Gold, Gas and Lies: Extractive Sector in a Sub-Saharan Functional State. The Case of Natural Resource Sector in Tanzania


  • Andrzej Polus University of Wrocław
  • Wojciech Tycholiz University of Wrocław



Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli, gold mining, natural gas, developmental state


Tanzania is usually presented as the most stable state is East Africa. Nevertheless political stability did not go hand in hand with economic development. The recent gas discoveries raised the issue of Tanzania’s readiness for the development of gas sector that will benefit the entire country instead of the rent orientated political elite. The development of the gas sector (although final decision about LNG terminal construction has not been taken yet) is correlated with President John Pombe Magufuli ( JPM) takeover of power and substantial changes on Tanzanian political scene. The Authors posed a question about the basis for a robust mining sector development in Tanzania under President Magufuli. The article’s first part presents Tanzania within the frameworks of “competitive-authoritarian regime” or “developmental neopatrimonial state”. Then we ask whether the system that catapulted JPM to the top job in the country can be change from the inside? Subsequently, we present dysfunctionalities of the Tanzanian mining sector with the special emphasis on gold mining, as well as challenges ahead of the country’s nascent natural gas sector.


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Author Biographies

Andrzej Polus, University of Wrocław

A professor at the Institute of International Studies, University of Wroclaw, and the president of the Polish Centre for African Studies. His research work focuses on the political economy of hydrocarbons management and the current political situation in Sub-Saharan Africa. He participated – as principal investigator or co-investigator – in fourteen research projects devoted to development studies. He conducted field research in Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Wojciech Tycholiz, University of Wrocław

A research fellow at the Institute of International Studies, University of Wroclaw, and a senior researcher at the Polish Centre for African Studies. His research focuses on political economy, natural-resource management, capital flows to Africa, and financial markets in sub-Saharan Africa. He has carried out field studies in Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.


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How to Cite

Polus, Andrzej, and Wojciech Tycholiz. 2018. “Gold, Gas and Lies: Extractive Sector in a Sub-Saharan Functional State. The Case of Natural Resource Sector in Tanzania”. Politeja 15 (5(56):151-68.

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