Tanzania’s economy continued to register strong macro-economic performance in 2014 with increased receipts from exported goods and services, President Jakaya Kikwete said in Dar es Salaam on Friday.
Addressing heads of diplomatic missions and international organisations at a New Year Sherry Party he hosted for them at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Kikwete said by 31 October 2014, Tanzania exported goods and services worth US$8.539 billion compared to US$8.332 billion recorded at the same time in 2013.
“Had it not been for the fall in the world prices of coffee, tea, cashew nuts, cotton and gold, we would have done much better,” he said, noting that the country’s GDP growth was expected to be 7.4 per cent compared to 7.3 per cent in 2013.
As a result of increased food production, the president said that the inflation rate dropped from 6.0 per cent in January 2014 to 4.8 per cent in December 2014.
In another development, the government concluded the rebasing exercise of its economic statistics, taking 2007 as the base year instead of 2001.
Accordingly, the country’s GDP per capita is now US$977 compared to US$742 when 2001 figures were used.
Last year, Tanzania produced a surplus of 3.25 million tonnes of grains which was an increase of 31.4 per cent compared to a surplus of 2.23 million tonnes in 2013.
Though the government continues to pursue its ambition of making primary and secondary school education accessible to every Tanzanian, it faces a shortage of 45,233 teachers of whom 26,946 are for primary schools and 18,277 science teachers for secondary schools.
“There is no more shortage of teachers of arts subjects in secondary schools in Tanzania unlike the situation was seven years ago,” Kikwete said.
On infrastructure development, he said Tanzania “registered remarkable progress in 2014. The tarmac road network was extended by 1,459 kilometres with 19 tarmac roads completed in 11 regions. This year we expect 24 roads to be completed in 12 regions and this will add another 1,339.06 kilometres”.
According to the president, “implementation of the rural electrification programme being undertaken by the Rural Energy Agency (REA) has been a tremendous success”.
He said that 3,836 villages had been electrified by 2014 and another 1,500 would be reached by June 2015.
“This means 43 per cent of all villages in the country will be covered, giving access to electricity for 38 per cent of Tanzanians as compared to 18.4 per cent in 2012,” Kikwete added. ” This is no small achievement in a short period of two years.”