2015 UNDP Human Development Report:Challenges beset Tanzania

23Mar 2016
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
2015 UNDP Human Development Report:Challenges beset Tanzania

The achievement of middle income status by 2030 will require Tanzania to undergo major diversification and structural transformation, it has been advised.

Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office- Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Anthony Mavunde ( centre) cuts a ribbon to officiate the launch of the “Human Development Report 2015

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Alvaro Rodriguez, says that more importantly with approximately 12 million Tanzanians still living in poverty coupled with a youthful labour force about 800,000 every year, putting emphasis on natural based industrialisation was very crucial in the country.

He made the observation during the launch of the UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 in Dar es Salaam recently.
Titled ‘Work for Human Development’ the report, examines linkages between work and human development and explores changes between job security, flexibility and demand for skills as well as issues of paid and unpaid work, including care, voluntary, creative and sustainable work.

“Tanzania still faces challenges which include persistent poverty, rising inequalities, vulnerabilities to shocks and risks and climate change. All of these issues are extremely relevant and in sync with Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Rodriguez

He pointed out that a big challenge for Tanzania lies on how to transform this idea in the proper infrastructure in creating a good environment for the people to employ new skills to undertake the initiative.

Most jobs related to industrialisation and energy development require science, technology, engineering and mathematics competencies where more trained individuals are needed.

The adaptation for these requirements has to be fast for Tanzania to be able to create modern and decent jobs opportunities evenly accessible.

“This Human Development Report 2015 addresses the question of how work enhances human development and demonstrates clearly that human capital is a critical factor to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Tanzania, “he said.

In order to strengthen positive links between work and human development, the report recommends policies that expand productive, remunerative, satisfying and quality work, that protect workers and their rights and create work opportunities both for present and future generations.

The Human Development Report 2015 takes a large perspective of the concept work to account for conventional jobs, unpaid care work as well as voluntary work and creative work.

It highlights progress and challenges and depicts different factors affecting the world of work. It also gives us insights on the imbalances of paid and unpaid work as well the imperative and urgency to move to what it terms sustainable work.

The report further addresses the imperative and urgency of shifting to sustainable work in the line with the SDGs. Tanzania needs to build stronger foundations to be able to withstand shocks and volatilities like economic downtowns, health risks, natural disasters, climate change and take full use of the potential for green industrialization.

However, the report shows that Tanzania has gone up in the Human Development Index (HDI) ladder after recording a 40 percent increase, positioning the country at number 151 out of 188 nations.

The HDI is a measurement that assesses long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

It shows that between 1985 and 2014, Tanzania’s HDI value increased from 0.371 to 0.521, representing a rise by 40.5 per cent or average annual increase of about 1.18 percent.

The report also shows, Tanzania’s life expectancy at birth increased by 14.5 years, means years of schooling increased by 2.6 years and expected years of schooling by 3.3 years. Tanzania’s GNI per capita increased by 55.9 percent between 1985 and 2014. GNI per capita (formerly GNP per capita) is the gross national income.

Delivering the key note address, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Responsible for Labour, Youth and Employment, Anthony Mavunde said the report comes at a pertinent time in Tanzania’s own socio economic landscape where the significance of equitable and decent work is a prevalent topic.

“It is for this reason that I would like to assure you that the Government of Tanzania looks at this report as a very important resource which will certainly help us in improving policies, strategies and actions related to work in Tanzania,” he said.

Mavunde however, sent a stern warning to all employers in the country to ensure that they adhere to all rules and regulations of work.

According to the report, significant gains have been made in human development in Sub-Saharan Africa including Tanzania, however to strengthen progress there is an urgent need to address wide inequalities and gaps in opportunities, including in work.

Since 2000, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the fastest annual growth rates in the Human Development Index (HDI) among all regions - growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 2000 and 2010 and 0.9 percent between 2010 and 2014.

The HDI is a measurement that assesses long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

Twelve countries in the region, including Botswana, Cabo Verde, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, and Zambia have levels that put them in the high or medium human development group, individually.

However Sub-Saharan Africa, on average, remains in the low human development category and HDI levels are still low: a shortage of good work opportunities is preventing many from reaching their full potential and making decent livelihoods.

The Executive Director of the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Dr Tausi Kida, added that that the report will enable the country to undergo major diversification and structural transformation in the human development.

“However, we are pleased with the fact that our previous report which was launched in March last year has been used extensively in policy development processes in our country especially during the ongoing process of formulating second Five Years Development Plan,’’ she proudly revealed.

According to her, with support from UNDP, the ESRF is currently in the process of preparing the next national Human Development Report which will be launched in June 2017.

“The theme of the coming report is Social Policy in the Context of Economic Transformation,’’ she revealed.

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