‘Lack of seriousness condemns Dar es Salaam to poverty’

Tanzania has remained poor despite the nicely drafted development policies due to lack of seriousness on the implementation of such draft policies.

Data shows that Tanzania and South Korea, in the past 50 years, had similar development policies and almost same GDP sizes but the countries are far apart in terms of development. Participants and moderators of a half-day seminar on ‘Economic Transformation:

The Case of South Korea’ in Dar es Salaam yesterday expressed their dissatisfaction on the way Tanzania was managing her development vision. Key speaker at the seminar Dr Sang-woo Nam of KDI School of Public Policy and Management said the secret behind Korean success story was delivery and implementation.

“The World Bank wants to learn from what Korea did to achieve her economic prosperity,” Dr Nam told the seminar while delivering a paper on ‘Korea’s Development Experience since the Early 1960s.’

He said Korean government that came to power through a military coup in 1971 had strong commitment to develop the country, economically with its number one promise to the people being to alienate citizens from poverty.

“The government was free from interest group pressure and corruption, closely monitoring of economy (with) monthly meetings for reviewing economic conditions and export performance,” said Dr Nam.

Seminar moderator Honest Ngowi said the country has all it takes to graduate from least developed to rich economy but implementation of the policies is the major stumbling block.

“We have good plans on papers but implementation is an issue…Kilimo Kwanza, for instance, how can we implement it without adding value to our agricultural produce,” queried Dr Ngowi.

He criticised the country’s export promotion approach through counting the companies coming in through Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones instead of measuring revenues generated from exports. 

Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) Executive Director Prof Samwel Wangwe said just after independence Dar es Salaam had similar policy on development as of Korea.

“What has made the difference between the two countries over time is the fact that Korea trailed its development plans consistently with proper followups,” he said. “I am told Tanzania National Business Council has not met in the last 18 months while Korean meets monthly,” Prof Wangwe said.

Dr Jonas Kipokola, a former Permanent Secretary, said the three-year formulation of vision 2025, the major component was mindset change, “But, while Koreans changed their mindsets, ours are changing to worse and rulers are doing nothing to reverse the trend.”

Commissioner for Public, Private Partnership (PPP) with the Ministry of Finance Frank Mhilu said the country needs to learn more from Korea on how best to implement PPP on village level.
Source: The Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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