Tanzania : is the ugly duckling finally growing up ?
Tanzania initiated significant economic reforms in 1986 after President Nyerere had stepped down as president. Economic development is still far from satisfactory, but there have been significant steps forward during the reform period, and per capita incomes have recovered after a sharp and sustained fall during the first half of the 1980s. Investment levels during the reform period have been acceptable, but investment efficiency has remained low. There is some basis for optimism, but the country still has a long way to go before a self-sustained and stable pattern of growth can be established. The policy reforms have failed to translate into higher economic growth, mainly because of bureaucracy and poor infrastructure. It is a problem that the mechanisms used to deliver aid make local administrators and politicians beholden to foreign constituencies rather than domestic one with a lack of accountability to the domestic political process. There is also a proliferation of externally initiated projects that tie up recurrent costs, and sometimes represent a waste of time and managerial capabilities. Spending authority, control and accountability need to be returned to the recipient country government.