Although it is one of the poorest nations in the world, the opportunities in Tanzania are almost boundless. If you have been attracted to this country, you should check out some of these possibilities to see what appeals to you most. Something here may inspire you to do something great for Tanzanians, and at the same time express your gifts and abilities, and make your life purposeful.
The goverment of Tanzania has a plan to eradicate poverty. That may sound incredible; how can anyone clean up the vast problem of poverty? Well, it may depend on definitions and degrees. Nevertheless, Tanzania is open to investors and business people who want to work hard and develop various sectors of education and industry in their country.
Browsing around on the government websites, we learn that Tanzania grasps that if the area of education were privatized, it would grow by greater leaps and bounds. They would simply take the role of facilitators. This implies that groups which want to start private schools and raise the standards high would find favour with the government department of education.
What about a chain of small village schools that are franchised for consistency and good quality (like McDonald's restaurants)? If you design a simple but effective school and train others to reproduce it - think what you could achieve!
Bible Schools that accept barely literate students and teach them God's Word creatively, with more graphics than text, but also include some literacy skills, oh, what a blessing they would be!
It is possible to take many college and university courses online now. A couple, located where the internet connection is strong and reliable, and that would open their home to take in several such young people, making it a goal to help these students stick to their studies and graduate would be wonderful! Instead of costing thousands, and the travel abroad, they could get a working knowledge base for just a few hundred dollars (US$).
As already said, the Tanzanian government is bending backwards to welcome entrepreneurs and investors to their country. Rather than generate and lay out all the cash, they would encourage others to do that. There are many attractive resources to lure investors who can pay for development - and then enjoy the wealth they share with Tanzania.
They have tremendous quantities and varieties of both salt water and fresh water fish. If fishing is poor in your country, maybe it is time to take your skills to Tanzania and teach others what you know about fishing and marketing them.
Their fantastic wildlife makes for wonderful tourism potential. Particularly in safaris and photography, which exist but could be developed more fully. Perhaps an elegant zoo where the wildlife can be safely observed and cared for - great for photo shoots too! Maybe big international photo contests and conferences would draw lots of visitors and tourists? Another idea that comes to mind is to raise the wildlife for sale to zoos abroad in other countries.
The forests and woodlands are another wonderful resource. Tanzania has tropical woods such as cedar, African rosewood, podocarpus and mahogany, which lend themselves well to carvings and exquisite woodwork projects. The plantation forests cover an area of 250,000 to 300,000 ha. These consist mostly of Pinus, Cupressus or Eucalytus and Wattle. Companies that would harvest and grow replacement trees, and then provide employment to native crafts people for fine furniture and carvings to be sold abroad should do very well.
Then there are the areas of non-forest products related to the trees, such as honey, beeswax, tanwin, gum arabic, wattle and medicinal plants. (Do you know what a demand there is worldwide for herbal remedies?) Tanzania already does export honey to a degree. They earned $800,000 in 1988. The wattle (a resin needed to tan leather) is exported to the tune of $4 million US. Just dream what you could do if you have the knowledge and skills to build on that!
The Wattle or Acicia tree is rather specific to Tanzania, and in demand world-wide for its resin for tanning hides/leather. Where are the people to really develop this fully?
Another idea comes to mind; set up large farms for food production, but also set up honey bees to fertilize the plants, and produce more honey and beeswax. These farms could hire and train many people, and even mentor those that are ready to start a farm of their own.
Because of the world-wide demand for natural health remedies, there is great potential in researching and harvesting medicinal plants, and then marketing them to the supplement industry. Or even prepare some as part of your business plan for added value and income.
Now for those who really think big, look at these challenges!
Not so much for the railroad toy hobbyists, but real Railway tycoons might want to know that the systems in Tananzia are available for privatization!
The Tanzanian government desires to open up all areas of their country for more industries, but knows that a good highway grid will make a huge difference. Here's an idea: a road-building company (or two or three of them), could make joint ventures with bigger businesses and offer road-building as a benefit to them, as well as Tanzania.
See, we'll get to this sooner or later. Tanzania has gold, diamonds, minerals, and gemstones to be mined. The government has plans in place that should encourage mining development, but at the same time protect their people. They are very open to investor mining companies.
Good water is much needed, and of course, the infrastructure to share it more evenly around. If you have an idea for water systems that do not use all the chemicals normally put into the water in North America, this would be a good place to prove that your system is much better. Think of the many lives that could be saved!
Naturally, there need to be support industries to create all the pipelines, plumbing, sewer lines. What about dams?
Since 1977 the Tanzanian government has stepped back to allow the private sector to develop hospitals, and other services. They are wise enough to recognize that if they provide all these services it is going to cost them a lot. This department would prefer to just set standards and help others provide health services. However, but they do have a plan to minimal services to rural and district, regional, and national levels. Christian missions could snap up these opportunities to provide private clinics, medical services, and general hospitals, or even specialized hospitals and nursing homes. Lots of room for optical and dental businesses that improve the lives of the ordinary people.
Vast tracts of land are available, and some government ranches are up for privatization. Here is an idea for providing more meat for the Tanzanians, and for export. The more altruistic approach might be to start small scale ranches and farms, and to train the people how to run them before turning them over to the nationals to own and run. Perhaps some 2-3 year plans of "Work to earn a farm." This could apply to cattle, but also to raising sheep, goats, and also chickens, turkeys, etc., for food.
It would certainly be bad ethics to grow rich on the backs of poor, almost free labour. But even at a reasonable wage scale, it should be possible to set up industries to provide employment and produce food, clothign, textiles, plastics, wood and paper products, machinery, and vehicles.
Plenty of room is available for micro enterprises to produce smaller things like jewelry, or food, clothing, and things that don't require a lot of expensive equipment. In fact, the Tanzanian people are quite creative. They can produce many attractive things, but they need some guidance in running a small business. So many ways to reduce poverty if you can get people working, and developing a strong work ethic.
So far we have not touched on the important factor of doing business world-wide via the internet. All the businesses mentioned above can go global if there is a strong telecommunications system embedded in the fabric of the nation. Some of the information available appears a bit dated, but it seems that a system is in place in the largest city Dar es Salaam. There are some private companies like Zain, Tigo, Vodacom, and Zantel, but just how well they work together, or if there is room for better competition is not determined at this moment. Surely there is room for some first-class internet service providers though. Especially if they are able to set up a wireless network that covers the country. It would pay to research this.
All these opportunities may be so overwhelming that you find them incredible. Too big to believe. Well, they are intended for those who think big and like challenges that will stretch them.
However, there is a link that might prove useful. You should perhaps save it in your bookmarks; Prem Network of World Bank provides support to global and nations reducing poverty. It is a consortium of five organizations that encourage, help to create laws and friendly environments. They insure investments, and help settle disputes if things go wrong.
I sincerely hope that if something on this page inspires you, you will not forget that your business venture should be but a vehicle, like a truck or bus or airplane, by which you can help to deliver the good news of Salvation by Jesus Christ to the needy souls in Tanzania. To that end we encourage you to connect with a church like the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Tanzania to work along side of them to reach their people, and to disciple them in God's Word. If you do, I think you can expect God to bless and prosper your business. But if it runs away with you and becomes an end to itself... well, may God have mercy on your soul in the day of judgment.