Exchange Rates (December 1):
US Dollar = T Shs 605-615
£ Sterling = T Shs 850-1000
Although there was some opposition and there had been delays in presenting the matter to parliament the Bill ending the 29- year old state MONOPOLY OF INSURANCE was finally passed on November 5. The National Insurance Company (NIC) and the Zanzibar Insurance Company are to remain wholly owned by the two governments but they have been given two years ‘to clean their slates’ – Daily News.
The Tanzania Revenue Authority has begun publishing lists of registered TAX CONSULTANTS, the only persons authorised to offer advice on taxation matters. Persons who have been refused registration have been instructed to stop practising immediately – Business Times.
The LOANS AND ADVANCES REALISATION TRUST of Tanzania which was formed in 1991 to recover the bad debts of 93 firms (with a total debt to banks of $45 million) has brought in $9.0 million from sale of the assets of 59 of the firms – the East African.
The National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO) which has a new board of directors is now producing 50% of Tanzania’s requirements of WHEAT. with 38,000 tonnes in stock, the Chairman requested the government to stop importation of foreign wheat which was destroying NAFCO’s market Daily News.
The government has repaid £13.6 million to the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) out of a £20.0 million LOAN RESCHEDULED in 1990. CDC disbursed £8.0 million in 1995 for investments in power generation, agro-processing, tourism and financial institutions – Business Times
FUEL PRICES were increased by about 6% on September 1 due to the dwindling value of the shilling and increased prices of crude oil. Regular gasoline went up from Shs 335 to Shs 350 per litre – Daily News.
Five NEW COMMERCIAL BANKS were due to open before the end of 1996 to add to the fifteen already operating. The new banks are the Exim Bank, the Wall Street Banking Corporation, savings and Finance Bank, The Akiba Commercial Bank and the Mercantile Bank of Pakistan – East African.
From January 1, 1997 the MONOPOLY ON THE IMPORTATION OF REFINED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS held by the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) is to be removed. Tanzania has long opposed this move which the World Bank had been pressing for (the refinery was considered outdated and inefficient) because it considered the refinery as of strategic economic importance. It was hoped that this change in policy would reinforce international confidence in President Mkapa’s commitment to free market economic policies – Africa Analysis Tanzania is to benefit from THREE NEW CREDITS from the World Bank/International Development Association (IDA): $26.3 mi 11 ion to improve the management of water resources; $ 31.1 million for the second phase of a national agricultural extension project and $35 million for Lake victoria to help conserve its biodiversity and genetic resources; this project includes assistance to buy equipment for 25 to 30 new irrigation networks and moves to streamline the operations of organisations managing the Pangani and Rufiji river basins – World Bank News.
Tanzania Breweries Ltd. (TBL) whose production went up 56% in 1995 following its entry into a JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT with South Africa/s Indol International, was hoping that by Christmas 1996 its best selling brand ‘Safari Lager’ would be on sale in Kenya. It has also started selling on the local market a new brand with an alcohol content of 4.45% per half litre bottle – ‘Kilimanjaro Premium Lager/. Tanzania consumes some 20 million crates per year of which half comes from TBL, a quarter from Kenya and the rest from smaller producers – the East African.
Zanzibar could become an OFF-SHORE BANKING CENTRE – the first such tax haven in Africa. A locally registered mining company, Tanzalite International, is said to be in discussion with the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency on the possibilities – Business Times.
Dar es Salaam held its first MOTOR SHOW from October 13 organised by the 21-member Tanzania Motor Traders Association (TMTA). Chairman Pravin Mevada said that it had been a success and business enquiries had been received. Asked about possible future car assembly in Tanzania Mr Mevada said that with current sales volumes it was unlikely to be economic. The Vice-Chairman of the TMTA has criticised what he described as the ‘dumping’ of second hand cars; Tanzania imported only 4,600 new cars in 1995 compared with 41,400 second hand cars. – Daily News and the Express.
There was a drop in COFFEE PRODUCTION in Tanzania in the 1996/97 season about 42,000 tonnes compared with 53,000 tonnes in the previous season. Regional figures: Mbeya, Mbozi, Mbinga and Songea 12,000 tonnes; Kilimanjaro about 15,500; Bukoba some 13,000 tonnes. Planting of new seedlings was necessary if production was to be revived – the East African (November 11).