Tanzania has registered relatively little progress to date in establishing industrial parks and special economic zones (SEZs). None of the SEZ projects included in the country’s second Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP II) have yet been realised. SEZs and industrial parks were not mentioned in the Minister of Finance and Planning’s latest speech to present the estimates of government revenue and expenditure for 2018/19, and the government appears to be prioritising spending on other infrastructure development over zones.
Instead, the private sector is increasingly expected to step in to develop new zones. Securing the necessary finance to develop these zones still appears to be challenging, although negotiations to attract investment into certain zones, such as the Bagamoyo Port project, are more advanced.
Against this backdrop, the SET programme held a two-day workshop in Dar es Salaam on 5–6 June 2018 to discuss options for financing the development of SEZs and related infrastructure in Tanzania.
The workshop agenda and focus were designed in collaboration with Tanzania’s Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA). It was attended by a range of different stakeholders, including representatives of Tanzanian development finance institutions, Tanzania’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (through the ministry’s Textile Development Unit) and a range of external experts with knowledge of, or interest in, financing and other elements of developing industrial parks and SEZs in Tanzania and elsewhere in the East African region.
Photo: Dar es Salaam waterfront, 2017. David Stanley via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.