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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – June 10,2024

In our briefing today: Stakeholders call for local ownership in preparing Tanzania's Vision 2050; Tanzania to be removed from the list of the least developed countries; Tanzania to interview Burundian refugees in 2025 to determine the validity of stay

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Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend. 

Stakeholders call for local ownership in preparing Tanzania’s Vision 2050

On Saturday, June 8, 2024, Tanzania held its first national dialogue at Nkurumah Hall to prepare the nation’s Vision 2050, a successor to the current Vision 2025, which is set to conclude. The conference, organized by the President’s Office of Planning and Investment, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including political parties, academicians, civil society, students, religious leaders, and other groups.

Key themes of the discussion included the economy, population, the vision’s drafting process, and the institutions responsible for its implementation.

Following a speech by Vice President Philip Mpango, renowned academician Professor Issa Shivji opened the discussion. Professor Shivji’s presentation focused on the ideological framework of the vision, advising that it should not be time-bound.

 “A vision is not the same as a development plan; a development plan is for a specific period. In my opinion, a vision has no specific timeframe,” explained Professor Shivji. He cited the Arusha Declaration as an example of a national vision, noting that it had no set timeframe.

In response, the Minister of State for Planning and Investment, Professor Kitila Mkumbo, stated that the government had taken these opinions into account.

Professor Shivji cautioned against subjecting the nation to experiments in the creation of its vision.

“Let’s not allow ourselves to be experimented on; the experiments that took place in the 1960s are enough. We should fully involve the citizens wherever they are to get their opinions about the country they want, the Tanzania they desire, and prioritize their aspirations. This cannot be achieved without having a national dialogue,” he emphasized.

During a panel discussion involving politician Zitto Kabwe, former leader Gertrude Mongella, and academicians Professor Samuel M. Wangwe,Dr. Richard Mbunda and  Neema Mduma , there was a strong emphasis on local ownership of the vision. Participants highlighted that the first vision was not truly locally owned due to the extensive influence of development support agencies, but also the lack of adequate national consultation made the vision look like it was for one party only.

One of the aspirations of the current vision, an inclusive economy, was noted as unachieved, partly due to a lack of discipline in implementing the country’s vision.

 “The first plan to implement vision 2025 was enacted in 2010. This is over ten years since the enactment of the vision; this itself shows a lack of discipline,” said Zitto Kabwe. Kabwe argued that for Tanzania to attain middle-income status by 2050, it needs at least 8 percent growth in the first 10 years, something he said requires disciplined leadership.

Tanzania to be removed from the list of the least developed countries

The United Nations plans to remove Tanzania from the list of least developed countries, citing various development indicators observed from 2000 to 2018. This announcement was highlighted by Vice President Dr. Philip Mpango during the first National Conference on the preparation of the National Vision and Development 2050, held at the University of Dar es Salaam on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

“This year, 2024, the United Nations has begun the process of removing our country from the group of least developed countries. Regarding specific development indicators, the rate of basic needs poverty has decreased from 36% in 2000 to 26.4% in 2018,” said Dr. Mpango during his speech at the conference.

He further explained that food poverty decreased from 19% in 2000 to 8% in 2018, and the under-five mortality rate per 1,000 live births dropped from 147 in 1996 to 43 in 2022. Access to essential medicines in health centers increased from 64% in 2015 to nearly 80% in 2022, while primary school enrollment rose from 69% in 1999 to 97% in 2022.

Additionally, Dr. Mpango elaborated that poverty reduction in the country is far from satisfactory. He emphasized that the government will invest efforts to ensure equity and create a strong workforce by balancing the distribution of basic needs among citizens.

“A basic needs poverty of 26.4%, meaning 16.3 million people, is still very high and unacceptable. Similarly, a stunting rate of 30% in a nation with a surplus of food is unsatisfactory if we aim to develop a robust workforce,” he said.

Tanzania to interview Burundian refugees in 2025 to determine validity of stay

The Tanzanian government has announced plans to interview Burundian refugees residing in various camps to assess their reasons for staying after unsuccessful voluntary repatriation efforts.

This announcement was made on June 6, 2024, in Kigoma during the signing of a repatriation agreement between Tanzania and Burundi. The deal was signed by Tanzania’s Minister of Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, and Burundi’s Permanent Executive Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Community Development, and Public Security, Theophile Ndarufatiye.

This decision comes months after the 24th meeting of the Tripartite Commission for the Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees in Tanzania, held on November 30, 2023, in Dar es Salaam.

Read the full story here

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