Aid works: education in Tanzania

Plaque on a school in Tanzania In 2001, using the resources released by debt relief, Tanzania increased the education budget by 130 percent and eliminated school fees, with the aim of reaching universal basic education by 2006. Almost overnight, an estimated 1.6 million kids returned to school.

By 2004, the number of children in primary school had increased by 50 percent. Net enrollments have risen from 59 percent to nearly 90 percent of children. There are as many girls enrolled as boys. More than 30,000 new classrooms have been built. About 18,000 new teachers have been recruited. And more than 9,000 science-teaching kits have been supplied to schools. This example shows what can be achieved with:

  • good policies – Tanazania chose to eliminate school fees, upgrade human resources and invest in infrastructure;
  • the benefits of debt relief, which were used to pay for the 130 percent increase in total spending;
  • predictable, long term aid commitments, which enabled Tanzania to embark on a long term reform program;
  • coordination by the Government of government agencies, community organizations, international donors, and the private sector.

1 thought on “Aid works: education in Tanzania”

  1. One thing may undo much of this if something isn’t done. A SADC study of Tanzania has estimated that if introduced in 2007, the impending EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements with the ACP countries, intended to replace the Cotonou Agreement, will result in a 14% drop in total Tanzanian government revenues as a result of full EU-Tanzania trade liberalisation.

    The EU believes this decrease will be made up by the benefits of EU-ACP free trade, and it is making available insufficient adjustment funding through the European Development Fund and loans through the European Investment Bank. But it’s more likely that the Tanzania market will be flooded with European goods.

    Overall, this is going to disrupt programmes and projects run by the Government and donors if increased funding commitments aren’t made to make up the shortfall. Either that or the EU abandons EPAs, which is an attempt to get the WTO Singapore Issues in through the back door.

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