Comprehensive socio-economic transformation has been cited as one of the important and meaningful ways of reducing and ultimately eradicating poverty in the country.
Speaking to reporters during Research on Poverty Alleviation (Repoa)’s 17th annual research workshop in Dar es Salaam at the weekend, Repoa executive director Prof Samuel Wangwe said any country including Tanzania required socio-economic transformation to eradicate poverty.
He explained that experience had shown such transformation was primarily championed by the political leadership.
Experts say although Tanzania has achieved considerable economic growth in recent years the growth has not been able to reduce poverty.
Prof Wangwe noted that the two-day research workshop was very crucial for Repoa as it helped to come up with new areas and ideas of research deemed necessary for attaining required transformation that would reduce poverty in Tanzania.
“We have learnt from representatives from countries, which have managed to transform their economies and be able to substantially reduce poverty,” Prof Wangwe said.
Participants, who shared experiences from their countries included the head of the Developing Economies Study Department at the Institute of World Economy in Viet Nam, Prof Do Duc Dinh, the dean of the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University and Senior Research Associate at China International Poverty Reduction Centre in Beijing, Prof Li Xiaoyun and Dr Keith Jefferis from Botswana, who presented a paper entitled: “Natural resource management for transformation: The Case of Mining Sector in Botswana”.
The experts brought to the fore the experiences of their respective countries and shared the secret of achieving drastic poverty reduction in their countries over the last two decades.
Speaking during the workshop, Prof Do Duc Dinh said the main reasons, which had helped Vietnam to quickly reduce its poverty along with high economic growth included the inclusion of poverty reduction as a top priority in every national strategy, policy and plan and the association of poverty reduction with other social and economic programmes.
He mentioned other reasons as increasing marketisation, commercialisation and diversification to create more opportunities not just for the rich but also for the poor and promotion of the multi-stakeholder participation in poverty reduction, especially the participation of the poor themselves.
“The most important lesson Vietnam has learned through thousands of years in her history is that without trade, there will be no prosperity; without agriculture, there will be no stability,” the Vietnamese professor emphasised.
He noted that agricultural and rural development constituted a key factor in the cause of poverty alleviation and to its turn, poverty alleviation was one of the key factors for national stability, hence without poverty alleviation, the costs for a nation would be extremely high.
Meanwhile, Mtwara regional commissioner Joseph Simbakalia hailed Repoa for organising the workshop, saying quality research was a requisite for sustainable development in any country.
“We will attain progress if experts will carry out research and come up with solutions to problems facing our nation,” he said.
Participants came from the academia, the government, non-governmental organisations, donor agencies and the private sector, among others.