Situated in East Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania covers a total land area of 947 303 sq km (2019)  of which, in 2018, 44.76% was represented by arable land . Mainland Tanzania shares borders with Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east where Zanzibar is situated 30 km east of the mainland. The country is divided into 30 regions, of which 25 are on the mainland and five are on Zanzibar.
Tanzania’s topographical diversity gives rise to four distinct climate zones: the hot and humid coastal belt (including the Zanzibar archipelago) with the warmest temperatures; the hot and arid central plateau; the cooler semi-temperate high lakes region in the north and west (home to the lakes and valleys of the East African Rift System): and the highlands of the northeast (i.e., Kilimanjaro) and southwest which includes the coldest parts of the country. The north and east have two rainy seasons, the main season from March to May and a secondary season from October to December. The south, west and central regions have just one rainy season from October to May .
The United Republic of Tanzania’s population is estimated at 62.56 million as of 2022, with an annual growth rate of 2.98% . The substantial growth that Tanzania has seen over the past couple of centuries is expected to continue. By 2025, it is forecasted that the population will be 68.9 million and is expected to exceed 100,000,000 by 2038 .
Approximately 28.1% of Tanzania’s population lived in urban areas in 2010, percentage that increased to 31.5% in 2015 and was estimated to reach 34.5% in 2021 . Dodoma is Tanzania’s capital city, home to 2 million people in 2021 . Dar es Salaam is the country’s largest city and the country’s economic hub, with a population of 7.4 million people (2022) . Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania and a semi-autonomous part of the country with a population of 766,392 (2022). The largest islands of the archipelago are Unguja and Pemba. Zanzibar City, which is the capital city of Zanzibar, is located on Unguja.
With an average real GDP growth rate of 6.3% over the past decade (2010-2019), Tanzanian is among the fastest-growing economies in Africa and in the world . The country has seen strong economic performance prior to the Covid-19 pandemic with its GDP growing from US$32.014 billion in 2010 to US$47.379 billion in 2015, reaching US$62.41 in 2020 .
Agriculture in Tanzania represents almost 30% of the country’s GDP with three quarter of the country’s workforce involved in this sector. Agriculture is undoubtedly the largest and most important sector of the Tanzanian economy, with the country benefitting from a diverse production base that includes livestock, staple food crops and a variety of cash crops . The tourism-dependent economy of the whole Tanzania and particularly of Zanzibar has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, slowing down the expected GDP growth .
The World Bank’s Human Development Index (HDI) for 2019 puts Tanzania at 0.529. This is slightly higher than the average of 0.513 for countries in the low human development group, still positioning the country in the low human development category – being 163 out of 189 countries and territories .
Tanzania has recognized the central role of science, technology and innovation in development. The main body in charge of this and the related policies in Tanzania is the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology and its main co-ordinating agency, the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). COSTECH wants to be a primary driver of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development in Tanzania, by building and supporting a strong system of sciences, technology and innovation for sustainable socio-economic development . In 2018, the Commission has stipulated a Rolling Strategic Plan 2016/17 – 2020/2021 with core functions to (i) drive technology advancement, (ii) drive large scale innovation and entrepreneurship, (iii) enable high value research, (iv) inform stakeholder decisions and (v) enable sustainable economic development .
The United Republic of Tanzania is among the most peaceful and politically stable countries in the Great Lakes region, with only a few incidents of socio-political and religious violence recorded since the country’s independence in 1961 . On the other hand, natural disasters risk is increasing: floods are an extremely impacting natural hazard in Tanzania affecting on average almost 150,000 people, about 0.26% of the total population of the country. The local economy is heavily exposed to flood as well, considering that, base on a yearly average, the areas that are affected by floods produce about 0.45% of the national GDP which corresponds to about 215 Millions USD per year .
The ministry responsible for environment is in the Vice President’s Office. The State Ministry has the mandate to exercise overall policy, planning and implementation oversight on environmental matters. The National Environmental Advisory Committee is the advisory body to the Ministry, while the Director of Environment provides policy and technical back-up, and executes the oversight mandate of the Ministry. The National Environment Management Council is an advisory body and ensures that environmental policies and legislations are enforced  .
Tanzania’s overarching environmental legislation is the Environmental Management Act (EMA) No. 20 of 2004. The Act is a framework environmental law which provides for legal and institutional framework for sustainable management of the environment and natural resources in the country. The Act includes provisions for institutional roles and responsibilities with regard to environmental management; environmental impact assessments; strategic environmental assessment; pollution prevention and control; waste management; environmental standards; state of the environment reporting; enforcement of the Act; and a National Environmental Trust Fund. Between 2008 and 2013, a total of 21 regulations have been developed to facilitate implementation of the Act. Some of these Regulations include Biosafety Regulations, 2009; Waste Management Regulations 2009; Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations, 2009; Solid Waste Management Regulations, 2009; Environmental Inspectors Regulations, 2011; Noise and Vibration Standard Regulations, 2011; and Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, 2009. In order to reach the general public the Act and some of its subsequent regulations were translated into Kiswahili and disseminated accordingly . In addition, there are several other sectorial legislations related to the environment and sustainable development . Complementary policies in Tanzania include the National Environmental Policy of 1997 and the National Environmental Policy for Zanzibar of 1992. Environment is also mainstreamed into the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (mkukuta) and the Zanzibar National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty .
45 years of cooperation between Tanzania and EU, although not immune from alternating phases, have broadly confirmed the matching and common interests between the country’s development objectives and the EU policy priorities. Tanzania and EU share a common interest in ensuring peace, security and – national and regional – stability but also environmental protection and reduction in CO2 emissions in a context of global climate change, considering the now well-known risks of internationalisation of conflicts as well as migratory crisis. Investment and trade are also of mutual interest given the significant potential for foreign investment in Tanzania and the considerable capacity of the European market to absorb Tanzanian exports. Moreover, the European Green Deal will boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean and circular economy, opposing climate change, reverting biodiversity loss and cutting pollution, all relevant for Tanzania .
There is no formal joint programming process in place in Tanzania as of early 202 but some good practices have been implemented by EU Delegations and MSs . Progress in this regard will come from the commitment of the EU delegation and Member States missions, under the “Team Europe” approach, to engage on drafting a “Team Europe Vision for cooperation with Tanzania during the period 2021-2025”4, aligned with the timespan of the third National Development Plan. In February 2021, an agreement was reached on the detailed content of the document as well as a division of labour between Embassies and EU Delegation in drafting the document. This upcoming Team Europe Vision, based on the comprehensive Africa-EU strategy adopted on 9 March 20205, aims to be a pragmatic and relatively short document. It will provide in particular key-messages on more systematic EU visibility opportunities and, above all, a spirit of “Working Better Together”, applied to concrete examples, such as the Team Europe Initiatives. In terms of timetable, the target is for this document ready during the second semester 2021. Synergies with other Commission programmes will be sought, for example with INTERREG .
Three are the main priorioty areas of cooperation according to Tanzania’s Multiannual Indicative Programme 2021-2027: (i) Green Deals (defined as partnerships, in particular between the public and private sectors, that create sustainable – hence inclusive, ethical and respectful of the environment in the long-term – economic development), (ii) Human capital and employment (contribute to providing individuals – in particular women and youth – with the minimal decent living conditions as well as employment opportunities) and (iii) Governance (to support government/local authorities systems, to contribute to an inclusive and open society and to further improve a conductive business environment for investment and trade) .
Furthermore, under the EU Green Deal, Tanzania is also supported to upgrade and stabilize its electricity transmission grid so that more households and businesses can be reached. In view of Tanzania’s low installed electricity capacity, electricity imports are envisaged, hence support by the European Union into regional interconnections with Zambia and Tanzania .
The country will also be supported in its efforts to diversify its energy mix to include more renewables such as hydro, solar and wind power, while also tapping into the country’s vast gas reserves for electricity generation. Additionally, the country is supported to reform its energy sector, include tariffs, to attract investments that are profitable while keeping the costs within affordable ranges .
Rising temperatures, longer dry spells, more intense heavy rainfall and sea level rise make Tanzania the 26th most vulnerable country to climate risks. Livelihoods and food supply also depend on coastal and inland fisheries, which are increasingly threatened by warming ocean and freshwater temperatures, and sedimentation after heavy rains . Climate change adverse impacts in Tanzania affect almost all economic sectors in the country, including agricultural production, water resources, marine and coastal zones, public health, human settlement, land use planning, energy supply and demand, infrastructure, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Current climate variability and future climate change impacts are projected to be significant enough to curtail Tanzania from achieving key economic growth, sustainable development, and poverty reduction targets .
The general trends of biodiversity in the country depict a situation of concern. Most of the ecosystems, be it terrestrial or aquatic, are deteriorating with decreasing capacity to provide essential services while a significant number of species are on the decline and some of them are even on the brink of extinction . Tanzania has lost at least one-third of important ecosystems over the past few decades undermining livelihoods of many people who depend directly on them. The country has lost about 38% of its forest cover at an annual rate of about 400,000 ha and if this rate escalates coupled with demographic and economic pressures, the country may deplete its forest cover in the next 50-80 years. More than half of inland water ecosystems (rivers, lakes and dams) have been degraded and are continuing to be
threatened in terms of changed water regimes, pollution and conflicts over resource use. Similarly, signs of environmental degradation and decline in coastal and marine biodiversity are becoming more obvious with the country losing about 44,000 ha of mangroves over the last 30 years (1980-2010).
These problems are being exacerbated by limited capacity in terms of financial and human resources, inadequate capacity for research to generate reliable information and data; and limited public awareness on biodiversity issues.
One of Tanzania’s major development challenges is poor access to clean forms of energy, especially electricity. The 37.7% of the country’s population that has access to electricity have to do with an unstable distribution network. The low tariffs that are charged for electricity do not attract investment.
 The Vice President’s Office (2012). National Report for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, Vice President’s Office , Division of Environment, United Republic of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam.