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One third of Tanzanians still live below the poverty line

One third of Tanzanians still live below the poverty line

The discussion was attended by economists, businessmen and thinkers with trade ideas led by the Governor of the Central Bank Mr Benno Ndulu, Ali Mafuruki from Infotech, Professor Joseph Semboja from Uongozi Institute, Felix Mosha from Hodect and Magret Mattaba from Women’s Bank.

According to the report read by the Acting Director of World Bank in Tanzania Jacques Morisset, Tanzania Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the last two years has been extremely strong, averaging close to 7 per cent annually. Though, such economic growth has failed to eradicate poverty with the third of households still living below the poverty line.

But if it aims to reduce the income gap between itself and middle income countries, it will have to grow faster. “The GDP growth in past years is excellent and it is the best in the world, but people are still poor because the economic growth failed to eradicate poverty of the people,’’ said Director Morriset.

Beside the performance announced to be the best in the world, WB gave advice on the way to boost the country’s GDP, which is exploiting new gas fields in the southern party of the country and if it is well managed. However, according to the report, Tanzania economy was highly resilient to the global financial crisis of 2008/2009.

Because the reliance was largely due to its isolation from international markets, favourable events and relatively large fiscal stimulus package were launched by the government. The WB Report also argued that Tanzania should get inspired by the success of other emerging countries like Malaysia, Chile and Mauritius to include the creation of two self-promoting virtuous circles of growth.

This includes better education and skills improvement which leads to higher labour productivity that will translate into job creation, new income and new investment in human capital. The report also revealed that, the Tanzania economic update focuses on the need to transform the education system and to foster growth amongst business enterprises.

Education accounts for the massive increases in public spending 2000 to 2011, even though major challenges in the educational sector are limited resources and fast growing school population. Contributing to that, Governor Ndulu said it was true that the report delivered a message but he doubted some of them. Recognition of ten years only was not correct, he said.

According to him, investment will make a huge change and in Tanzania we have grown a lot in science for example the telephone services like TIGO PESA, M-PESA is a new technology which helps a lot compare to past years. The governor also added that, our natural resources should be well managed and learning environment to students is still a big challenge to the country.

According to Ali Mafuruki, in education we should invest and give priority to the vocational trainings, the students who complete their education are massively in street now without knowing where they go after completion of their education. “We have to give first priority to vocational training because it makes sense, when a child is trained it is easy for him or her to create a job for himself, the WB should not be obsessed by that, no,’’ said Mafuruki.

He also noted that, our success has a lot to do with the common market. Industrial competition comes if you do not have human
resources. “In our country industries are very young compared to Kenya, some of the Kenyan industries have fifty years but us we do not have such industries. Human capital is not there.

How are we going to prepare our people to compete in the market? And I do not see any efforts taken. We must expand our human resource,” he said. Another contributor Felix Mosha said, the country should have more stiff agriculture activities to secure food production. “We must link agriculture and manufacturing. We have 2 per cent of processing industries while Malaysia has 85 per cent. You can see the difference, but in East Africa our processing industries takes over,’’ said Mattaba.

She also noted that, we should expand our agricultural sector. Right now we are trying but we are not there yet, she said. To her, agriculture can create more job opportunities and will provide a huge advantage to women. Margaret Mattaba from Tanzania Women’s Bank also said that, it was important for the country to invest in internal resources and that money is meaningful when used meaningfully.

“We should have priorities so that our money could be used, internal investment is meaningful, we have resources, opportunities and good political atmosphere. We have to transform our people’s mind,’’ said Mattaba.

According to Professor Joseph Semboja from Uongozi Institute, Tanzania was not connected to other parts of the world, and that, he added, also cause the poor economy. “We should not worry because of the bad economic situation but to prepare ourselves to overcome it. Not only Tanzania should prepare, but the whole world should,’’ said Semboja.

 

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