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Tanzania Digital Economy Commercial Dialogue and Growth Opportunities

U.S. and Tanzania Sign a Commercial Dialogue Memorandum of Cooperation

On October 19th, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the official launch of the U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Tanzania’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr. Ashatu Kijaji, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. 

The launch of the U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue is the most recent example of actions the U.S. Department of Commerce is taking to expand and deepen commercial and trade ties with African countries.  The Commercial Dialogue will boost two-way trade and investment by focusing on four key areas: the digital economy, market access, regulatory and business climate reform, and trade missions and trade fairs. 

Some ongoing digital growth initiatives in Tanzania include:
•    The Government Electronic Payment Gateway (GePG) – a government platform that enables online payments of government services, which also links with Mobile network operators.
•    The presence and usage of the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) – A fiber optic cable network that Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) manages on behalf of the Government of Tanzania, which provides high-speed internet connectivity across the country.
•    The African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) hub supporting the Tanzanian government in developing a digital economy and achieving regional leadership in the digital economy field.
•    The digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) - a flagship USAID initiative of the digital strategy that identifies opportunities and risks in a country’s digital ecosystem. This is guided by USAID and Tanzania priorities.
•    Launch of 2Africa subsea cable in Tanzania.

The Commercial Dialogue will be co-chaired by the Minister for Industry and Trade and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  Both countries will rotate hosting an annual meeting with participants that include senior U.S. and Tanzanian government officials and executive-level private sector stakeholders.  Between each annual meeting, representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam and the Tanzanian Ministry of Industry and Trade will regularly confer to develop and shape the dialogue, implement decisions, collaborate on next steps, troubleshoot issues companies are facing, and serve as technical experts advising both governments. U.S. firms will be able to contribute and shape the dialogues by participating in quarterly working group meetings and providing their expertise in areas such as innovation, quality control, branding/marketing, and after-sales service. The working groups will be co-chaired by a U.S. Senior Commercial Officer and their counterpart officer from the Tanzanian Ministry of Industry & Trade. In addition to this, U.S. firms will be able to meet and interact with Tanzanian public and private sector stakeholders through attending trade missions and trade fairs that will be taking place in the U.S. and in Tanzania. 

Over time, the U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue will become the foundation for building a strong and lasting bilateral trade relationship that benefits companies and governments in both countries. Sustained engagement between the two governments and the private sector will be critical to improving the business environment, removing barriers to trade, integrating our economies, and resolving supply chain issues. The U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue will provide a platform for work, and to jointly explore and strengthen regulatory policies that attract U.S. firms to Tanzania, and Tanzanian firms to the United States. 

Subsector opportunities for U.S. firms:
•    Cloud Computing
•    Cybersecurity
•    E-Commerce Solutions
•    Digital Financial Services
•    ICT infrastructure (i.e. 5G/6G technology and Data Centers)

For additional insights and to learn about how your company can capitalize on this bilateral cooperation, contact Commercial Specialist Andrew Mahiga, at the U.S Commercial Service, U.S Embassy, Dar es Salaam