PwC Tanzania Country Leader's Message

People returning to Tanzania and particularly to Dar es Salaam after many years away are often amazed at the extent of progress achieved in the last ten years. Often it is the superficial signs of economic reforms, which make the largest impact. The shops are full, the streets are lined with advertisements, foreign exchange bureaus/banks allow anyone to buy foreign exchange, there are at least 10 insurance companies and 20 banks, including global/international ones, to choose from. Also noticeable is the significant improvement in the infrastructure: better roads, increasing availability of office accommodation, new hotels, reliable telephone services, etc. The steps taken to transform the economy from one which was centrally planned to a free market one have so far delivered very positive results.

Tanzania is a country endowed with an abundance of natural resources, which include 16% of the total land area occupied by wild life, national parks and game reserves, a long stretch of shoreline on the Indian Ocean and large tracts of arable land, forests and woodland. It also has a broad range of highly valuable mineral resources, which include proven deposits of tin, phosphate, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, and nickel. It is therefore not surprising that the country's major focus for economic development is on tourism, mining and agriculture.

Another significant asset for Tanzania is its political stability. The country's population possesses a high degree of political maturity and enjoys unfettered press freedom and a multi-party democracy. Since gaining independence in 1961, the country has witnessed a peaceful democratic change in top leadership twice. Despite a large population of more than 30 million people, comprised of over 120 tribes, tribal identity is less pronounced than in most other African countries. All indigenous Tanzanians speak Kiswahili, the National language, and English is widely spoken.

The above, coupled with the apparent determination of the country's leadership to improve the physical and administrative infrastructure, are some of the important factors that are helping Tanzania become a very attractive destination for investment.