President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday launched the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Mission in the country to assess governance and transparency issues, and submit a report to the Heads of State summit in July, this year.
Handing over the draft to the team led by APRM lead panelist Barrister Akere Muna, Kikwete said the draft of the report was internally discussed by stakeholders before it was officially submitted for review in November last year.
He said the government has been focusing on improving the quality of governance in the country, saying it has made significant advances in the practice of democracy since independence to date.
He pointed to some of the successes of the efforts as unity, peace and tranquility that have led to a stable country, adding that the country has also undertaken financial and legal reforms to improve governance.
Three other initiatives undertaken by the government in respect to governance included the formation of the Human Rights Commission, Leadership Ethics Secretariat and establishment of the National Audit Office which is there purposely to reduce incidences of public fund misuse.
Earlier, Barrister Muna said his team will interview a wide range of stakeholders on the performance of the government in democracy and good governance.
He said the success of the review mission depends on the cooperation they will get from responsible authorities. He said members of the review mission originate from different African countries such as Kenya, Comoro, Nigeria, Botswana and Ghana.
For his part, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe said out of 54 African countries only 24 have allowed the APRM process to be carried out, meant to foster development in Africa.
He said the internal review whose report was handed over to the mission by President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday cost the nation 4.5bn/-. He said the external review to be done by the APRM team for three weeks will cost 1.5bn/-.
Membe said the review process for Tanzania was delayed due to several factors including financial constraints and the 2010 elections.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Governing Council, Prof Hassa Mlawa said the review team is expected to complete its work by March 23rd, this year.
He said the team has already visited Zanzibar and met with top government officials.