Hand in Hand expands into Tanzania

17 Dec 2015

Tengeru Market near Arusha, Tanzannia (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Hand in Hand is expanding into Tanzania.

Launching in April 2016, our operation in Arusha – a city of 400,000 in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro – will be supported by staff from Hand in Hand Eastern Africa’s Nairobi headquarters. The location was chosen for its proximity to Kenya, and because our needs analysis shows the area will benefit most from our work.

For the first year, we’ll be laying the groundwork for further expansion in the country. In the second year, we’ll begin to make a significant impact. The search for strategic partners in Tanzania, selected to help scale up our operations in a similar manner to CARE Rwanda, is underway now.

“A quarter-million entrepreneurs have seen what our model can do in Kenya and, more recently, Rwanda,” said Hand in Hand International CEO Josefine Lindänge. “Expanding into Tanzania is a logical next step for our team in Eastern Africa.”

Two-thirds of Tanzanians live in poverty, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Almost half, 44 percent, live on less than US $1.25 a day. Promisingly, annual GDP growth hovers at close to 7 percent. It’s a welcome trend, if one that belies reality for the country’s mostly rural population: the poorest 20 percent of Tanzanians own less than a tenth of the country’s wealth.

Starting a formal business in Tanzania is difficult and getting harder all the time. The country dropped seven places to 129th overall in the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business report, which measures business regulation in 189 countries. Now more than ever, family entrepreneurs in the informal economy must pick up the slack.