Tanzania: Unexploited business opportunities in second-tier cities

Tanzania has many underserved second-tier cities experiencing rapid growth.

Tanzania has many underserved second-tier cities experiencing rapid growth.

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How we made it in Africa speaks to Maurice Effombo, country manager of DHL Tanzania, about the East African country’s economy, opportunities and challenges.

Name one trend impacting Tanzania’s business environment.

Currently the mining and oil & gas sectors are experiencing a slowdown, which is impacting general business activity. Volumes of exports and imports related to these sectors have also decreased significantly.

Identify the biggest untapped business opportunity in Tanzania.

Tanzania is a huge country, yet many businesses focus primarily on the cities of Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza. There are many underserved second-tier cities experiencing rapid growth. Companies should expand their footprint to these urban areas and take advantage of the untapped business opportunities.

Describe some of the challenges foreign investors can expect to encounter.

I would say fluctuations in the local currency and congested traffic are two of the main hurdles.

Who is the one local business person that you most admire?

I admire Said Salim Awadh Bakhresa, founding father and the chairman of the Bakhresa Group of Companies. What started as a small restaurant is today one of the country’s largest industrial enterprises.

How do you see the economy change over the coming years?

With the new government, I see a good business environment for investors. The economy is expected to continue growing as the government works to industrialise the country by attracting investors.

Name one tourist attraction business people shouldn’t miss when visiting Tanzania.

Zanzibar is a beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania with amazing beaches and interesting historical sites.

[box type=”note”]Meet Maurice Effombo

1. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk? I like to lead by example, and be the first one to arrive at work.

2. How do you relax? I normally relax during my two hours in the traffic or at the swimming pool over the weekend.

3. Top holiday destination? Ndoksonden, my native village

4. Favourite quote? “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Nelson Mandela[/box]