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Our work in Tanzania

Updated: 16 February 2015

Swedish cooperation with Tanzania should contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction, with a particular focus on women, children and youth. A new results strategy with several specific performance goals has been adopted; which will gradually help reduce the country's dependency on aid.

Tanzania is one of Sweden's long-standing partners in development cooperation, celebrating 50 years of cooperation in 2013. The new results strategy for Tanzania valid from 2013 is based on these long-term and good relations. A prioritised goal is to help to gradually reduce Tanzania's dependency on aid. The focus of the strategy is to achieve concrete results in the following areas, where women, children, young people and entrepreneurs are the main target groups:

  1. More jobs and development of energy and agricultural markets.
  2. Improved education and increased entrepreneurship.
  3. Strengthened democratic accountability and transparency, and increased awareness of human rights.

Sida also supports extensive research collaboration between Sweden and Tanzania.

The budget support has contributed to more boys and girls completing their primary education and to improved infrastructure. The objective for the future cooperation is to reduce Tanzania's dependence on aid. The new results strategy will contribute to Tanzania driving its own development by developing agricultural markets, increasing access to sustainable energy, improving education and increasing business.

These are some of the expected results

  • At least 300,000 people should have access to electricity. Mainly through sustainable energy with little environmental impact as well as through improved regulatory framework to promote private sector investment in renewable energy.
  • More boys and girls should acquire basic knowledge and skills in school, which includes improving the quality of elementary and secondary school.
  • More young people should complete vocational training with the aim to get at least 10,000 people in work. Sweden should e.g. contribute to better use of information and communication technology to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Increased opportunities for women and young people to start and run productive businesses. This requires support for commercializing ideas and increased access to financial services, especially for women.
  • Enhanced capacity in civil society to demand accountability and increased awareness of human rights.

Sweden has previously worked with issues such as energy, growth, education and human rights, even though there is a new definition of cooperation areas in the strategy. Here are some of the results achieved by Sweden's long-standing support to Tanzania:


In Tanzania's rural areas, the lack of energy is posing a major challenge to the country's future development. Many poor households lack basic electricity supplies and unreliable electricity networks are limiting companies' progress. Sweden's previous efforts have strengthened the production, distribution and administrative capacity of the Tanzanian electricity company and led to more poor people in rural areas having access to electricity. The aid is estimated to have funded more than 8,000 connections to households, private companies and local institutions in rural areas since 2006.

The Swedish support has also contributed to an increased private sector participation in electricity production from renewable sources, partly due to an improved regulatory framework.

Education and learning

When the economy went down in the 1990s, the school system was hit hard, resulting in a reduction in the proportion of people with reading and writing skills. However, there has been a significant change in the last 15 years. Through budget support and project and programme funding to the education sector, Sweden has been a partner in the restructuring of the education system. Today, primary education is free and many more children are attending school, from nearly 60 per cent in 2000 to just over 95 per cent in 2010. The enrolment of students in higher education has also increased significantly and the number of universities has more than quadrupled since the year 2000.

While many new elementary school teachers have been hired, the shortage of teachers and the poor quality of education remain a major problem. The graduation results from high school in 2012 were almost disastrous, as more than 60 per cent of the students did not pass (the corresponding figure in 2011 was 46 per cent). The underlying reasons for the result include an extensive teacher strike and a new correction standard.

Moreover, the Swedish budget support has contributed to sharply increasing public investment in education. One concrete result from the support in 2012 is the construction of 130 new classrooms for around 4000 students on the island of Zanzibar.

Growth and Jobs

The economic growth in Tanzania is high from a global perspective, but despite that, the income-related poverty has only declined marginally during the 2000s and the investment climate has not improved significantly. Swedish support to strengthening the private sector and create more jobs for poor people has in the past year (2013) contributed to 1.1 million people, (of whom 56 per cent are women) getting access to financial services. This is 166,000 more people compared to the year before. In addition, credit and savings volumes of micro financiers have increased.

Support to the aid-financed organisation Trademark East Africa (with the aim of increasing prosperity in East Africa through trade) has contributed to increased competitive trade for Tanzania, including the establishment of effective border posts, four so called One -Stop Border Posts. These will simplify border crossings for people and goods, thereby facilitating regional trade. The initiative is based on cooperation between the five neighbouring countries.

Democracy, Human Rights and Gender equality

The Swedish support has contributed to a stronger advocacy on human rights from the civil society. Several of Sweden's partner organisations have played key roles in increasing people's participation in the process of developing a new national constitution.

The support to the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) has furthermore contributed to 15,500 people across the country getting access to legal advice and legal aid, mainly concerning land ownership and employment. 1,500 of these efforts have been specifically targeted at women and children. In addition, each month 100 human rights violations have been reported, compiled and monitored.

Research and Universities

Sida has supported the Tanzanian research institutions for more than 30 years with the aim of Tanzania eventually being able to carry out their own research of international quality within their own priority areas, which will contribute to development and growth. Swedish support has contributed to a slow improvement of the country's analytical skills, with a strengthened budget and recognized research publications. Over 90 per cent of the scientists that have received education through the Swedish-funded programmes so far have remained in the country.

Page owner: Department for Africa

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