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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Tanzania climbs up the HDI ladder by 32 pct

4th November 2011

Tanzania has gone up in the Human Development Index (HDI) ladder after recording a 32 percent increase, positioning the country at number 152 out of 187 nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has said in its latest report.

The Index is a composite measure of health, education and income and other complementary aspects.

A statement issued by the UNDP in Dar es Salaam yesterday, said between 1990 and 2011, Tanzania’s HDI value increased from 0.352 to 0.466, representing a rise by 32.0 per cent or average annual increase of about 1.4 per cent. In the 2010 HDI, Tanzania was ranked 148 out of 169 nations.

The Human Development Report is published every year with the UNDP support. The theme for this year is “Sustainability and Equity”.

“A joint lens shows how environmental degradation intensifies inequality through adverse impacts on already disadvantaged people and how inequalities in human development simplify environmental degradation,” the report says.

It calls for new approaches to global development financing and environmental controls, arguing that these measures are both essential and feasible and that the challenges of sustainability and equity must be addressed jointly.

It further says life expectancy in Tanzania increased by 7.7 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.6 years and expected years of schooling increased by 1.8 years. Tanzania’s gross national income (GNI) per capita increased by about 59 per cent between 1990 and 2011, it says.

Long-term progress can be usefully assessed relative to other countries—both in terms of geographical location and HDR value, the statement says.

For instance, between 1990 and 2011 Tanzania, Mauritania and Ivory Coast experienced different degrees of progress in increasing their HDIs

According to the report, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity.

Reproductive health is measured by maternal mortality and adolescent fertility rates; empowerment is measured by the share of parliamentary seats held by each gender and attainment at secondary and higher education by each gender, while economic activity is measured by the labour market participation rate for each gender, it says.

Tanzania has a GII value of 0.590, ranking it 119 out of 146 countries in the 2011 index.

At least 36 per cent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 5.6 per cent of adult women have reached secondary or higher level education compared to 9.2 per cent of their male counterparts, it says.

For every 100,000 live births, 790 women die from pregnancy related causes, and the adolescent fertility rate is 130.4 births per every 1000 live births, it says adding that female participation in the labour market is 86.3 per cent compared to 90.6 for men.

However the report warns that development progress in the world’s poorest countries could be halted or even reversed by mid-century unless bold steps are taken now to slow climate change, prevent further environmental damage and reduce deep inequalities within and among nations.

It further says that environmental sustainability can be most fairly and effectively achieved by addressing health, education, income and gender disparities together with the need for global action on energy production and ecosystem protection.

As the world community prepares for the landmark UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, the Report argues that sustainability must be approached as a matter of basic social justice, for current and future generations alike, it says.

“Environmental sustainability is the greatest development challenge of the 21st century. Looking through the joint lens of sustainability and equitable development, the HDR shows how environmental degradation intensifies inequality through adverse impacts on already disadvantaged people, and how inequalities in human development amplify environmental degradation,” UN Resident Coordinator to Tanzania Alberic Kacou said during the launch.

He said the world has seen enormous progress in human development over the years. Some countries have progressed quickly while others have advanced slowly but steadily.

“I am happy to note that in 2011 Tanzania has ranked 152nd in the new Human Development Index, out of a total of 189 countries up one place from last year,” he said.

“Further, it has moved up seven places in the HDR ranking from 2006 to 2011 – one of the top performers during that period,” he added cautioning:

“But challenges remain in moving forward. Both inequality and environmental issues could stall progress in human development.

The HDR is an average measure of basic human development achievements in a country.

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