A semi-autonomous Presbyterian settlement in eastern Africa would have to be economically as well as politically viable. This article includes some the information collected with respect to economic opportunities in eastern Africa.
Article “An overview of forest industry in eastern and southern Africa” at http://www.fao.org/docrep/u4200e/u4200e07.htm :
“Of the estimated total of 1.8 million ha of forest plantations in Africa, nearly 1.2 million ha or more than 65 percent are in eastern and southern Africa. The major industrial forest plantations are in Kenya (160 000 ha), Malawi (80 000 ha), the United Republic of Tanzania (120 000 ha), Zambia (52 000 ha) and Zimbabwe (110 000 ha), which together account for about 83 percent of all the industrial forest plantations in the region. The heavy investment required for the establishment of these plantations was justified by the existing demand and by the expectation that the forest plantations would create an industrial base for both domestic markets and export. Unfortunately, in a number of cases these expectations have not been met and substantial stocks of mature timber have resulted. Overall, about 4 million m³ of plantation wood is used annually whereas the existing plantations have a potential to supply a sustainable volume of 11 million m³ per year. Thus, the region has an annual surplus of about 7 million m³ of plantation wood…Overall, the situation characterized by a growing excess of underutilized or unused plantation timber can be attributed to a combination of poorly developed forest industries; sluggish domestic demand; undeveloped export markets; a lack of adequate infrastructure and communications (resulting in high transport costs); as well as various tariff and non-tariff barriers that constrain intraregional trade. Among these factors, the inadequate development of forest industries merits consideration first.
Sawmilling, the earliest wood-based mechanical industry to be introduced in the subregion, dominates the industry and accounts for between 50 and 90 percent of the wood production in most countries of the subregion. If pit-sawing is considered, it becomes even more important. Initially, all of the sawmills were based on logs from natural forests and, because of the local nature of their markets and the lack of investment capital, most were small and often fitted with reconditioned machinery and equipment. The type of equipment used in sawmilling today varies widely from simple roller benches, producing a few hundred cubic metres per annum, to very large, integrated mills with annual capacities on the order of 30 000 m³. The total number of sawmills in the PTA subregion is estimated at approximately 630 units. In eastern Africa, Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania dominate with 300 and 130 mills, respectively. In southern Africa, Mozambique has the largest number of mills (60), followed by Zambia (28) and Zimbabwe (26). Most sawmills in the subregion utilize plantation timber, with the exception of Mozambique where much of the industry still depends on natural forest. As time goes on, the industry will inevitably shift even further toward dependence on plantation timber; Kenya forced the pace in 1986 when it banned sawmilling of indigenous logs. Regardless of size, most of the sawmills in operation produce sawn timber of low quality. Reasons for this include lack of management skills; shortages of skilled labour; poor maintenance of equipment; shortages of hard currencies for procuring spares parts; and the inaccessibility of markets for high-quality products. In addition, small-scale mills tend to offer sawnwood at low prices, therefore decreasing incentives for the larger, more modern mills to produce higher-quality products as these would require higher pricing.
Pulp and paper is the forest industry sector in which the subregion as a whole has demonstrated the strongest growth. Production is concentrated in five countries: Kenya, Madagascar, Swaziland, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe. By far the dominant producer is Swaziland whose Usutu Pulp Company pioneered pulp production in the subregion… The Southern Paper Mills Company Ltd is located in Mgololo valley in the Mufindi District of the United Republic of Tanzania, some 600 km southwest of Dar-es-Salaam. Based mainly on raw material from pine and eucalyptus plantations, current production is some 35 000 tonnes of pulp and 28 000 tonnes of paper, or approximately 70 percent of rated capacity.
Tanzania has about 33.5mn ha. of forests and woodlands. Out of this total area, almost two thirds consists of woodlands on public lands. About 13mn ha. of this total forest area have been gazetted as forest reserves. Over 80,000 ha. of the gazetted area is under plantation forestry and about 1.6mn ha. are under water catchment management. The value of the Tanzanian forests is high due to the high potential for royalty collection which increases revenues to the country, exports and tourism earnings as well as the recycling and fixing of carbon dioxide and conservation of globally important biodiversity. The wood industry accounts for about half of the sector’s contribution to GDP. Non-wood products and services contribute the other half. Harvesting of forest products is carried out in both the natural forests and the plantations. The main actors being the private companies, pit sawyers and the small scale companies. Current operators include Saohill Timber Ltd, Tanscan Timber Ltd, Escarpment Forestry Ltd, Kilitimber Ltd, Mena Wood Ltd and United Lamber Ltd. A state owned company Tanzania Wood Industry Corporation (TWICO) was responsible for harvesting and selling wood products. Ten logging companies previously owned by TWICO have already been privatised.
Agriculture is the leading economic sector in Tanzania. It accounts for about 50% of GDP, 75% of merchandise exports and is source of food and provides employment opportunities to about 80 percent of Tanzanians. It has linkages with the non-farm sector through forward linkages to agro-processing, consumption and export; provides raw materials to industries and a market for manufactured goods. The sector is well focused with a strong position in several major export markets. The country is covered by 88mn hectares of suitable agriculture land of which 60mn hectares are suitable for livestock production. Only 5.5% of the Tanzania's arable land is utilized, mainly by small-holder farmers. With irrigation, Tanzania can become a dominant grain exporter.
Unexploited irrigation potential exists in the production of both cash and food crops. The potential for irrigation development is estimated to be 1.0 million ha. but currently only 150,000 ha. are cultivated under irrigation. Irrigation potential exists along river valleys and alluvial plains, Ruvu corridor, Kilombero, Wami Valleys, Kilosa, Lower Kilimanjaro, Ulanga, Kyela, Usangu and Rufiji. Various forms of water harvesting, micro-catchments and other techniques can be used to try to control and concentrate rainfall runoff for large scale farming activities.