Living up to 40 years of partnership and cooperation

New Content Item (1)

Development cooperation between Tanzania and Switzerland officially turns

Thursday November 25 2021

Development cooperation between Tanzania and Switzerland officially turns 40 this year, however, the exchanges between the two countries date backnearly 100 years.

History has it that Switzerland’s presence in Tanganyika was spot-ted not long after the end of the World War I, with Swiss missionaries, farmers, academics and traders active in the region since the 1920s.

The St. Francis Referral Hospital in Morogoro Region, initially a dispensary, opened by the Baldegg Sisters in 1927, is clear proof of the long-lived Swiss presence in the then Tanganyika land.

It is also documented that the Swiss Government began undertaking developmental initiatives in the country since the 1960s, focusing mostly on improving rural roads, health and professional training.

As Switzerland and Tanzania mark this important milestone, we reflect on a number of activities Switzerland has carried out since the establishment of its cooperation office in Dar es Salaam back in 1981.

Opening the office meant that Tanzania was officially identified by Switzerland as one of its priority countries for development cooperation. The two countries have since developed strong partnerships and witnessed steady progress in their relations.

One of the efforts made by the cooperation office in the country was the implementation of development initiatives aimed at addressing social challenges facing society and as prioritized by the government.

Here in Tanzania, Switzerland is a champion in three thematic areas of health, employment and income and governance.

Looking at each of the three, health as a first theme, the Swiss Government has and continues to support a number of interventions aiming at improving access and quality of primary health care services through improved community health funds, direct health facility financing, and technical assistance to combat persistent causes of ill health such as malaria.

The same impactful outcome has been experienced in the employment and income domain where Swiss support to evidence-based advocacy and social accountability monitoring contributed to tax waivers on cashew nuts, rice, cotton and potato crops and hence improved smallholders livelihoods, just to mention a few.

With governance, Switzerland has gained high credibility in balancing support to the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), the Auditor General’s Office (CAG) and other state bodies.

Switzerland also works together with the Non-Governmental Organizations

(NGOs) and independent media to advocate for transparency and inclusionand hold the Government to account.

Switzerland defines development as an equitable concept where the level of a country’s development should align with people’s per capita incomes.

For that reason, the Swiss Government adopted the Swiss Cooperation Programme Tanzania (2021-2024).The programme was elaborated by the Swiss

Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in consultation with

Tanzanian and Swiss stakeholders, and implementing partners.

Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, the

Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and Tanzania’s Third National Five Year

Development Plan (FYDP III) 2021/22 – 25/26, this programme is a continued effort of Switzerland to support the country to combat poverty and bring about an equitable society.

This is one of the bilateral cooperation programmes that will inclusively impact

Socio-economic aspects.

Specifically, the focus of the Swiss engagement is directed at empowering youth, particularly young women and girls, to be part of the development process.

The overall goal however, is set to socially and economically uplift young people hence bringing about an equitably middle-income Tanzanian society.

The Head of Cooperation, Leo Nascher said that Switzerland extended the realm out of its three core thematic areas to much wider priorities - strengthening institutions, promoting and protecting civic space, and improving youth livelihoods.

“Under strengthening institutions,Embassy of Switzerland is committed to improving access to basic social services that respond to the needs of the people,” hinted Nascher.

To accomplish that, the Embassy of Switzerland works closely with the Government of Tanzania and other partners to improve the quality of public health services for all Tanzanians through support to the Health Basket


The Basket follows a mechanism which allows over 6,000 health facilities to

directly access funds, leading to improved financial management and provision of better healthcare.

Through the Health Promotion and System Strengthening (HPSS) project, Switzerland is contributing to making health services more accessible to the most vulnerable Tanzanians, through the innovative improved Community Health Fund (iCHF).

The iCHF is a voluntary health insurance scheme that targets the rural population and informal sec-tor. It helps limit out of pocket payments when a person falls sick and thus reducing his or her financial vulnerability. Switzerland also supports the Government of Tanzania in addressing the labour market relevance, quality and accessibility of vocational skills development (VSD) through the Skills for Employment in Tanzania (SET) programme.

The programme directly supports the government’s TVET and National Skills Development strategies to strengthen the national capacity of the VSD system and promote labour market-driven skills development opportunities.

Corruption remains a concern for the Tanzanian people. It has a stifling effect on development and particularly affects the poorest. In order to counter this practice, Switzerland has partnered with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and its counterpart in Zanzibar, Zanzibar Anti- corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (ZAECA), to provide expert advice on how to effectively investigate and prosecute complex corruption cases and retrieve diverted illicit funds.

In promoting and protecting civic space, the Embassy works with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to ensure citizens have an equal opportunity to express their opinions in public.

Through the Swiss funded Social Accountability Programme, citizens get the opportunity to meet with decision makers, politicians and government leaders to air their opinions on issues that directly affect their lives.

According to National Program Officer, Jacquiline Ngoma unveiled that nterventions have been split into two levels. “At national level, the existing policies that suppress citizens’ right to express their opinions in public are advocated against accordingly while at societal level, citizens get to air their opinions at a decision making level, for instance, contributing to Government budget discussions.

”Airing opinions is a current issue that cuts across different domains and, that being the case, the Embassy continues to collaborate with different strategic organizations to support freedom of expression.

On the other hand, Switzerland believes youth can play a meaningful role and be effective partners in development, rather than just being recipients and beneficiaries.

Upon this particular priority, Switzerland aims at improving the livelihoods of youth, in particular vulnerable young women, by increasing access to market-relevant vocational skills, innovations and financial solutions; sexual and reproductive health services, and social protection.

The programme aims to reach out to young people through youth groups and build their capacities to help them identify and leverage on the present opportunities to improve their economic statuses.

If that was not enough, Switzerland, through the Opportunity for Youth Empowerment (OYE) project, supports young people to become self-employed by initiating various agricultural, animal husbandry and tailoring projects.

OYE is among the programmes that have changed the lives of many youths in different parts of the country.

Due to the good relations between the two countries, in the coming years,Switzerland will continue to work with local partners to enable the youth’s

socio-economic prosperity, particularly young women, through the 2021–2024

Swiss Cooperation Programme with Tanzania.

To learn more about the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Tanzania,