Year
Tanzania
x

    Tanzania

    Capital

    Dodoma

    Population

    58,005,463

    Area

    947,300 km²

    Geography type

    Coastal

    Gross domestic product (GDP)

    USD 63,177.07 million

    GDP per capita

    $1,122.00

    Income group

    Lower middle income

    6.150.52

    Criminality Score

    11th of 54 African countries

    4th of 9 East Africa countries

    Criminal market

    6.550.30

    Human Trafficking

    6.500.50

    Human Smuggling

    6.500.50

    Arms Trafficking

    5.500.00

    Flora Crimes

    7.500.50

    Fauna Crimes

    8.001.00

    Non-Renewable Resource Crimes

    6.500.50

    Heroin Trade

    7.500.00

    Cocaine Trade

    5.000.50

    Cannabis Trade

    7.00-1.00

    Synthetic Drug Trade

    5.500.50

    Criminal Actors

    5.750.75

    Mafia-Style Groups

    3.000.00

    Criminal Networks

    7.001.00

    State-Embedded Actors

    7.001.50

    Foreign Actors

    6.000.50

    4.04-0.09

    Resilience Score

    23rd of 54 African countries

    4th of 9 East Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    5.50-1.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    2.00-1.00

    International Cooperation

    4.000.00

    National Policies and Laws

    5.500.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    5.000.00

    Law Enforcement

    4.00-1.00

    Territorial Integrity

    4.500.00

    Anti-Money Laundering

    5.500.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    5.000.50

    Victim and Witness Support

    3.002.00

    Prevention

    3.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    1.50-0.50

    4.0416666666667 5.75 6.55 4.0416666666667 5.75 6.55

    4.04-0.09

    Resilience Score

    23rd of 54 African countries

    4th of 9 East Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    5.50-1.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    2.00-1.00

    International Cooperation

    4.000.00

    National Policies and Laws

    5.500.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    5.000.00

    Law Enforcement

    4.00-1.00

    Territorial Integrity

    4.500.00

    Anti-Money Laundering

    5.500.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    5.000.50

    Victim and Witness Support

    3.002.00

    Prevention

    3.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    1.50-0.50

    01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

    People

    Tanzania is reportedly a country of origin, a destination country and a transit point for trafficking of human beings. The most common forms of trafficking are forced labour and sexual exploitation, often orchestrated by businesspeople who traffic individuals from rural areas, forcing them to work in the informal commercial sector, on farms, in quarries and mines, as well as on fishing fleets in the high seas. Individuals close to the victims are largely complicit in domestic trafficking. However, mostly cartel-type gangs operating in border and port towns control transnational trafficking of persons. There are also indications that perpetrators also traffic handicapped children from Tanzania into Kenya.

    Over the past decade, Tanzania has emerged as a key transit country for migrants being smuggled from Central and Eastern Africa en route to Southern Africa. People from neighbouring countries may also seek refuge in Tanzania. In particular, over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of irregular migrants entering Tanzania through porous border points from Rwanda and Burundi. Smugglers moving individuals also heavily rely on the border crossings between Kenya and Tanzania. Human smuggling networks are fairly well developed in Tanzania and operate as loose networks, rather than highly hierarchical structures. The government’s relative disinterest in the issue of human smuggling in Tanzania has meant that smuggling networks operate with fairly few obstacles. The issue of human smuggling has also been exacerbated by corrupt practices within law enforcement of both Tanzania and neighbouring countries.

    Trade

    Although Tanzania is a relatively stable country, it still suffers from small arms proliferation. Tanzania’s long and porous borders with neighbouring countries experiencing conflict and instability to a certain degree expose it to arms trafficking. Thus, the regions in Tanzania that are most affected by the illegal arms trade are the border regions, including Kagera, Kigoma, Rukwa and Katavi. Notably, poor border security and corruption among law enforcement at the country’s borders facilitate illegal arms flows.

    Environment

    Illegal logging is a serious problem in Tanzania. Illegally felled wood is both exported abroad and used for the manufacturing of charcoal for local and regional consumption. The criminal networks engaging in illegal logging are well organized, well armed and in many cases are involved in other forms of organized criminal activity with links to other transnational organized crime groups in neighbouring countries, as well as in Asia. Furthermore, corruption is pervasive among Tanzania’s forestry system, and bribes are often paid to forest officials or local police officers to solicit their help in carrying out illegal logging. Fauna crimes are also pervasive in Tanzania, as the country is host to a large population of animals that are poached and trafficked. Tanzania is a key ivory and pangolin scales transit country, as well as a source country for other wildlife products such as reptile skins, rhino horn and hippo teeth. The port of Dar es Salaam is one of the country’s primary transport hubs through which illegal wildlife products exit the country. There are close ties between trafficking networks in Tanzania and Asian consumer markets and evidence suggests that there are fairly high levels of violence associated with the illegal wildlife trade in Tanzania. In regard to non-renewable resource crimes, gold and tanzanite are the two most trafficked minerals out of Tanzania. Furthermore, while there have been several recent arrests of high-ranking police and local government officials for their involvement in the illicit economy, there have been few, if any, convictions, which suggests a certain degree of impunity.

    Drugs

    Tanzania plays a central role in the regional heroin trade, both as a transit and destination country. While much of the heroin entering the country is transported from the coast of Pakistan, Tanzania is also a major entry point for Afghan heroin transiting through Africa via air routes. The heroin is then moved inland through the country. Notably, Tanzanian trafficking networks are major players in the regional heroin trade. These criminal networks have strong connections to organized criminal groups both in Asia and Europe. Heroin is often exchanged with cocaine travelling in the opposite direction. However, overall, Tanzania is not a large hub in the transnational cocaine trade.

    With respect to cannabis, Tanzania records widespread cannabis use and is thought to have the highest number of cannabis smokers in East Africa. Cannabis is cultivated in the country, primarily in the regions of Arusha, Tanga and Mara. Along with supplying a considerable domestic market, Tanzania plays an important role as a supplier of cannabis to neighbouring countries. Corrupt practices among officials contribute to the ubiquity of the cannabis market in Sudan. Similar to cocaine, the synthetic drugs trade is a comparably smaller market. Nevertheless, Tanzania does play a role as a transit country for methamphetamine coming from Asia and neighbouring Kenya, destined for other Asian countries and the Southern African market. Given the small size of the synthetic drug market, many of the criminal networks involved in the trade focus on other drugs or other forms of organized crime, such as wildlife crime, as their principal markets.

    Criminal Actors

    The picture of national criminal networks in Tanzania is fairly opaque. However, there are a number of criminal networks operating in the country in an array of illicit economies. Local networks act as facilitators in the illegal ivory trade and in the illegal logging sector. Tanzanian organized crime figures are increasingly prevalent in leadership roles in other countries, including poachers and illegal wildlife smugglers in Mozambique, and heroin trafficking networks in South Africa, as well as other drug networks operating in India. The ability of these criminal actors to operate transnationally suggests a fairly high level of organization. Furthermore, there are considerable links between these criminal networks, state actors and actors in the formal economy. There are a number of foreign actors that are also known to contribute significantly to the organized crime landscape in Tanzania, including criminal groups from West Africa and Southern Africa, as well as from Asia. Criminal actors from Eastern Asia are most heavily involved in environmental illicit economies. Furthermore, elements from Italian organized crime groups have a longstanding presence on the island of Zanzibar.

    In Tanzania, there have been a significant number of assassinations and violent acts carried out by criminal actors who appear to enjoy protection from the state. At the same time, the number of prosecutions of opposition figures in the country and attacks on human-rights defenders and journalists perpetrated by state actors have increased in prominence, suggesting a certain degree of collusion between criminal actors and state-embedded actors in Tanzania. Territorial, mafia-style groups are not a prominent feature of the organized crime landscape in Tanzania. The closest criminal elements to mafia-style groups that exist in Tanzania are gangs in urban areas. However, these groups rarely exhibit violence and their leaders are often businesspeople in the formal economy.

    Leadership and governance

    Under the current administration, organized crime has been placed high on the agenda, in large part due to the desire to make a visible break from a past overwhelmed by criminal enterprise. At lower and mid-levels of government, this rhetoric has been reflected in action, and law enforcement patrols and crackdowns on street economies have increased under the current government. However, there have been no convictions of government figures involved in organized crime. Similarly, only low-level actors in the drug trade have been arrested and convicted, while major Tanzanian player have stayed out of the spotlight. At the same time, the rhetoric of the ‘fight against organized crime’ obscures the crackdown on vulnerable people, civil society and opposition figures. The Tanzanian government has also pursued a harsh anti-corruption drive in recent years, evident in the number of high-level court cases and the dismissal of several public officials. Nevertheless, democratic standards pertaining to media freedom and political expression have declined considerably in recent years and repressive measures against opposition and journalists have increased.

    On the international level, Tanzania has ratified a number of international treaties and conventions pertaining to organized crime. Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Kenya in 2015 on the issue of illegal logging, but it has only been partially implemented. Moreover, a trilateral agreement has been established with South Africa and Mozambique pertaining to collaboration on the issue of the transnational drug trade between the three countries. Overall, the Tanzanian government is seen as reticent to engage with regional and international bodies. This reluctance to engage substantially in international cooperation is to the detriment of the country’s ability to tackle organized criminal activity. On the domestic level, Tanzania has more pieces of legislation pertaining to organized crime than almost any other African nation, covering drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking, as well as wildlife and environmental crimes. In terms of enforcement, state actions and decisions have been effective, but they are likely to be seen as knee-jerk and unlikely to go beyond Tanzanian borders to deal with illicit activities in a suitable manner.

    Criminal justice and security

    Overall, low-level corruption in Tanzanian courts is prevalent and the independence of the judiciary from the executive is slowly but surely waning. The government crackdown on corrupt officials in recent years has been somewhat successful in reducing the pervasiveness of corrupt practices in the judicial system. At the same time, the court has an extremely broad definition of economic crime, and over the past year, the judiciary has been operationalized to silence journalists. Furthermore, half of the prison population in Tanzania are pre-trial detainees or remand prisoners, suggesting a sluggishness in processing court cases in the country. In regard to law enforcement, Tanzania’s law enforcement bodies have taken strong action on organized criminal activity under the new government. However, police units are still in need of further resources and advanced technology. At the same time, corruption and impunity in the Tanzanian police force are deemed to be pervasive, and low salaries for police officers is a key driver of corruption. Additionally, Tanzania’s borders are long and porous, and difficult to police, especially the extensive coastline. Communities living near the country’s land borders conduct cross-border business, agriculture and cattle grazing and move freely. Naturally, smugglers have taken advantage and exploit this free movement of people. Corruption among border officials is also an issue, which facilitates organized criminal activity.

    Economic and financial environment

    While Tanzania’s economy has experienced a strong macroeconomic performance over the past six years, the country's economy has been much more volatile since 2018 compared to previous years. While the government has taken a number of radical stances on the economy, it appears to lack the ability for more fine-grained regulation. Moreover, Tanzanian economic regulatory capacity is not conducive to doing business effectively, which incentivizes citizens to engage in the illicit economy instead. The Tanzanian government has made strides towards improving its anti-money laundering framework over the past decade, but several deficiencies remain. More specifically, such related to civil asset forfeiture and the execution of mutual legal assistance requests. Furthermore, despite several high-level arrests on charges related to money laundering, only a few convictions have been secured.

    Civil society and social protection

    Victim and witness support in Tanzania is extremely poor, in particular with regard to victims of human trafficking. While the government took steps to implement a witness protection programme, more work remains to be done towards the programme’s full integration, which serves to deter victims from appearing in court to testify. There is also very little evidence to suggest that the Tanzanian government offers much in the way of support to drug users in the country. In general, civil-society groups solely implement harm reduction programmes. Although an anti-trafficking fund was approved in 2019, the country has so far failed to operationalize it, which serves as an example of the gaps in the prevention of organized crime. At the same time, since 2015, the civil-society environment in Tanzania has been highly constrained. Moreover, the government has introduced repressive legislation restricting freedom of expression online. Similarly, the freedom of the media has also been restricted, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, when a number of journalists and outlets were sanctioned for their reporting on the coronavirus crisis.

    Analyses

    Legal loopholes promote sandalwood trafficking in East Africa

    Contradictions in regional legal frameworks and a lack of coordination among key state agencies create opportunities for sandalwood traffickers to evade prosecution.

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    The criminal markets score is represented by the pyramid base size and the criminal actors score is represented by the pyramid height, on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. The resilience score is represented by the panel height, which can be identified by the side of the panel.