The business sector is dominated by the agricultural
sector. Since then, Tanzania's economy has been
characterized by lower than planned growth rates, balance of
payments problems and reduced foreign exchange reserves. In
the years 1967-74, a village training program (the Uyama
program) was implemented, which from a general welfare point
of view is considered to have contributed to improved
conditions for the population but due to inefficient
management, lack of input goods and low agricultural
productivity was not successful from an economic point of
view. By the early 1980s, the financial problems had reached
such a level that new development projects were stopped.
In 1982, a three-year structural adjustment program was
introduced, which was followed by further adjustment
programs in 1986 and 1990. According to
countryaah, the objectives of these have not
been fully met, but the growth in the economy has improved.
During the 1990s, the rate of privatization increased; for
example, railways, ports, airlines and electricity companies
were privatized. Despite some financial success since the
mid-1990s, problems remain with inadequate infrastructure
and severe corruption.
In real terms, GDP is estimated to have increased by an
average of 0.3 per cent per year from 1980 to 2000. During
the 1990s, growth accelerated and averaged over 7 percent
throughout the decade.
Although only 10 per cent of the country's area is
cultivated, about 80 per cent of the economically active
population derives its agricultural income. Less than half
of agricultural production is estimated to come from
agricultural sales. The main barley crops are coffee,
cotton, cloves (from Zanzibar), tobacco, tea, cashew nuts,
sisa and seagrass.
Coffee is the most important export crop and is mainly
produced by small farmers in the Kilimanjaro region. Cotton
and tea production increased during the 1980s, and in the
1990s large investments were made in tea production to
increase productivity and increase the area cultivated. Due
to increased competition, the introduction of replacement
products, fluctuating world market prices and inefficient
government procurement and transport organizations,
production development has been negative for some of the
country's other export crops.
The main food crops are maize, cassava, millet, rice,
wheat and bananas. Due to rainfall fluctuations, food
production during the late 1980s dropped sharply from the
good growing seasons 1985–87. Similarly, the country was hit
hard by dry periods and floods during the 1990s, when the
country received extensive food assistance. After some good
harvest years in the early 00s, the country is not expected
to have any food shortages since 2002.
About 38 percent of the country's area is covered by
forest. With the exception of some planted forest areas in
northeastern Tanzania, the existing forests have limited
economic potential. About 20 million m 3 are
harvested annually, and of this volume, firewood makes up
about 90 percent. Felling of forests without efficient
replanting has in some areas resulted in increasing soil
degradation. The state is therefore trying to encourage
replanting through various development and soil conservation
projects. In recent decades, large forest plantations have
also been made at Sao Hill in the Southern Highlands.
Despite great potential, sea fishing in Tanzania is
limited. Most of the fishing is freshwater fishing and is
conducted in the Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi lakes as
well as in rivers and ponds. Fishing is an important
complement to the diet, but limited storage and transport
facilities hamper consumption.
Mining of diamonds, gold, salt, semi-precious stones,
nickel, iron, phosphorus, coal, plaster, kaolin and tin
occurs. With the help of foreign investment, the mining
industry grew by about 16 percent in 1997-2001. Since then,
the mining industry has grown the fastest of all industries.
Gold mining accounts for nearly half of the country's
commodity exports. By contrast, the previously so
significant diamond mining has diminished in importance.
Furthermore, one of the world's largest ruby mines is
located in Longido, and in 1967 the Arusha region discovered
a blue semi-precious stone, tanzanite, which has since been
extracted to a greater extent. Coal is mined at the
Songwe-Kiwira mine in the southwestern part of the country.
However, due to its low quality, there have been problems
with deposition for the broken coal.
The majority of the population uses firewood and charcoal
for their energy needs. The energy sector is otherwise
mainly focused on generating electricity. More than 70
percent of the electricity generated in the country comes
from hydropower plants. Significant ones are found at the
Kidatu and Mtera ponds in the Ruaha River as well as in the
Kihansi and Pangani rivers
Tanzania's industrial sector is largely focused on the
processing of domestic raw materials and import subsidies.
The sector has been characterized by very low capacity
utilization since the 1970s. The reasons are cited for
increased energy prices and lack of foreign currency for raw
materials, machinery and spare parts. The industry has also
been affected by frequent interruptions in the water and
electricity supply. The main industries are the food,
textile, brewery and tobacco industries. There are also
assembly plants for vehicles in the country, such as Scania
As construction has increased in the country, cement
production has become more important. Cement factories are
located in Mbeya, Tanga and at Waso Hill, north of Dar
es-Salaam. After a long period of cement shortage in the
country, with Danish and Swedish assistance, cement
production has been on its feet. In recent years, Tanzania's
industrial policy has aimed to support the manufacturing
sector to increase export potential and reduce dependence on
the agricultural sector.
Tanzania's exports are dominated by raw materials, but
industrial products have become increasingly important. The
most important export goods are gold, coffee, cashew nuts,
cotton, industrial goods, tobacco, cloves and tea. Imports
are dominated by consumables, transport and transport
equipment, industrial raw materials and crude oil.
The most important exporting countries are India, South
Africa and Kenya, while India, China, South Africa and Kenya
are the most important importing countries. Tanzania's
foreign trade is sensitive to variations in world market
prices for the country's main export goods. Despite rising
gold prices during the 1990s, the country has a constant
Tourism and gastronomy
In Tanzania there are a number of outstanding national
parks and game reserves. For example, the seasonal
migrations of the huge antelope herds in the Serengeti area
are a great experience. Another interesting conservation
area in northern Tanzania is the Ngorongoro crater landscape
(lions, elephants, rhinos). The ascent of Kilimanjaro can
attract well-trained visitors. In these regions you can also
see the caves where remains of man's oldest predecessor were
found (the Olduva Gorge); The finds can be found at the
National Museum in Dar es-Salaam.
Tanzania also has a lot to offer for the culturally
interested. Dar es-Salaam has preserved a small town charm,
which is lacking in other African big cities. There are
monumental buildings from the German and British times, a
city center of two and three-story houses from the turn of
the century and the interwar period with mosques, churches
and small restaurants as well as an interesting fish market.
Arts and crafts (wood carving, bone work - ivory is
forbidden - textiles and braided sawn goods) can be
purchased in several specialty markets. From Dar es-Salaam,
boats depart for Zanzibar, where you ascend ashore in the
so-called stone town with narrow winding alleys, houses with
beautifully carved gates and stately buildings along the
sea. Much of the old settlement dates from the decades after
Zanzibar became the Arab sea kingdom of Oman's capital in
1832. The old Sultan's Palace is now a landmark museum. From
the city you can make excursions to the spice plantations
(cloves etc.), to East Africa's oldest mosque in Kizimkazi
in the south, to the sandy beach in the east or to the
Jozani forest, where you can see the rare red colobus
monkeys. In the countryside there are also picturesque ruins
of the Sultan's palace.
The food in Tanzania carries an unmistakable tropical
touch: fruit (pineapple, papaya, banana and coconut) is
widely used and the spices, especially cloves, are dominant.
The influence of India and the Arabian Peninsula has
provided a rich variety of recipes that are rare in Africa.
Rice is common, but ugali, corn porridge, is the
basis of everyday food. It is often eaten with mchicha,
a mango-like, hardy and inexpensive vegetable to be cooked
into a pot of beef, bell pepper, chilli, garlic and onion:
na nyama. Ndizi nyama is the term for meat
stew with bananas and coconut. Mtori is soup on
flour bananas and beef, supuya papai is papaya
soup. Kabichi, a cabbage stew with cumin and
cloves, is another typical dish. The many curries are often
mild because they are cooked with coconut milk (eg
samaki wa nazi, fish curry). Along the coast there are
delicious fresh seafood, further into the country has duck,
served with flour bananas or perhaps with maharaga ya
nazi, beans cooked in coconut milk, become a paradise.
Freshwater fish are also an important part of the
nutritional supplement. It is preferably cooked with coconut
milk. Tanzanian honey is excellent and is often confused
with fresh fruit as dessert. An inheritance from the German
colonial era is the excellent light beer. From Doloma in the
highlands comes local wine ("Bowani wine") which holds high