The United Republic of Tanzania has sustained 6-7 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since the late 1990s due to a relatively stable political environment, reasonable macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, resiliency from external shocks, and debt relief. However, recently adopted Government of Tanzania (GoT) policies have raised questions about long-term prospects for foreign direct investment (FDI), and fostered a more challenging business environment. Despite Tanzania’s GDP growth, 28.2 percent of the population lives below the GoT-determined poverty line and youth unemployment remains a problem. In January 2018, the IMF warned of significant economic risks including private sector concerns about heavy-handed and arbitrary enforcement of rules; stagnated credit growth reflected in part by banks’ rising nonperforming loans (NPLs); poor budget credibility and implementation; and excessive domestic arrears.
In 2016, the GoT began a campaign to raise revenue, encourage the hiring of Tanzanian citizens over foreigners, and protect/grow local industry. These measures included new taxes in certain industries as well as aggressive collection by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) that some labeled as arbitrary and harassing. On the employment front, the GoT implemented labor regulations that make it more difficult to hire foreign employees, creating unclear bureaucratic standards. Finally, on the local industry front, the GoT continued to use increased tariffs and import and export bans as a stated, but ineffective way to protect/grow local industry.
In 2017 and 2018, the private sector expressed concern over new laws largely enacted without stakeholder consultation. The laws increased the risk/cost of investing in broadly defined natural resources, primarily by removing rights to international arbitration and giving Parliament the unilateral right to rewrite undefined “unconscionable” contract terms. In addition, new mining local content laws strongly encourage the hiring of, contracting with, and partnering with Tanzanian companies or individuals. In 2017, the World Bank and the IMF stressed the need for public private dialogue and concrete action to address challenges in the business environment.
Profitable sectors for foreign investment in Tanzania have traditionally included agriculture, mining and services, driven by banking, construction, tourism, and trade. However, aggressive revenue raising measures and unfriendly investor legislation have made investment less attractive in recent years. Corruption, especially in government procurement, privatization, taxation, and customs clearance remains a concern for foreign investors, though the government has prioritized efforts to combat the practice. GoT plans for infrastructure development are expected to offer investment opportunities in rail, real estate development, and construction.
Compared to its many neighboring countries, Tanzania remains a politically stable and peaceful country, as well as a regional leader, including in the East African Community (EAC). Since November 2015, however, the government is placing increasing restrictions on political activity, including severely limiting the ability of opposition political parties and civil society organizations to debate issues publicly, or peacefully assemble. October 2015 general elections were conducted in a largely open and transparent atmosphere; however, simultaneous elections in Zanzibar were controversially annulled after an opposition candidate declared victory. A re-run election was boycotted by the opposition. By-elections in 2017 and 2018 were marred by allegations of irregularities and instances of political violence.
|TI Corruption Perceptions Index||2017||103 of 175||http://www.transparency.org/
|World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”||2017||137 of 190||http://www.doingbusiness.org/
|Global Innovation Index||2017||96 of 128||https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/
|U.S. FDI in Partner Country (M USD, stock positions)||2013||USD 206||http://www.bea.gov/
|World Bank GNI per capita||2015||USD 900||http://www.doingbusiness.org/
1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
The GoT heavily courted FDI in principle; however, its policies did not effectively attract investment. The 2017 World Investment Report stated that in 2016 FDI flows to Tanzania shrank by 17.5 percent to USD 1.365 billion. Some concerns noted by stakeholders included difficulty in hiring foreign workers, reduced profits caused by unfriendly tax policies, increased local content requirements, regulatory/policy instability, lack of trust between the GoT and the private sector, and mandatory initial public offerings (IPOs) in mining and communication industries.
The Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) acts as a one-stop center for investors, helping to obtain permits, licenses, visas, and land access among other support. (See Chapter 4 for more information on TIC).
Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
Foreign investors generally receive treatment equivalent to domestic investors but limits still persist in a number of sectors. Foreign companies may not operate mountain guiding, tour guide, car rental or travel agency services. In addition, 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).
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.
The country imposes foreign equity ownership restrictions on a number of service sectors. For example, foreign capital participation in the telecommunications sector is limited to a maximum of 75 percent. While the Broadcasting Services Act allows a maximum of 49 percent foreign ownership of Tanzanian TV stations, foreign capital participation in national newspapers is prohibited.
Other Investment Policy Reviews
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 2013 Investment Policy Review of Tanzania made four key policy recommendations: (i) rationalize investor rights and obligations and make them easily accessible, (ii) increase land tenure security for agricultural investors, (iii) enhance private investment in public infrastructure, and (iv) better promote and facilitate investment for both domestic and foreign firms. The Review was the result of a self-assessment undertaken by a national task force composed of government agencies, the private sector, and civil society.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) also published a Trade Policy Review in 2013 that covers EAC member states (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). The main suggested areas for improvement revolve around the five member countries implementing the common external tariff (CET) and their inability to harmonize trade, export, and tax policies.
The World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 Indicators rank Tanzania as 162 out of 190 economies in ease of starting a business, dropping 27 points from 135 in 2017. Tanzania’s Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) issues certificates of compliance for foreign companies, certificates of incorporation for private and public companies, and business name registration for sole proprietor and corporate bodies. After registering with BRELA, businesses must register with the TRA and one of Tanzania’s social security schemes. They must also obtain business licenses from the Ministry of Industry and Trade or from a municipality. Alternatively, TIC provides online services for simultaneous registration with BRELA, TRA, and a social security scheme ( ) for enterprises whose minimum capital investment is not less than USD 500,000 if foreign owned or USD 100,000 if locally owned.
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 where Tanzanian residents may deal in securities with other EAC residents. In addition, FEAR provides opportunities for residents to engage in Foreign Direct Investment and acquire real assets outside of the EAC.
2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation Treaties
BITs or FTAs
Tanzania has bilateral investment treaties with 19 countries, and seven 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.
Bilateral Taxation Treaties
The U.S. 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 TIP, the U.S. and EAC are seeking to expand trade, investment and dialogue with the private sector.
3. Legal Regime
Transparency of the Regulatory System
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. Stakeholders, however, often report that they are either not consulted or given too little time to provide useful comment. Moreover, the government has increasingly used Presidential decree powers to bypass regulatory and legal structures.
In 2016 the President signed the Access to Information Act into law. In theory, the Act gives 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” ( ), the website is generally not current and is missing information. 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 sometimes been criticized as being subject to political influence, depriving the regulator of the independence it is granted under the law. For example, in 2017, the nominally independent Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority approved an 8.5 percent increase in tariff charges after rejecting the State-owned electric utility’s request for an 18.2 percent increase. Several days later, the Minister of Energy and Minerals revoked the increase alleging that it was not adequately consulted. Critics of this justification pointed to documents and meeting attendance records as evidence that the Minister was aware of the proceedings.
International Regulatory Considerations
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 is also part of both the EAC and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and subject to their respective regulations. However, according to the 2016 East African Market Scorecard, Tanzania is not compliant with a number of EAC regulations.
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 ranking 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 2015 Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer named the Judiciary as the third most corrupt Tanzanian institution and according to the 2017 Afrobarometer Survey the percentage of Tanzanians who believed that at least some/most/all of the Judiciary were corrupt was 48 percent/17 percent/3 percent, respectively. The selection and appointment of judges in Tanzania is criticized for its non-transparent nature. The Judiciary Service Commission proposes judges to the President for appointment. However, the criteria and process for candidates is unknown.
Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
During the reporting period, new laws/regulations were enacted that may impact the risk-return profile on foreign investments, especially those in the mining industry. 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 2018. The three new 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.
Investors, especially those in natural resources and mining, have expressed concern about the effects of these new laws. Two of the new 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 resource contracts, the laws remove rights to international arbitration and subject 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 2018 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 51 percent of its equity owned by and 100 percent of its non-managerial positions held by Tanzanians. Furthermore, foreign mining companies must have at least 5 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.
The Mining (Local Content) Regulations 2018 also set the timeframe for local content percentages to be raised over the next 10 years which vary by type of good or service provided. There are immediate requirements to use 100 percent local content for financial, insurance, legal, catering, cleaning, laundry, and security services. All contractors must submit a local content plan to the GoT, which includes provisions to favor local content and meets required local content percentages. The plan must include five sub plans on employment and training; research and development; technology transfer; legal services; and financial services. The regulations also require contractors to implement bidding procedures to acquire goods and services and to award contracts to indigenous Tanzanian companies if they do not exceed the lowest bidder by more than 10 percent. There are also regular contractor reporting requirements. Violating these regulations can lead to a fine of up to TZS 500 million or five years imprisonment.
Competition and Anti-Trust 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 GoT may expropriate property after due process for the purpose of national interest. The Tanzanian 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.
GoT authorities do not discriminate against U.S. investments, companies, or representatives in expropriation. Since 1985, the Government of Tanzania has not officially expropriated any foreign investments. There have been cases, however, of government revocation of hunting concessions that grant land rights to foreign investors, including a U.S.-based company with strategic investor status in 2016. Also, in 2018, the GoT claimed that it had the right to take control of Indian-owned Airtel, a mobile communications company, because it “was conned” when it sold its interest in 2005. Airtel claimed that it followed all legal procedures when it acquired the company five years later in 2010. Negotiations continue, but some legal analysts assert the GoT is illegally attempting to expropriate the company. (See “Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment” for government actions that could substantially impact investor’s expected returns).
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). ICSID was established under the auspices of the World Bank by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States. MIGA is World Bank-affiliated and issues guarantees against non-commercial risk to enterprises that invest in member countries.
Tanzania is a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitration Awards, though the Arbitration Act of Tanzania does not give force of law in Tanzania to the provisions of the conventions. An arbitration award will be recognized as binding once it is filed in a Tanzanian court and will be enforceable as if it were a decree of the court, subject to the provisions of the Arbitration Act of 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 government said it intends to establish more branches in other regions including Mbeya, Tanga, and Dodoma, though progress has stagnated. 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 sometimes does not honor its agreements. Additionally, investors continue to face challenges receiving payment for services rendered for GoT projects. In 2017, US-based Symbion Power filed an application for ICSID arbitration seeking USD 561 million for alleged breach of contract of a purchase power agreement.
International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
Under Tanzanian regulations, disputes between a foreign investor and TIC that are not settled through negotiations may be submitted to arbitration based on the arbitration laws of Tanzania; in accordance with the rules of procedures of ICSID or the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); within the framework of any bilateral or multilateral agreement to which the government and the country of the investor are parties; or in accordance with any other international machinery for settlement of investment disputes agreed upon by the parties. (See “Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment” section for recent restrictive legislation).
According to the 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, it takes an average of three years to conclude bankruptcy proceedings in Tanzania. The recovery rate for creditors on insolvent firms was reported at 21 U.S. cents on the dollar, with judgments typically made in local currency.
4. Industrial Policies
TIC offers a package of investment benefits and incentives to both domestic and foreign investors without performance requirements. A minimum capital investment of USD 500,000 if foreign owned or USD 100,000 if locally owned is required. These incentives include:
- 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 ( ).
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. Minimum capital requirements for EPZ and SEZ investors are USD 500,000 for foreign investors and USD 100,000 for local investors. Investment incentives offered for EPZs include:
- 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 roughly equivalent incentives as those offered by TIC and EPZA policies.
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 while SEZ status has no export requirement, allowing manufacturers to sell their goods locally. As of March 2018, there were 14 designated EPZ/SEZ industrial parks, 10 of which are in development, and 75 stand-alone EPZ factories.
Performance and Data Localization Requirements
Employment and Investor Requirements:
The Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Act (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 to local employees.
In recognition of the fact that the local content (LC) initiative cuts across all economic sectors, the government decided that LC development should take a multi-sector approach, rather than being confined to a single ministry or sector. In 2015, the government 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 2015 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).
Goods, Technology, and Data Treatment
The GoT requires banks to physically house their computer servers in Tanzania. In 2016, the GoT launched a USD 94 million national data center (NDC), which is operated by the GoT’s Telecommunications Corporation (TTC). Under the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTC) Act 2017, the TTC 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. It is not yet clear how the law will be implemented and whether telecommunications operators will be required to use the TTC’s data center or provide the TTC greater data access.
5. Protection of Property Rights
All land is owned by the government 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 into joint ventures with Tanzanians, in which case the Tanzanian provides the use of the land (but retains ownership, i.e., the 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 has to 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 January 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 MoLHSSD’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.
Tanzania’s Registering Property rank in the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business report deteriorated from 132 in 2017 to 142 in 2018. According to the report, it takes eight procedures and 67 days to register property compared the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 59 days.
In February 2016, the GoT launched the Land Tenure Support Program (LTSP) to improve transparency and efficiency and ensure beneficial and equitable outcomes for rural populations. The program audits land ownership and usage, targeting holdings that are 50 acres and above. Owners of land that is deemed uncultivated and serving no social or economic function could potentially have their title deed revoked. Any confiscated land parcels would be reallocated to a new owner with no land, and title deeds automatically expire after three years if the new owner fails to develop the allocated parcel.
Intellectual Property Rights
The GoT’s Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) is responsible for registration and enforcement of copyrighted materials (e.g., music, film, software), while the registration of trademarks and patents is administered by BRELA. 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, counterfeit human medicines, cosmetics and packaged food materials are handled by the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority.
Counterfeiting is a growing challenge. The Confederation of Tanzanian Industries (CTI) reported that between 2010 and 2016, the FCC carried out 138 raids, seized 1,151 containers containing counterfeit products, and identified 1,711 alleged offenders. Based on this data, the FCC estimated 10 percent of Tanzanian goods are counterfeit. A previous CTI study, however, estimated that upwards of 50 percent of goods in Tanzania may be counterfeit. The ‘hot spots’ for counterfeit goods are Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza and Mbeya. Despite its efforts, limited resources made it difficult for the GoT to adequately combat counterfeiting. For additional information about national laws and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at .
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 of December 2017, DSE’s total market capitalization reached USD 10.5 billion, a 20.6 percent increase over the previous year’s figure. The Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) Act facilitates the free 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. Despite progress, the country’s capital account is not fully liberalized and only foreign individuals or companies from other EAC nations are permitted to participate in the government securities market. Even with this recent development allowing EAC participation, 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 required 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. In 2017, Vodacom planned to offer its shares from March 9 to April 19, but lack of demand required it to extend the offering period to July 28. Moreover, to spur demand, the GoT opened the IPO to foreign investors who purchased 40 percent of the total shares offered.
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. On February 24, 2017, however, the GoT surprised the industry by amending the regulations so that the 30 percent stake had to be floated by August 23, 2017, rather than October 7, 2018. However, some mining company have not listed on the DSE.
Money and Banking System
Finscope’s 2017 Financial Inclusion Report revealed that Tanzania’s financial inclusion rate increased to 65 percent in 2017 from 58 percent in 2013, primarily because of increased mobile phone usage. However, participation in the formal banking sector still remains low. In 2017, low private sector credit growth and high non-performing loan (NPL) rates were persistent problems. In March 2017, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) cut its discount rate to 12 percent from 16 percent to boost lending and economic growth, the first time it had cut interest rates since 2013. In April 2017, the BoT reduced commercial banks’ statutory minimum reserves (SMR) requirement from 10 to 8 percent. These measures did not adequately spur lending, so in August 2017, the BoT reduced its discount rate for the second time from 12 to 9 percent. Despite these measures, private sector credit growth was lower than expected and NPL rates in December 2017 remained more than double the BoT’s targeted 5 percent rate.
In 2018, the BoT continued to address problems in the banking sector. In January 2018, the BoT closed five community banks for under capitalization and gave an additional three until June 2018 to raise capital. In its February 14, 2018 Tanzania Country Partnership Framework FY18-FY22, the World Bank reported that Tanzania’s “financial sector is stable despite high nonperforming loans…, which must be addressed.” In a February 19, 2018 Circular titled “Measures to Increase Credit to Private Sector and Contain Non-Performing Loans,” the BoT issued guidelines to boost lending and reduce NPLs.
As of March 31, 2018, the banking sector was composed of 41 commercial banks, 6 community banks, 5 microfinance banks, 3 development financial institutions, 3 financial leasing companies and 2 credit bureaus. The two largest banks are CRDB Bank and National Microfinance Bank (NMB), which represent almost 30 percent of the market. 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.
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 Policies
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 USD 10,000 over a period of 40 days. Shortages of foreign exchange occur rarely. Bureaucratic hurdles continue to cause delays in processing and effecting transfers; delays may range from days to weeks. Investors rarely use convertible instruments.
The Embassy is not aware of any recent complaints from investors regarding delays in remitting returns and there have been no remittance policy changes this year.
Sovereign Wealth Funds
Tanzania has not established a sovereign wealth fund.
7. State-Owned Enterprises
Public enterprises 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.
Relevant ministry officials usually appoint SOEs’ board of directors to serve preset terms under what is intended to be a competitive process. As in a private company, senior management report to the board of directors. Summary financial results for fiscal year 2016 of SOEs are included in the GoT’s consolidated financial statements (CFS) which are available online. This year, however, the National Audit Office issued an adverse audit opinion, calling CFS accuracy into question. (For 2016 CFS, see ).
The government retains a strong presence in energy, mining, and transportation. 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. In some instances, the GoT took back control as was the case in 2009-10 when the government nationalized formerly-privatized Tanzania Railways Limited, General Tyre, and Kilimanjaro International Airport based on mismanagement.
In 2010, the GoT enacted the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act. According to the act, any ministry, government department or agency, or statutory corporation may act as a PPP procuring authority. The 2014 amendment of the PPP Act created a new PPP Center to be incorporated in the Office of the Prime Minister through merging the Coordination Unit and the Finance Unit. It also set up a PPP Technical Committee to recommend PPP projects for approval by the National Investment Steering Committee. In spite of these developments, Tanzania’s Five Year Development Plan (2016-2021) (FYDP II) recognized weaknesses in the PPP legal framework and inadequate understanding and operationalization of PPP concepts as impediments to private sector financing. As a result, FYDP II calls for an expanded role of the private sector through PPPs. Despite this goal, little progress has been made in this area.
In August 2017, President Magufuli instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments to revisit the terms of privatization and the ensuing performance of previously privatized companies/assets – most of which took place during the 1990s. According to the Minister, of 156 privatized companies, 62 were operating normally, 28 were under-performing and 56 were no longer in operation. The GoT, in turn, has implemented a plan to repossess and subsequently retender idle companies/assets. As a result, according to the Treasury Registrar Office, three companies were repossessed and an additional 12 companies are being considered for similar action by the Attorney General.
8. Responsible Business Conduct
Responsible business conduct (RBC) includes respecting human rights, environmental protection, labor relations and financial accountability and it is practiced by a number of large foreign firms. Tanzania has laws covering labor and environmental issues. The Employment and Labor Relations Act (ELRA) establishes labor standards, rights and duties, while the Labor Institutions Act (LIA) specifies the government entities charged with administering labor laws.
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 June 2016, to promote long-term sustainable investments and improve environmental, social and corporate governance. Tanzania has accounting standards compatible with international accounting bodies.
The Tanzanian government does not usually factor in 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.
Conflicts between mining companies and neighboring communities have been reported mostly in gold mining areas, leading to intrusion into mining sites and clashes with mining company guards and police. For example, in June 2017, media reported that villagers invaded Acacia’s North Mara Mine demanding compensation, and leading to the arrest of 66 people and several injuries. Communities often protest the government’s decision to grant mining rights and/or seek compensation over allegations of death, injuries, or environmental damage.
Forty-one Tanzanian entities participate in the United Nations Global Compact Network which focuses on RBC. Some foreign companies have engaged NGOs that monitor and promote RBC to avoid adversarial confrontations. In addition, some of the multinational mining 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 Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since 2009 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 government produces EITI Reports that disclose revenues from the extraction of its natural resources.
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. Although corruption is still viewed as a major problem, President Magufuli’s focus on anti-corruption has translated into an increased judiciary budget, new corruption cases, and a decline in perceived corruption. This improvement is partly attributed to instituting electronic services which 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 Port Authority.
Transparency International’s (TI) 2017 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) placed Tanzania at 103 out 180 countries with a score of 36/100, which is an improvement from its 2016 ranking of 116 with a score of 32/100. (TI defines a ‘0’ score as “highly corrupt” and a ‘100’ score as “very clean.”) While the 2017 Afrobarometer survey showed a more substantial decline in corruption since 2014, the GoT’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) 2017 Mini-Baseline survey was less positive, showing that 78 percent of citizens and 87 percent of businesses believe senior central government leaders/officials engage in corruption.
Tanzania has three institutions specifically focused on anti-corruption. The 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 enforces compliance with ethical standards defined in the Public Leadership Codes of Ethics Act 1995. Lastly, the Economic, Corruption and Organized Crime Court, created in 2016, prosecutes corruption cases. As of April 2017, the Court had registered a total of 25 cases – some of which are high-profile grand corruption cases.
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.
The GoT is currently implementing 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 has been prepared to involve a broader domain of key stakeholders including GoT local official, development partners, civil society organization (CSOs), and the private sector. The strategy puts more emphasis on areas that historically have been more prone to corruption in Tanzania such as revenue collection of oil, gas, and natural resources. Despite the outlined role of the GoT, CSOs, NGOs and media find it increasingly more difficult to investigate corruption in the current political environment. (See Chapter 11).
President Magufuli’s current anti-corruption campaign has affected public discourse about the prevailing climate of impunity, and some officials are reluctant to engage openly in corruption. Some critics, however, question how effective the initiative will be in tackling deeper structural issues that have allowed corruption to thrive. Despite President Magufuli’s focus on anti-corruption, there has been little effort to institutionalize what often appear to be ad hoc measures, a lack of corruption convictions, and persistent underfunding of the country’s main anti-corruption bodies.
Resources to Report Corruption
Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:
The Director General
Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau
P.O. Box 4865, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 2150043
Contact at “watchdog” organization:
Legal and Human Rights Centre
P.O. Box 75254, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 2773038/48
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 five national multi-party elections since 1995, the most recent in 2015. Mainland Tanzania government elections have been generally free of political violence. Elections on the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, however, have been marred by political violence several times since 1995.
October 2015 general elections were conducted in a largely open and transparent atmosphere; however, simultaneous elections in Zanzibar were controversially annulled after an opposition candidate declared victory. A heavily criticized re-run election was held on March 20, 2016 despite an opposition boycott. Since the 2015 election, the GoT has placed several restrictions on political activity, including severely limiting the ability of opposition political parties and civil society organizations to debate issues publicly, or peacefully assemble. An attempted assassination on opposition politician Tundu Lissu in October 2017 resulted in international calls for investigation; as of May 2018 police had not identified a suspect. Subsequent by-elections in 2017 and 2018 were marred by allegations of irregularities, and instances of political violence, including the unintended police killing of a young woman transiting by public bus near a political demonstration.
Over a period of several months in 2017, a string of 43 killings took place; victims included local government officials and police in the southern half of Tanzania’s Pwani region near Dar es Salaam. Authorities, who referred to the incident as presenting “unprecedented security threats and challenges” established a special police zone in the area and ultimately succeeded in halting the killings after a violent confrontation with the alleged perpetrators.
In addition to monitoring the political climate, foreign investors remain concerned about land tenure issues. Although the government owns all land in Tanzania and oversees the issuance of land leases of up to 99 years, many Tanzanian citizens judge that foreign investors exploit Tanzanian resources, sometimes resulting in conflict between investors and nearby residents. In Arusha, some of these conflicts have led to violence, prompting the GoT to emphasize its commitment to supporting foreign investment while also ensuring the intended benefit of the investments to Tanzanian citizens.
11. Labor Policies and Practices
The GoT’s Five Year Development Plan 2016-2021 (FYDP II), which is in its third year of implementation, acknowledges Tanzania’s shortage of skilled labor and the importance of professional training to support industrialization. The Integrated Labor Force Survey Analytical Report of 2014 found that only 3.6 percent of Tanzania’s 20 million persons labor force is highly skilled. 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 five 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.
Non-citizens may be granted two-year work permits, renewable up to five years, while foreign investors may be granted 10 year work permits which may be extended if the investor is deemed to be contributing to the economy and well-being of Tanzanians. Some stakeholders fear that this provision creates an opening for corruption and arbitrarily prejudicial decisions against foreign investors. Since the passage of the Act, GoT officials have been conducting aggressive “special permit inspections” to verify the validity of work permits. The process for obtaining work permits remains immensely bureaucratic, opaque at times, and slow.
Mainland Tanzania’s minimum wage, which has not changed since July 2013, is set by categories covering 12 employment sectors. The minimum wage ranges from TZS 100,000 (USD 45) per month for agricultural laborers to TZS 400,000 (USD 180) per month for laborers employed in the mining sector. Zanzibar’s minimum wage is TZS 300,000 (USD 135), after being increased from TZS 150,000 (USD 68) in April 2017.
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. As of 2012, unionized workers comprised 13 percent of the formal sector work force. In the agricultural sector, the country’s largest employment sector, 5-8 percent of the work force is unionized. In the public sector, the government 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. 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. (See Chapter 4: Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment for more on recent local content laws).
12. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs
In 1996, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) signed an incentive agreement with the GoT. While there are few U.S. companies eligible for OPIC financing, a growing number of U.S. companies have received OPIC funds for operations. The current portfolio includes projects in agriculture, energy, microfinance and logistics. In addition, USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) provides guarantees for commercial loans and has active portfolio guarantees with four 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
|Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data|
|From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)|
|Inward Direct Investment (Stock) – 2013||Outward Direct Investment|
|Total Inward||14,872||100%||Total Outward||N/A||100%|
According to the World Bank, Tanzania’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) net inflows decreased from USD 1.487 Billion in 2015 to USD 1.365 Billion in 2016. However, the African Economic Outlook 2017 reported that in 2016 Tanzania was among the top ten African FDI destinations, leading regional peers. The Bank of Tanzania restricts Tanzanians from investing abroad, while very few international firms (primarily Kenyan) list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. There is currently no information on Tanzanian FDI abroad (FDI outflows), as Tanzanians are legally barred from participating in foreign investment funds or offerings.
Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment
Data not available.
14. Contact for More Information
686 Old Bagamoyo Road
P.O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam
Tel: +255 22 229-4000