Tanzania will now have access to international credit markets after the World Bank declared it a lower middle income country. However, this ends its eligibility for low-cost loans and preferential access to regional trading blocs.
Tanzania joined Benin from Africa in moving up the ladder from the low income to lower-middle-income categories after attaining the World Bank's new minimum gross national income (GNI) per capita threshold of $1,036 this year.
The leap for Tanzania, East Africa’s second-largest economy after Kenya, comes five years ahead of projection underlining the country’s rapid growth in recent years.
"This has many benefits for us. First, it boosts our creditworthiness as a nation and expands our access to more external loans with fewer strings attached. We will have more say on how the loan funds are spent,” said Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango in his first public statement after the World Bank’s July 1 declaration, adding, “It will allow us to break further away from the shackles of donor dependency.”
Last year, Tanzania recorded an economic growth of seven per cent, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Kenya is the only other East African Community member country that achieved the lower middle income economy status in 2014.
Responding to the World Bank's announcement, Tanzania President John Magufuli in a tweet, commended citizens for the achievement.