Stimulating Tanzania’s Industrial Potential

Tanzania is gifted with tremendous natural resource diversity. The country is endowed with minerals, fisheries, forestry, favourable climate, and big coastline among others.
There is need for the country to maximise on its public-private partnership with a view to appraise industrial potential and stimulate growth.
Within the public-private sector arrangement, the Government should put in place policies and legislations that optimise the competitiveness of the local industrial potential.
It should also provide all or part of the seed capital required to set up or improve the necessary infrastructure at district, regional and national levels.
Tanzania has failed to secure its deserved share of global investments mainly because the appraisal of its potential has not been done.
The appraisal of industrial potential at district, regional and national levels should consider competitiveness, availability of markets, availability of raw materials and provision of enabler infrastructures such as power supplies and transport means.
Complete appraisal of the industrial potential of a country at district, regional and national level is a prerequisite to optimization of infrastructures development.
All industrial potential at district, regional and national levels should be ranked in accordance to their cost-benefit competitiveness.
Clusters of high-rank industrial potential areas along the major corridors of raw materials and trade should be given priority in the provision of enabler infrastructures.
These are the costly Dar-es Salaam-Morogoro-Iringa-Mbeya, Morogoro-Dodoma-Tabora-Kigoma, Tabora-Shinyanga-Mwanza and Tanga-Moshi-Arusha port-railway infrastructures already on the ground.
Giving them priority will ensure that they are fully exploited by enabling trains to operate along them frequently and fully loaded in both directions.
High-rank industrial potential within Tanzanian towns such as Mtwara, Songea, Mbeya, Kigoma, Mwanza, Musoma, Arusha, Moshi and Tanga should be given priority because of their proximity to neighbouring (mostly landlocked) countries.
They are already favourable in enabling goods locally made from raw materials sourced from the African region to sell at a competitive price within markets in the African region.
The city of Dar es Salaam is the least competitive for further investing in the enabling of industrial potential in Tanzania other than in fisheries, cement production and agro-based industries. Dar es Salaam is located far away from power, water sources and markets within Tanzania and neighbouring countries, therefore being one of the most costly in the country in power supply, mobilisation of raw materials and delivery of manufactured goods to consumers within the local and regional markets.
Mtwara Town ought to be prioritised too as it is an underdeveloped port within the undeveloped Southern Development Corridor. This corridor has abundance of unexploited markets in Southern Tanzania, Northern Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Angola and the DRC.
Developing a modern port at Mtwara and a railway line from Mtwara westwards would create the shortest railway link between the Indian Ocean coastline in East Africa and the Atlantic Ocean coastline in SADC and Central Africa.
The city of Mbeya has several unexploited power generation potentials. It is equipped with almost all the infrastructure required to enable competitive production and mobilization of raw materials and delivery of manufactured goods to customers within local and regional markets.
The cities of Arusha and Moshi can reverse the trend in which most manufactured goods consumed here are Kenyan made. Mwanza, Musoma, Geita and Kahama which are located within major mining districts can share values between manufacturers and miners with a view of applying the knowledge to other areas especially when mining comes to an end here.
This approach should not be limited to Tanzania only but can be replicated in the wider Africa.
Complete appraisal of the industrial potentials of each country within African blocs and the African continent are also a prerequisite input in the optimization of infrastructure development with a view to economic growth.
Appraised industrial potentials within individual countries on the African continent and their optimised enabler infrastructures, engagement of the private sector, putting in place fiscal regimes which encourage competitiveness, global investing in local raw materials production, processing and consumption are crucial. Optimisation is more effective when carried out from continental level to individual countries. This will enable harmonisation of industrial potential and policies and make businesses easier to conduct.
It will also encourage skills transfer through mutual benefit partnerships between developing and developed countries. Industrialising Africa will also accrue from nurturing the continent's human resource. Higher education in Tanzania and other African countries, for example, should be reviewed to enable more focus on the generation of graduates who are innovative and business creators instead of job seekers. – African Executive
• Dr Antipas Massawe is a Mining Engineer based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He can be contacted at

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For example, Makerere University which is best-ranked in the Sub-Saharan Africa region still ranks as low as 1 080 globally according to Webometrics of January 2013. It means that most African universities are still not competitive enough in nurturing world class expertise that African countries need in their struggle for social-economic transformation. – African Executive

Dr Antipas Massawe is a Mining Engineer based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He can be contacted at

July 2013
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