The report on poverty reduction was revealed in Dar es Salaam yesterday by Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango during the first international conference on the use of Living Standard Measurement Study Data for Research, Policy and Development.
According to Mpango, Tanzania is better placed to sustain the economic growth rate and called on wananchi to grab different investment opportunities to create more jobs and wealth.
“Our economy is growing with a number of emerging opportunities … Tanzanians should use these opportunities for their personal gain and the country’s development,” the minister said.
He also called on African statisticians to work on a better mechanism for poverty assessment so the country can come up with reliable data and proper strategies to fight poverty.
Since the fifth phase government is determined to fight poverty, well researched statistics are required, the minister pointed out, adding:
“There are problems in getting proper poverty statistics specifically in developing countries in the sub-Saharan African region.”
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) director general Dr Albina Chuwa said the conference was meant to discuss how countries in sub-Saharan Africa can use available statistics to come up with better policies towards poverty reduction.
According to Dr Chuwa, the use of statistics in the fight against poverty and planning for development is still low, hence the need to bring together economists, statisticians and academicians to discuss how to improve the data.
The head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Tanzania and East Africa Community (EAC), Roeland Van De Geer, pledged that the EU will continue using the available statistics when planning for development in specific countries, including Tanzania.
De Geer said his office has set aside funds to support power projects in the country, and is now awaiting a detailed report on national electricity needs from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.
World Bank country representative Bella Bird insisted on the need for countries to use statistics in policy preparation and when planning for the implementation of development projects.
“We need statistics to develop the agricultural sector…there have been challenges in assessing the sector due to poor statistics,” said Bird.
The two-day conference has brought together over 150 participants from within and outside the country.