Shoppers walk in a shopping mall in Hillcrest / Photo: Reuters

By Lulu Sanga

Türkiye curtains, Türkiye abaya, Istanbul restaurant, and Uturuki baby shop are among the famous names used by some business owners in Tanzania.

This is common in big markets such as Kariakoo and other cities like Dodoma, Mwanza, Arusha, and even among vendors on social media platforms.

Sellers boast that “these are products from Türkiye”. Thus, making the prices of the products stand out competitively in the market.

Chinese products once dominated and captured the Tanzania market on matters of fashion, electronics, clothes and even houseware. But due to many customers are opting for durability - Turkish products slowly took over.

Bahati Mwanjala, who imports products from China and Türkiye, asserts that Türkiye has better quality products.

"Regarding quality, Turkish products are very durable, and the price is also higher. But it depends on a customer’s income and choices. Those who have money don't care about the cost. They will only buy Turkish goods, but for those with low and average income, they go for Chinese products.”, adds Bahati.

Does Türkiye mean quality in Tanzania?

Christian Kivengi, a loyal customer of Turkish products, who says he doesn’t hesitate to spend more on a durable, high-quality products. For him, Turkish products are his priority, and signify class and quality.

"We bought undergarments for $400 dollars but look at the difference! It doesn’t fade or collect sweat, and you can't compare this Turkish product with the ones from China; you can immediately tell the difference from the texture”.

Regarding Turkish couture, he adds, “If a business has seasons, then this is the longest one in our country".

“There is no first and second release or copies. The Turkish products may take a long time to arrive, but it is worth the wait; they are durable,” Bertha Robert, a buyer of Turkish products from Türkiye, told TRT Afrika.

Business analyst Kelvin Kibenje says that Tanzania needs more industries to meet the market’s needs, which leads many Tanzanians who do business to look for products abroad, especially in Asia and Europe.

However, due to globalisation and market needs, business owners are slowly shifting their focus to Türkiye. Years back, Türkiye was known for its corporate suits, but now almost everything, including clothes, electronic cases, and even generators, are imported from Türkiye.

"If you want to tell someone that you have a good product, you must say that this product is from Türkiye, so people often believe you. There are two countries where Tanzanian businessmen import many products from, but only one of them, if mentioned, comes from quality; and this is Türkiye," the marketing expert told TRT Afrika.

Kabenje insists that many Tanzanian business people who follow him for advice on importing products each have a preference; those with small and medium capital want to import more products from other countries while those with significant capital prefer to go after Turkish products.

However, his market prediction is, five years from now, business people who import products from Türkiye or have direct relationships with large stores or factories in Türkiye will take over the market in Tanzania.

TRT Afrika