The title of your publication I am rebuffing does not reflect the reality on the ground and is meant to misrepresent the authentic contour of the business environment in Tanzania. Most of your claims are not substantiated or when an example is cited, one case is used to generalize the whole. If you want to impress your readers, avoid giving sweeping statements. You can’t conclude that Tanzania is not a place to invest in Africa simply because company X has left without doing research, as a matter of due diligence, to find out the reason(s) for its departure. Some companies (investors) in Tanzania were not paying taxes accordingly, examples are some mining companies that were avoiding taxes dubiously (search Acacia and its subsidiary companies Pangea and Bulyanhulu Goldmines). Tanzania does not need such kind of investors who conveniently avoid to pay taxes and maintain duo reporting for shareholders and tax purposes to coverup their tracks. Asking investors in Tanzania to dully pay taxes is not a crime but should rather be highly commended as a sure way to reducing dependency on foreign aid while benefiting from her own natural resources. This is not a new phenomenon and all countries in the world require all businesses to pay taxes whether local or foreign. Tanzania proudly welcomes honest investors and they will surely be accorded every support they need to do business in this beautiful country.
The author also claims that companies are reporting reduction in turnover and profits. This is another sweeping statement. Reduction in turnover and profits can be caused by poor management and presence of competition in the market, among many other factors. Tanzania as an investment destination has attracted many investments in various sectors in recent years. Such investments may have put a pressure in the market and led to shrinking profits. There are other socioeconomic factors unfolding in Tanzania owing to reduction in corruption, reign on public funds embezzlement, banning of rampant foreign travel by public officers and more control in public spending – all credited to president Dr. John Magufuli’s leadership, the overall effect of which is reduction of disposable income in the pockets of the general public. The business environment is now normalizing after everyone has realized that only hard work and integrity pays and that hard earned money should be carefully spent on priority areas. The socio-economic factors can also explain the increase in non performing loans for commercial banks.
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The author also pointed out that work permits are being rejected or delayed for months. Tanzania carefully scrutinizes all applications for work permits to ensure that professionals who meet the requirements are granted permits. We don’t grant work permits to everyone but to genuine professionals the country needs. Every country reserves the right to issue permits or otherwise as per laws and regulations governing the same. I guess the author is not suggesting that it was okay for some foreigners to do street hawking of goods competing with poor locals, for example.