Tanzania offers $100bn worth of project opportunities

The value of active projects planned or under way in Tanzania is worth just over $100bn making it one of the largest project markets on the continent, according to MEED Projects, the Middle East and East Africa’s leading projects tracker. Of the $100.3bn worth of active projects in the country, $17.9bn worth of schemes are under construction, while a further $82.4bn are planned and not yet awarded.

Tanzania is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, with GDP growth averaging 7 per cent a year for the past three years. Recent major off-shore gas discoveries, a booming gold-mining industry, rapidly developing agriculture and tourism sectors, and World Bank commitment to projects worth over $3 billion, makes Tanzania an exciting new frontier market for companies looking to establish a presence ahead of the lucrative exploitation of natural gas.

The largest projects’ sector by some margin is transport, with $36bn worth of active projects, the vast majority of which are in the ports and railway subsectors. Gas is the next largest sector, with some $23.9bn worth of active projects dominated by Tanzania’s ambitious liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plans, followed by power with $16.8bn worth of projects either planned or under execution.

“Tanzania is one of East Africa’s largest projects’ markets and one of the most easily accessible to international contractors,” says Ed James, Director of Analysis at MEED Projects. 

“To put it into perspective, the local projects’ market is larger than those of Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, making it a significant new opportunity for contractors looking to expand and diversify in the Middle East and East Africa regions.”

China is the country of origin best represented in Tanzania and Chinese contractors have been won nearly half – $7.5bn of the $15.7bn – of contracts awarded in Tanzania over the past three years, largely as result of the prevalence of Beijing’s financial backing of projects in the country. However, with global financial and development institutions as well as those from Africa and the Gulf increasingly looking to support development projects in Tanzania, there are more than enough opportunities for international contractors as well as those from the Middle East and Africa to participate. 

“Tanzania has a long-term vision to attract substantial international investment in its key infrastructure sectors,” adds James. “Major contract awards over the past three years include the $1.2bn Mtwara-Dar es Salaam gas pipeline, the $693m Dar es Salaam-Arusha overhead transmission line, and the $420m Mtwara cement plant. Key future projects include the estimated $10bn Bagamayo port, Dar es Salaam to Musongati railway and the of course the strategically vital LNG development, which will provide the government with a substantial new revenue stream with which to fund further infrastructure development.”

Currently, just a handful of Middle East contractors, such as Kuwait’s MA Kharafi and Saudi Arabia’s NCC, is active in the local market. However, as interest in East African projects opportunities increases, it is anticipated that more and more Middle East-based companies will enter the market, especially given the close trading links and rapidly increasing number of scheduled flight options between the GCC and East Africa. Between June and September, MEED Projects undertook a programme of visiting and logging every single site where a new building is planned, on hold or under construction in the Zanzibar, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam regions. Details, including GPS co-ordinates and site photographs have been captured for over 300 projects worth $5m and above. In total the system is tracking close to 900 projects in Tanzania, with dozens more projects added every week.

MEED Projects is a premium subscription-only service that offers the most in-depth project tracking database in the market, giving invaluable project data and analysis across the Middle East and North and East Africa. MEED Projects plays a central role in helping its subscribers to identify and track projects, and ultimately to win new business.


MEED Projects is also now part of 4C Group comprising a suite of world-class digital information services, specialising in the built environment and infrastructure sectors

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