Tanzania - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques
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Consumers in Tanzania identify with American products. Having the product details both in English and Swahili would be useful in some instances. Marketing of the product must be aligned with the culture of the local people. Marketing agencies in the country can help with this.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

Companies in Tanzania use different avenues to advertise. Depending on the demographic of the audience companies can use radio, television, newspaper, billboard or the internet to reach their target market. Marketing & advertising agencies in Tanzania can help companies to select the best advertising channel to push out their products.

Here are some of the media houses recommended for advertising in Tanzania:

  • Newspapers
  • Dailynews
  • The Guardian | Home of Great Newspapers
  • The Citizen
  • Mwananchi

Radio Stations

  • Radio Tanzania
  • Radio Uhuru 
  • IPP Media including (Capital Radio, EA Radio and Radio One)  
  • Clouds FM 

Television stations

  • Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) 
  • Azam Television (Azam TV)
  • Independent Television (ITV)  
  • Clouds TV
  • Television Zanzibar (TVZ)

Trade promotion links:
Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) 
Confederation of Tanzania Industries Newsletter

Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Commercial Newsletter  
Tanzania Private Sector Federation Newsletter/Newspapers


Pricing for most goods and services is determined by market forces of demand and supply although the government does regulate price floor and ceiling for certain products such as fuel.

There is 18% value added tax (VAT) on all domestic and imported goods except those that have exemptions. Most Tanzanians are price sensitive and prefer affordable consumer products. Foreign companies should take note of this and offer prices better than their competitor.

Sales Service/Customer Support

It is important for companies entering Tanzania to maintain good customer and aftersales service toward their clients. This will help in customer retention and build long term loyalty towards your brand. Having a 24-hour call center is one way to assist your customers with any problem they may have about your product or service.

After sales services such as warranty service, training and repair also leads to high customer satisfaction and increased word-of-mouth marketing for your company.

Local Professional Services

The Embassy can assist in identifying qualified local professional services.  Well-established international business consulting firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte all have offices in Dar es Salaam.  The Embassy maintains a list of local attorneys for hire by U.S. firms, available at:  https://tz.usembassy.gov/.

Principal Business Associations

American chamber of Commerce Tanzania (AmCham), https://amcham-tz.com/, is a non-profit membership association which is part of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce (the world’s largest business federation representing nearly 3 million businesses and operating in over 113 countries) that aims towards trade facilitation and economic opportunities between Tanzania and U.S.

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), https://tpsftz.org/, provides a platform for the private sector to engage in Public- Private Dialogue (PPD) at the local, national and international levels. The foundation opens potential markets for its members through business forums and participation in local and international trade fairs, as well as offering programs to build the capacity of members to become competitive.

The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), https://cti.co.tz/, is a Business Membership Organization that was launched in July 1991. It is an independent, self-financed, legally constituted organization that serves its members by speaking out on their behalf and generally representing their interests. Given the unfriendly business environment that existed in the early 1990s, CTI identified few key issues as its priority for advocacy. These included fiscal policy and taxation, the legal and regulatory framework, regional and multilateral trade arrangements, and infrastructure, mainly electricity, roads, railways and ports. The main aim of CTI is to ensure that there is a conducive legal, financial and economic environment within which industry can operate effectively, prosper and contribute to national wealth and development. CTI has been very active in advocating for a conducive business environment for its members so that they can become competitive. One of its main objectives is to assist the members in accessing new technology, including technology related to energy efficiency.

Limitations on Selling U.S Products and Services

There are no general restrictions on establishing a business in Tanzania. However, there are some restrictions on foreign investment in certain sectors (for example, banking and financial institutions, mining, telecommunications, insurance, shipping and construction) where participation by local shareholders is required. For example:

  • Banking sector. Minimum capital requirements apply for banks and financial institutions. The minimum core capital for banks must be not less than TZS15 billion (about USD8.75 million), and an existing bank with a core capital of less than the prescribed amount is required to increase its core capital within a period of three years from August 2014, following the publication of the Banking and Financial Institutions (Capital Adequacy) Regulations (2014).
  • Foreign Exchange. The Foreign Exchange (Bureau De Change) Regulations restrict eligibility for applying for licenses to companies limited by shares incorporated under the laws of Tanzania Mainland or Zanzibar. The minimum capital requirement to operate a bureau is a paid-up capital of at least TZS1 billion or any higher amount prescribed by the Bank of Tanzania.
  • Insurance sector. The Insurance Act 2009 provides that out of the issued share capital of an insurer, not less than two-thirds of the shareholding must be owned by Tanzanian citizens. Tanzanian residents and resident companies must also use local insurers to cover risks arising in Tanzania. Foreign insurers can only provide insurance services to Tanzanian citizens or companies if the insured person through a resident insurance company obtains prior written consent from the Commissioner for Insurance. This restriction applies to ground, marine and air cargo insurance covers as well all Tanzanian imports.
  • Telecommunications sector. The government’s current policy is that any company holding a network services or network facilities license must reserve at least 25% of its shareholding to Tanzanian citizens through a public offering and any company holding a contents service license, must have at least 51% local shareholding ownership. The shareholding requirements imposed by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority are an on-going obligation throughout the term of the license issued. However, the public shareholding requirement does not apply to network facilities or network services license wholly owned by the government, or network facilities or network services license in which the government owns 25% shares or more, or a network facilities license for the lease of towers.
  • Media sector. Media houses must maintain a minimum of a 51% local shareholding. In addition, any media house of which a foreigner is a shareholder must obtain approval from the Director of Information Services before applying for any change in shareholding structure.
  • Mining sector. Primary mining licenses for any minerals are reserved exclusively for Tanzanian citizens and companies where the members and directors are all Tanzanian citizens. Gemstone mining licenses are only granted to Tanzanian citizens unless the development of the license areas requires special skill, technology, and a high-level investment. In these cases, the Minister for Minerals can grant licenses to a non-Tanzanian citizen, if their undivided participating share in the license amounts to no more than 50%. The government must have not less than 16% non-dilutable free carried interest shares in the capital of the mining company, depending on the type of minerals and the level of investment. In addition to the free carried interest shares, the government is entitled to acquire, in total, up to 50% of the shares of the mining company commensurate with the total tax expenditures incurred by the government in favor of the mining company. Further, a company with a special mining license must reserve at least 30% of the shareholding for Tanzanian citizens through a public offering except where the Minister for Minerals grants a waiver for minimum local shareholding requirement due to an unsuccessful public offer, or the government has non-dilutable free carried interest shares in the capital of a mining company and an economic benefit sharing arrangement.
  • Shipping sector. Licenses to carry out shipping agency business are only granted to companies where more than 51% of the share capital is held directly or indirectly by Tanzanian citizens.
  • Construction industry. Restrictions apply in the construction industry to foreign contractors/subcontractors as they cannot carry out any construction works unless they are registered with the Contractors Registration Board (CRB). Foreign contractors can however obtain temporary registration with the CRB if they are carrying out a specific contract. Any foreign engineers that are part of the construction company are similarly restricted from practicing in Tanzania, unless they are registered with the Engineers Registration Board. Additionally, the Architect and Quantity Surveyors Registration Board (AQRB) requires foreign architects, whether a business or individual, to form a joint venture agreement with local counterparts to promote and encourage the use of local expertise, goods, and services, and to develop local capabilities.
  • Tourism sector. Registration and licensing for tourism activities and facilities is granted based on each separate activity or facility. Furthermore, foreigners are restricted from operating as travel agents, mountain climbing or trekking companies, tour guides or car rental providers. Source: Velma Law