Tanzania’s growth bears a closer look

When Minnesotans think of Tanzania, if they’ve heard of it, they probably envision the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro or the Serengeti National Park, the world’s best-known wildlife sanctuary.

While we want you to visit those places and bring your friends, there is another Tanzania we want you to know about. It is a place with a population of 45 million, a third of whom are between 15 and 35 years old and constitute a growing and capable workforce. The country has an economic growth rate of 7 percent and is among the 20 fastest-growing economies in the world. Tanzania is twice the size of California.

It is also the fastest-growing market in East Africa. Exports to the United States were $420 million in 2013, up 71 percent over 2012. Exports from Minnesota grew nearly 50 percent to $5.6 million in the same period. Like many countries in Africa, Tanzania is establishing a stable democracy along with its economic stability.