Improving economic efficiencies, productivity and living standards in four Tanzanian cities

Local Economic Development Strategies in Tanzania

Arusha clocktower.

Over the course of six months, NIRAS developed local economic development strategies for Mbeya, Tanga, Arusha and Mtwara to ensure better management of the urbanisation process.

January 15, 2021
  • SDG: #8, #11
  • SECTORS: Development Consulting, Infrastructure
  • COUNTRIES: Tanzania

Tanzania’s Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP) II for 2017–2021 anticipates that ongoing rapid urbanisation (over 5% per year) will place additional pressure on urban infrastructure and services in spite of high levels of GDP growth in recent years.

Tanzania’s urban population is expected to grow from 15 million in 2012 to 60 million by mid-century, exceeding half the national total. Cities also account for the majority of the country’s physical, financial, human, academic, and technological capital.

To better manage the urbanisation process and ensure cities’ economic efficiencies, productivity, and improved living conditions, the World Bank contracted NIRAS to develop a local economic development (LED) strategy – with supporting action plans, projects and programmes – for the four participating urban local authorities from Mbeya, Tanga, Arusha and Mtwara. The LED approach is critical in addressing many issues related to, for example, allocation of land for investment, development of SME clusters, and support of LED initiatives. 

The LED strategy analysed the participating cities in terms of business environment, the urban economy and its growth potential, as well as actions and plans for poverty alleviation. Each LED strategy incorporated inputs from the community, private sector, public entities and development partners who are working closely with the local government authorities. 

Once implemented, 4 cities with a combined population of 1,287,122 inhabitants will reap the benefits of the local economic development strategies.

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Adelaide Kisinda

Adelaide Kisinda

Research Consultant

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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