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Country Report Tanzania August 2017

Country Report Tanzania August 2017

  • August 2017
  • ID: 1698126
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2017-21



  • The long-ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) will remain in power, under the leadership of the president, John Magufuli, but rising tensions between rival factions within the CCM will stoke volatility.
  • A narrowing of the democratic channels for political opposition will stir some discontent, but, provided the government makes some progress towards lifting living standards, popular frustrations will not pose a threat to stability.
  • The national government's overall policy will focus on industrialisation and job creation. Protectionist tendencies and erratic policymaking will, however, deter the private investment that is needed to achieve these policy objectives.
  • Fiscal policy will remain expansionary in the near term, but spending will fall short of government targets owing to external financing shortfalls. None-theless, the deficit will widen from 2017-19 before stabilising thereafter.
  • We expect economic growth to weaken over the forecast period as business confidence slumps. Robust consumer demand will nevertheless support the economy, with growth forecast to average 5.7% a year in 2017-21.
  • We forecast that the current-account deficit will widen to 6.1% of GDP in 2019 as steady export growth is outpaced by rising demand for imports. It will narrow slightly in 2019-21 as import demand moderates.


Review



  • Tindu Lissu, a leading opposition figure, was arrested in late July after calling the president a "dictator". Critics said the arrest was a violation of free speech.
  • The East African Court of Justice has rejected an application made by Tanzania that sought to block members of the East African Community from signing a regionwide free-trade deal with the EU.
  • The government approved the development of a 2,100-MW hydroelectricity project at Stiegler's Gorge in July, prompting international and domestic debate over the scheme's environmental impact.
  • The governments of Kenya and Tanzania agreed in late July to lift trade restrictions between the two countries with immediate effect, but Kenyan traders later reported that goods were still being rejected at the border.
  • Share prices of mining companies with producing assets in Tanzania tumbled in August, following the ratification of revised mining laws. Amendments include higher royalties and mandatory local-content obligations.
  • Talks began in early August between the government and Canada's Barrick Gold over a tax dispute with the company's Tanzanian subsidiary, Acacia Mining. This came after the government issued Acacia Mining with a bill of US$190bn (almost 20 times the company's annual revenue) for unpaid taxes.


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