1. GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1 Geographical Location
Mbeya Region originally belonged to the Southern Highland Province. In 1963, the Southern Highland province was split into two regions namely, Mbeya and Iringa. In 1972,Mbeya Region was extended to incorporate Sumbawanga District, which before then belonged to the Western Province. However, the inclusion of Sumbawanga District into Mbeya Region did not last long because in 1974 Sumbawanga District was separated and accorded full Regional status.
Mbeya Region is located in the South West Corner of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The Region lies between Latitudes 70 and 90, South of Equator, and between Longitudes 320 and 350 East of Greenwich. A Mbeya region lies at an altitude of 375 above sea level with high peaks of 2981metres above sea level at Rungwe higher attitudes.
Mbeya sharers border with countries of Zambia and Malawi to the immediate South; Rukwa Region to West; Tabora and Singida Regionsto the North; while Iringa Regions lies to its East, with Tunduma and Kasumulu in Mbozi and Kyela district respectively being the main entries of Northern shores of Lake Nyasa District and highlands of Rungwe and Southern parts of Ileje District. The rains normally start n October and go through to May with dry and cold spell between June and September. The crop growing season, in most parts of the region being in November to May.
1.2 Population Size and Growing
The population of Mbeya region grew from the 776,373 in 1967 census to 1,080,241 in the 1978 census; reflecting an annual growth rate of 3.3% compared with an average of 3.4% p.a. between 1957 and 1967 population census. The population continued to grow and by 1988 population census it had reached 1.476,199 people. The 1988 census revealed a population growth rate of 3.1%. By December 1999 the population has reached 2,100,461 people and revealed population growth rate of 3.1%Comparing with other regions in Tanzania Mainland, the population of Mbeya region is the 3rd highest after Shinyanga and Mwanza, while in items of population density, the region ranks tenth with 25 persons per sq Kms according to 1999 the population density was recorded to e 33 persons per sq. Kms.
1.3 Ethnic Groups.
The indigenous tribes of Mbeya regions are of Bantu Origin, who are believed to have moved into region a long time ago. The ethnic groups in the regions are Nyakyusa in Kyela and Rungwe District, Safwa and Malila in Mbeya District. Nyika and Nyamwanga in Mbozi District, Ndali in Ileje District, and Bungu and Kimbu in Chunya and Sangu in Mbarali District.
1.4 Regional Area.
The Regional special area covers 63625 Sq.Kms, which is 6.4% of the total area of the United Republic of Tanzania. Out of the region surface areas 61,868 Sq. Km. is dry land. Out of dry land we have 57,000 Sq.Kms. of Arable land, 990 sq. .Km . of Game reserve, 2314 Sq. Km. of Forest reserve and 1564 sq. km. Of other land uses including settlement in districts.
1.5 Administrative Divisions.
Mbeya Region is divided in 7 Administrative districts namely Chunya, Ileje, Mbozi, Rungwe,Mbarali and Mbeya. The districts are further divided into 25 divisions, which are subdivided into 135 wards and 577 villages
Mbeya Region generally boats of good Roads network and Reliable rail transport (TAZARA ). There are about 717 Kms. Of Trunk roads, 1,276.7 Kms of Regional Roads. From Dar es Salaam, tarmac road and rail can reach Mbeya Region. Roads to its neighboring Regions also connect Mbeya. Rukwa ,Tabora and Singida it is also connected to Malawi through Kasumulu border and Zambia through Tunduma border .
2.2 Posts And Telecommunication Network
Mbeya region has seven district post office three franchises post offices, eight sub-post office centers and four private Bag services, two in Mbeya Municipality and two in Mbeya ( R ) - Mbarali .
All district center's are served with telephone service. The trunk lines are centralized in the Mbeya Municipality, reediting to all district centers and other commercial settlement areas. There have been considerable increases in Telecommunication services between 1980 and 1995- from 166 truck lines to 250 truck lines respectively.
Ileje district is the least served, mainly because it is a newly established district compared with other. Mbeya ( R ) is mainly served by the Municipal facilities since its establishment central. Postal offices is within the Municipality
There have been improvement in Telecommunication system between 1985 and 1995.Telex and Telefax facilities have increased from 0 to 36 and 0 to 30 in 1985 and 1995 respectively. Along side these services there are also EMS services at Mbeya Post Office.
2.3 Air Transport
Mbeya region does not have a big airport except a small old airfield in Mbeya town and some three airstrips situated in Chunya town ( Cawing ), Rungwe district Tea Estates ( Chivanjee ) and one at Mbalizi for emergence cases. Light passenger planes land at Mbeya airfield with small charter planes land at the remaining airstrips. The airfield in Mbeya has proved not be safe for heavy aircraft. There is high demand for air service in the region.
Alongside the TANZAM highway (Dar Es Salaam, through Mbeya Region) the region enjoys a railway (Tanzania Zambia Railway Line) Thus, the region enjoys 230 Kms. Of the TAZARA railroad. The railway was constructed in early 1970's to serve the landlocked Zambia as an alternative way to South Africa. Most of Zambian, Malawi and Zaire Congo imports and exports are transported through this line. The TAZARA Railway line has also made possible the hard timber harvesting in the basins of tropical forests of Mlimba. Kilombero as well as boosting up economic and agricultural activities along the rail line. Commodities like timber, food cash crops and livestock are easily ferried from producing areas to markets. Currently TAZARA is facing high competition with road transport between Tunduma and Dar Es Salaam.
2.5 Power And Water Supply
Demand for electric power in the region is to the tune of 17 MW, whereas the current supply is between 7 and 10 MW. Th Region has supplied electricity to Vwawa, mloo Coffee Curing Mill, Rungwe Tukuyu urban, Kiwira, Ushirika Kandete Kyejo Lwangwa and Itete, Ipinda and Tea Factories of Katumba and Mwakaleli Chunya Town, Mkwajuni Makongolosi Igurusi, Chimala, Igoma ,Rujewa Ileje Kapunga NAFCO Rice farm. Kyela urban received electricity from Kiwila Coal Mine. Waterfalls from Livingstone Ranges, in Rungwe and Kyela district are potential sites for harnessing electric power.
The Region has seven urban Water center's namely, Mbeya, Vwawa, Chunya, Tukuyu, Itumba and Tunduma. The rapid population expansions in towns are likely to create water shortages. In 1995, the urban population was projected at 262, 182 people. Water supply in Mbeya Urban centre is done by the Water and Sanitation Department (UWSD), while district urban center's get this water through their respective Local Government Authorities management.
Mbeya region has a number of Hotel, Motels, Guest house, and Hostels. In Mbeya town only two Hotels are in Tourists Class, that is Utengule Countries Hotel and Mount Livingstone Hotel. The rest like Mbeya Peak Hotel, Rift Valley Hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel, Mbeya Eland Hotel, Nkwenzuru Hotel, Kiwira Hotel and Moon dust Hotel, which are not in Tourists, offer standard services.
There is also a number of Hostels operated by religious organizations and a big number of Guest houses with standard services
3.2. Transport Within The Area.
There is also the districts reliable commercial shuttle to and from.
Transportation within the area mainly is by mini buses (15-20 sectors) popularly known as "Daladala" and other places transportation is by puck ups.
Goods transportation within the region is reliable apart from being expensive especially one areas with feeder roads.
3.3 Health Facilities
Mbeya region is divided in seven districts and every district is having one district Hospital and a number of Dispensaries, which are located within wards and villages. In Mbeya town there is Mbeya Referral Hospital.
The referral Hospital caters for Southern Highland i.e. Mbeya itself Iringa, Rukwa and Ruvuma .
There is also a number of hospital which are being operated by religions organizations such as Igogwe Hospital, Chimala Hospital etc.
There is also a number of Private Hospital which are being operated by Private such as K'S Hospital, Zary Hospital, Uyole Hospital and number of pharmacy shops scattered within the
4. FINANCIAL SITUATION
In Mbeya Region we are having and International bank operating.
The Micro Finances Bank is operating in all seven districts with one branch in every district except in Mbeya town where there are two branches are being operated
The NBC LTD is operating only one branch in Mbeya town and CRDB Bank Ltd is also operating only one branch in Mbeya town. There is also Postal Bank which operates its branches through Postal offices in all seven district and some wards. The Stanbic Bank is the only International Bank operating in Mbeya region
4.2 Credit System.
The credit system is uniform as other regions because we are in transition period to privatization so the system is still not conducive for most people in the area.
Because of higher rates of interest most of the people are not willing to take credits. Also cumbersome producers hinder most of the people.
In all seven district there is a moderate number of savings and credit societies operating. The biggest savings and society is SACCO, which has branches in all districts and some of the wards in the area.
There's also other savings and credities having branches in villages.
FEDA is also having its branch in Mbeya and offering credit facilities to those who are willing and conform to their standards, especially small and medium enterprises.
MEDA is there cleaning middle business community which willing interested in credit. Lastly there is pride Africa caters for small business man/ women in the Region especially Mbeya district.
Other organization also offers credit services to the communities in a form of money, materials of Animals.
4.3 Investment Opportunity
Mbeya Region is one of the big four regions, which produce most of foods and cash crops in Tanzania
The weather of Mbeya is conducive for anyone its cool weather and its fresh airs its offer. The friendless of its people and Reliable power supply, and communication (Modern Telephone E-mails and Internet) Reliable transportation ( i.e. Road, Railway, Air and water ).
The political stability of the region and accessibility of neighboring countries (Malawi and Zambia and Zaire) offer big potential for any Investor.
The potential for investment in the region vary from district to district for example Mbalali and Kyela are potential for Rice farming where as Mbozi, Mbeya Rungwe and Ileje is potential for Coffee, Maize, Beans Potato pears, and variety of fruits farming. Chunya District has potential in Cotton, Tobacco Maize and Cassava farming and beeskeping. Beef and diary husbandry also has high potential for and export market domestic.
There is pig potential investment in fishing from lake Nyasa for Onarmental fish and other limited species of fish which can fished in other area. Also Lake Nyasa has a huge potential that could be exploited for local market and even export .
The tourism potential is unexplained and only few tourist attractions have so far been exposed (identified) . The region Command several tourist atraction such as the Mauntain Rungwe, Mbeya peak and Kyejo, sandly beaches on the shores of the lake Nyasa. The Rift Valley (Usangu Plains) ecological features of the tropical rain forests, Usangu game reserve, Utengule wetland, Lake Ngosi Sanic (similar to lake Lomond in England) , Daraja la Mungu Biodiversity (Natural Bridge), and Isongole (Fishing Camps), Kaporogwe (Water falls)
Lake Masoko (crater Lake) for sport fishing . In fact the potential is great but what remains to be done, is serious investment in this sector so that it can attract more tourist
There is also a big potential for the establishment of tourist resort or camping site or Hotel around Mbeya region .
The region has a high potential for investment in the mining sector. The mineral deposit in Mbeya include Nature Coal, Gold, Ion, Limestone, Marble travertine, Kaolin, Copper, Salt and Apatic/niobium and variety of Germstones which remain unexplored. Currently there is small scale local mining using poor equipment/tools with the exception of the marble, coal and cement factories operating under capacity: Hence investors are encouraged for exploration and mining.
5. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
1. Despite the great agricultural potential of the region few agricultural processing industries exist (food and fruits processing industries).
2. The few Agricultural Industries like the Tea and Coffee curing Factories are running under capacity
3. Export crop production is hampered by low world market prices. Main crops affected are Coffee, Tea, Cotton and Tobacco
4. Mojar food crops development is constrained by inadequate and expensive Agricultural inputs also low prices on local markets.
5. The few Industries established in the 1970 's Mbeya Textile Mills, Mbeya Hi-soap, Mbeya Agricultural Implements,Ccotton Ginning, have now collapsed.
6. Due low monetary circulation resulting from Agricultural and Industrial constraints, there is low profile for investment.
6. EXISTING INDUSTRIES
Mbeya Cement Company Limited, New Mbeya Textile Mills, Mbozi Coffee Curing, Coca- Cola plants, Mbeya Consolidated mines, Industries under Small Industries Development organization (SIDO) such as Pemacco, Common Facilities Workshop (CFW), Tea processing Industries in Rungwe which are the few Industries which ARE still existing and are in operation, although most of the Industries are operating below its capacity. There is also a number of Min Edible oil processing Plants and Floe and Roofing Tiles Industries.
7. Important Addresses
The Regional Commissioner
Mbeya , Tanzania (EA)
Tel: No255-25- 2502314 /255-25- 2504045
Tanzania Chamber of Commerce,
Industry and Agriculture.
Tanzania ( EA )
Fax: 255 25 2503007
Mbeya Customs House
Tel: 255-25-2 502295
Regional Immigration Officer
Tel: 255-25-502869/255-25- 503486
Bank of Tanzania (Branch)
Tel: 255 - 25 - 503321