The policy document titled ‘Harnessing Urbanisation for Development: Roadmap for Tanzania’s Urban Development,’ launched here yesterday estimates that over half the country’s population will live in urban areas by the middle of the century.
It asserts that urbanization has the potential to be a powerful enabler of cost–effective service delivery, structural reform of the economy and development.
“At present, however, Tanzania’s urban expansion is proceeding without any definitive urban policy in place and remains detached from government-led programmes for industrialization and development,” the document declares.
The result is unplanned and uncoordinated cities, leading to congestion, sprawl and low economic multipliers that make infrastructure financing unsustainable.
“In order to address this situation, Tanzania requires an urban development policy (UDP) to clarify roles and responsibility in what is a multi-sector process,” it says.
The report authored by the Tanzania Urbanisation Laboratory (TULab) shows that the urban population in the country is estimated to reach 45 million people by 2030, making it among the six countries globally with high urban population growth.
Dar es Salaam is geared to become a megacity with a population of ten million people before 2035, it affirms.
TULab prepared the report as an input to the development of an Urban Development Policy (UDP) and is intended to serve as a source of ideas and information for formulating a final UDP.
Officiating at the launch of the report yesterday, the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Suleiman Jafo stated that the new findings will help the government plan better for the future.
He cited Dar es Salaam city as one among cities that are not well considered for future planning, leading to heavy growth of squatters and more unplanned facilities.
He called on local government authorities to oversee implementation of recommendations in the report, specifying that the government is doing all it takes to create conducive environment for gainful economic activity for all Tanzanians.
“What the document has shown here is the exact picture on the ground and what is left is for the government to see how best to implement policy for better urban planning,” he emphasized.
The Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements, Angelina Mabula noted that Tanzania is working in accordance with the United Nations 2016 resolution, ‘New Urban Agenda’ that calls for more inclusive development of urban areas.
“The government - and the ministry in particular - have initiated major policy changes in an effort to ensure better urban planning and improvement of infrastructure,” she said.
Dr Tausi Kida, executive director for the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) argued that the roadmap presents the government with options for creating multi-level and multi-actor governance.
“Support from mandated institutions and application of smart digital technology will allow city authorities to be held to account, while at the same time providing them with the means and tools to hold other tiers of governance,” she added.