TANZANIA will soon start reaping dividends from the austerity and governance measures being implemented by President John Pombe Magufuli.
Economic development is in sight against all odds. The virtue that characterizes the JPM presidency is in his resolve to cleanse the corridors of power from grand corruption and other leadership vices that took root in the past.
In this discourse, a good number of senior civil servants have succumbed to what has come to be popularly known as “kutumbuliwa” reminiscent of an incision of an abscess to remove out the pus.
This campaign of removing weeds, as it were, in the civil service has indeed helped to restore the lost public confidence in the public service and other Government management structures.
The current presidency found Tanzania largely transitioned to a liberalised market economy from a planned economy, though the Government yet retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy and mining.
In understanding that the economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for more than a quarter of GDP and provides 85 percent of exports, JPM started by scrapping- off all ‘nuisance tariffs’ on cash crops such as coffee, cashew nuts and cotton with a view of financially enabling a Tanzanian common farmer or peasant.
Given stability of macroeconomic environment, the future of a Tanzanian farmer will look brighter than ever before.
In addition, the war on ‘ghost workers’ and prudent fiscal management by downsizing unnecessary expenditures such as reduction of the cabinet size, entertainment and foreign trips to government officials have all significantly contributed to bumper revenue collection while reinvigorating fiscal discipline of the accounting officers and vote holders in government departments.
The combination of all these interventions have won the President accolade across the World and indeed Bretton Woods Institutions has commended that the Tanzanian economic growth potential is in the right course, to wit, the World Bank’s Report (WB Report 1stQ).
Looking at the Second Five Year Development Plan that spans from 2016/17 to 2020/21, it features an epitome of industrialization as a central agenda in the ride towards a middle-income economy that the President envisions.
It is expected that industries (big and small) shall usher into value addition in the agro-processing business chain. Industrialisation is being complemented by a magnificent development in the infrastructure including the central Standard Gauge Railway, Kinyerezi II, Export Processing Zones in Kigoma, Bagamoyo and the Uganda- Tanzania Oil pipeline. The President is also keen to see a middle-income Tanzania by 2025 and, at this rate, he can.
Aware of the need for a learned society, JPM embarked on and continues to advocate a free primary and secondary education and College Students’ Loan policy. This policy intervention in the education sector has seen an enrollment acceleration of pupils and students.
For the first time in history, the chronic under-supply of school desks has been resolved and some districts having recorded a stock pile of desks/surplus.
As for the ailing aviation industry, JPM being overly ‘Tanzaphilic’, is up in arms to revitalize the nearly defunct flag bearer ATCL by acquiring brand new air crafts whereby four are already in the air plying domestic routes and other three are due to jet in the nearest future possible, this is undeniably a blessing and a timely one as we look forward re-energizing our tourist industry.
Indeed, results are hardearned, however it is clear now that efforts of the President and his administration are beginning to yield results in the areas of combating corruption and increasing government revenue collection and thus making him popular and an icon of African politics for the year 2016 (Forbes African of the Year).
Carlos Lopez, writing for The New African --a pan-African Magazine was quoted as saying, “President Magufuli as our ‘Person of the Year’ embodies the African public’s impatience (and impotence) on corruption and impunity.
In another year in which corruption allegations rocked governments from South Africa to Accra via Nairobi, President Magufuli was an exception that, we hope, will become the rule”
- Bandekile is an Economist who since his graduation at the University of Dar es Salaam in 1984 was able to establish a micro business specializing in general merchandise.
- Bandekile has lived long enough to have witnessed five presidencies. He can be contacted at ebucha87@ yahoo.com)