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  • Tanzania has sustained relatively high economic growth over the last decade, averaging 6–7% a year. While the poverty rate in the country has declined, the absolute number of poor citizens has not because of the high population growth rate. The country's overall population is about 55 million (2016).  

    Political Context

    In October 2015, John Pombe Magufuli was elected the fifth president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Magufuli’s Fifth-Phase Government has prioritized efforts to clampdown on corruption, improve public administration and manage public resources for improved social outcomes. The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance shows Tanzania has improved in its overall governance indicators between 2015-18. The Worldwide Governance Indicators show Tanzania has either deteriorated or has been stagnant in all governance indicators between 2012 and 2017 (except for control of corruption). The strongest decline has been in voice and accountability, in political stability/violence and rule of law. Tanzania will hold local government elections in November 2019, with presidential and parliamentary elections in October 2020.

    Economic Overview

    The Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics reports that real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 7.0% in 2018, slightly higher than 6.8% in 2017. However, official demand-side data, including data related to consumption, investment and net trade, suggest that growth softened in 2018. The softening of consumption growth is supported by Tanzania Revenue Authority data showing lower consumption tax collection, as well as tight controls on public consumption expenditures. Investment growth remains positive but dampened as indicated by significant under-execution of public development plans, lower levels of FDI inflows and improved but relatively low private sector credit growth. The trade balance deteriorated in 2018, with exports contracting by 3.9% in gross value and imports increasing by 7.8%.

    Real GDP growth is projected to remain in the range of 5-6% over the medium term, subject to favorable weather conditions, modest but steady implementation of reforms to improve the business environment, fiscal management, and address vulnerabilities in the financial sector. Inflation is expected to remain low, underpinned by favorable food supplies and stable global energy prices. The authorities target a modest overall fiscal deficit of 2.3% of GDP in 2019/20, which will expand to 3-4% of GDP over the medium term. The planned deficit will be financed largely by non-concessional loans. The current account deficit is expected to widen (6-7% of GDP) largely due increased imports of capital goods to support public infrastructure projects.

    Social Context

    Despite efforts between 2007 and 2016 that have reduced the country’s poverty rate from 34.4% to 26.8%, the absolute number of poor people has held at about 13 million due to high population growth. The most recent poverty measures based on the Household Budget Survey of 2017/18 are still being processed, but it seems likely that the downward trend in the poverty rate continues but has become more gradual. Government efforts to expand access to social services like education, health, and water have been undermined by their declining quality as the population rises faster than the supply of the services.

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2019

  • World Bank Group (WBG) Engagement in Tanzania

    The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tanzania includes 20 national International Development Association (IDA) projects with total net commitments of $4.07 billion. Key sectors supported include transport (26%), urban development (20%), energy (15%), water (12%), education (9%), social protection (8%), health/nutrition (5%), environment/natural resources (4%) and agriculture, governance and poverty projects make up the rest of the portfolio. Tanzania is also included in seven regional projects, with its total commitments reaching $938.35 million supporting the transport, energy, environment, health and education sectors.

    In March 2018, the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors endorsed the new Tanzania Country Partnership Framework 2018-2022 (CPF). The CPF is informed by extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders as well as a country opinion survey. Aligned with the priorities identified in Tanzania’s Second Five-Year Development Plan and Zanzibar’s Third Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, the CPF has three focus areas: (1) enhance productivity and accelerate equitable and sustainable growth, (2) boost human capital and social inclusion, and (3) modernize and improve the efficiency of public institutions.

    The CPF 2018-2022 represents both continuity with, and enhancement of, the current program and more intensive engagement in priority areas. It will deepen investments in transport, information and communication technology, and energy to support spatial transformation and inclusive growth, and will significantly scale up human capital development. These interventions will address the rural-urban divide and boost the enablers for poverty reduction that affect access to infrastructure, social services and productive jobs. Given the key role of the private sector, the new framework will innovate to maximize access to finance and generate jobs for Tanzania’s development.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    IFC’s strategy in Tanzania involves proactively developing infrastructure projects through investment and advisory (Public-Private Partnerships) interventions, focusing on power, oil, and transportation. IFC will also work closely with the International Development Association to identify actions to promote more rapid commercialization of agriculture. IFC’s strategy places emphasis on strengthening financial markets, particularly in terms of access to finance for micro and small-medium enterprises. IFC is looking to forge partnerships with local banks aimed at supporting its initiatives in the financial sector with local currency financing, as well as developing products to support the microfinance, small-medium enterprises and housing sectors. IFC seeks to provide advisory services to improve the investment climate through reform programs that cover licensing, regulatory reform and other areas tracked in the Doing Business indicators.

    Knowledge Products

    High-quality, consolidated knowledge products facilitated and deepened policy dialogue, and informed design and realization of government programs. These products were used to inform plans for, e.g., tourism-led growth and initiatives related to energy, governance, education, and natural resources.

    The Tanzania Economic Update series, now in its 12th edition, has focused on a range of topics: productive jobs, unlocking the potential of the tourism industry, improving tax performance, leveraging public private partnerships to finance development; the importance of investing in girls and human capital development.

    Under the current CPF, the Bank will continue to use analytics to guide operations. The analytical products will be prepared in close collaboration with the client, taking into consideration counterpart capacity, and knowledge products will use a combination of hands-on technical assistance, impact evaluations, policy notes and broader reports to inform the lending programs and policy dialogue. The Systematic Country Diagnostic, completed in March 2017, has been recognized by a broad range of stakeholders as an important source of knowledge.

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2019

  • Health: Tanzania has made mixed progress in health sector results with substantial decline in neonatal,  infant and under-five mortality rates, which declined from 147 in 1999 to 67 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2015.  The progress remains limited in addressing high level of maternal mortality, stunting; and teen-age pregnancies. Rapid population growth with fertility rate of 5.2 increases demand for education and health services, and the resources required to provide these services may not keep up with the speed of growing demand, straining availability and compromising quality of services. Furthermore, the share of the government budget on health has stagnated at around 7 to 9%, and shortage of the health workforce compounded by maldistribution remain major constraints. The World Bank supports government efforts through the Strengthening Primary Health Care for Results Program (2015-2020) (to improve the quality of primary health care services with a focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health services, reaching all 26 regions of mainland), and through the Regional East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (2010-2020) (to establish a network of efficient, high quality and accessible public health laboratories).

    Education: Tanzania has shown progress in primary education, where levels of access, completion and equity have improved, as did levels of secondary educational attainment for both women and men. As a result of the Fee-Free Basic Education Policy, enrollment rose by 17% in primary, from 8.6 million to 10.1 million, and by 23% in secondary, from 1.8 million to 2.2 million, over four years (2015-2018). The secondary school age population is expected to reach 6.3 million by 2025. In addition, between 2016-2018 there has been a substantial increase in student retention with a 39% increase in student survival through primary schools and 4% increase in the number of students transitioning to lower secondary. The gender gap has narrowed in primary and lower secondary education but remains in upper secondary whereby girls make up 38% of upper secondary enrolment.  In addition, progress in the areas of housing conditions, ownership of assets, and access to clean drinking water and sanitation, including for the poor and rural populations.

    The World Bank Group (WBG) engagements in Financial Sector: The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently conducted the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) to review the current financial sector landscape in Tanzania, including financial sector stability and development aspect (diversification and financial inclusion). The FSAP results will support the government and regulators to strengthen and develop a well-diversified financial sector.

    The World Bank (WB) has also been actively supporting development of the long-term finance market, especially the capital market and housing finance. The Bank supported the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) to move from a manual trading system to an automated trading system and provide options / recommendations for new product development. This also led to the establishment of the Tanzania Mercantile Exchange. On housing finance, the WB has supported the development of the mortgage finance and affordable housing markets through a sustainable private sector-driven approach. The Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC) was established to provide medium and long-term liquidity to financial institutions. Between 2011 and 2017, the mortgage portfolio significantly increased and financial institutions offering mortgage products increased 11 times while maturity of mortgage loans is now three-to-five times longer. TMRC has also started to raise capital from the bond market and the project is now a strong model of maximizing finance for development. 

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2019

  • Donor coordination has been strong at the sector level, and sector working groups have been effective. The World Bank has been actively engaged in and has often led coordination in, for example, fiscal management and public expenditure review, governance, statistics and poverty monitoring, energy, transport, agriculture, private sector development, health and education, and ICT. Leveraging its unique global expertise and knowledge in individual sectors, the Bank has been playing a catalytic role in informing the sector-level dialogues and supports by the donors in the country.

    Partnering with other development organizations for lending and analytical work has been at the core of the World Bank Group’s country strategy in Tanzania. Several large lending programs, such as the Productive Social Safety Net Project, the Education Program-for-Results, the Health Program-for-Results, and the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project, are co-financed by bilateral donors, including the US, UK, and Sweden. Partnerships through trust funds, such as public-private partnerships (PPPs), transport and urban resilience (Department for International Department), investment climate advisory services (Canadian International Development Assistance), statistical capacity building (European Union), and state-owned enterprise reforms (Norway), provide important complementary support to generation of knowledge on important development issues in Tanzania while facilitating government’s capacity building in related areas.

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2019



Tanzania: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
50 Mirambo Street
P. O. Box 2054
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
For general information and inquiries
Loy Nabeta
External Affairs Officer
For project-related issues and complaints