The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands and the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
Following two decades of sustained growth, Tanzania reached an important milestone in July 2020, when it formally graduated from low-income country to lower-middle-income country status. Tanzania’s achievement reflects sustained macroeconomic stability that has supported growth, in addition to the country’s rich natural endowments and strategic geographic position.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic-induced economic slowdown caused the poverty rate to rise to an estimated 27.2%, compounding the effect of population growth on the absolute number of people living in poverty. Because a large share of Tanzania’s population is close to the poverty line, even a mild economic shock can push numerous households into poverty. The impact of the crisis has been especially acute among households that rely on self-employment and informal microenterprises in urban areas.