Tanzania, East Africa’s Sleeping Giant Awakens
Some countries perform at the highest level from birth. Others find their path slowly and steadily. For Tanzania, its journey is somewhere in between. Sometimes it seems Africa’s slow integration into western markets helped preserve its uniquely African way of doing things.
The people of Tanzania have been associated with ancient farming, iron-making technology, treasure hunting, fishing and river-faring ventures for thousands of years. But they do it with ethnic fervor.
Many Tanzanian tribes have led the way in witty inventions including the high-heat blast furnace, for iron and steel production, before the white-man set foot on the shores of Africa. This Tanzanian way of tackling community needs has slowly found its way back into the 21st century.
The unique combination of ancient tradition and modern enterprise is steadily dragging many from poverty. But the great years are ahead.
There is an enterprising movement along ethnic lines that is transforming Tanzania. It is home to Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro. It shares the coastal wealth of three Africa’s Great lakes – Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa.
You have warrior tribes like the Maasai. Creative thinkers like Haya people. Pare and Mashariki-Bantu people have mining technology in their blood. Sandawe, Datoog and Hadza tribes ploughed farm fields for thousands of years. The rich mix of warrior tribes have transformed how we see modern agriculture.
Farming is their pride.
With East Africa’s countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia leading the way in agriculture on the continent, Tanzania has slowly but steadily sharpened its ancient farming strength.
Community farming accounts for 25 percent of Tanzania’s GDP. Cash crop export is a major and critical component of Tanzania’s yearly export. It is one the world’s fastest growing economies.
Combine agriculture with mining and construction and manufacturing and the new found wealth in tourism, then you can see where Tanzania is headed.
Farming is slowly giving way to other economic branches including industrial mining plants and high-tech enterprises like telecommunication. For example, mining gold deposits, gemstones and diamond has been credited with the quiet economic boom in Tanzania in the last decade.
According to an IMF director, Abebe Aemro Selassie, ‘ Like many economists, I tend to fear the worst. I have witnessed phenomenal changes for the better in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 odd years. Part of me still worries that this trajectory will not endure. But, the more I see of the region’s economic performance and outlook, the more I’m changing my tune.’
Something is happening across sub-Saharan Africa.
Tanzania provide intimate glimpses to how once struggling east African countries have taken to agriculture and changed their fortune.
Currently, Tanzania exports coffee, cotton, manufactures, cashew nuts, minerals, tea, sisal, cloves and pyre-thrum to Europe. It has been reported that agriculture provides more than 80 percent of exports and employs millions of the country’s tribesmen.
As investment opportunities increase across Tanzania’s countrysides, East Africa will sing a new song. The vast oil and gas resource, manufacturing and mega agribusiness will transform the country’s steaming cities and then bring much needed development to remote regions. Lets go Tanzania.