defined and not only include oil and gas, but in theory, could include wind, sun, and air space. Investors are encouraged to seek legal counsel to determine the effect these laws may have on existing or potential investments. For natural resources, the new laws subject the contracts, past and present, to Parliamentary review. More specifically, the law states “Where [Parliament] considers that certain terms …or the entire arrangement… are prejudicial to the interests of the People and the United Republic by reason of unconscionable terms it may, by resolution, direct the Government to initiate renegotiation with a view to rectifying the terms.”

Further, if the GoT’s proposed renegotiation is not accepted, the offending terms are automatically expunged. “Unconscionable” is defined broadly, including catch-all definitions for clauses that are, for example, “inequitable or onerous to the state.” Under the law, the judicial branch does not play a role in determining whether a clause is “unconscionable.” The Mining (Local Content) Regulations 2019 require that ‘indigenous’ Tanzanian companies are given first preference for mining licenses. An ‘indigenous Tanzanian company’ is one incorporated under the Companies Act with at least 20 percent of its equity owned by and 100 percent of its non-managerial positions held by Tanzanians (this is an improvement from the 2018 regulations which required 51 percent Tanzanian ownership). Furthermore, foreign mining companies must have at least five percent equity participation from an indigenous Tanzanian company and must grant the GoT a 16 percent carried interest. Lastly, foreign companies that supply goods or services to the mining industry must incorporate a joint venture company in which an indigenous Tanzanian company must hold equity participation of at least 20 percent.

TIC is guided by many relevant laws, rules, procedures, and reporting requirements for investors shown on its portal ( view the portal ), though it is not comprehensive.

COMPETITION AND ANTITRUST LAWS

The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) is an independent government body mandated to intervene, as necessary, to prevent significant market dominance, price fixing, extortion of monopoly rent to the detriment of the consumer, and market instability. The FCC has the authority to restrict mergers and acquisitions if the outcome is likely to create market dominance or lead to uncompetitive behavior.

EXPROPRIATION AND COMPENSATION

The constitution and investment acts require the GoT to refrain from nationalizing assets. However, the GoT may expropriate property after due process for the purpose of national interest. The 2022 Tanzania Investment Act guarantees payment of fair, adequate, and prompt compensation; access to the court or arbitration for the determination of adequate compensation; and prompt repatriation in convertible currency where applicable. For protection under the 2022 Tanzania Investment Act, foreign investors require $500,000 minimum capital and Tanzanian investors require $50,000.

There are numerous examples of indirect expropriation, such as confiscatory tax regimes or regulatory actions that deprive investors of substantial economic benefits from their investments. This is another area that the GoT expected to address, though significant changes to tax-related laws and regulations have yet to be finalized.

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Tanzania is a member of both the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Tanzania is a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitration Awards.

A new Arbitration Act was adopted in February 2020 and came into effect in January 2021. The Act replaces the 1931 Arbitration Act and is generally a replica of the English Arbitration Act, 1996. The Act supersedes the Public Private Partnership (PPP) (Amendment) Act, No. 9 of 2018 (the PPP Amendment Act) which stated that PPP agreements are subject to local arbitration under the arbitration laws of Tanzania and must take place on Tanzanian soil. With the change, however, the arbitrator body may be international. There was a similar semantic change to the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act, 2017 and the Natural Wealth and Resources (Review and Re-Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act, 2017 (collectively the Natural Wealth Laws) to again allow for international arbitration as long as they are governed by Tanzanian law and the venue is in Tanzania. However, it is important to note that interpretations of this act vary among legal practitioners and thus far, there has been no foreign arbitral body to travel to Tanzania.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Investment-related disputes in Tanzania can be protracted. The Commercial Court of Tanzania operates two sub-registries located in the cities of Arusha and Mwanza. The sub-registries, however, do not have resident judges. A judge from Dar es Salaam conducts a monthly one-week session at each of the sub-registries. The GoT intends to establish more branches in other regions including Mbeya, Tanga, and Dodoma, though progress has stalled. Court-annexed mediation is also a common feature of the country’s commercial dispute resolution system.

Despite legal mechanisms in place, foreign investors have claimed that the GoT does not consistently honor its agreements. Additionally, investors continue to face challenges receiving payment for services rendered for GoT projects. One high profile example of such a dispute is that of a U.S.-based energy company, which in 2017 filed an application for ICSID arbitration seeking $561 million for alleged breach of contract of a purchase power agreement; the energy company subsequently withdrew the case in May 2021 and agreed to settle the dispute outside the ICSID.

Many international investors have complained that international arbitration was not an option during contract negotiations with the GoT and state-owned enterprises. Recently, more investors have been able to include international arbitration clauses in large investment agreements, however this is not the norm.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

The common alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods used in Tanzania are (1) Arbitration, (2) Mediation and (3) Settlement. Arbitration is legislated by the Arbitration Act of 2020 which came into force in January 2021. The Arbitration Act is only applicable on mainland Tanzania, not in Zanzibar.

There are two arbitration bodies in Tanzania. The first is the Arbitral tribunal, where the parties agree on the number of arbitrators. If no agreement is reached, the Arbitral tribunal will have a sole arbitrator. The second body is the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (MCA), which deals specifically with labor issues.

The new Arbitration Act emulates the United Kingdom’s model with some significant limitations. The law also introduces some mandatory provisions in which the Arbitration Act shall be used regardless of the nature of the arbitration. The mandatory provisions deal with procedures such as stay of proceedings, limitation of time, power of court to remove arbitrators, immunity of arbitrators, duties of the arbitral tribunal, expenses of arbitrators, attendance of witnesses, enforcement of the award, and other provisions. It also amends existing laws which restrict arbitration locales to Tanzania only using Tanzanian judicial bodies, such as Section 11 of the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act of 2017.

BANKRUPTCY REGULATIONS

Tanzania has a bankruptcy law which allows for companies to declare insolvency. The insolvency process includes the appointment of receiver managers, administrative receivers, or liquidators. In practice the process is very long and expensive. Preferential debts such as government taxes and rents, outstanding wages and salaries, and other employee compensation take priority over other claims, including those from creditors. Insolvent or illiquid companies may also seek the protection of the courts by seeking a compromise or arrangement as proposed between a company and its creditors, a certain class of creditors, or its shareholders.

Bankruptcy proceedings can take several years to conclude in Tanzania. The recovery rate for creditors on insolvent firms was reported at 20.4 U.S. cents on the dollar, with judgments typically made in local currency.

4. Industrial Policies

INVESTMENT INCENTIVES

TIC offers a package of investment benefits and incentives to both domestic and foreign investors without performance requirements. A minimum capital investment of $500,000 if foreign owned or $50,000 if locally owned is required. Investors are advised to consult the TIC for up-to-date information.

Current investment incentives include the following:

  • Discounts on customs duties, corporate taxes, and VAT paid on capital goods for investments in mining, infrastructure, road construction, bridges, railways, airports, electricity generation, agribusiness, telecommunications, and water services.
  • 100 percent capital allowance deduction in the years of income for the above-mentioned types of investments – though there is ambiguity as to how this is accomplished.
  • No remittance restrictions. The GoT does not restrict the right of foreign investors to repatriate returns from an investment.
  • Guarantees against nationalization and expropriation. Any dispute arising between the GoT and investors may be settled through negotiations or submitted for arbitration.
  • Allowing interest deduction on capital loans and removal of the five-year limit for carrying forward losses of investors.

Investors may apply for “Strategic Status” or “Special Strategic Status” to receive further incentives. The criteria used to determine whether an investor may receive these designations are available on TIC’s website ( view TIC’s website ).

The GoT introduces waivers through the Public Finance Act with the aim of attracting investment in certain targeted sectors. In financial year 2021/2022, the GoT introduced VAT exemption on entities with agreements with the GoT for the operation or execution of strategic projects, to the extent that the agreements provide for such exemption; a strategic project is defined as a project that has been so determined by the Cabinet of Ministers. The GoT also re-introduced VAT exemption for NGOs having agreements with the GoT, to the extent that the agreements provide for such exemption. The minister of finance may make regulations prescribing the manner of application, granting and monitoring of exemptions, which previously required the minister to appoint a technical committee for guidance on these matters.

The GoT does not currently offer any incentives for clean energy investments.

The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) oversees Tanzania’s Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs). EPZA’s core objective is to build and promote export-led economic development by offering investment incentives and facilitation services ( view EPZA’s website ). Minimum capital requirements for EPZ and SEZ investors are $500,000 for foreign investors and $50,000 for local investors. Investment incentives offered for EPZs include the following:

  • An exemption from corporate taxes for 10 years.
  • An exemption from duties and taxes on capital goods and raw materials.
  • An exemption on VAT for utility services and on construction materials.
  • An exemption from withholding taxes on rent, dividends, and interests.
  • Exemption from pre-shipment or destination inspection requirements.
  • SEZs offer similar incentives, excluding the 10-year exemption from corporate taxes.

The Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency (ZIPA) and the Zanzibar Free Economic Zones Authority (ZAFREZA) offer the following incentives:

CATEGORY “A” FREE ECONOMIC ZONE DEVELOPERS: DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE

The developer of a Free Economic Zone shall benefit to the following incentives:

  • exemption from payment of taxes and duties for machinery, equipment, heavy duty vehicles, building and construction materials, and any other goods of capital nature to be used for purposes of development of the Free Economic Zone infrastructure.
  • exemption from payment of corporate tax for an initial period of 10 years and thereafter a corporate tax, shall be charged at the rate specified in the Income Tax Act.
  • exemption from payment of withholding tax on rent, dividends ‘and interest for the first 10 years.
  • exemption from payment of property tax for the first 10 years.
  • remission of customs duty, value added tax and any other tax payable in respect of importation of one administrative vehicle, ambulances, firefighting equipment and firefighting vehicles and up to two buses for employees’ transportation to and from the Free Economic Zone.
  • exemption from payment of stamp duty on any instrument executed in or outside the Free Economic Zone relating to transfer, lease or hypothecation of any movable or immovable property situated within the Free Economic Zone or any document, certificate, instrument, report or record relating to any activity, action, operation, project, undertaking, or venture in the Free Economic Zone;
  • treatment of goods destined into Free Economic Zones as transit goods; and
  • on site customs inspection of goods within Free Economic Zones.

CATEGORY “B” FREE ECONOMIC ZONES OPERATORS: APPROVED INVESTORS PRODUCING FOR SALE INTO THE CUSTOMS TERRITORY

Approved Investors whose primary markets are within the customs territory shall be entitled to the:

  • remission of customs duty, value added tax and any other tax charged on raw materials and goods of capital nature related to the production in the Free Economic Zones;
  • exemption from payment of withholding tax on interest on foreign sourced loan;
  • remission of customs duty, value added tax and any other tax payable in respect of importation of one administrative vehicle, one ambulances, firefighting equipment and firefighting vehicles and up to two buses for employees’ transportation into and from the Free Economic Zones;
  • exemption from pre-shipment or destination inspection requirements;
  • on site customs inspection of goods within Free Economic Zones;
  • access to competitive, modern and reliable services available within the Free Economic Zones; and
  • subject to compliance with applicable conditions and procedures for foreign exchange and payment of tax whenever appropriate, unconditional transfer through any authorized dealer bank in freely convertible currency of:

(i) net profits or dividends attributable to the investment;
(ii) payments in respect of loan servicing where a foreign loan has been obtained;
(iii) royalties, fees and charges for any technology transfer agreement;
(iv) the remittance of proceeds in the event of sale or liquidation of the licensed business or any interest attributable to the licensed business; and
(v) payments of emoluments and other benefits to foreign personnel employed in Tanzania in connection with the licensed business.

CATEGORY “C” FREE ECONOMIC ZONE OPERATORS: APPROVED INVESTORS PRODUCING FOR EXPORT MARKETS

Approved Investors producing for export markets in non-manufacturing or processing sectors shall be entitled to:

  • subject to compliance with applicable conditions and procedures, accessing the export credit guarantee scheme;
  • remission of customs duty, value added, and any other tax charged on raw materials and goods of capital nature related to the production in the Free Economic Zones;
  • exemption from payment of corporate tax for an initial period of ten years and thereafter, a corporate tax shall be charged at the rate specified in the Income Tax Act;
  • exemption from payment of withholding tax on rent, dividends and interests for the first 10 years;
  • exemption from payment of all taxes and levies imposed by the Local Government Authorities for products produced in the Free Economic Zones for a period of 10 years;
  • exemption from pre-shipment or destination inspection requirements;
  • on site customs inspection of goods in the Free Economic Zones;
  • remission of customs duty, value added tax and any other tax payable in respect of importation of one administrative vehicle, ambulances, firefighting equipment and vehicles and up to two buses for employees’ transportation to and from the Free Economic Zones;
  • treatment of goods destined into Free Economic Zones as transit goods;
  • access to competitive, modern and reliable services available within the Free Economic Zones; and
  • subject to compliance with applicable conditions and procedures for foreign exchange and payment of tax whenever appropriate, unconditional transfer through any authorized dealer bank in freely convertible currency of:

(i) net profits or dividends attributable to the investment;
(ii) payments in respect of loan servicing where a foreign loan has been obtained;
(iii) royalties, fees and charges for any technology transfer agreement;
(iv) the remittance of proceeds in the event of sale or liquidation of the business enterprises or any interest attributable to the investment;
(v) payments of emoluments and other benefits to foreign personnel employed in Tanzania in connection with the business enterprise; twenty percent of total turnover is allowed to be sold to the local market and is subject to the payment of all taxes;

  • twenty percent of total turnover is allowed to be sold to the local market and is subject to the payment of all taxes;
  • hundred percent foreign ownership is allowed; and
  • no limit to the duration that goods may be stored in the Freeport Zones.

For purposes of this section, investors licensed primarily for export markets are investors whose exports are more than eighty percent of total annual production.

INCENTIVES AND ALLOWANCES OUTSIDE FREE ECONOMIC ZONES

1. Approved investor investing outside Free Economic Zones, may be granted the:

  • exemption from payment of import duty, excise duty Value Added Tax and other similar taxes on machinery, equipment, spare parts, vehicles and other input necessary and exclusively required by that enterprise during construction period indicated in the Investment Certificate;
  • exemption from payment of business license fee for the first three months of trial operation;
  • corporate tax exemption for up to five years;
  • hundred percent foreign ownership;
  • hundred percent retention of all profits after tax;
  • hundred percent allowance Research and Development; and
  • hundred percent allowance for free repatriation of profit after tax.

2. Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Part, approved investor investing in manufacturing sector may further be granted the:

  • exemption from payment of any tax on all goods produced for exports;
  • exemption from payment of trade levy for raw materials and industrial inputs procured from Tanzania mainland;
  • exemption from payment of import duty, VAT, and other similar taxes on raw and packaging materials during project operations;
  • exemption of Income Tax on interest on registered borrowed capital; and
  • hundred percent allowance investment deduction on capital expenditure within five years.

3. Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Part, Approved Investor investing in real estate business may also be granted the:

  • exemption of income tax on interest on borrowed capital;
  • stamp duty exemption;
  • hundred percent allowance investment deduction on capital expenditure within five years; and
  • capital gains tax on properties sold or purchased.

FOREIGN TRADE ZONES/FREE PORTS/TRADE FACILITATION

Tanzania’s export processing zones (EPZs) and special economic zones (SEZs) are assigned geographical areas or industries designated to undertake specific economic activities with special regulations and infrastructure requirements. EPZ status can also be extended to stand-alone factories at any geographical location. EPZ status requires the export of 80 percent or more of the goods produced. SEZ status has no export requirement, allowing manufacturers to sell their goods locally. There are currently 14 designated EPZ/SEZ industrial parks, 10 of which are in development, and 75 stand-alone EPZ factories.

PERFORMANCE AND DATA LOCALIZATION REQUIREMENTS

The Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Act of 2015 (see Section 12 Labor Policies and Practices below) requires employers to attempt to fill positions with Tanzanian citizens before seeking work permits for foreign employees, and to develop plans to transition all positions held by foreign employees to local employees over time. The Act was amended in 2021 to extend the time limit for work permits of non-citizen employees from the initial five years to eight years; applications are now submitted through the Online Work Permit Application and Issuance System (OWAIS). The amendment also allows an investor who has been granted incentives and registered with the TIC and EPZA to employ up to 10 non-citizens. Prior to the amendment, an investor could employ up to five non-citizens during the initial period of investment.

Because the local content (LC) initiative cuts across all economic sectors, the GoT decided that oversight of LC development should take a multi-sector approach, rather than being confined to a single ministry or sector. In 2015, the GoT directed the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) to oversee implementation of local empowerment initiatives. The objective of the local content policy is to put local products and services – delivered by businesses owned and operated by Tanzanians – in an advantageous position to exploit opportunities emanating from inbound foreign direct investments. In 2015, the GoT enacted The Petroleum Act and, subsequently, issued The Petroleum (Local Content) Regulations 2017. Similarly, in 2017, the GoT amended mining laws, issuing The Mining (Local Content) Regulations 2018. (See Chapter 4: Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment for more on recent local content laws.)

Bank of Tanzania (BoT) regulations require banks to physically house their primary data centers in Tanzania or face steep penalties.

The GoT launched a $94 million National Internet Data Centre (NIDC) in 2016, which is operated by the GoT’s Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL). Under the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTC) Act 2017, the TTCL plans, builds, operates and maintains the “strategic telecommunications infrastructure,” which is defined as transport core infrastructure, data center and other infrastructure that the GoT proclaims “strategic” via official public notice.

5. Protection of Property Rights

REAL PROPERTY

All land is owned by the GoT and procedures for obtaining a lease or certificate of occupancy may be complex and lengthy. Less than 15 percent of land has been surveyed, and registration of title deeds is handled manually, mainly at the local level. Foreign investors may occupy land for investment purposes through a government-granted right of occupancy (“derivative rights” facilitated by TIC), or through sub-leases from a granted right of occupancy. Foreign investors may also partner with Tanzanian leaseholders to gain land access.

Land may be leased for up to 99 years, but the law does not allow individual Tanzanians to sell land to foreigners. There are opportunities for foreigners to lease land, including through TIC, which has designated specific plots of land (a land bank) to be made available to foreign investors. Foreign investors may also enter joint ventures with Tanzanians, in which case the Tanzanian provides the use of the land but retains ownership through a leasehold.

Secured interests in property are recognized and enforced. Though TIC maintains a land bank, restrictions on foreign ownership may significantly delay investments. Land not in the land bank must go through a lengthy approval process by local-level authorities, the Ministry of Lands, Housing, Human Settlements Development (MoLHHSD), and the President’s Office to be designated as “general land,” which may be titled for investment and sale.

The MoLHHSD handles registration of mortgages and rights of occupancies and the Office of the Registrar of Titles issues titles and registers mortgage deeds. Title deeds are recognized as collateral for securing loans from banks. In 2018, the GoT amended the land law, requiring that loan proceeds secured by mortgaging underdeveloped land be used solely to develop the specific piece of land used as collateral. The changes apply to general land managed by the MoLHHSD’s Commissioner for Lands, who must receive a report from the lender showing how loan proceeds will be used to develop the land. The law does not apply to village land allocated by village councils, which cannot be mortgaged to a financial institution.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

The GoT’s Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) is responsible for registration and enforcement of copyrighted materials, while the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) within the Ministry of Trade administers trademark and patent registration. It is the responsibility of the rights holders to enforce their rights where relevant, retaining their own counsel and advisors. The FCC promotes competition, protects consumers against unfair market conduct, and has quasi-judicial powers to determine trademark and patent infringement cases. The FCC is also tasked with combating the sale of counterfeit merchandise. However, the Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) handles counterfeit human medicines, cosmetics, and packaged food materials, and its mandate is stipulated in the Tanzania Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act (TFDCA) as per the amendment of 2019. Despite its efforts, limited resources make it difficult for the GoT to adequately combat counterfeiting.

Tanzania is not included in the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 Report or the Notorious Markets List.

For additional information about national laws and points of contact at local IP offices, please see the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) profile for Tanzania at  WIPO’s website. 

6. Financial Sector

CAPITAL MARKETS AND PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT

Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) is a self-listed publicly owned company. In 2013, the DSE launched a second-tier market, the Enterprise Growth Market (EGM) with lower listing requirements designed to attract small and medium sized companies with high growth potential. As March 2022, the total market capitalization was $7.076 billion, a 5.6 percent increase from March 2021 ($6.7 billion). The Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) Act facilitates the flow of capital and financial resources to support the capital market and securities industry. Tanzania, however, restricts the free flow of investment in and out of the country, and Tanzanians cannot sell or issue securities abroad unless approved by the CMSA.

Under the Capital Markets and Securities (Foreign Investors) Regulation 2014, there is no aggregate value limitation on foreign ownership of listed non-government securities. Only companies or citizens from EAC nations are permitted to participate in the government securities market. Even with this recent development allowing EAC participation, foreign ownership of government securities is still limited to 40 percent of each security issued.

Tanzania’s Electronic and Postal Communications Act 2010 amended in 2016 by the Finance Act 2016 requires telecom companies to list 25 percent of their shares via an initial public offering (IPO) on the DSE. Of the seven telecom companies that filed IPO applications with the CMSA, only Vodacom’s application received approval.

As part of the Mining (Minimum Shareholding and Public Offering) Regulations 2016, large scale mining operators were required to float a 30 percent stake on the DSE by October 7, 2018. Currently, no mining companies are listed on the DSE.

MONEY AND BANKING SYSTEM

Tanzania’s financial inclusion rate increased significantly over the past decade thanks to mobile phones and mobile banking. However, participation in the formal banking sector remains low. Low private sector credit growth and high non-performing loan (NPL) rates are persistent problems.

According to the IMF’s most recent Financial System Stability Assessment ( view assessment ), Tanzania’s bank-dominated financial sector is small, concentrated, and at a relatively nascent stage of development. Financial services provision is dominated by commercial banks, with the 10 largest institutions being preeminent in terms of mobilizing savings and intermediating credit. The report found that nearly half of Tanzania’s 45 banks are vulnerable to adverse shocks and risk insolvency in the event of a global financial crisis.

The two largest banks are CRDB Bank and National Microfinance Bank (NMB), which combined represent almost 30 percent of the market. The only U.S. bank operating in Tanzania is Citibank Tanzania Limited. Private sector companies have access to commercial credit instruments including documentary credits (letters of credit), overdrafts, term loans, and guarantees. Foreign investors may open accounts and earn tax-free interest in Tanzanian commercial banks. However, a special exemption is required from the BoT to open an account as a “foreign entity.” A foreign entity account is an account owned by a company without a registered, legal business presence in Tanzania.

The Banking and Financial Institution Act 2006 established a framework for credit reference bureaus, permits the release of information to licensed reference bureaus, and allows credit reference bureaus to provide to any person, upon a legitimate business request, a credit report. Currently, there are two private credit bureaus operating in Tanzania: Credit Info Tanzania Limited and Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Tanzania Limited.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE AND REMITTANCES

Foreign Exchange

Tanzanian regulations permit unconditional transfers through any authorized bank in freely convertible currency of net profits, repayment of foreign loans, royalties, fees charged for foreign technology, and remittance of proceeds. The only official limit on transfers of foreign currency is on cash carried by individuals traveling abroad, which cannot exceed $10,000 over a period of 40 days. Investors rarely use convertible instruments.

The BoT’s updated Bureau de Change regulations with stringent requirements came into force in 2019. The regulations include a minimum capital requirement of TZS 1 billion (approximately $430,000) and a non-interest-bearing deposit of $100,000 with the Bank of Tanzania (the regulator). Regulations also require the business premises to be fitted with CCTV cameras and include stringent procedures and policies for detecting and reporting money laundering and terrorism finance. Also, the GoT allowed forex shops to reopen under the new Act, which it closed due to noncompliance issues.

The value of the Tanzanian currency, the shilling, is determined by a free-floating exchange rate system based on supply and demand in international foreign exchange markets. There are anecdotal reports that the BoT has artificially propped up the exchange rate.

Remittance Policies

There are no recent changes or known plans to change investment remittance policies that either tighten or relax access to foreign exchange for investment remittances.

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS

Tanzania does not have a sovereign wealth fund.

7. State-Owned Enterprises

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) do not compete under the same terms and conditions as private enterprises because they have access to government subsidies and other benefits. SOEs are active in the power, communications, rail, telecommunications, insurance, aviation, and port sectors. SOEs generally report to ministries and are led by a board. Typically, a presidential appointee chairs the board, which usually includes private sector representatives. SOEs are not subjected to hard budget constraints. SOEs do not discriminate against or unfairly burden foreigners, though they do have access to sovereign credit guarantees.

Specific details on SOE financials and employment figures are not publicly available.

As of June 2019, the GoT’s Treasury Registrar reported shares and interests in 266 public parastatals, companies, and statutory corporations ( view the most recent Treasury Registrar report ).

PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM

The government has historically retained a strong presence in energy, mining, telecommunication services, and transportation, though there has been a recent shift towards encouraging increased private sector investment. In the past, the GoT has sought foreign investors to manage formerly state-run companies in public-private partnerships, but successful privatizations have been rare. Though there have been attempts to privatize certain companies, the process is not always clear and transparent.

8. Responsible Business Conduct

The GoT’s National Environment Management Council (NEMC) undertakes enforcement, compliance, review, and monitoring of environmental impact assessments; performs research; facilitates public participation in environmental decision-making; raises environmental awareness; and collects and disseminates environmental information. Stakeholders, however, have expressed concerns over whether the NEMC has sufficient funding and capacity to handle its broad mandate.

There are no legal requirements for public disclosure of RBC, and the GoT has not yet addressed executive compensation standards. Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) listed companies, however, must release legally required information to shareholders and the general public. In addition, the DSE signed a voluntary commitment with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative in 2016, to promote long-term sustainable investments and improve environmental, social, and corporate governance. Tanzania has accounting standards compatible with international accounting bodies.

The GoT does not usually factor RBC into procurement decisions. The GoT is responsible for enforcing local laws, however, the media regularly reports on corruption cases where offenders allegedly avoid sanctions. There have also been reports of corporate entities collaborating with local governments to carry out controversial undertakings that may not be in the best interest of the local population.

Some foreign companies have engaged NGOs that monitor and promote RBC to avoid adversarial confrontations. In addition, some of the multinational companies who are signatories to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) have taken the lead and appointed NGOs to conduct programs to mitigate conflicts between the mining companies, surrounding communities, local government officials and the police.

Tanzania is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and in 2015 Tanzania enacted the Extractive Industries Transparency and Accountability Act, which demands that all new concessions, contracts, and licenses are made available to the public. The GoT produces EITI reports that disclose revenues from the extraction of its natural resources.

Investors should be aware of human and labor rights concerns, particularly in the minerals and extractives and agriculture sectors. Businesses are required to conduct social and environmental impact assessment reports prior to the establishment of operations in Tanzania. The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) is an independent government institute serving as the national focal point for the promotion and protection of human rights in Tanzania. CHRAGG and is leading efforts towards the development of a national action plan on business and human rights.

Additional Resources

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

Climate Issues

Tanzania maintains a national climate strategy, and developed and submitted its second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2021.  Its second NDC builds on the 2021 National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS), the 2014 Zanzibar Climate Change Strategy (ZCCS) and other national climate change development processes.

Tanzania has also developed/adopted and implements various other policies, legislation, strategies, plans and programs to address climate change.  This includes Tanzania’s National Communications Plans (2003 and 2015); Natural Gas Policy (2013); the Zanzibar Environmental Policy (2014); the Renewable Energy Strategy (2014); the Natural Gas Act (2015); the National Forestry Policy (1998); the National Transport Master Plan (2013); the National Environmental Policy (1997 and 2021); the Zanzibar Environmental Policy (2013); the National Environmental Action Plan (2012-2017); the National REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan (2013); the National Climate-Smart Agriculture Program (2015-2025); the National Environment Management Act (2004); and the National Environmental Master Plan for Strategic Interventions (2022-2032).

Despite Tanzania’s low greenhouse gas emissions, the country is committed to climate change mitigation and adaption strategies. Tanzania’s 2021 National Environmental Policy reflects the country’s commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Strategies and policies exist, but specifics are lacking, as is data sharing on progress towards targets and goals.  The GoT’s second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) – submitted to UNFCCC in 2021 – highlights an overall mitigation goal of nationally reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30-35 percent relative to Business-As-Usual scenario by 2030 and indicates that it has formulated the cost of net-zero emissions by 2050, though the details are not clear.

9. Corruption

Tanzania has laws and institutions designed to combat corruption and illicit practices. It is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption, but it is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. While former President Magufuli’s focus on anti-corruption translated into an increased judiciary budget and new corruption cases, corruption is still viewed as a significant problem. There have been various efforts to mitigate corruption – including implementing electronic services to reduce the opportunity for corruption through human interactions at agencies such as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA), and the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) – however, the broader concerns surrounding corruption persist.

Tanzania has three institutions specifically focused on anti-corruption. The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) prevents corruption, educates the public, and enforces the law against corruption. The Ethics Secretariat and its associated Ethics Tribunal under the President’s office enforce compliance with ethical standards defined in the Public Leadership Codes of Ethics Act 1995. Additionally, the Zanzibar Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (ZAECA) is the counterpart to PCCB with jurisdiction in Zanzibar.

Companies and individuals seeking government tenders are required to submit a written commitment to uphold anti-bribery policies and abide by a compliance program. These steps are designed to ensure that company management complies with anti-bribery polices, though the effectiveness of this step is unclear.

The GoT is concluded implementation of its National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan Phase III (2017-2022) (NACSAP III) which is a decentralized approach focused on broad government participation. NACSAP III was prepared to involve a broader domain of key stakeholders including GoT local officials, development partners, NGOs, and the private sector. The strategy put more emphasis on areas that historically have been more prone to corruption in Tanzania such as oil, gas, and other natural resources. Despite the GoT’s defined role, NGOs and media report finding it difficult to investigate corruption.

The GoT’s anti-corruption campaign affected public discourse about the prevailing climate of impunity. Some critics, however, question how effective the initiative will be in tackling deeper structural issues that have allowed corruption to thrive.

Transparency International (TI), which ranks perception of corruption in public sector, gave Tanzania a score of 38 points out of 100 for 2022 and 39 points for 2021. The Afrobarometer report estimates that between 2015 and 2019 the corruption increase in the previous 12 months was only 10 percent in Tanzania, the lowest in Africa. While for the same period, 23 percent of the respondents voted that Tanzania is doing a bad job of fighting corruption, again the lowest in Africa. Thirty-two percent of the respondents also noted that business executives are corrupt, up from 31 percent in 2015.

Resources to Report Corruption

The Director General
Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau
P.O. Box 4865, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 2150043   Email: dgeneral@pccb.go.tz 

Executive Director
Legal and Human Rights Centre
P.O. Box 75254, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 2773038/48 Email: lhrc@humanrights.or.tz 

10. Political and Security Environment

Since gaining independence, Tanzania has enjoyed a relatively high degree of peace and stability compared to its neighbors in the region. Tanzania has held six national multi-party elections since 1995, the most recent in 2020 which saw the ruling party’s candidates win by vast majorities. There were serious doubts about the credibility of the 2020 elections on the mainland and Zanzibar. Zanzibar experienced political violence several times since 1995, including in 2020.

Following the death of President Magufuli (re-elected in 2020) in 2021, a peaceful transfer of power to Vice President Samia Suhulu Hassan took place in accordance with constitutionally mandated procedures. President Hassan continues to follow the CCM ruling party’s manifesto and has begun to lay out her own priorities, which include a reset on international relations and an effort to revive the private sector and attract foreign investment.

Tanzania is generally free from violent conflict, however, there are ongoing concerns about insecurity spilling over from neighboring countries, particularly violent extremism from the Tanzania-Mozambique border. There are a significant number of refugees from crisis and conflicts in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, and the continuing violence in neighboring Mozambique has resulted in Mozambican citizens seeking refuge across the border in southern Tanzania.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

Despite Tanzania’s large youth population, there is a shortage of skilled labor and gaps remain in professional training to support industrialization. On the regional front, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya have committed to the EAC’s 2012 Mutual Recognition Agreement of engineers, making for a more regionally competitive engineering market.

In Tanzania, labor and immigration regulations permit foreign investors to recruit up to 10 expatriates with the possibility of additional work permits granted under specific conditions. The Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Act 2015 introduced stricter rules for hiring foreign workers. Under the Act, the Labor Commissioner must determine if “all possible efforts have been explored to obtain a local expert” before approving a non-citizen work permit. In addition, employers must submit “succession plans” for foreign employees, detailing how knowledge and skills will be transferred to local employees. The Act was amended in 2021, increasing the period of work permit validity from five years to eight years, with applications to be renewed every 24 months. The non-citizens quota shall not preclude the investor from employing other non-citizens provided that such employment complies with the employment ratio of one non-citizen to 10 local employees and that the investor has satisfied the labor commissioner that the nature of the business necessitates such number of non-citizens. Foreign investors may be granted 10-year work permits which may be extended if the investor is determined to be contributing to the economy and wellbeing of Tanzanians. In April 2021, the GoT introduced a simplified online system of applying and issuing work permit which reduces the waiting period from 33 days to less than a week.

Mainland Tanzania’s monthly minimum wage ranges were updated in January 2023, reflecting categories covering 12 employment sectors. The minimum wage ranges from TZS 140,000 ($61) per month for agricultural laborers to TZS 592,000 ($257) per month for laborers employed in the mining sector. Zanzibar’s minimum wage was increased to TZS 347,000 ($151) in April 2023.

Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar governments maintain separate labor laws. Workers on the mainland have the right to join trade unions. Any company with a recognized trade union possessing bargaining rights can negotiate in a Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the public sector, the GoT sets wages administratively, including for employees of state-owned enterprises.

Mainland workers have the legal right to strike, and employers have the right to a lockout. The law restricts the right to strike when doing so may endanger the health of the population. Workers in certain sectors are restricted from striking or subject to limitations. In 2017, the GoT issued regulations that strengthened child labor laws, created minimum one-year terms for certain contracts, expanded the scope of what is considered discrimination, and changed contract requirements for outsourcing agreements.

The labor law in Zanzibar applies to both public and private sector workers. Zanzibar government workers have the right to strike as long as they follow procedures outlined in the Employment Act of 2005, but they are not allowed to join Mainland-based labor unions. The Government of Zanzibar requires a union with 50 or more members to be registered and sets literacy standards for trade union officers. An estimated 40 percent of Zanzibar’s workforce is unionized.

The Integrated Labor Force Survey of 2020/21 indicates that employment in the informal sector has increased from 22 percent in 2014 to 29.4 percent in 2020/21, with the most significant increase in rural areas. The informal sector operates outside of the legal system with no formal contracts, leaving workers vulnerable to precarious working conditions, limited social protection, and low earnings.

12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs

In 1996, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the predecessor agency to the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), signed an Investment Incentive Agreement (IIA) with the GoT. However, GoT compliance with the IIA is inconsistent in practice, an issue with which the U.S. government and foreign investors remain concerned. The current portfolio includes 12 active projects in agriculture, energy, healthcare, micro-finance, and logistics. DFC inherited USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA)’s active portfolio including guarantees to several banks to encourage lending to small and medium sized enterprises.

Tanzania is also a member of the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which offers political risk insurance and technical assistance to attract FDI.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data: BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (USD) 2022 N/A 2022 $75.71 billion https://data.worldbank.org/country/tanzania 
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data: BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country (USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2021 $1.014 million BEA data available at https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/ 
Host country’s FDI in the United States (USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2021 $ (-2) million BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data 
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A 2021 3.1% UNCTAD data available at https://stats.unctad.org/handbook/EconomicTrends/Fdi.html 

* Source for Host Country Data: host country data not publicly available.

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

There is no data for Tanzania in the IMF’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS).

According to TIC, the top 12 sources for inward foreign investment into Tanzania since 2016 in rank order include the People’s Republic of China, Mauritius, United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, British Virgin Islands, Australia, Burundi, Singapore, and the United States.

Data on outward direct investment is not available.

Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

There is no data for Tanzania in the IMF’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS).

14. Contact for More Information

Economic Officer
U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam
686 Old Bagamoyo Road
Msasani, Dar es Salaam
Tel: 255-22-229-4000
drspolecontracker@state.gov 

source: Tanzania – United States Department of State

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