A. Executive Summary
The United Republic of Tanzania gained peaceful independence in 1961. Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, including Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia and Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro.
It is currently one of the countries that receives the most immigrants in Africa, mainly from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Kenya, and Mozambique. Furthermore, part of Tanzania’s population emigrates primarily to the United States, the United Kingdom, Rwanda, Kenya, and Burundi.
Tanzania has also become a country of refuge for thousands of people fleeing their homes due to wars, poverty, and violence.
Over the last decade, Tanzania has achieved relatively strong economic growth and decreased poverty rates. Much of the country’s development success during the decade was based on its strategic maritime location, rich natural resources, and socio-political stability, as well as the rapid growth of tourism. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanzania’s economy is recovering, and sectors related to accommodation, catering, mining, ICT, transport, and electricity are driving its recovery.
In 2021, Tanzania’s GDP amounted to US$ 67,775,101,790 with an annual growth rate of 4.3%. In 2020, Foreign investment (FDI) net inflows represented 1.1% of the country’s GDP. The inflation rate in 2022 was 4.5%, driven by rising energy and food prices.
B. Country Profile
I. Basic Information
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, covering 883,749 km2 (with an additional 59,100 km2 of lake areas), including the islands of Pemba, Mafia, and Zanzibar. It borders eight countries (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique) and the Indian Ocean. Tanzania has a population of roughly 61.5 million people. The capital city of Dodoma has around 2.3 million inhabitants. About 90% of the population lives in rural areas, and there are nearly 120 tribal groups in the country.
There are two official languages: Swahili and English, but English is not used as much as in other East African countries. The Muslim and Christian religions predominate (mainly Catholics, but there are also Anglicans and Lutherans), each representing 40% of the total population. Economically, the country depends greatly on tourism and agriculture.
II. International and Internal Migration
In 2020, there were 426,017 migrants in Tanzania. The international migrant population is equally distributed between the sexes, as women and men each accounted for 50% of the migrant population, respectively.
Of the migrants on Tanzanian soil, 52.14% are from Burundi. In the second position are migrant populations originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, constituting 16.6%. Additionally, migrants from Congo (5.23%), Kenya (5.70%) and Mozambique (3.06%) have emigrated to the Republic of Tanzania, looking for new opportunities.
The Republic of Tanzania was among the founding States of the East African Community (EAC), together with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan in 1967. Traditionally, migrant workers travelled within the region in search of non-skilled jobs. The structural shift in the economy has recently encouraged Ugandans and Kenyans to settle in Tanzania and seek business opportunities in an emerging, growing economy. Skilled migrants work in managerial positions in the financial and engineering sectors and this segment of the population is specifically interested in operating new businesses along with the growing industrialisation and urbanisation in the country.
Due to the opening of doors that the EAC has brought about, some Kenyan companies have established their subsidiaries in the EAC region. In that sense, skilled professionals are particularly interested in investing in Tanzania due to its political stability compared to neighbouring countries.
Likewise, Tanzania’s population is predominantly rural. Migration patterns show tendencies from the countryside towards urban areas. Rural-urban migrants in urban Tanzania have historically experienced social, political, and environmental marginalisation and expect lower wages. In cities such as Dar es Salaam, international and domestic migrants engage in supplementary activities to cope with meagre salaries. They are generally limited by their lack of basic numeracy and literacy skills, making them more vulnerable in the labour market. The vast majority of Maasai working in Dar es Salaam have reported being exploited by their employers and being the object of false accusations at their workplaces.
Semi-nomadic groups are predominant at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, the homeland of Maasai settlements. Maasai men are primarily hired in farming and agricultural activities and as guards, hairdressers, or even intermediaries in the tanzanite gems trade in the Arusha region. Maasai women are less likely to migrate due to their involvement in sedentary activities throughout the year, such as milk production and house repair.
Pastoralists in Barabag and Manyara regions are constantly moving in search of high-quality forage areas. However, traditional transhumance systems have been disrupted by deforestation, as well as new land policies aiming to develop intensive agriculture practices. This new trend disrupts classic pastoralist mobility in what used to be communal grazing lands. Recently, herders relocating near protected areas such as the Serengeti National Park face the loss of livestock because of wildlife predators and additional challenges such as maintaining a good relationship with local communities. Among the causes of the forced eviction of Maasai from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area there has been the disruption of public services and emergency health services, maternity and childcare in Ngorongoro, leading to tensions and clashes. Despite that, civil and faith-based organisations have been explicitly claiming Masaai legitimacy to reside in their ancestral lands.
III. Emigration and Skilled Migration
Tanzania reported 327,863 emigrants in 2020, barely 0.55% of its total population, 50.4% of which were women. The main destinations for the expatriates are the United States (22.3%), the United Kingdom (13.8%), Rwanda (13%), Kenya (10.6%) and Burundi (10.2%). Moreover, only 15% of the population has contemplated moving to another country, including 6% who have seriously considered it. Also, of those who have considered emigrating, only 5% are taking concrete steps to leave the country (such as getting a visa). A study by Afrobarometer showed that 10% of the Tanzanian population aged 18-55 (or someone in their household) had lived outside of the country in the last three years. The best educated are more likely to emigrate than the less educated: only 3% of those without formal education have lived outside the country, and 22% of the population with post-secondary education have done so. In addition, the former state that they would consider migrating to escape poverty (46%), while the latter are attracted to the idea of migrating to get a good job (41%). Finally, of those who have emigrated, 18% have not experienced poverty in Tanzania, while only 4% have faced living in poverty.
Regarding those who think of moving abroad, the main reasons to consider it are, as previously stated , to get a job (34%) and to escape poverty and precariousness (29%), as well as to find better business prospects (14%). The main destinations of potential emigrants are countries in Africa (51%) – especially Kenya (16%) – North America (17%), Europe (15%) and other parts of the world (15%). Tanzania is undoubtedly a country of few emigrants: neither 81% of those who have ever or regularly thought about migrating nor the 13% who say they plan to move in the next year or two have carried out specific preparations for it. Less than 1% of the adult population is preparing to emigrate, by applying for a visa, for example.
IV. Forced Migrants (Internally Displaced Persons, Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Climate Displaced Persons)
In 2021, 207,101 persons with refugee status and 27,769 asylum seekers were registered in Tanzania. Of the total persons with refugee status, 74.93% came from Burundi and 24.94% from the Democratic Republic of Congo. 50.13% were female, 49.87% were male, and the majority age group was 18-59 years old. By 2022, to date, 208,272 refugees and 28,294 asylum seekers have been registered.
The main factors driving displacement to Tanzania from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been the wars in these two countries, violence, and political and social instability.
Regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo, this country has experienced significant conflicts in the last two decades, which have had significant consequences such as increased poverty, political instability, and disturbances that have driven thousands of people to seek refuge in other countries, including Tanzania.
In the case of Burundi, violence has decreased, and following elections in May 2020, there has been increased interest in the voluntary return of refugees living in other countries. In this regard, UNHCR planned to implement programmes to facilitate the return of refugees to Burundi in 2021. By 2022, UNHCR facilitated the voluntary return of 1,136 Burundian refugees to their homes. Also, in 2022, 338 refugees from Tanzania were resettled in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Tanzania has traditionally been a host country for refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this regard, in 1998, Tanzania enacted new legislation, the Refugee Act 1998, which replaced older legislation and sought to fulfil the country’s obligations under the 1969 OAU Convention. This Act tightened restrictions on the rights of refugees in the country and increased controls on the movement of encamped refugees.
Most refugees are currently housed in Mtendeli, Nduta and Nyarugusu camps in northwestern Tanzania. A small part of the population is also accommodated in urban centres, mainly in Dar-es-Salaam. The refugee population living in these camps is often confined within the camps. They usually live in overcrowded tents and emergency shelters that lack adequate space for children, increasing the risk of protection problems. They also have limited employment opportunities, making them dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. Another challenge they face is related to health, particularly malaria, and the most vulnerable populations are pregnant women and children under five years of age.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanzania has managed to carry out numerous campaigns to promote vaccination against this disease and vaccinate 100% of the population over 18 years of age in refugee camps.
Finally, by 2021, 47,707 displacements were registered in Tanzania caused by storms and floods.
V. Victims of Human Trafficking
The Tanzanian Government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. In general, Tanzanian institutions have shown substantial improvement compared to the previous reporting period. In addition, in 2016, the Government suspended more than 70 agents dedicated to recruiting workers for domestic work and restricted the trips of job seekers to protect Tanzanian youth from possible abusive treatment abroad.
However, many issues need to be addressed. For example, regarding sex trafficking, imposing fines instead of prison sentences has ensured that the judgments enforced are not commensurate with the severity and seriousness of crimes such as rape. In addition, failing to sentence many convicted traffickers under the 2008 anti-trafficking regulations has undermined broader efforts to hold criminals accountable and does not adequately address the nature of the crimes in question. At the same time, there’s still the need for a centralised data system on human trafficking crimes for law enforcement institutions and agents, reducing their ability to disaggregate statistics on crimes of this nature. Even so, the Tanzanian state investigated 113 trafficking cases, a significant increase from the 19 investigations of the previous reporting period.
In the case of Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, human trafficking is recurrent. Zanzibar did not adopt the anti-trafficking law of 2008, so it does not apply in its territory but the island has other laws for prosecuting human trafficking. The Anti-Trafficking Secretariat harmonised the Tanzanian law of 2008 with the Attorney General of Zanzibar in November 2021. However, the process is still pending approval by the island’s House of Representatives.
VI. National Legal Framework
In 1995, the United Republic of Tanzania launched the Immigration Act; this Act repealed the 1972 Act and the Immigration Control Decree of Zanzibar to englobe in one-law provisions of control of immigration into the country. In addition, the United Republic of Tanzania launched the Tanzanian Citizen Act in 1995 to consolidate the citizenship law and address the rights and privileges of Tanzanian citizens.
The Refugee Control Act regulates the situation of refugees, one of which was assented to by the President in January 1999. This is a provision for enacting the Refugee Act, National Eligibility Committee, Asylum seeker, and Refugee administration. However, the National Refugee Policy published in 2003 is the most widely applied and essential. It sets out standards and procedures which conform to the generally accepted principles enshrined in the International Conventions and Protocols on refugees. Further, this policy considers the increasing scale and changing nature of migrations and their complexities. The policy reflects the fulfilment of the international and constitutional obligations of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and, on the other, reflects, directly and indirectly, national interests and priorities.
Regarding human trafficking, the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act criminalises sex trafficking and labour trafficking. The Penal Act Decree of 2004 criminalises some forms of labour and sex trafficking, while the Children’s Act of 2011 criminalises this same type of crime when committed against minors.
Tanzania is a party to the 1951 Convention On the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Tanzania is also a State Party to the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of African refugee situations. The country is, however, not yet a party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons nor to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
VII. Main Actors
The Immigration Services Department has the authority to control and facilitate immigration issues in the United Republic of Tanzania. The Department is one of the security organs under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Immigration Service Department oversees citizenship, the expedition of passports, visas, permits, and seasonal migrant passes. Moreover, the Tanzania Immigration Services Department established the Tanzania Immigration Service Training Academy, an educational institution that offers migration studies in a more specialised manner to migration officers in Tanzania.
The Refugees Act of 1998 and the 2003 Refugees Policy implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) through the Refugee Services Department govern the status and treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees in Tanzania. The National Eligibility Committee (NEC), established under the 1998 Refugees Act, conducts the Refugee Status Determination (RSD). The NEC recommends the Minister of Home Affairs for a final decision on the asylum application. Any person who receives an unfavourable decision from the Minister may appeal and petition for a review before the same Minister.
IOM operates within the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP II) 2016-2021, a single plan for all UN funds, programs, and agencies in Tanzania. It’s a successor to the UNDPA (2011-2016) that was concluded in 2016. IOM takes care of humanitarian support, social protection, resettlement, migration, and health, especially HIV prevention.
It is mentioned that Tanzania is characterised by large movements of migrants from its rural to urban areas and many of these internal migrants are at great risk of being trafficked. IOM’s work in counter-trafficking is focused on capacity building and awareness raising activities with the Tanzanian Government, civil society organisations and the general public.
Among the main problems the Tanzanian economy is facing, it is worth noting the impact of climate change and the resulting droughts and floods. Agriculture temperature shocks and a lack of agricultural technology are also important threats for its economy. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), support the farmers to improve behaviours and practices around the production and consumption of diverse nutritious foods at the household level and reducing undernutrition among vulnerable populations.
The Ministry of Home Affairs works with humanitarian partners and works closely with UN agencies through the UN Assistance Development Plan as well as the UN Kigoma Joint Programme aimed at supporting refugees and their host communities as well as strengthening the link between humanitarian and development initiatives. UNHCR works in Tanzania on education, health, food security and nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter, access to energy and the coordination and supervision of the Ndutu and Nyarugusu refugee camps located in the northwestern region of Kigoma. With this, UNICEF works for child protection, children and AIDS, education, nutrition, social policy and children in emergencies.
NGOs and Other Organisations
The field of development in Tanzania is marked by the state, and local and international NGOs that are responsible for the delivery of development.
The ICRC Nairobi Regional Delegation continued its work in places of detention focusing on inmate living conditions, reuniting families separated by conflict, and assisting vulnerable affected populations in areas hit by violence and climate shocks. The Tanzania Red Cross, the Kenya Red Cross, with the Djibouti Red Crescent Society also aid in the development of a stronger Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement response, a much-needed intervention in ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other forms of violence.
Oxfam is leading on water and sanitation for Burundians living in Nyarugusu and Nduta camps, in Kigoma region, western Tanzania. They install water supplies and tap-stands, constructing water storage tanks, toilets, bathing shelters and hand washing facilities, as well as digging rubbish pits. The Danish Refugee Council operates also in Nyarugusu camp, which hosts both Congolese and Burundian refugees, providing aid and opportunities for self-reliance and livelihood support. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides health services for Burundian refugees and local communities in Tanzania’s Kigoma region.
The Catholic Church
The Tanzania Episcopal Conference collaborates with the International Catholic Migration Commission. It is also a member of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of East Africa (AMECEA) and the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
AMECEA aims to work towards finding solutions to the problems faced by Africa in terms of migration and refuge, climate change, challenges to peace and the growing insecurity on the continent, as well as the need and urgency to give hope to young people who feel they have no future in Africa.
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is among the activities operated in the country to respond to the needs of the many refugees and the host communities. In 2016, JRS started implementing activities also in the Mtendeli refugee camp, and in 2020, it arrived in the Nvarugusu and Nduta refugee camps. JRS works in two directions: first, it provides school materials and offers training for teachers in the camps, and second, it provides psychosocial support through therapy groups, camp visits and recreational activities.
Caritas is another organisation working with migrants and refugees mainly in Kigoma, where they register refugees and provide them with client food within the framework of the World Food Project. They also provide water, hygiene, and sanitation in the transit centre where the refugees arrive. This work is carried out in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services.
Catholic Relief Services is also present in Tanzania and works with the most vulnerable people in marginalised and neglected communities in the country. It currently supports projects in health, nutrition, and early childhood development, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene.
The Franciscan Sisters of St. Bernadette provide pastoral and social services such as care for orphans, the disabled, the sick in hospitals, and people with HIV/AIDS. They also assist refugees; work for the empowerment of women, and provide education for children.
As far as the refugee population is concerned, the sisters provide them with food, clothing, shelter, and medical assistance.
Another organisation that is present in Tanzania is the Spiritans Congregation that works through the Refugee Service with the population living in the former refugee camps of Mtabila and Muyovozi. Their work with the refugees focuses on providing Sunday masses, weddings, baptisms, the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation, visits to the sick, funerals and catechesis for those preparing to receive the sacraments. They encourage the faithful to help the needy population and, during the Christmas and Easter seasons, organise meals for orphaned children and widows. As a plan for the near future, on the one hand, they want to organise and train parishioners to help couples who are experiencing difficulties. On the other hand, they plan to build two new churches.