Within its tourism sector, Tanzania’s two main income-generating activities are photo safaris and sport hunting. Sport hunting – or trophy hunting – in particular has become a billion-dollar, profit-driven industry; and is one of the largest and most lucrative of its kind in Africa. Between 2008 and 2011, trophy hunting contributed US $75 million to Tanzania’s economy (New York Times, 17.03.2013).

Nevertheless, hunting in Tanzania has long been synonymous with government corruption. For years, the activity has largely been controlled by a network of elite politicians, who have consistently exploited their positions of power to retain preferential access to the country’s lucrative hunting blocs for financial gain, sometimes at the expense of legitimate organisations (ISS, 21.08.2013).

However, the appointment of a new Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamis Kigwangalla, appears to have signalled an end to this trend. Having only been in post for six months, Kigwangalla has made clear his intentions to overhaul the sector, already making plans to replace the current – and easily manipulated – hunting bloc allocation process.

While Kigwangalla’s perceived anti-corruption crusade appears to be a step in the right direction; i.e. used to increase transparency and competition within the industry, in the short term any change in how the sport hunting industry is governed and operated is likely to bring instability and uncertainty to Tanzania’s tourism sector.