15 November 2018

Tanzania: Mwanza's Grows Its Lakeside Economy

Nestled on the southern shores of Lake Victoria, Mwanza City is now the leading economic hub in western Tanzania, attracting big fish processing industries and mining companies.

With a population of nearly one million, Mwanza depends on fishing and mining as its core economic activities. It is home to 13 fish processing factories with the installed capacity to process about 1,065 tonnes of fish per day.

Data from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries shows that the factories depend the Nile perch, but illegal fishing has caused a drop to about 171 tonnes of fish harvest per day.

The Operation Save Nile perch agreement was signed in Entebbe in March between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Increased production

Tanzanian Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Luhaga Mpina said that Operation Save the Nile Perch had increased the fish stock in Lake Victoria with revenue collections from fish processing factories in Mwanza going up.

Mr Mpina said the government plans to fight illegal fishing in all water bodies inside Tanzania as well as the shared regional lakes on the Tanzanian borders to boost fish processing in Mwanza.

Revenue from fishing had increased from Tsh18.5 billion ($9 million) in 2017 to Tsh26.3 billion ($12 million) in the 2018, according to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture.

The parliamentary report linked the increase in fishing revenue to the ongoing operations against illegal fishing and the security measures put in place to protect fish resources in Tanzania, mostly in Lake Victoria.

Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries data shows that Tanzania harvested an estimated 300,000 tonnes of Nile perch, Kenya about 50,000 tonnes and Uganda 350,000 tonnes last year.

The total harvest of Nile perch per year is estimated at one million tonnes and valued between $300 million and $500 million.

The mining, agriculture, livestock and manufacturing sectors have been earmarked for development in Mwanza, taking advantage of the rich resources available in the region.

Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella said the region has been targeting investments from these sectors for economic gains.

The region contributes about Tsh7.4 trillion ($3.2 billion) to Tanzania's annual budget. About 1.5 million head of cattle, 523,145 goats and 138,917 sheep reared in the region have attracted meat processing factories.

Two beef processing factories have been set up in Mwanza City. A total of 170,832 hides and skins from cattle, sheep and goats are produced per year. Some of the leather is exported to Kenya as rawhide.

Mwanza City is a leading business hub competing with Kisumu in Kenya and Entebbe and Jinja in Uganda.

Cotton production

Mwanza produces an average of 56,906 tonnes of cotton per year, accounting for 47.5 per cent of cash crops grown by farmers and providing 26.2 percent of farm earnings.

The region has some geographic and historical business links with the rest of the Great Lakes region, linking businesses from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The government plans to establish five national parks to attract tourists Lake Victoria zone.

The Tanzania National Parks director general Allan Kijazi said the proposed parks are Kibisi, Biharamulo, Burigi, Ibanda and Rumanyika.

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