Mtwara Region

Land Area:

The region occupies 16,720 sq. kms or 1.9% of Tanzania Mainland land area of 885,987 sq. kms. It is the second smallest region after Kilimanjaro.

Administrative Units:

Mtwara region is administratively subdivided into 5 districts, Mtwara (Municipality and Rural), Newala, Nanyumbu, Masasi (Town and rural) and Tandahimba.

Population (2012 census): 1,270,854  {male 599,648  (47%) and female 671,2061 (53%)} people. Annual growth rate is 1.7% (National 3.1%) while the average household size is 3.7.

Spatial Population Distribution By District: Masasi/Nanyumbu (39%), Mtwara Rural (18%), Tandahimba (18%), Newala (16%) and Mtwara Urban (8%).

Climate: Tropical type of climate with one rainy season ranges from November – May. The total annual average rainfall ranges between 893mm and 1,001mm, humidity ranges between 79% and 87% as well as temperature between 23C and 27C.

GDP Per Capita: Tshs. Tshs. 1,041,805  . Contribution to National GDP at market price (2013) 2.52%. Regional GDP at market price  1,340,283 Million(2013)

Land Use: 85% of the total area is suitable for agriculture but only 20% is used. Forests and water cover other portion of land. 83% of the total forest reserves are located in Masasi, Nanyumbu and Newala districts.

Economic Activities: Agriculture (mainly small holder – 89%) is the major economic activity. Other economic activities are fishing, lumbering, mining, beekeeping, small industries/processing and trading, 

Major Crops: Cashew nuts, sesame, cassava, ground nuts, coconuts, maize, paddy, fruits, sorghum, millet, pigeon peas and cowpeas.

Minerals: Gas, marble, graphite, limestone, red gametes, amethyst, sapphire and rhodolites.  Natural gas

Small Industries: Predominant and scattered throughout the region particularly wood woks, carvings, metal works, textiles and clothing, salt works, constructions, bricks making, general engineering, cashew nuts shelling, food processing, pottery, basketry, grain and oil milling.

Big Industries: All of them engaged on cashew nuts processing located at Newala (2), Masasi (1) and Mtwara (4).

Strengths and Assets: Deep natural harbour, large fishing grounds, tourist sites and attractions, natural gas, good arable land, mineral resources, reliable power supply and institutions supporting business growth (finance, communication, training and research). 

Weakness and Shortcomings. Small existing industrial base, poor roads, unreliable water supply, negative attitudes towards Mtwara by other Tanzanians and lack of education ethos.

District products/Opportunities

1. Mtwara Urban  Table Salt ,Salt Refining, Cashew nuts Processing, Fishing Industries, Tourist Industries, Construction Industries,Coconut Oil Production.

2. Mtwara Rural  High Quality Cassava Flour,  Cassava Processing, Limestone and Chalk Making, Tourist Industries, Fishing Industries, Natural gas, Coconut Oil Production

3. Tandahimba  Processed Cashew nuts,Cashew nuts processing, Cassava and Millet Processing, Fruit Canning, Hand crafts.

4.Newala  Processed Cashew nuts, Cashew nuts processing, Fruit Canning, Cassava Processing, Hand crafts.

5. Nanyumbu  Cooking Oil  ( G/nuts),Cooking Oil extractions, Fruit Canning.Hand Crafts, Construction Industries,Cashew nuts Processing,Mining

6. Masasi  Processed Cashew nuts,Cashew nuts processing, Fruit Canning, Hand Crafts,Cassava Processing,Mining.


Person to contact: 
P.O. Box 513 Mtwara
+255 784759976
E mail: