Working in Tanzania?

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Working in Tanzania

Are you one of the many expats working in Tanzania for companies in various economic sectors or for an international organization or NGO? Expats about to begin working in Tanzania will find information on the economy, main sectors, the job search, social and business etiquette, and more in this guide.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and its commercial center.
  • Tanzania is still a relatively poor country and a significant number of the population still live in poverty. Manufacturing, IT and tourism are some strong sectors in which expats can look for work.
  • Apart from Tanzania’s economic center Dar es Salaam, there are other cities preferred by expats. Arusha — also known as Tanzania’s diplomatic hub — is one of them.
  • Business etiquette will certainly seem strange at first for many expats moving to Tanzania — running late, for example, is part of the culture.

From Poverty to Potential: The Tanzanian Economy

Tanzania has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world and just under a third of the population is living below the poverty line. The country has a high potential for growth, however, due to its many investment opportunities in areas such as mining, tourism, and natural resources. Despite experiencing a dip from 2009 to 2011 due to the global recession, the growth rate was back up to about 5.5% at the start of 2016, mainly due to the high price of gold and increased production.

Tanzania has been slowly making the transition to a liberalized market economy since the mid-1980s. The government still maintains a presence in some sectors, however, such as banking, energy, mining, and telecommunications. Many people have found jobs working in Tanzania in the financial sector in the past few years, with many foreign-owned banks operating in the country.

Around 67% of the people working in Tanzania have jobs in the primary sector and agricultural exports account for over 30% of the country’s GDP. Industry accounts for another quarter of Tanzania’s GDP and services make up the remaining 44%.

Where to Look for Work

Tanzania’s main sectors include agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications and IT. Many people also have jobs in tourism, since Tanzania is home to some of Africa’s biggest tourist destinations such as Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria, and Olduvai Gorge.

Tanzania’s main agricultural products include coffee, tea, cotton, corn, wheat, cattle, and sheep. Tanzanian mining efforts are mostly concentrated on gold, base metals, and diamonds. With companies from Australia, Canada, and South Africa investing in the gold sector, it is fast becoming one of Africa’s major producers. In the energy sector, many people work for oil and gas companies, as well as for companies focusing on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, hydropower, and biomass.

The City of Peace: Tanzania’s Economic Capital

If you will be working in Tanzania in the industrial sector, you will probably end up in Dar es Salaam. With a population of 4.36 million, Dar es Salaam, which means City of Peace in Arabic, is home to over 10% of the mainland population. It is Tanzania’s largest and richest city, and its economic center.

Dar es Salaam has experienced a major construction boom over the past few years. Despite this, an estimated 70% of the population lives in informal housing and slums. Other problems plaguing Dar es Salaam include an outdated public transportation system and occasional power rationing.

The city is divided into three districts: Ilala, Kinondoni, and Temeke. The administrative district and central business district (Posta) are located in Ilala. This district is also the transportation hub of the city, with the international airport, and two train stations located within its borders. Half of the city’s residents live in the second district, Kinondoni. Most of the high-income suburbs are located here, so this is where you will find most expats living. The third district, Temeke, is the city’s industrial center and the location of Tanzania’s busiest port.


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Gilberto Vieira

"Finding contacts among the expats in Tanzania's tourism industry wasn't half as difficult as I had feared. "

Chen Ming

"Karibu Sana, fellow expats in Dar es Salaam or 'Dar', for short! You'll probably need some tips on the 'do's & 'don't's in Tanzania."

Global Expat Guide