Tanzania: Governance Assessment in Tanzania Faces Daunting Challenges

By Special Correspondent, Dar es Salaam – The National Governing Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Tanzania has approved a 5 year Strategic Plan than will effectively direct and guide the African Union iniated project, amid constraining financial challenges.

Speaking recently during the 44th meeting of the National Governing Council (NGC) of the APRM Tanzania chapter, Professor Hasa Mlawa, who chairs the highest policy making body, said the new strategy will provide a strategic directions in the operations of the project towards achieving the major goal of improving governance in Tanzania.

According to the 5 Year document, several challenges encountered in the past have caused the project to hit a snag compared with other neighboring countries in terms of timely achieving steps of conducting governance assessment under the APRM process.

“This is now our vision for the future; it directs and guides us to know where we want to be after five years in our core activity of assessing governance in Tanzania, “ said the Professor. The NGC is a 20 member body constituted by members from the civil societies, media, academia, private sector and some representatives of the Government from both Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland.

The 5 Year Strategic Plan approved ahead of the Country Peer Review of Tanzania by other African experts on governance, outlines the vision and mission of APRM Tanzania towards improvement of the country assessment on governance in four critical areas of democracy and political governance, economic management, corporate governance and social economic development.

According to the Executive Secretary of APRM Tanzania, Rehema Twalib, four major priority areas will be the focus of the AU project in Tanzania.

“We will strategically focus on improving periodic governance assessments and produce quality reports, enhance public awareness in the project so that stakeholders can participate and own it and strengthening the monitoring of the National Program of Action which illustrates mechanisms to address governance gaps, and finally, since the project has been inadequately funded, strategies will also be directed at improving human, financial and material resources,” she said.

Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda had already completed their Country Governance Assessment Reports, peer reviewed in the highest forum of APRM Heads of States and Governance and are now under different stages of addressing the governance challenges identified. Tanzania has not yet been peer reviewed even though its national report was completed in July, 2009.

Kenya in particular has requested a second assessment to identify new governance challenges and plan to address them after successfully implementing a 3 year National Plan of Action which addressed challenges and how the country could imitate best practices that can be imitated by other countries.

Among other things the Strategic Plan outlines a number of challenges encountered by APRM Tanzania, mainly insufficient budget allocations and irregular disbursement of the meager funds.Tanzania also owes the APRM headquarters an annual fee for several years amounting to over 800m/-, this to a larger extent impairs the credibility of the country in its commitment in the project.