Natural resources, energy and environment
Tanzania is rich in metals, gems and a
variety of minerals. In particular, there are large
assets of gold and natural gas. Gold is the country's
most important export commodity, while natural gas is
used for domestic electricity generation. Extensive
logging is a serious environmental problem.
Gold has been mined in Tanzania for a long time, but
the extraction took off seriously when the large gold
mine Bulyanhulu in the north was opened in 2001.
Nowadays almost all the gold is mined in five major
mines near Lake Victoria.
Major exports by Tanzania with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Investments in the mining industry mainly come from
foreign mining companies, such as Canadian and South
African. In 2014, the government renegotiated the
agreements with the foreign companies to increase the
state's revenue from the mines. Previously, the fees and
taxes for the companies were lower.
In addition to gold, diamonds and gems such as
rubies, sapphires and the country's unique blue gemstone
tanzanite are mined. In addition, coal, copper, silver,
iron, tin, nickel, lead, cobalt, salt, phosphates,
limestone and more are mined. There are also uranium
deposits in the country that have not yet been
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, TZ stands for Tanzania.
Too little electricity generation
Oil exploration has been going off the coast of
Tanzania for decades, but no deposits that are
profitable to extract have not been made. In the 2010s,
however, large quantities of natural gas were found. The
gas is used to generate electricity for its own market,
which has reduced the country's high costs for oil
imports and the electricity supply has become more
In the long term, Tanzania also hopes to be able to
export natural gas. A gas pipeline runs from the town of
Mtwara in the south to Dar es Salaam, and a decision has
also been made to build a pipeline to neighboring
The natural gas has meant that more Tanzanians now
have access to electricity, but the shortcomings are
still large. One third of the population had access to
electricity at the end of the 2010, significantly more
in cities than in rural areas. Around half of the
electricity produced is extracted from natural gas,
while a third is generated in hydropower plants. The
rest comes from coal and imported oil.
The economic growth means that electricity demand is
increasing rapidly and the industry is often hit by
electricity outages due to an outdated and overloaded
power grid, and sometimes due to drought and water
shortages. The energy sector also suffers from
In the villages, wood and charcoal are the most
common sources of energy. For lighting, villagers mainly
use kerosene lamps and candles.
The need for firewood causes too much forest to be
cut down in several places. In addition, tropical woods
are commercially harvested, not infrequently illegally.
The government has regulated deforestation, but
corruption among local officials means that
Researchers established in 2010 that Lake Tanganyika
is now warmer than in 1,500 years, probably due to
climate change. Surface water temperature has been
measured to 26 degrees, which inhibits biological
activity in the lake and in the long run makes life for
fish and other species difficult.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
479 kg of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
100 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
11 562 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.2 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
85.7 percent (2015)
Suggestions for stricter penalties for invigorating items
The Government proposes a sharply increased fine for publishing invigorating
articles, from the equivalent of SEK 50 to around SEK 20,000.
Supporters of Ponda Issa Ponda's release
The 50 followers of Muslim leader Ponda Issa Ponda who were imprisoned in
March 2013 are released early (see March 2013).
Newspapers receive a publishing license revoked
Two privately owned newspapers receive the publishing licenses revoked for 14
and 90 days, respectively, for having "published articles intended to cause
people to lose confidence in government institutions and thus threaten peace and
Priest is subjected to acid attack
A Catholic priest is subjected to an acid attack when he leaves an Internet
cafe in Zanzibar's capital. It is the fifth acid attack on the island in less
than a year. It is interpreted as an expression of the increased contradictions
between Christians and Muslims in Zanzibar. Police arrest 15 people suspected of
involvement in the attacks and seize large amounts of acid. According to police,
some of those arrested are in contact with the Somali extreme Islamist movement
The UN criticizes Tanzania
The UN criticizes Tanzania for having sent back between 20,000 and 30,000
Burundian refugees to their homeland in the past month, thus creating a
"dramatic" humanitarian situation.
Acid attack against British volunteers
Two young British volunteer workers are subjected to an acid attack in the
old part of Zanzibar's capital.
Ponda Issa Ponda gets shot
Radical Muslim leader Ponda Issa Ponda (see March 2013) is
shot dead when his followers try to stop the police from arresting him.
Obama visits Tanzania
US President Barack Obama visits Tanzania.
Riot in Mtwara
Riot breaks out in Mtwara in southern Tanzania after the government decided
to build a gas pipeline from the city to Dar es Salaam, where the gas will be
processed. The residents of Mtwara want the gas plant to be located in their
town. A woman is killed in the violence.
Two dead in terrorist acts against church
Two people are killed and some 30 are injured when an explosive charge
explodes in a newly built Catholic church in Arusha. The attack is carried out
during the inaugural fair and is described by President Kikwete as a terrorist
act. The Vatican's ambassador is among the guests but escapes unharmed. Nine
people are arrested, three of whom are citizens of the United Arab Emirates, one
is Saudi and five are Tanzanians. The four Arabs are released after a few days.
Muslim leader sentenced to prison
Contested Muslim leader Ponda Issa Ponda is sentenced to one year of
conditional imprisonment for attacks carried out against churches in Dar es
Salaam in October 2012. Ponda Issa Ponda and around 50 co-accused are
simultaneously acquitted of charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, theft and
violence of violence (see March 2013).
Protesters are sentenced to prison
About 50 supporters of incarcerated Muslim leader Ponda Issa Ponda are
sentenced to one year in prison each after a month earlier demonstrating in Dar
es Salaam with the demand that Ponda Issa Ponda be released.
The President of China visits Tanzania
Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Tanzania. The two countries conclude a
series of trade agreements, including the upgrading of Tanzanian hospitals and
Priest is shot dead at Zanzibar
A Catholic priest is shot to death outside his church in Zanzibar. Another
church on the island is set on fire.