Tanzania remains extremely poor, forty eight years after independence.
It lags behind her neighbours; Kenya and Rwanda in terms of GDP (total value of the annual output of goods and services: excludes the foreign output of domestic firms and includes the domestic output of foreign firms)
Tanzania is a rich resource country with almost every God given natural resources, raw materials, mining and sources of water. Tanzania is rich in gold, diamond, and the only country blessed for the most valuable stone in the Hollywood nowadays, Tanzanite. Tanzania is not a landlocked country, which cuts cost for export and import of goods through our sources of water; the Indian ocean, the second world largest fresh water body, lake Victoria, and the second world deepest body of water, lake Tanganyika.
Forty eight years after independence, Tanzania continues to depend heavily on agriculture, which accounts for about half of the GDP, about 82 percent of country export and 80 percent of the work force.
In this 21st century of science and technology, Tanzanians still lack any form of agricultural revolution, revolution that would have improved farming tools and introduced new farming technologies and hence increase productivity. Local farmers continue to depend on a simple structure to cultivate the land, a hoe. In a country that is heavily depended on agriculture for its survival and export of goods, why has it taken the government too long to upgrade and improve farming equipment used by local farmers?
How many more decades will the government need to introduce some form of agricultural revolution, which will not only improve productivity, but also standard of living, as farmers will have enough for the market and themselves. It is time that the government introduces a national agricultural subsidy program.
If developed countries continue to provide farm subsidies to their farmers, big and small, why is it that our government has no program to provide fertilizers, improved seeds, insecticides and modern technologies for our farmers?
If we have failed in the manufacturing industry, in science and technology, the government has no option, but to create an environment that will promote sustainable agricultural revolution throughout the country for the sake of our economy and people of Tanzania. Tanzania manufacturing industry and mining industry, both combined, contributes less than 13 percent of GDP, according to the official government website. Manufacturing industry contributes only 9 percent of the GDP, with mining contributing only 3.5 percent of the GDP.
With the current climate changes and the very unpredictable rain season in the country each year, it is awfully hard to tell where Tanzania is heading. When most developed countries have moved away from agriculture to manufacturing industry and technologies, how is Tanzania going to catch up with the rest of the world when manufacturing industry still counts for less than 10 percent of the GDP, with technologies counting for 0 percent of the GDP?
How much time and under what pace this country will need to reverse the pattern of national economy? When will we be able to compete with Botswana mining industry, where gold alone accounts for more than 33 percent of the GDP? Or when will we be able to compete with Namibia mining industry, which accounts for 20 percent of GDP? Botswana and Namibia process own mining, does Tanzania has anything to learn from these countries?
Besides HIV/ AIDS pandemic in Botswana, the country has been hailed by the international community and international institutions as the most progressive in Africa with sound economic policies.
Botswana is a mid income country, with GDP of $11, 200. Last year Botswana exported goods and services totalling $ 4.8 billion, while imported goods and services totalled $3.0 billion. Namibia is another good example of an African country that has done wonderfully in the national economy.
Last year, Namibia GDP was more than $ 7,400 which is pretty high by African standards. If Botswana and Namibia can do this, what excuses does Tanzania have?
It is true that Tanzania has made some progress in the past few years, but you cannot deny the fact that the current economic growth has yet to benefit the poor.
Many international reports have indicated that Tanzania continues to be poor with declining standards of living. Economic disparities continue to widen up the gap between the rich and the poor.
The haves and the have nots have become a symbol of Tanzania, with many citizens losing hope for the future. Standards of living have continued to decline, with this year inflation hitting the poor very badly and there is still no sign of light at the end of the tunnel.
More than 36 percent of the Tanzanian population still lives below poverty line, with life expectancy remaining at 44 for men and 46 for women, according to UNDP�s 2008 Human development report.
Why is Tanzania still behind all East African Countries? Why should Tanzania continue to be poor? Why does it that standards of living have continued to decline?
Why is Uganda, a country that has had a share of political instabilities, produce twice the capacity of Tanzania?
Rwandan GDP, a landlocked country with poor and limited resources is twice of that in Tanzania?
Is there any explanation to justify for the lack of employment, development and the declining standards of living for Tanzanians?
What should the public expect from the current trend of developments in Tanzania?
What has been the role of the public in questioning the government about lack of real change in the lives of Tanzanians?
What has been the role of the media in making sure that the government is accountable to the public?
Source: modified from www.ippmedia.com