Political Economy of Exploitation of Mineral Resources in Post-Colonial Tanzania Mainland (1961-2009): Pertinent Lessons

Authors Adelardus Kilangi

ISSN: 2521-2613
Affiliations: Director for the Centre for Mineral and Petroleum Law of St Augustine University of Tanzania
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2017, Issue 1, p. 1 – 37


This paper addresses the challenges that the mining sector in Tanzania Mainland has faced in the post-colonial period. Generally, the sector has been confronted by dissatisfaction and unhappiness amongst the people of Tanzania regarding the way in which the country’s mineral resources have been and continue to be exploited. The primary contention is that benefits from the mining sector are not visible and that the sector appears to be more beneficial for foreign investors than for local ones. Bearing this in mind and using a political economy approach, this article raises important questions regarding where the management of the mineral sector went wrong in the post-colonial period, ascertaining pertinent lessons that Tanzania has learnt. The findings and conclusion of this article assert that the country erred when it abandoned certain fundamental principles of state policy which govern the exploitation of natural resources. This indicates that in the post-colonial period, Tanzania lacked a clear vision regarding its mineral resources. The country also embraced incorrect insights regarding investment decisions which affected the nature and availability of capital for exploitation of mineral resources.