Tanzania: Legal Landscape In Tanzania

Last Updated: 3 October 2012
Article by Lucy Minde

Doing business in Tanzania requires in-depth knowledge of and practical familiarity with the regulations and authorities governing its economic sectors. We set out below notable recent legislation that impact on Tanzania's major sectors and the major authorities and procedures that will need to be followed when establishing a presence in the country.

Recent1 Notable Legislation

1. Electronic and Postal Communications Act, 2010Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations, 2011

The Act governs matters that were previously governed by the Broadcasting Services Act, 1993 and the Tanzanian Communications Act 1993. The Act and subsequent regulations were enacted to respond to new developments in the telecommunications and broadcasting sector and deal with issues including:

  • Digital and other broadcasting networks
  • Competition
  • Tariffs
  • Mobile number portability
  • Postal communications
  • Radio communications and frequency spectrum
  • Interconnection
  • Consumer protection
  • Access, co-location and infrastructure sharing
  • Licensing
  • Content

2. Mining Act, 2010 Mining Regulations, 2010

The Act is intended to address the problems facing the mining sector, particularly public perception that the mining industry is concentrated in the hands of non-Tanzanians and the perceived low contribution to the public purse by mining companies. Under the Act, Primary Mining Licences are reserved for Tanzanians (Primary Mining Licences being licences for operations whose capital investment is less than US$100,000). Non-Tanzanians looking to mine in Tanzania must make a capital investment of at least US$100,000 to obtain a Mining Licence or a Special Mining Licence (for investments above US$100 million). Separate licences are available for prospecting, delaing and other activities related to the industry. To increase contributions to the public purse, the Act also provides for higher royalties than previously.

3. Public Private Partnership Act, 2010 Public Private Partnership Regulations, 2011

Prior to the enactment of the Act and Regulations, there was no law governing PPPs in Tanzania. The Act aims to fill this gap and to stimulate the private sector's participation in the provision of public services. The Act established a PPP unit within the Tanzania Investment Centre to coordinate PPP projects; provides for the identification of projects and governs how agreements shall be negotiated, the duties of each of the parties, procurement procedures, project approval processes, and the monitoring and evaluation of projects.

4. Insurance Act, 2009

The Act established the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority with a view to protecting insured persons. The body is charged with developing Tanzania's insurance policy with a view to making it an efficient, fair and safe insurance market for the benefit of insured persons. Additionally, the Act established an insurance ombudsman to settle disputes between policy holders and insurance companies. It also instituted an ad hoc insurance appeal tribunal to hear appeals from the decisions of the Commissioner of Insurance.

5. The Financial Leasing Act, 2008

The Act enables small and medium sized entrepreneurs to access finance for the acquisition of business equipment. The Act was passed in the hope of contributing to the growth of various sectors and sets out the following conditions on access:

1. the asset must be in Tanzania

2. the lessees' centre of main business must be in Tanzania

3. the lease agreement must provide that Tanzanian law governs the transaction

6. The Petroleum Act, 2008

The Act provides for the importation, exportation, transportation, transformation, storage, wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum and petroleum products in Tanzania. The Act does not apply to the exploration, development and production of petroleum which continues to be governed by The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 1980. The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority is the body responsible for the implementation of the Act and for the licensing of operators in the petroleum sector.

7. The Electricity Act, 2008

The Act liberalised the production and distribution of electricity in Tanzania which was previously reserved for the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO). The Act provides for the facilitation and regulation of the generation, transmission, transformation, distribution, supply, and use of electric energy, cross-border trade in electricity, and the planning and regulation of rural electricity in Tanzania.

Major Authorities and Indicative Time Frames2


1. Selected legislative highlights from the last 5 years. This list is not to be taken as a definitive list of recent Tanzanian legislation.

2. Timeframes based on usual practice and may vary on a case by case basis. The relevant authorities may take longer to manage the respective procedures.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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