By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang said Tanzania’s significant improvement in social indicators is the result of hard work and sound economic policies.
While talking on the theme: ‘Building on Success: Achieving Tanzania’s Goal of Middle-Income Status’, Zhang said to government and diplomatic representatives today at the event hosted by the Bank of Tanzania that Tanzania is one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that has sustained high levels of growth despite the sharp economic slowdown that has affected so much of the region.
“Your growth has been about 7 percent in recent years. This continues two decades of impressive growth that have led to a six-fold increase in per capita GDP in US$ over that period. There have also been significant improvements in social indicators, like a 60 percent reduction in infant mortality and a 36 percentage points increase in primary education enrollment.
“This performance is the result of hard work and sound economic policies that have encouraged growth and built defenses against the problems affecting other countries. And you have become an attractive destination for foreign investment.
“This is an impressive achievement. I congratulate you on all you have achieved over the past 20 years. Tanzania also has great potential to achieve continued success—including Development Vision 2025 goal of achieving middle-income status,” he said.
Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with Arabic influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs.
Tanzania’s president John Magufuli plaudits came to power on a promise to root out corruption. Implementation of policies and ensuring monitoring and evaluation of all governance activities have resulted into positive improvement in the economy.
Zhang said Tanzania also has great potential to achieve continued success, including Development Vision 2025 goal of achieving middle-income status.
Zhang however advised the authorities that “it is essential to increase investment in an effective way to address key bottlenecks in the economy and create more jobs; take concrete steps to strengthen the role of the private sector in the economy to help drive future growth; and ensure that all Tanzanians can share in the benefits of development through better access to education, health care and access to finance. This means creating inclusive growth that lifts all living standards.