World Bank freezes $50m for Tanzania over statistics law

03Oct 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
Financial Times
World Bank freezes $50m for Tanzania over statistics law

THE World Bank has said it is “deeply concerned” by severe restrictions placed on freedom of speech in Tanzania by the Statistics Act of 2015, forcing it to review funding a $50 million aid package to support the state-run National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The law criminalises the dissemination of “any statistical information which is intended to invalidate, distort or discredit official statistics” issued by NBS.

The World Bank says the law is “out of line with international standards such as the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the African Charter on Statistics.”

“We have shared our concerns with the Tanzanian authorities that the amendments, if implemented, could have serious impacts on the generation and use of official and non-official statistics, which are a vital foundation for the country’s development,” according to the Bank statement.

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