People First - Research on mushrooms provides nourishment

Photo: Edwin Mjwahuzi


Supporting research in Tanzania

Updated: 26 June 2014

Each country has unique conditions and research plays an important role in generating and maintaining knowledge within the areas that are central to that specific country's development. In Tanzania, for example, research is conducted within health, marine science, natural science, renewable energy, entrepreneurship and innovations. Sida has supported Tanzania's research institutions for over 30 years with the goal that Tanzania will eventually be able to conduct its own research with international quality. The aim is to increase the capacity and the international competitiveness, primarily within Tanzania's universities, but also in the country in general. An important goal is for the research results to come to some practical use for the country's development, through new farming and fishing practices, a vaccine against HIV and new energy forms for meeting the growing need for electricity among the population.


The support is dominated by a programme to improve the research capacity in the cooperation with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Muhumbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and Ardhi University (ARU).

How much?

Sida has contributed SEK 290 million from 2004-2011.

Results of support for improved research capacity

  • Since 2004, 86 doctoral students have completed the research programme, of which approximately one-third were women.
  • 99 PhD students are currently conducting their research within the programme. Around fifty of these began their work between 2004 and 2009. The aim is for 160 doctoral students to have completed their studies by the end of 2013.
  • Most of the graduated PhDs and Master's students are promptly employed as teachers and researchers at the universities, which contributes to an increased institutional research capacity. For example, 15-20% of the current faculty with a PhD and Master's grade at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) have been educated with the help of Swedish funding.
  • The number of students admitted to UDSM has increased from 3,300 in 1994 to 17,000 in 2012. The number of students per teacher has decreased from 17 to 13 during the last five years, and one-third of the University's total faculty have PhDs.
  • At the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), the majority of the employed researchers and teachers were educated through the Swedish-financed research programme.

Utilisation of research results

The research conducted within UDSM, MUHAS and ARU is relevant and in demand. Examples of actual use of the research results that were generated during the strategy period include:

  • Tanzania's State energy company, TANESCO, currently uses isolators that were developed within the engineering programme.
  • The country's first language atlas which is used, for example, within primary education, was developed and launched by the language programme.
  • The marine research programme has contributed to the development of, among other things, fish farming operations, with a tenfold productivity increase from 0.3 tons per hectare in 1996 to 3 tons in 2009.
  • The health programme has developed a vaccine against HIV that has been tested in Dar es Salaam since 2007. The programme has also made great contributions to the regulatory framework with regard to HIV, AIDS and sexual assault.
  • Microbiological research has led to the mass cultivation of wild mushrooms, and the number of farmers who grow mushrooms has increased from 0 to 4,000. This, in turn, leads to mushrooms being available to more people all year round.

Some examples of results of the dialogue work are:

  • The situation of vulnerable groups has been brought into focus and financial support has been given to civil society organisations working with vulnerable children, with specific attention given to violence against children.
  • Children's rights in Zanzibar have been specifically addressed in the dialogue, which has significantly contributed to the adoption of the Zanzibar Children's Act in August 2011.
  • The dialogue on equality has contributed to a more systematic reporting procedure that is also categorised by gender due to the research efforts.

Page owner: Communication Unit

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