21 November 2012

Tanzania: Government, Partners Set Team-Work Plans

THE government and Development Partners have agreed to focus on energy, agriculture and quality of social services at local government level.

In a day long 2012 Budget Support Annual Review meeting which took place in Dar es Salaam on Monday, the two sides also agreed to focus on public financial management and transparency.

According to a joint statement subsequent to the deliberations, this year's dialogue endorsed progress in the overall performance in 2012, noting that macroeconomic stability has been maintained with the IMF's PSI programme on track with a positive PSI review completed in July.

"More rural roads have improved to good and fair condition. Increased number of births has improved in health facilities, "noted Angus Miller, an official from General Budget Support in the Department for International Development.

The joint statement, however noted that substantial challenges remain, notably around targets tracking access to clean and safe water; quality and equity of social service delivery; accountable governance; access to electricity and the financial sustainability of the energy sector.

"The Government and development partners agreed to enhance the dialogue on results. The key focus for dialogue next year between Government and development partners will be: Sustainable growth (energy and agriculture), quality of social services at local government level and public financial management and transparency," it noted.

The meeting also heard about the government's new Big Results Now! agenda which will be strengthening delivery across a number of critical areas: Energy, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Education, Transport and Revenue collection.

In the course of the deliberations, it was reconfirmed that GBS remains Tanzania's preferred aid modality. GBS Development Partners were thanked for improving their disbursement mechanism and for ensuring predictability of budget support in 2012/13 - just under half a billion US dollars.

They pledged to enhance predictability of GBS disbursements on the basis of a reinforced dialogue. In conclusion there was consensus that the continuing challenge for both partners is to support sustainable growth, which benefits Tanzanian citizens at large, leading to a significant decline in poverty.

"Budget support is undergoing an in depth evaluation. Initial findings from the evaluation were discussed, in particular how government, development partners and other stakeholders can better discuss Tanzania's policy challenges in a forum that adds value, "it added.

The statement also noted that the Development Partners have been able to surpass the initially agreed target of front loading 55 per cent of their disbursement by the end of the first quarter of the financial year and have reached 68 per cent.

"The percentage of budget support disbursed at the latest during the quarter indicated in the disbursement schedule agreed with the government at the time of confirmation of commitment 98 per cent," he said.

The Head of the UK's Department for International Development and the current Chair of the budget support development partners group Mr Marshall Elliott, said: "We have provided 68 per cent of our budget support payments -$337 million - in the first quarter of this year. The target was 55 per cent.

And as of November we are 100 per cent on track with disbursing in line with our quarterly commitments," he noted. The Development Partner's GBS Group is made up of 12 Development Partners, 9 bilateral and 3 multilateral:

The African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the World Bank.

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