Report criticises Tanzania over poor economic gains

By Kizito Makoye, Dar es Salaam – Tanzania has not been able to tackle widespread poverty despite massive foreign investment attracted in the past 15 years, says a report.

The political economy of the investment climate inTanzaniaTitled The political economy of the investment climate inTanzania, compiled by Brian Cooksey and Tim Kelsall on behalf of Africa Power and Politics Programme, the report dismisses IMF’s views that the country will be among the fastest growing over the next decade.

The Report says the current economic policies favour foreign investors – although they have not created an impact upon the economy!

-It is worth asking whether Tanzania needs the kinds of foreign investors who employ few people, repatriate a vast majority of the country’s natural resources – and have little sympathy for local people or local ways of doing things, the Study questions.

It says in fast growing sectors like mining, investors are increasingly cautious while in high potential areas like horticulture appear largely ignored.

The Study of the political economy of the investment climate on Mainland Tanzania is part of a larger research project into business and politics in Africa, conducted by the Africa Power & Politics Programme.

The report predicts that the country’s leadership is likely to face a mounting legitimacy crisis in the coming years due to widespread corruption which leaves most culprits walking scot free.

According to the report, the ruling party Chama cha Mapinduzi has monopolised  the country’s economic machinery adding that in the event, it is difficult to make serious money if one does not have good connections to the party!

The report blames President Jakaya Kikwete for lacking political will to tackle corruption since the biggest deals involve high-ranking officials of his party.

– There is evidence that the President has not always  been  able  successfully to impose his will on deals about which he was unhappy, or to discipline the worst offenders, it says.

In one occasion, the report gives a detailed account of how Edward Lowassa-the former Prime Minister was able to benefit from dubious deals involving land, housing and construction but remained untouchable.

– Lowassa regularly used his powers as Prime Minister to prevent parliamentary discussion of ‘sensitive’ issues that implicate him, which upset some CCM backbenchers, and helped split the party into two groups.

Kizito Makoye is a journalist based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania