SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian authorities on Friday dismissed reports by
opposition leaders that the east African country’s
economic growth was slowing down and painted a strong
picture of the economy as 2017 ends.
Mpango, the Minister for Finance and Planning, said
despite criticism from some opposition leaders on the
government’s handling of the economy over the past two
years, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was
still on track, growing by an estimated 7 percent this
"A projected 7-percent GDP growth in 2017 would keep
Tanzania firmly in the list of the world’s 10
fastest-growing economies," he told a news conference in
the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Mpango said the government expected a medium-term
economic growth of around 7.4 percent in 2018 and beyond
on the back of massive public infrastructure
investments, including the ongoing construction of the
standard gauge railway (SGR) line and the
Uganda-Tanzania crude oil pipeline.
However, Mpango admitted that some Tanzanians were
yet to see the benefits of this rapid economic growth,
because the GDP expansion was mainly being driven by
sectors that were not labor intensive.
He said a high GDP growth rate would nonetheless have
long-term benefits on the lives of Tanzanians by
reducing poverty and stimulating national development.
"Economic growth can be compared to the movement of a
"When the vehicle moves at a fast speed, it will
reach its destination quickly," he said when giving an
overview of the performance of the country’s economy in
2017 and outlook for next year.
He added: "But when the car is moving slowly, it does
not mean that it is not going forward, but rather it
will take longer-than-expected for it to reach its
Mpango said the agriculture sector, which is the
backbone of the country’s economy, grew by only 2.1
percent in 2016 due to low productivity from rain-fed
agriculture, thus limiting the trickle-down effect of
the fast GDP growth.
He said the fastest-growing sectors in the economy
were those employing a relatively fewer number of
people, such as construction (13 percent), information
and communication (13 percent), transport and storage
(11.8 percent), mining and quarrying (11.5 percent) and
banking and insurance services (10.7 percent).