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Tanzania Economy


Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, accounting for about half the national income, three-quarters of merchandise exports and as a source of food and employment for at least 80 percent of the population. The Zanzibar economy is mainly dependent on clove products.

Most of the population, however, is engaged in subsistence farming, growing corn, wheat, millet, sorghum, vegetables, bananas and cassava. In addition, large numbers of cattle, sheep and goats are raised. Timber is important and includes mahogany, teak, ebony, camphor wood and mangrove.

Besides agriculture, trade, tourism and other service sectors are major contributors to economic growth in Tanzania. Tourism is a leading source of foreign exchange due to the popularity of the famous Serengeti Park, renowned for wildebeest migrations and Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.

Manufactures are largely limited to processed agricultural goods, beverages, paper and basic consumer items. Refined petroleum, fertiliser, aluminum goods, and construction materials (especially cement) are also produced. Diamonds, tanzanite and other gemstones are mined; other minerals extracted in significant quantities include gold, salt, gypsum, phosphates and kaolin. There are also tin mines in Northwest Tanzania and coal and iron ore deposits near Lake Nyasa. Natural gas from deposits around Songo Songo Island, off the S central coast, are used to produce electricity.

Tanzania has a growing trade deficit, exacerbated by nationalisation efforts. The exports are made up of agricultural goods and diamonds and other gemstones. The principal imports are consumer goods, machinery, transportation equipment, foodstuffs, refined petroleum and chemicals. The leading trade partners are the European Union countries, China, Japan, Kenya, India and the United States. Tanzania is a member of the Southern African Development Community.

According to the World Bank, per capita income in 2005 was estimated at about $330.


Economy - overview
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for almost half of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's out-of-date economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty. Long-term growth through 2005 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals led by gold. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported real GDP growth of nearly 6% in 2006.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$29.64 billion (2006 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$13.14 billion (2006 est.)

GDP - real growth rate
5.9% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)
$800 (2006 est.)

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