2050 Vision: Key areas Tanzania must focus on

A section of Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam

What you need to know:

  • Tanzanians are supposed to air their views about the new vision until next year, before the draft is submitted to Parliament for approval in 2025

Dar es Salaam.  As Tanzania prepares for its next development phase, economic experts have stepped forward to offer valuable insights and highlight key areas for focus in the upcoming Vision 2050.

This ambitious plan, designed to succeed the current Development Vision 2025, aims to propel the nation towards sustained social and economic prosperity while adapting to the ever-evolving technological landscape.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected today to endorse a team of experts who will draft the new vision as part of the celebrations of the 62nd independence anniversary.

The independence of Tanganyika was achieved on December 9, 1961, before uniting with Zanzibar in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

“We are using the Independence Day to reflect the challenges, opportunities, and way forward in our independence as well as in the implementation of the development vision,” said the Minister for Planning and Investment, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, during a press briefing yesterday.

“We have achieved a lot in the provision of social services and economic development in the last 62 years of independence, but we still demand more development,” he added.

“We want, as a nation, to agree on where we want to go and through what means. This process is going to be inclusive for all people to participate,” he said.

He cited the example of the University of Dar es Salaam, which had 14 students, but now there are more than 300,000 students.

Tanzanians are supposed to air their views about the new vision until next year, before the draft is submitted to Parliament for approval in 2025.

Experts speak out

The economic experts who spoke to The Citizen said the new document should focus on accelerating gains and opening up new economic opportunities.

Prof Delphin Rwegasira of the University of Dar es Salaam economics school said the new vision should uphold some agendas and prioritise them depending on their importance.

He said developmental freedom, which goes beyond politics, has played an important role in ensuring Tanzanian societies live harmoniously and push for progress.

“We need to select what matters most and prioritise the agendas,” said Prof Rwegasira.

He said the upcoming vision should also retain industrialization as one of the key pushes for the economy.

“The government needs to continue maintaining a good business environment, and President Samia Suluhu Hassan is doing a good job on that,” he said.

He added that protecting the natural resources and making good use of them was key for Tanzanian economic sectors such as tourism.

According to him, the agendas should be combined with technological development for progress.

Repoa executive director Donald Mmari said prioritisation of issues listed in the document should be given impetus, noting that mechanisms should be set to ensure they are implemented.

“Possible changes of priorities should be prevented as the government and development stakeholders’ focus remains on prioritised issues regardless of regime in power and political affiliation,” said Dr Mmari.

Dr Mmari said Vision 2025–2050 should enable the country to undergo structural transformation in order to benefit from technological advancement by increasing productivity, creating more jobs and building a competitive economy.

“The document should increase participation in the informal sector and promote revenue collections in the country,” he said.

Regarding the implementation of Vision 2025, Dr Mmari said achievements haven’t been recorded as intended despite acquiring lower-middle income status.

Furthermore, he said Tanzania’s expectations were for rapid economic growth exceeding 10 percent, noting however that growth has reached an average of six percent.

“This is caused by the presence of risk factors that were beyond consideration, including the 2009 global economic crisis, Covid-19 outbreak, fuel price fluctuations, the impacts of climate change, and the war outbreak, among others,” said Dr Mmari.

A lecturer of economics at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Prof Humphrey Moshi, said the document’s preparation should be participatory, including listing down challenges and successes for smooth execution.

“However, we need to have visionary leaders who prioritise national interests and walk the talk. Despite recorded achievements, more emphasis needs to be given to the country’s agricultural sector,” he said.

He said the sector hasn’t grown enough to alleviate people’s poverty, noting that Tanzania is still reliant on the importation of edible oil, wheat, and fertilisers, among others.

Prof Moshi said food insecurity was a serious crisis that could threaten national security, hinting that Tanzania needs strategic plans in order to improve the sector.

“Improvement should be done through the irrigation revolution. Initiatives such as Build Better Tomorrow (BBT) should be made practical instead of shelving such important documents,” he said.

“The country needs to farm and implement factories and equipment that support agriculture, such as fertilisers. The country’s education system should be transformed to equip the youth with the pre-requisite skills required in the labour market and plug the present mismatch gap,” added Prof Moshi.

Furthermore, he said the country’s education should focus on strengthening STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), noting that the advancement of science and technology should enable the country to emulate others, but relating to the country’s environment.

A prominent economist, Prof Samuel Wangwe, said the vision should focus on strengthening sectors that employ the majority of Tanzanians, such as agriculture and the informal sector, by ensuring they improve efficiency and ultimately alleviate poverty.

“Value addition to a country’s natural resources and agricultural products should be given priority. However, all these issues require leaders with higher integrity, zero corruption and accountability,” he said.

Prof Mkumbo said that the expiring vision has achieved access to quality health services for all citizens, reduced maternal health services and reduced infant mortality.

Other things that are described as achievements in the expiring vision are access to clean and safe water, an increase in the average life expectancy to reach the level of middle-income countries, and getting rid of extreme poverty.