Economic Growth

Key Results at a Glance

Decent Work, environmental and gender considerations—as key components of the UN normative agenda—mainstreamed across key sector plans and policies forjob-rich dividends and reduced poverty levels. 10 MDAs and 24 LGAs on mainland Tanzania incorporated employment and decent work in their Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEFs), five districts undertook performance reviews of environment expenditure and revisions to the National Trade Policy incorporated a gender perspective.

Youth Employment Action Plan (2007) for Zanzibar reviewed and successor formulated to ensure adequate response to rising youth employment challenge. Stakeholders encouraged to initiate programmes that directly and indirectly contribute to youth employment, to mainstream youth employment in plans and policies as well as promote the participation of young women and men in related dialogue and collective action.

Web-based Labour Market Information System developed for the Ministries of Labour on the mainland and Zanzibar, enhancing access to information regarding employment opportunities, especially for young women and men. Two modules created to date for job seekers and employers. Training provided to officials from the Ministries of Labour, NBS, OCGS and PMO-RALG on labour market information and analysis. During training, a factsheet on labour and employment also developed and adopted to capture labour and employment indicators on a regular basis. The Ministry of Labour on the mainland is collaborating with PMO-RALG to integrate labour and employment issues into the Local Government Database Monitoring system.

The Tanzania 2012 Population and Housing Census successfully completed and results released of population distribution by administrative units and sex. Planning officers utilise the data toensure programmes are effectively tailored to geographical representations and population characteristic requirements for improved development outcomes.

The Industrial Competitiveness Report officially launched by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Marketing on 20 November 2012. This comprehensive report—together with the UN supported Annual Survey of Industrial Production and Labour Market Information System—enables evidence-based national industrial growth policy formulation for effective employment creation interventions.

Seventy local experts and technicians trained on industrial diagnosis, upgrading methodology and tools, as well as provision of Business Development Skills services. 10% increase in enterprises accessing relevant support services in Zanzibar with attendant improvements in productivity and profit margins.

Technical inputs and equipment delivered to enterprises in productive and innovative sectors – such as cashew nut, red meat and leather processing – creating over 300 jobs and supporting integrated value supply chains.

700 marginalized women established businesses in Kilimanjaro Region, with commensurate improvements in household incomes. Wider benefits accrued in terms of greater participation in decision-making and access to justice for issues relating to marriage and land at household and community level.

Profitable entrepreneurship promoted via Business Plan competitions with follow-up funding of practicable project ideas for youth. Entrepreneurship Education Curriculum piloted in 9 regions on the mainland, covering approximately 6,000 students, developed as part of a collaboration between ILO and UNIDO, establishing the foundations for a new productive generation. A complementary National Entrepreneurship Training Framework launched in March 2013 to effectively harmonize, coordinate and resource Tanzania’s efforts for entrepreneurship education training, advancing an entrepreneurial culture in Tanzania and supporting learners to become more competitive in the labour market.

347 new businesses created by 650 youth, following training in entrepreneurship skills and support to access finance. Graduates stated that as a result of the initiative, they were more confident in business planning, general business management and business financial management. Further, an average of 66.5% success rate in application for external financing was achieved.

A Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy and implementation strategy for mainland Tanzania (supported by both ILO and UNESCO) finalised and formally submitted to the Government. In addition, a framework for informal apprenticeships and to institutionalize recognition-of-prior-learning developed and finalized. Each enhance the quality and relevance of related initiatives for increased employability of graduates and productivity of participant enterprises.

Formal apprenticeship programme in the Hotel industry piloted, with a mix of work place and college based training. Employers actively involved in determining the skills, content and standards in close collaboration with the training college. 24 apprentices enrolled across a number of three, four and five star hotels.

Three successful linkages between domestic/international buyers and local SMEs established for their full and profitable integration into the global supply chain, by the Subcontracting Partnership Exchange centre at Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

Opportunities for women cross border traders to participate in international trade enhanced, via knowledge transfers on international trade requirements, protocols and business contracting.

Public, private and international entities brought together through the Train-For-Trade Port Training Programme to share expertise and good practice, capacitating managers to increase port performance in Dar es Salaam, reducing the cost of passage and trade in the EAC region value chain.

Ease of starting a business in Tanzania enhanced through simplification of the Tanzania business registration and licensing procedures for foreign companies. Access to international markets for the private sector improved through the introduction of more efficient and transparent rules aligned to regional and international standards.

Capacity development (supported through a partnership of FAO and WFP) extended to MDAs and LGAs on integrated information and early warning systems. Analysis and reporting, including concerns such as food safety, the ‘Right to Food’ as well as food and nutrition security, enabled decision-makers to instigate appropriate food and non-food interventions to vulnerable households.

55 districts on the mainland adopted the Food Security and Nutrition Information System under the MUCHALI Framework, facilitates identification of priority areas for investments for increased food security, including targeted safety-net interventions.

6,300 metric tonnes of agricultural commodities purchased from local farmer groups in targeted districts through the Purchase for Progress programme. Initiatives incentivise farmers to increase production, providing them with a guaranteed market and increase in their household income.

Cooperative Data Analysis System piloted and Challenge Funds provided in rural areas, expanding opportunities for income generating activities and job creation. 2,000 farmers received affordable and quality services from their farmer organisations, enabling better access to markets, increased agricultural productivity and transitioning from subsistence to business-oriented farming. 

Competitiveness of producers’ cooperatives in Zanzibar enhanced, with improved service provision to farmer members across financing, productivity, marketing, access to inputs and value addition. Higher economic returns are expected for members in particular, as well as a revival of the cooperative movement in general.

Input trade fairs in drought prone areas of central Tanzania provided timely access to farm inputs such as seed and fertilizers for improved productivity. With more than 20 metric tonnes of certified seeds and over 700 ox-ploughs, significant multiplier effects anticipated.

United Nations in Action

UN is supporting technical assistance and knowledge sharing to enable government ministries, departments, agencies, local government authorities and non-state actors to better manage the economy, promote equal access to economic opportunities, improve trade and use natural resources sustainably to spur productivity and job creation. These are important pro-poor activities, which have been recognized as leading to greater cuts in income poverty.

UN is also providing assistance to the Government in developing an inclusive growth strategy to help all Tanzanians to access opportunities for economic growth, in particular vulnerable groups such as women and people working in low paying sectors. This includes providing strategic inputs to promote pro-poor and environmentally sustainable economic development through policy advocacy, capacity development and knowledge sharing.

The UN Development Assistance Plan requires building analytical capacities within Government to help them make policy choices to develop a pro-poor public finance framework and invest in economic sectors that are most likely to accelerate growth and employment. The UN is also helping to strengthen national capacities in research, policy analysis and capacity development in the implementation of policies on national employment, productivity enhancement, trade development, the application of science, technology and innovation as well as the use of appropriate environment and population strategies.

Furthermore, support services including value chain development are an important part of the UN assistance to improve productivity, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and services where more livelihood opportunities exist for low-income households. The UN is facilitating national and sub-national enterprise creation and productivity in agriculture and agro-industries including sustainable access to markets and trade integration. These measures should enable more household enterprises and small businesses to enter the economic mainstream, thus broadening economic participation.


Programme At a Glance


Economic Growth


Support the Government of Tanzania in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.


July 2011 – June 2015



Implementing Agencies



Government of the United Republic of Tanzania

Total 4-year Budget

(In US$)



Tanzanian Workers, Farmers and Entrepreneurs



UN Economic Growth Action Plan

Key Results

The United Nations will help build the capacity for:-


Key national institutions to develop or enhance evidence-based pro-poor economic development policies and strategies


Local government authorities, agriculture support organizations and small-holder farmers to increase agricultural productivity, access to markets and food security


Relevant ministries, departments, agencies, local government authorities and non-state actors to enhance structures and policies for promoting viable pro-poor business sectors and small and medium-scale entrepreneurs


Relevant institutions to improve national capacities to promote regional integration and international trade


Key ministries, departments and agencies and non-state actors to enhance skills and entrepreneurship programmes to improve labour productivity and employment creation


Ministries, departments, agencies and non-state actors to improve implementation of labour standards in an effort to promote decent work and productivity benefits for employers and workers


Total 4-year Budget (in US$)



National Development Goals
(2011 – 2015)

National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty


Zanzibar Poverty Reduction Plan


  • Pursuing sound    macroeconomic management
  • Create an enabling environment for growth
  • Reducing Income poverty through promoting inclusive, sustainable and employment-enhancing growth
  • Promote sustainable and equitable pro-poor and broad based growth
  • Ensuring creation of productive and decent employment, especially for women and youth
  • Reduce income poverty and attain overall food security


  • Create a vibrant private sector for economic growth


Available Project Documents

UNDAP Documents

Economic Growth Fact Sheet

Economic Growth 2011-2012 Annual Work Plan

Millennium Development Goals

Challenges and Opportunities

Tanzania is rich in resources, but the vast majority of Tanzanians are poor. Even though Tanzania’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased steadily since 2000, growth has occurred in sectors where employment generation is low. A majority of Tanzanians who enter the labor market each year are employed in the agriculture and informal sectors where productivity and remunerations are low.

The country’s employment to population ratio stands at 80%, a relatively high ratio by global and regional standards. However, 36% of those employed live below the nationally defined poverty line, an indication of low productivity and a lack of decent work.

In addition to inadequate employment opportunities, the Tanzanian labor market has a gender bias. Women are paid lower wages than their male counterparts. Average monthly incomes amongst employed males are almost twice as high as those of female workers. Also the rate of unemployment is slightly higher among women. For example, in 2006, an estimated 12.6% of women were unemployed compared with 10.7% of men.

In Tanzania, agriculture accounts for one-quarter of the GDP, 85% of exports and employs nearly 80% of the workforce, 90% of whom are women. However, returns in this backbone sector have been very low due to: low agriculture productivity resulting from inadequate infrastructure investment and lack of access to farm inputs, extension services, credit, modern technology application, trade and marketing support. Heavy dependency on rain-fed agriculture and unsustainable use of natural resources also plays a role in reducing productivity. Together these factors have led to an excess of farm labor for the amount of productive land, capital and other inputs that are being deployed.