The article itself got in a bit of a mess, confusing economic growth rates with growth in trade. Nevertheless, the basic point is still interesting: Tanzania exports nearly three times as much to SADC countries as to EAC countries.
Perhaps, therefore, Tanzania should worry less about getting East African integration right, and focus more on its southern neighbours instead? Continue reading →
Natural gas is a game changer in Tanzania, both economically and politically. The latest reports suggest that there may be as much as 51 trillion cubic feet available, not huge by global standards, but enough to have raised expectations sky high – see cartoon. The public and policy makers are excited, and it’s already having significant effects on both local and national politics.
“One Minister stated in the Parliament that “with the natural gas reserves Tanzania has, poverty will be history”. How I wish it was that simple! A plus and minus equation. Unfortunately the reality is opposite. There are chains of evidence that resources, due to many factors engraved within a ‘lesser’ leader, may lead to curse.”
Mobile money has revolutionised financial services in East Africa, starting with M-Pesa in Kenya and spreading from there. The global association of mobile phone network operators, GSMA, has recently published a report on mobile money in Tanzania (pdf), which included the following chart, showing the total value of mobile money transactions each year since 2007:
Yearly value of mobile money transactions. Source: GSMA, data from Bank of Tanzania, Central Bank of Kenya
Two things are worth highlighting here. First, though Kenya was undoubtedly the trendsetter here, Tanzania is fast catching up, and looks set to overtake Kenya during 2014. Continue reading →
For the bean-counters shall inherit the earth, as I’m sure somebody once said.
Accountants have a clever trick – the unscrupulous ones – to keep the rest of us fooled. By making something sound as uninteresting as possible, we have a hard time paying attention long enough to understand what they’re saying. So we miss the point.
Take misinvoicing, for example. Could anything possibly sound less interesting than that?
Well, let me see if I can get your attention: between 2002 and 2011, Tanzania lost an average of $248m per year in tax revenues through misinvoicing. It’s illegal, and it’s on the rise. Continue reading →
“It’s all rosy for Tanzania,” runs the Daily News headline. It’s not about media freedom, the state of public services, political stability or religious tolerance, but another vitally important component in the country’s development – economic growth. The article goes on to give some impressive growth figures, by anyone’s standards:
“The 2013 African Economic Outlook Report, launched last week, confirmed the impressive performance of the economy, which grew [by] 6.9% in 2012 and is estimated to reach 7% this year and 7.2% in 2014.”
But another recent report raised some very important questions about this economic growth. In particular, is economic growth benefiting the poor?
I’m talking about the Afrobarometer survey series, which published its latest data and reports last week. Their survey results and analysis are always worth looking at, as the data is among the best data on public opinion across the continent. The latest round covered 35 countries. It hit the headlines for its conclusion that the “Africa Rising” narrative needs more nuance – see here in the Guardian, for example. Continue reading →