Political Violence and Piracy in Tanzania (as of 26 June 2012)
While mainland Tanzania continues to enjoy relatively long-lasting stability, increasing unrest on the Zanzibar archipelago and a rising risk of piracy threaten the nascent offshore gas industry. Vast offshore gas finds in blocks 1 and 2 during the first half of 2012 have further stoked interest in the country’s exploration potential. However, secessionist demands on Zanzibar – which may lead to further violence over the next two years – and wrangling with the central government are likely to continue to create uncertainty over exploration activities along the northern coast.
In addition, as Maplecroft’s new Country Risk Report on Tanzania explains, the expanding capabilities of Somali pirates threaten the offshore industry, as highlighted by the growing number of piracy incidents on the map below. Meanwhile, on the mainland, low-level electoral violence ahead of polls in 2015 is the most apparent concern, although this is likely to remain localised and should not affect broader regime stability. However, Tanzania’s geopolitical location and weak border security does create the risk of transnational issues spilling into the country, including displaced populations from neighbouring DR Congo.