Tanzania is on the right economic track to achieve middle income status in the next two decades, Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Governor Prof Benno Ndulu has said.
Speaking during an interview with journalists soon after opening a workshop titled ‘Shaping economic transformation in Tanzania: Challenges and potential solutions’ that was organised by REPOA yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the Governor emphasised that ‘all we need is proper utilisation of the available natural resources.’
“We have been blessed with a wide variety of natural resources such as gas and oil…but even our tourism industry and agriculture sector are sufficient to push our economy to the next level,” he said.
Prof Ndulu expressed his optimism that the current per capita income of USD 950 will grow to USD 1030 within just two years contributed to by four major sectors tourism, manufacturing and industries, gold and transport.
Explaining, he said the tourism sector leads contributing about 2bn/- per year followed by gold which contributes 1.7bn/- per year having dropped after its prices went down in the global market.
Prof Ndulu said the manufacturing and industries sector is the third with a contribution of 1.3bn/- followed by transport and agriculture with a contribution of USD 860 million per year each.
He added that almost 50 per cent of the national income is contributed to by various social services and as such, underscored the need for research to specify how and where Tanzanians living in rural areas raise their income because not all of them engage in agricultural activities.
“If the manufacturing sector is improved,” he went on to say, “…it may result in Tanzanians benefitting from the opportunities offered by the East African Community (EAC) market which has a total of 350 million customers.
“We should invest more on improving processing factories so as to add value to our products…there is a ready market in the EAC that is yet to be utilised,” said the Central bank Governor.
REPOA Executive Director, Prof Samwel Wangwe said the government has to support the private sector so to enable it improve its processing capacity.
Prof Wangwe said despite the country’s impressive average economic growth of 6.9 per cent is not matched by the individual poverty level which is perched at 28 per cent.
“Agriculture was among the leading contributors to Tanzania’s economy in the 1990s but it has dropped to 30 per cent in 2010, this is a big challenge,” said Prof Wangwe.
Similarly, Kigoma North legislator, Zitto Kabwe said at 4 per cent a year, the agriculture sector is growing at a discouraging pace.
“It is supposed to grow by at least 10 per cent annually,” he said.
Zitto said Tanzania still lags behind in value addition of its agricultural and other products citing that value addition in Tanzania is only 6 per cent compared to 12 per cent in other East African countries.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN