Latest News

Natural resource management and conservation in Tanzania can be improved by enhancing people-centred governance by putting in place organisational structures and processes that support community participation. This was said at the breakfast debate hosted by Policy Forum on 24th November, 2017 dedicated on the theme entitled, “People- Centered Land Governance: The solution for protecting the rights of the poor and vulnerable in Tanzania?.”

Mr. Masalu Luhula of the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) highlighted that currently land management processes lacked appropriate consultation and citizen engagements and adequate compensation to the citizens that have been evicted from their lands and that there was abandonment of lands left unused. He further added that “community land has been protected through land use planning but as the government plans it is in our responsibility to empower the community on issues of their rights to protect their land.”

On the issue of reducing land-related conflicts in society, it was suggested that the government should invest in land planning and land set aside for villagers should be used for those intended purposes only. Apart from limiting land conflicts, planned land enables the government to know the amount of land reserved for small, medium and large-scale farming.

Former University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) fellow, Prof Adolf Mascarenhas, pointed that land planning should be supported by sufficient laws, regulations and procedures to protect land once it is set aside for villagers especially form investors who often grab it and makes conflicts inevitable.

Dr. Stephen Nindi of the National Land Use Planning Commission (NLUPC) stressed that a majority of the Tanzanians live in rural areas and their livelihoods depended much on agriculture. This majority, however, does not have reliable infrastructure to enable them to transport their products to urban areas on time. Poor infrastructure has caused inadequate participation of farmers in agriculture activities which risks food insecurity affecting the farmers, the country and the region at large.

The morning debate had a proposition that compensations should directly be paid to the community rather than involving the government as a third party as transaction costs are high. The local authorities should be given a mandate to educate their community and there should be a citizens agreement with the land investors.

Kindly be informed that Policy Forum Secretariat office will be closed for Christmas and New Year Holiday from 22nd  December 2017 to 15th January 2018.

The office will be opened and resume its regular activities and operations on Monday 15th January 2018.               

We would like to wish a Happy Holiday Season to you all.

        Article 20 (1) of the Constitution of United Republic of Tanzania stipulates that every person has the freedom to assemble and express views publicly or through associations /organizations. Although the mother law recognizes the right to assemble, there are still some political decisions which infringe the right to assemble peacefully in the country.  This sentiment was expressed during the monthly Breakfast Debate entitled Freedom of Assembly: Supplementing the voice of the citizens to contribute to the evolution of governance held on the 27th October 2017 at British Council Dar es salaam.

Presenting on the topic, Elizabeth Martin Mhagama from Tanzania center of Democracy (TCD) urged political leaders to respect and observe the law because they swore to protect and defend the constitution when they were elected including the right of the public to assemble as an underpinning pillar of democracy and pluralism in the country.

It was also highlighted that the rights of citizens to assemble should not be considered a mere favour that the government grants to its people as to participate in the democratic processes, associate common causes and demand accountability from the leaders they have elected are actions that enable growth of open and inclusive societies.

Non-Government Organizations were also urged to come together and review existing laws that limit freedom of association in Tanzania. It was believed that the move will enable all NGOs to share their views and to develop strategies and actions to protect freedom of assembly as well as freedom of expression.

The discussion ended by participants beseeching the government to realize the importance of enabling people to assemble and urged it to protect this right by providing security during their public convening.

In recent years there have been concerns that authorities in Tanzania have been banning peaceful assembly by political parties and civil society without satisfactory justification. The Breakfast Debate sought to offer space for commentators to discuss the issue and air their concerns regarding the impact of this shrinking political and civic space.

Policy Forum holds the People and Policy Debates on the last Friday of the month to broaden public understanding and debate on a topical policy issue. Issues chosen for the breakfast debates are wide-ranging and speakers are drawn from the public sector, academia, civil society, donor agencies and the private sector, and the talks are open to the public and attended by interested individuals and professionals.

H.E Jeroen Verheul , Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Tanzania today paid a courtsey call on Policy Forum to familiarise with the work of the network and to learn more about Civil Society advocacy efforts in Tanzania.

On the right is PF Coordinator Semkae Kilonzo , H.E Jeroen Verheul (Middle) and on the left is Neema Matafu, Embassy of Netherlands Policy Officer for Public Administration and Economic Policies.

 

            People living in extreme poverty hesitate to pay taxes for their development because they think that the government fails to fulfil its responsibility of solving their development challenges. The challenges include poor infrastructure, lack of medical care in the village dispensaries, poor education system and lack of clean water. That is said today in Dodoma by Hon. Mendrad Kigola (MP) during the follow-up meeting of the stop the bleeding campaign coordinated by Policy Forum (PF) in collaboration with Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition (TTJC).

Stop the bleeding campaign was launched in 2016 in Dodoma with the aim of calling for informed actions and political will by the government to put in place interventions that will reduce and eventually stop all acts that contribute to loss of resources from our country.

A number of studies indicate that African countries including Tanzania lose significant amount of revenues every year as a result of harmful tax incentives, illicit financial flows and secrecy in contracts. Some of these studies include;

  • Tax competition in East Africa: A Race to the Bottom?
  • Double Taxation Agreements: Gain or loss to Tanzania?
  • Still Racing towards the Bottom? Corporate tax incentives in East Africa;
  • High Level Panel Report on Illicit Financial Flows commonly known as the Mbeki Report;
  • Reports by Controller and Auditor General and
  • The One Billion Dollar Question

The campaign had the key recommendations to the government which include:

Provision of tax incentives only on the basis of a thorough cost-benefit analysis, including an assessment of the impact on poor people and vulnerable groups. The government should ensure that corporate tax incentives are audited to check that the investment for which an incentive is offered has actually been carried out. Tanzania Revenue Authority capacity should be strengthened to collect taxes through providing financial resources and technical capacity. The government should invest more in other measures such as enabling environments and political stability to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) than giving unnecessary incentives. The government should end harmful tax treaties that limit the ability for Tanzania to raise revenue to fund quality public service delivery.

Presenting achievements made by the government and legislators since 2016, Nicholas Lekule (PF’s Budget and Policy Analyst) said that “Informed discussion in the Parliament on tax incentives including the powers to grant incentives has increased and more MPs are now familiar and conversant with the agenda”. There is also a positive move by the government and decision makers to call for contract transparency in the extractive industries as well as enactment and review of laws governing extractive investments.

Contributing in the discussion Hon. Amb. Adadi Rajabu (MP) advised the government to effectively train officials who are responsible for negotiating extractive contacts because the multination companies know how to avoid paying taxes.

Members agreed that a summary of what has transpired in the meeting should be recorded by Policy Forum and submitted to Hon. Job Ndugai Speaker of the National Assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HakiRasilimali Calls for the Preservation of Civil Society Space in Natural Resource Governance in Tanzania

Dodoma, 26 October 2017

HakiRasilimali - Publish What You Pay Tanzania, a platform of civil society organizations working on extractives advocacy in Tanzania, has called on stakeholders to acknowledge, appreciate the role of civil society and preserve its space in the natural resource governance in Tanzania.

The call was made ahead of a national conference on mining, oil and natural gas sector in Tanzania aimed at "collaborative reflection on how this sector can effectively contribute to sustainable development in the country" to be held in Dodoma this week.

“The conference will be held on 2 and 3 November 2017 in Dodoma, bringing together stakeholders from all spheres of society within and outside Tanzania, with a view to discuss, learn and share experiences with policy makers, regulators, civic groups on opportunities for collective approaches towards harnessing the potential of the extractive sector to contribute meaningfully to growth and inclusive socio-economic development,” said Donald Kasongi, the Chairman of HakiRasilimali - Publish What You Pay Tanzania.

The conference comes against a backdrop of currently broadening debate on policies, laws and regulations that aim to ensure upholding sovereign management of natural resources in Tanzania.

“We congratulate the efforts through the President of Tanzania, Dr. John Magufuli for demonstrating exceptionally high levels of patriotism in promoting models that will ensure that the sector can play its full part in building a predictably prosperous and resilient economy in which human development outcomes are central,” Kasongi said adding that “this has been demonstrated through the recent negotiations between the government and corporate entities with mining stakes in the country.  The dialogue leading to ensuring that the best scenario for Tanzania’s interests in the resources are secured while at the same time maintaining competitiveness and commitment to creating an investment climate that allows well intentioned investors to continue operating in the country.”

On his part, Bishop Munga of the Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and the Integrity of Creation said they hope that the rigour in management of the extractive commodities will be broadened to include wider stakeholder groups in public, private and civic sectors.

“It is therefore critical to ensure that governance of the sector is effectively guided by collaborative tools. This collaboration is always achieved with active participation of civil society at local, sub national and national level consultations,” Bishop Munga said.

The platform has also called for the disclosure of all contracts between companies, governments and beneficial owners in the sector and awareness raising campaigns to be provided to all Tanzanians in order to allow productive analysis on these contracts and eliminate "unconsciousness” on the agreement terms.

Moreover, HakiRasilimali has also urged for extractive sector operations that are fully compliant with both national and international social and environmental safeguards to avoid human rights violations and environmental degradation. Also counseled was the importance of expanding dialogue and responsiveness to emerging gender issues in the extractive industries in Tanzania.

Note to Editors:

(HakiRasilimali Members are Action for Democracy and Local Governance, Governance Links, Governance and Economic Policy Centre, ONGEA, HakiMadini, Policy Forum, and Tanganyika Law Society),

Partners:  Interfaith Standing committee

For further information or to request interviews please contact:

HAKIRASILIMALI - Racheal Chagonja +255 745 655 655 coordinator@hakirasilimali.or.tz

 

The Policy Forum monthly breakfast debate on September 29th, 2017 dedicated to discussing the Concealed Opportunities of the Informal sector in Tanzania. The debate entitled The Power of Tanzania’s Informal Economy: Unveiling the Concealed Opportunities”, was presented by William Madiwa from Tanzania Trade and Economic Justice (TTEJF).

According to Madiwa, the reality of the informal economy cannot be denied. The formal sector has the characteristics of difficult entry, frequent reliance on overseas resources, corporate ownership, and large scale operation, capital-intensive and formally acquired skills, often expatriate meanwhile the  Informal  sector  is characterized by  reliance  of indigenous  resources where  by  individuals  who  are  engaged  in it do  not  need  to  have  a formal education, or a proper certification to conduct their activities.

He furthered the discussion by stating that Informal sector plays an important role in reducing urban unemployment, crime and violence, and serving as a breeding ground for new entrepreneurs which also contributes to poverty reduction as its roots go deep into household economic especially the rural population.

Illuminating that the key to policy making towards informality is twofold, Madiwa recommended the following:

First, to specify more basic objectives, such as efficiency and equity (fair and impartial), which transcend informality and its persistence in itself is neither good nor bad.

Second, to disaggregate informality into policy-relevant categories, rather than take it as an undifferentiated lump and then gauge policies by their impact on its magnitude. Reducing the costs of transaction for paying taxes as with the use of a simple presumptive tax- will help incentivize small informal business become formal but it might not be enough. Improving the livelihoods of the working poor in the informal economy, particularly women, by increasing their access to productive resources and services as well as legal and social protection and by enhancing their voice and representation. Several levels of intervention and different entry points need to be taken up simultaneously for a system-wide change to be effective.

Prof. of Economics and Business at Mzumbe University Honest Ngowi said that it is wrong to say or think that informal sector does not contribute to tax revenues.  According  to  the  Integrated  Labour  Force  Survey,  2006  (ILFS)  the informal  sector  was  the  second  main  employing  sector  after  agriculture  by  employing  10.1 percent  of  the  employed  persons,  followed  by  other  private  sectors  with  8.6  percent,  where agriculture  employed  75.1  percent.   Hereafter, The Integrated Labour Survey report 2014 indicates that jobs from both the formal and informal sectors increased from 16.6 million in 2006 to 20 million in 2014 which eventually is notable that the informal sector employment is more than doubled from 1.6 million to 4.3 million (2006 - 2014).

Prof. Ngowi emphasized that the informal sector is here to stay, for it has been around since time immemorial. It is not a Tanzanian or African phenomenon but worldwide and debates are ongoing on whether or not the sector should be formalized.

It has been revealed that the sustainability of social accountability monitoring (SAM) as a tool and an approach would depend on how it is successfully entrenched within Tanzanian communities with gradual reduction of dependency on donor resources as an exit strategy. If SAM continued to be donor-driven, it would one day collapse, stakeholders at a recent learning event were told.

Speaking in Mwanza at a two day zonal reflection meeting that brought together participants from the Lake and northern zones organised by Policy Forum, Representative of the Shinyanga Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Burton Mwakanyamale said: “In order for the SAM programme to be sustainable even after donors have pulled out, the government needs to put some resources in it because it is has enormous potential as a monitoring and evaluation opportunity for local government not shy of assessing its work,” he urged.

He further elaborated: “These efforts by such nonprofit institutions should be consolidated as much as possible and be owned locally by communities. I am sure they will give huge support to the citizens much as they are being supported by others.”

He warned, however, that without good relations and communications between these nongovernmental organizations, the citizens and the respective local authorities they were working with, they could be no tangible development to the citizenry.

For his part, Director of a Mwanza based Community Active in Development Association (CADA), Mr. Peter Matonyi concurred with Mwakanyamale by saying that it was very important for Policy Forum and other civil society organizations and NGOs to work collaboratively with government organizations and institutions, and local and international organizations so as to bring development to community.

But he said that in order that relation to work out, all these organizations in general needed to be transparent on all their financial matters as a way of creating trust and integrity to the community they working with.

Mr Matonyi commended Policy Forum and SAM for being educative and informative to citizens at the grassroots on policy, financial matters and on how they can know their rights when implementing the different development projects directed to them.

“Currently communities where SAM operates know their responsibilities and also know how to oversee them. Likewise, people now know the importance of participating in development activities, and meetings voluntarily,” he said.

He further said that through SAM, the community has been able to know the financial disbursement from the Treasury to the lower level meant to implement the intended projects in their areas.

“It is the responsibility of the community to bring to account the unfaithful and irresponsible leaders who halt developments in their areas hrough abuse and misuse of public resources,” he urged.

In his opening speech Policy Forum Coordinator, Semkae Kilonzo, said that the main objectives of the zonal learning session among mothers were: to document the lessons learned, challenges as well as results of the previous SAM exercises; the promotion organizational learning by engaging with the civil society and government officials at the local level in policy, to have insights of what worked and not worked as far as social accountability and other advocacy initiatives were concerned and also use the shared experience at the ground level to inform engagements related to policy processes at the national level.

Kilonzo further noted that the meeting had also intended among other things to focus on capturing and reflecting on the most important lessons as far as the SAM practice in the country was concerned for the purpose of using them to advance their work.

By Daniel Semberya, Mwanza

Policy Forum (PF) network is looking forward to framing its future efforts on Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) based on the lessons learned in the previous years of implementation in Tanzania.

Speaking in his opening speech to participants from Coastal and Southern Tanzania attending a two day Zonal learning session that has started today on the 20th September, 2017 in Morogoro, PF’s Coordinator Semkae Kilonzo said that the meeting was an opportunity to reflect and share lessons and experiences emerging from the implementation of Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) and other accountability work in coastal and southern Tanzania.

Further, Kilonzo elaborated that the meeting would also complement the ongoing country capacity enhancement efforts towards social accountability practitioners using the shared experience at the ground level to inform engagements related to policy processes at the national level.

“Our new strategic plan intensely focuses on monitoring evaluation and learning (MEL) to capture the dynamics, causal mechanisms, reasons underlying and positive or negative changes, tacit knowledge and the contexts or operating environment in which SAM can be most impactful and to share these lessons with practitioners in the country and beyond,” he said.

Kilonzo noted that Policy Forum has planned to conduct two zonal reflection meetings in 2017, which among other things would focus on capturing and reflecting on the most important lessons as far as the social accountability monitoring practice in the country is concerned for the purpose of using them to advance their work.

He mentioned the objectives of the meeting among others as: The documentation of the lesson learned, challenges as well as results of the previous SAM exercises; to promote organizational learning by engaging with the civil society in policy and budget advocacy issues.

Others were to have insights of what worked and what did not work as far as social accountability and other advocacy initiatives were concerned.

For her part, the Programme Officer at the Embassy of Switzerland Jacquiline Gatera Ngoma commended Policy Forum’s efforts in convening and enhancing the very-much needed learning around SAM.

“we understand the various challenges that face our planning, budgeting and execution processes and we commend Policy Forum to have spearheaded SAM trainings and implementation in Tanzania," She further added that:

“CSOs are a bridge between the government and citizens and they need to really work out that bridging function for mutual benefits." But to achieve this, she urged the government to recognize CSOs (especially those engaged in social accountability initiatives) as partners in development and give them full cooperation.

 

By Daniel Semberya

 

Despite the optimism around the draft National Land Policy 2016, stakeholders have advised the government to adequately address the resettlement of people facing acute land shortage to areas with adequate land and to empower the landless including women.

This was counseled at the Policy Forum monthly breakfast debate on August 25, 2017 dedicated to discussing the 2016 Land Policy Draft. Entitled “The New Land Policy (Draft) 2016: Giving Land Back to the People or Taking it away?”, the main talk was presented by Richard Mbunda from the University of Dar es Salaam.

Mbunda commenced his presentation by posing two major questions to the audience: “Is the Draft National Land Policy 2016 in consonant with the aspirations of more than 75 percent of the population? Does it give or take land away from the people?”

According to Mbunda, policies aren't an end in itself hence they must have objectives that rhyme with aspirations of the people and be guided by an ideology which was lacking in the draft National Land Policy of 2016.  Moreover, it was advised that the subsequent version of the policy ought to treat land as a natural resource and be consistent with the spirit the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act, 2017. In particular, adopting the legal logic of Section 4 and Section 5, which declares “the People of United Republic of Tanzania shall have permanent sovereignty over all natural wealth.”

Reacting to the presentation, stakeholders noted that the draft policy only guarantees women’s access to land but is completely silent on their rights to own land or make decisions on land and the produce coming from it, lamenting that it allowed the coexistence of the customary tenure which limits the position of women to own land especially at grass root levels. De facto inequity in land and property rights can be reversed, they argued, if the framework explicitly addresses gender inclusive access to land. It was stated that without specific attention to gender inclusiveness, important segments of society may be excluded from the benefits of land administration, management and development schemes.

They also advised that the policy should include a resettlement processes that adhere to the principle of prior informed consent and protect grazing land.

Stakeholders commended the government for following the African Union and Cabinet guidelines for drafting the policy and observed that the process thus far has been consultative and has a clear implementation strategy. Moreover, some of the Breakfast Debate participants were of the view that the draft policy was premised on the promotion of sustainable utilisation of land, good dispute settlement and the formalisation of informal settlements. Above all they said, provided a good stepping stone towards a people-centred land policy.

Furthermore, Professor Lupala, a representative from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development gave a brief on the process and status of The draft new land policy where he mentioned that platforms such as Breakfast Debate are very useful to accumulate important contributions from citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania and assured the crowded that most of the comments given shall be accommodated in the next Land Policy draft. 

Pages