Tanzania was one of the only countries that did not have Corvid Lock down and as a result there was a mass influx of African American’s or AA’s as they are Commonly referred .Most of the Americans had initially planned to go to Ghana or mainly West African Countries but as the Black in Injustices Lingered on, more and more African Americans took the plunge to Tanzania . However now there’s a mass exit as most of cite a number of Expectations which were not met as a reasons to either move back to America or to other African Countries.
Here are the reasons cited from Our Research. Kindly note this article is not in any way discouraging Americans to move to Tanzania but as a cautionary pointers to note before taking the Plunge.
1.Lack of Proper Research
As Stated above the Influx of most Americans was a result of shutting down of borders from most West African Nations, so naturally most of the AA’s had done research on Ghana but not of Tanzania and there’s might have a assumption African Countries have similar Cultures, infrastructure or all the things one should research on before you go to another which is far from the Truth.
Different African Countries have different Cultures and different systems from Housing to government Policies and one should have done proper Research and possibly contacted other AA’s to get the “Real” situation on the Ground.
The Table Below Shows Approximate Cost Of Living In Tanzania/Dar
|Parameters||Cost in Dollars|
|Housing in High Income/Bungalow/Posh Areas||$1,500- $5,000|
|Housing in Middle Class/Expat Areas||$650 Onwards For 2/3 Bedroom Furnished|
|Central Town Areas||$800 Onwards For 2/3 Bedroom Furnished|
|Food||$300 Per Month onwards for family of 4-5.|
|Medical Insurance||$500-$600 per Person|
|International Schools||$15,000 Average per year|
|Middle Class to Upper class Schools||$2,000 Year|
2.Vacation Mode/Lack of Proper Budgeting
There’s an assumption that Africa is Cheap which is both True and False, depending on what lifestyle you want to live. A similar lifestyle with amenities you are used to in the west is going to cost a lot and is similar to the American equivalent in terms of cost or dollars.
Also there’s a tendency to live as if you are on Vacation mode and spending your money eating restaurants, beach life or meeting with other AA’s without proper Budgeting. As a Rule of thumb most AA’s are advised to have almost a year Money Saved for emergencies(From 5,000-$10,000).
3.Language Barrier/Not learning Swahili
Tanzania National Language is Swahili thus a majority of Tanzanians cannot converse in English. This is a big one, if the AA’s cannot converse in simple Swahili to get by you are going to have a tough as time some things get lost in translation. Tanzanians are polite in Nature and will sometimes nod in agreement to things are you talking about but not having understood any thing you have said.
If assimilating with the locals and living a low lifestyle is your aim you have to know basic Swahili before coming to Tanzania. If you also learn Swahili it also discourages the locals from charging you Mzungu Prices(White/Foreigner) for Products and services because they assume you have stayed there for a while and understand the ”System”. Also note Africans do not Distinguish so much between A Black American or White Person, once you open your mouth and have a foreign accent that’s it.
4.Cultural Differences/Conservative Nation
Tanzania is a very Conservative State and Cultural differences between AA’s and the native can vary a lot. Tanzania will have what AA’s will consider as a very patriarchal society 1/3 of Tanzania is a Muslims also contributing to conservative nature of the country. You are expected to wear conservatively as sign of respect to their Culture.
As stated Tanzanians are laid back and the pace of Day is chill, for a shop Run you are expected to greet the shop keeper and exchange a few Pleasantries before conducting any Business.
While African American’s have grown through Racism and institutionalized Segregation, Africans on the other side have gone through Colonization . While they may share some things in common issues they are totally different and effects on African and African Americans are Totally different.
Most American come with a mind set that African share or understand their perspective or should be treated as Brother and sisters of same Ancestry ,or because we are all Black in Color you can be treated different than White American Person. There’s a Perception that Africans hate African American and vice versa but its both parties have different interpretation of issues plus come from very different culture despite sharing Ancestry lineage.
As stated earlier Africans will first see you as an American first then African American Second. Africans are the majority in the Continent and don’t views them “Black” Africans but as Citizens of a particular Country, so if you ask a local who they are, they usually state the Country they are from not the color of their skin.
Tanzania has very stringent Land policies which made to discourage Foreigners from owning Properties or Land unless you pay a hefty fees to access and still its usually on lease agreement. The laws are made to encourage multi nationals Entities or Companies who can afford to pay for commercial use in increase employment opportunities in Return.
The only way for African Americans can obtain land in Tanzania is through marriage or applying for Residency after Staying for 15 years.
7.Visa Requirements(Visa Runs)/Policies
After the Tanzanian government noticed the Influx of Americans they started enforcing Visa Requirement plus shifting the policies. The favored Student Visa which had a 2 year Residency has become very hard to obtain. However for most AA’s they have to do Visa Runs which basically means you get a permit which allows you to stay for 3 months but you have to renew the visa by getting out of the Country and coming back. This means one has to budget for the Trips to another country every 3 months plus the inconvenience of travelling to a different country 4 times a year.
Another Cultural difference that deserves a whole paragraph on it own because generally Tanzanians are laid back are have a different work Ethic as Westerners. In Tanzania “Time is not Money” ,when you schedule a meeting with Tanzanian at 7a.m it is implied that could stretch to Two hours later. If you have plan to set up a business in Tanzania you need to adjust to the nuances of the Culture and Re educate Yourself.
Most Female African African ladies have complained on the lack of suitable Men that can match their hustle or earn enough to be able to afford the kind of lifestyle or their equivalent can be able to afford. It is important to note the average middle class salary of the Average Tanzanian is $583 while the lowest salary income for an American is $1,251.Other Contributing factors include level of Education housing etc.
|Average Lower income salary||$1,250||$120-150$|
|Average Middle income Salary||$5,750||$583|