Tanzania’s public debt rose to $22.5 billion as at August this year, from $21.2 billion last year, with the increase attributed to new loans secured to undertake public projects.
Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango, while announcing the debt estimates in the National Assembly last week, said external loans amounted to $16.5 billion while internal debt stood at $6 billion.
Tanzania’s debt-to-GDP ratio is set to rise to 43.6 per cent this year from 41.4 per cent last year, putting it among the lesser indebted economies among the East African Community partner states.
Dr Mpango, who is also a former World Bank Economist, told the National Assembly that an assessment conducted by the government last December showed that the National debt ‘’was on a sustainable level tolerant in the short, medium and long term by international standards.’’
“The government continues to keep debt sustainable by ensuring that borrowed loans are directed to national development projects,” he said.
Dr Mpango said the economy remains stable, noting that real GDP has grown by an average of 6.4 per cent per year over the past decade (2009-2018).
The Finance and Planning Minister further added that the shilling remained relatively stable during the year ending August 2019, with foreign exchange of the dollar adjusted at an average of Tsh2,289.1 compared with Tsh2,273.7 in the same period in 2018.