August 27, 1999MANUFACTURE INDUSTRY GOES UP BY 12 PER CENT
MANUFACTURING Industry in Tanzania went up by about 12 percent in 1998, compared with 1997.
Output in the manufacturing sector has grown from 182,194 different units in 1997, to 203,864 different units in 1998.
According to information released by the Bank of Tanzania in its quarterly economic bulletin of March 1999, the main industries which have contributed to the manufacture growth are wheat flour milling, followed by the production of Konyagi (a spirituous liqueur), and beer.
The bulletin shows that the production of wheat flour increased from 77,600 tonnes in 1997, to 87,670 tonnes in 1998; and that Konyagi increased from 1.850 million litres in 1997, to 2 million litres in 1998.
Beer production increased from 148 million litres in 1997, to 171 million litres in 1998; and textiles rose from 41.7 million square metres in 1997, to 45.5 million square metres in 1998.
In 1998, aluminium production increased to 180 tonnes, up from 117 tonnes in 1997.
Despite a big rise in industrial production in 1998 (compared with the year 1997), some industries like Kibuku (a local brew), cigarettes, sisal-rope making, rolled steel-performed poorly.
The report says there has been a decrease in production of intermediate goods used in the manufacturing industry.
The report also shows that, during the first quarter of 1999, imports of intermediate goods decreased by more than 30 percent. But imports of capital and consumer goods increase-by 60 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.
According to the report, the manufacturing sector contributed about 6.9 per cent to the GDP in 1997; and 7.4 per cent in 1998, at 1992 prices.
The growth of the sector has been negative since 1991; but, beginning in 1998, the sector started picking up; and this is expected to continue to rise due to the liberalisation of trade and the countrys economy.
Statistics show that most of the privatised industries have performed well, compared with those still held by the government.
TOURISM TO RISE BY 53 PER CENTTanzania expects to garner Tsh. 14 billion from tourism this financial year: higher than the Tsh. 9.17 billion it earned last year.
Statistics by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) show that about 482,000 foreigners visited Tanzania last year; and earnings from tourism accounted for 16.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Most of the visitors were from Britain, the US and Germany. TTB says 59,900 Britons; 41,200 Americans and 21,700 Germans visited Tanzania last year.
TTB hopes that 500,000 foreigners will visit Tanzania next year.
Tanzania is among Africas best targets for British, American and German visitors who are attracted by game viewing in the wildlife sanctuaries of Ngorongoro, Serengeti., Lake Manyara, Selous and Tarangire.
British, American and German holiday makers spend most of their leisure time on the warm Indian Ocean beaches, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.
Zanzibars abundant tourist sites are also a favourite attraction with Germans. The Isles offer beautiful and spectacular sunset viewing for beach-loving tourists; while historic sites-at the Old Stone Town and other spots-are eye-catching attractions.
Old buildings of the Middle Ages, and Sultanic palaces, are part of Tanzanias well-conserved monuments that attract tourists.
Tanzanian stakeholders in the tourism industry are for ever searching for better ways of capturing more tourists.
August 20, 1999Coffee boom likely to salvage sinking Tsh OPTIMISTIC projections abound that the sinking Tanzania shilling may soon regain its last years parity of exchange with the US dollar as a result of an expected coffee bumper harvest.
The value of the shilling against other hard currencies has seen a drastic sliding down from an average of Tsh 650 for a US dollar mid last year to Tsh 800 this week. The battered shilling has constrained importers who find buying in foreign markets more expensive.
The chief reason advanced by the Bank of Tanzanias think-tank is the prevailing low volume of both traditional and non-traditional exports, compounded by depressed word market prices. Last year, only USD 184.26 million (Tsh 199.8bn) was earned from exports compared from exports compared to USD229.82 million (Tsh 149.4bn) earned the previous year- making a total shortfall of USD45.56 million (Tsh29.6bn) in forex inflow.
Coffee is a leading contributor of foreign currency to Tanzania. Official data show that last year the commodity generated about 20 per cent of all the foreign exchange that the country received.
However, again coffee trees, farm neglect by peasants (due to the confusion caused by economic liberalisation) ruined big coffee farms owing to nationalisation and socialist mismanagement, the collapse of co-operative societies, as well as unfavourable world market prices have all conjoined to diminish foreign exchange .
The project bumper harvests have been based on statistics released this week by the Dar es Salaam based Coffee and Stabex Management Unit which indicates that, since the 1997/98 season, over 13 million coffee trees have been planted in nine regions under the auspices of the Unity.
The Unit is supported by the European Union, which subsidises growers of tree seedlings who, in turn, sell them to farmers at affordable prices.
On the open market, each seeding would sell at Tsh50. With subsidising, however, peasants are able to buy the item at Tsh30 only.
The national coffee and Stabex co-ordinator, Philip Mbogela, told Business Times this week that the Unit contracts individuals companies and co-operatives to raise coffee nurseries based on the demand strength arising from farmers need farms.
The regions of Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mbeya and Iringa have particularly "done a good job" he said . All (except the Arusha regions) have raised more than one million coffee seedlings during the 1998/99 season.
These new development augur well for the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), which predicted that coffee export revenue would slightly improve: from USD 150 millions (Tsh 97.5bn) this year to USD 155 (100.7bn) next year.
An expected increase in mineral exports also- to the tune of USD 45 million (Tsh 29.3bn) in value - would further strengthen the shillings. These projections assume that volumes will continue to rise, thus offsetting the effect of subdued world prices which, up to March this year had declined by more than 78 per cent per tonne.
August 13, 1999POSTAL BANK HASTENS MONEY FLOW FOR TOURISTS
NEW partnerships between the Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) and the booming tourism sector are emerging.
Reports reaching Business Times from a number of tour companies attest that tourists are often tempted to extend their tour packages even when they run short of money.
Tour package extensions are made possible owing to TPBs Western Union Money Transfer whose first line of service the in-bound transfer-came into being about two and half years ago.
An in-bound service enables cash to be transferred from outside Tanzania to 15 TPB centres connected to money link software, a computer programme controlled from Missouri in the US.
Tourists can stay longer because cash can be remitted from their homeland to Tanzania within 10 minutes.
Documents from TPB show that the service is available in the northern tourist circuit centres of Arusha and Moshi. Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Zanzibar are also connected to the network.
The out-bound service introduced last March seems to be doubling its performance every month a trend which signals that importers are increasingly using the money transferring service for international trade.
In March this year, only 10 senders made use of the service, transferring Tshs 15.5 million outside the country.
The amount has ever since been doubling each month, reaching over Tsh 73 million last June.
Owing to the mounting work pressure, and the need to make the service available to customers throughout the country, the TPB managing director, Alfonce Kihwele, said last week that plans are under way to extend working hours, including working during week-ends and public holidays.
Foreign cash sent from outside Tanzania to any customer located in the country is paid out in local currency.
TPB then trades the sol earned foreign exchange at the inter bank money auctions.