Tanzania targets DRC to expand tobacco exports


The Tanzania Cigarette Company (TCC), the country’s main tobacco producer, is looking to expand its sells to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The DRC is already TCC’s largest export destination that has seen the company grow its 2019 gross profit earnings by 56 percent, more than double compared to the previous year.

Nonetheless, the tobacco company enjoyed marginal growth when it came to annual revenue which inched up slightly by 5.2 percent to clock 309.8bn/- up from 294.3bn/- the year before that.

TCC is not the only company eyeing the DRC for business, increasingly, Tanzanian banks are reported to be making venture moves into the DRC. However, until now, it is small businesses that were enjoying the huge market of the central African state.

Many small businesses have been transporting goods to the DRC for years and enjoying lucrative returns. TCC is only the latest of manufacturing titans to enter the DRC market. With the world grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, cross border trade has been greatly affected across the African continent.

Most at threat are landlocked countries like the DRC that require goods to moved to and from ports in neighbouring countries. For this reason, there is some movement of goods that is allowed. While movement of persons has been restricted, cargo trucks are still allowed across border lines but with strict precaution and care been observed.

TCC is one of the companies that has been affected by this slow down of transit goods in and out of the country. Last year, its gross profit increased by 5.9 percent to 175.9bn/- thanks to what the company is describing as “the results of better pricing in the domestic market and increased volume in the company’s main export market of the DRC.”

Should the threat persist then it is expected that all trade will suffer great losses across all industries. Pending this outcome, expansion plans by TCC into the DRC may have to be shelved until such a time the normal movement of goods can be resumed.


Giza Mdoe is an experienced journalist with 10 plus years. He's been a Creative Director on various brand awareness campaigns and a former Copy Editor for some of Tanzania's leading newspapers. He's a graduate with a BA in Journalism from the University of San Jose.

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