Five-Year Development Plan III: What will inform it?

Saturday January 16 2021
By Honest Prosper Ngowi

Tanzania’s development has been guided by a number of programmes. They include development plans of the early days of independence to their current versions. The current version of the development plans is the 15-year Long Range Development Plan.

This is divided into three five-year plans. So far, we have seen two versions of the Five-Year Development Plans (FYDP). The first one elapsed some five years ago.

The second one is coming to an end in mid-2021. It will pave the way for the third one that will see the light of the day in the 2021/22 fiscal year. Among the issues for discussion include what will inform the FYDP-III. This is the subject matter of this piece ahead of its discussion in the Parliament.

Vision 2025

Tanzania’s National Development Vision-2025 (NDV-2025) is the leading document that gives the direction that Tanzania plans to go. It focuses on ensuring high quality livelihoods, good governance and the rule of law, as well as on having a strong and competitive economy. Each of these areas has detailed narratives in the 42-page NDV-2025.


All other development initiatives in Tanzania are informed by this Vision. This is true for the FYDP-I, FYDP-II... And will be so for FYDP-III. Whatever FYDP-III will promise - and attempt to deliver - will revolve around the axis of NDV-2025.


The second FYDP was informed by - among other things - the first FYDP. This was in the context of reviewing the FYDP-I, and using the findings of the review as part of inputs for the FYDP-II. This will be the same for the FYDP-III. It will be informed by (among other things) results of what is supposed to be a very thorough, constructively critical and objective review of the FYDP-II.

A good review would show what has worked and what has not worked in the course of implementing FYDP-II. The positive and negative lessons learnt should be very valuable inputs in informing the FYDP-III. A good review would show what was planned to be implemented, what was actually implemented and what are the outcomes of all that was implemented, what was not implemented and why and most importantly what should be done – if any – to ensure that what was not done in the FYDP-II is done in the FYDP-III.

Therefore, the goodness of the FYDP-III is a function of among other things the quality of review of the FYDP-II and most importantly the willingness and ability to learn lessons of experience in implementing the FYDP-II.

CCM’s 2020-25 Election Manifesto

Development is a political process, among other things. The political factor in the development processes of countries, including Tanzania, cannot and should not be neglected. The FYDP-III will be highly informed by the 308-page CCM 2020-2025 election manifesto.

This is because CCM is the ruling party, and the government that is in power is supposed to be implementing the ruling party election manifesto. The document contains what the party promised Tanzanians to deliver during the 2020 election campaigns.

The FYDP-III and subsequent annual plans and accompanying budget are among the avenues through which the manifesto is implemented. Generally, what is contained in the manifesto is very similar to what is contained in the National Development Vision-2025... But, in a detailed way.

President’s parliamentary speech

President John Magufuli gave his inaugural speech to the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania on November 13, 2020. This followed his reelection as President for a second 5-year term in the October 28, 2020 elections. His 82-page speech - as is the CCM Election Manifesto - outlined what he will deliver in his next five years tenure in Office. His speech will, therefore, will inform the FYDP-III.

Stakeholders’ inputs

As part of a participatory development process, inputs from various stakeholders should inform the FYDP-III. They include voices from the private sector, Civil Society Organizations, academia, mass media and many more - including the general public.

The more participatory the process of crafting the FYDP-III will be, the more diverse voices of stakeholder will be in the Plan.

For example, voices on various aspects of gender, environment, youth, elderly and indeed all sections of the society should inform the FYDP-III.