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Tanzania’s economy grows in 2014

By on November 6, 2014

Tanzania, a nation of 45 million people, is aiming to become a middle-income economy.

Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer, and a major tourist destination, forecasts economic growth of 7.2 percent this year and maintained its forecasts for the next two years on Thursday.

The government also plans to spend 5.777 trillion Tanzanian shillings ($3.39 billion) on development projects in fiscal 2015/16, the minister said in a separate report he submitted to parliament on Thursday.

Tourism has surged this year, with earnings from the sector rising 15 percent in the year to August. The country is seen benefiting as neighbouring Kenya’s appeal as a tourist destination has been dented by a number of attacks blamed on Somalia-based militants.

Financial support from China, though, is on the rise. The government announced last month $1.7 billion in investment deals with China and $85 million in grants and zero-interest loans from China, although it did not say what the money would be used for.

China’s economic presence is growing in Tanzania, which has made major natural gas discoveries off its southern coast, and the new investment deals will include building a satellite city to ease congestion in the capital Dar es Salaam. China is also building a new port north of the capital.

Inflation inched down to 6.6 percent in the year to September from 6.7 percent in August. The government’s objective is to maintain single-digit inflation in the medium term.

Tanzania plans to rebase its economy in mid-November, with analysts estimating the size of the economy could increase by about 20 percent. Nigeria and Kenya have also recently rebased their economies to take structural changes into account.

The government’s 2015/16 development plan said infrastructure investment would focus on railways, ports, airports, roads and the energy sector.

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