‘US flows to Tanzania average $2.8bn yearly‘

By Henry Mwangonde , The Guardian
Published at 10:54 AM Jun 19 2024
‘US flows to Tanzania  average $2.8bn yearly‘
‘US flows to Tanzania average $2.8bn yearly‘

FINANCIAL flows, including investments and budgetary support from the United States, have in the 2012-2022 period averaged $2.8bn per year, a research report has indicated.

The report, ‘Investing in Tanzania’s people’ launched yesterday in Dar es Salaam was produced by the city research outfit REPOA and Aid Data, a US research lab at William & Mary Global Research Institute.

It analyses financial flows from the US to Tanzania from 2012 to 20222 showing the two countries have partnered in economic needs and development initiatives across multiple sectors since independence.

Samantha Custer, the AidData director of policy analysis, said that substantial US assistance from 2012 to 2022 include agriculture ($546m), infrastructure ($579m) and health, focused on HIV/AIDS ($3.8bn) and malaria specifically, at $533m.

“Despite an enduring relationship, Tanzanian leaders and the public have little information readily available to assess the value of the partnership, particularly as they measure progress toward achieving the goals the country sets for itself,” she stated.

The US was the single largest provider of HIV/AIDS-related funding by far during the period, helping Tanzania save roughly three-quarters of a million lives, the director noted.

The report not only tracks direct US government assistance but also quantifies the value of indirect benefits from trade and other channels such as foreign direct investment (FDI), contributions from US non-governmental organisations operating in Tanzania, private foundations, individual donors and remittances from Tanzanians working in the US, she stated.

FDI and trade flows underscore the shift to long term growth, as in 2012 the U.S renewed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), with Tanzania increasing its textile exports to the US 45-fold, while total exports to the US rose from $146m earlier to an average of $170m annually, she explained.

US companies now hold $1.3bn in FDI-related stocks locally, and US investment guarantees have enabled Tanzania to attract upwards of $93m private sector investments since 2012, she said.

Dr Donald Mmari, the REPOA executive director, said that US ties with Tanzania date back to the time of independence, where the report “is a tool to trigger dialogue and engagement, providing Tanzanian leaders and the public with valuable insights into the benefits of the bilateral collaboration.”

“This will foster informed policy making,” he said, laying emphasis on the difference between direct financial lows and gains from this engagement through training and trade.

Divya Mathew, a senior policy specialist with AidData, said that the report analyses Tanzania’s development plans that are relevant for US alignment in terms of policy support.