REPOA, Sweden in 10bn/- research pact

20Nov 2021
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
REPOA, Sweden in 10bn/- research pact

THE government of Sweden has approved a 40m Swedish kroner (over 10bn/-) grant to support research activities in Tanzania in the areas of climate change, governance, accountability and human development.

The financial input is being availed to the REPOA think-tank to enable it pursue its strategic research objectives for the next four years.

Dr Donald Mmari, its executive director, said after signing the grant agreement in Dar es Salaam yesterday that REPOA was grateful for Sweden for support, as the funding will enable the institution to undertake its research priorities.

The grant will provide the institution with autonomy and resources to carry out strategic research along with related activities for promoting evidence-informed policy dialogue, along with targeted capacity building for researchers and users of research results, he stated.

 “Today marks a milestone in our partnership with the Swedish embassy,” he declared, noting that the partnership has a long history, as you all know since the on-set of Covid-19 in March 2020, the work of many organisations has not been easy because of various factors including measures put in place for fighting the pandemic, shifting policy priorities, health and economic impact on the people and societies and the disruptions on the flow of funding needed for executing various projects. However, through the enduring support from our partners we have managed to sustain our operations up to this moment,” he asserted.

In the four-year strategic plan, REPOA focuses on governance, accountability and citizen engagement as well as crosscutting issues such as climate change, technology and innovation. “These are essential elements to inform a comprehensive national agenda on socio-economic transformation for inclusive development and commitments to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs),” the director underlined.

REPOA was committed to continue undertaking credible research and analytical work, to provide information that is relevant for evidence-formed policy making, providing capacity development for diverse stakeholders, he affirmed.

In his remarks, Swedish ambassador Anders Sjoberg said despite various challenges, “REPOA has remained dedicated in its mission by being innovative, patient and strategic in its engagement and partnership with the government and other actors.”

The changing context of shrinking democratic space globally, challenging economic and climatic conditions have made research and scientific evidence even more critical for effective policies and decision making, he stated.

In January 2020, the Swedish government approved a new strategy for Swedish development cooperation with Tanzania covering the period of 2020-2024 with the focus being on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law and gender equality.

Other notable priorities are education, inclusive economic development, environment and climate change, he elaborated.

The Swedish Embassy has assessed REPOA as a relevant partner, not only for the Swedish strategy but first and foremost to national socioeconomic priorities, the country’s regional and global commitments included in the East African Community Vision 2050, the African development agenda 2063 and 2030 global agenda on  sustainable development goals, he declared..

 “REPOA objectives and research themes as stated in the Strategic Plan fully aligns with Sweden’s priorities in areas such as private sector development, job creation, climate change, renewable energy and environment as well as governance and democratic development,” the envoy asserted.

Back in March, REPOA was ranked as the top think tank in Tanzania for the sixth consecutive years and number 11 among 612 rated research organisations in Sub-Sahara Africa, in the 2019 ‘Global Go-To Think Tank’ Index (GGTI).