World Bank official hails Tanzania's economic resilience
With strong and consistent growth rates of 6-7 percent, Tanzania has outperformed its east African neighbors of Kenya and Uganda, the World Bank said on Tuesday.
"Tanzania's growth rates continue to outperform her East African neighbors," said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi, and Somalia, at the launch of the World Bank's 9th edition of the Tanzania Economic Update, a series that provide regular review of the economy.
Speaking at the launch of the economic update in Dar es Salaam, Bird said by contrast Tanzania remains one of three economies in sub-Saharan Africa, together with Rwanda and Ethiopia, that continue to exhibit resilience in this challenging external environment.
Overall, she said, the Tanzanian economy has shown resilience amid flagging growth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, adding that Tanzania.
The bank said in its economic update similarly the poverty level in Tanzania has significantly declined from 60 percent to 47 percent based on 1.90 U.S. dollar per day global poverty line.
"The broad story of Tanzania's growth and poverty reduction over the past decade is now well known," the bank said in the update.
"However, today 12 million Tanzanians live on less than Tsh1,300 (0.58 U.S. dollars) per day, with many others living just above the poverty line, so an economic shock could have a significant impact on the number of poor households," said the World Bank.
The Bank's Economic Update said a jump in growth could bring a substantial number of the poor clustered just below the poverty line out of poverty.
"Another key feature of Tanzania's economy is the estimated 800,000 young women and men who enter the job market annually, with only limited opportunities to find a productive job," it said.
The update said higher levels of growth are badly needed to create a greater number of productive jobs and to significantly reduce poverty.
The bank said maintaining and accelerating growth demands the right policies, adding that the impressive growth path of Tanzania to date has been driven by the decisions of the past.
"Future growth will be driven by the decisions of today's leaders," it said, adding that the government is clear that its focus is industrialization, but for this to occur in a way that creates jobs and reduces poverty, the economic update suggested three areas of attention.
They are the need to continue with prudent macroeconomic policy management, to manage the expansion in public investment projects effectively to ensure maximum impact on growth and reduction of poverty and to unlock the growth potential of the private sector.
The economic update said the improvements in revenue mobilization and tighter anti-corruption controls will assist with the implementation of effective fiscal policy.
"Measures to utilize natural gas for power generation will reduce the import bill and improve the external balance over the medium to long term future," said the update.