Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

7 May 2013

Tanzania: Dar's Human Development Report to Focus On 'Growth'

TANZANIA has started the process to prepare a Human Development Report that focuses on 'growth' beyond 'poverty'.

The preparation process has started under the Economic and Social Research Bureau (ESRF) and supported by United Nations Development Programme. It is expected that the first report will be out by 2014.

Speaking to 'Business Standard' at the launch of the project in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, the ESRF Executive Director Dr. Bohela Lunogelo said the report would for the first time go beyond poverty and touch issues of growth.

Dr Tausi Kida, also of ESRF, said the new report would be growth centered and broader, capturing all aspects of human development, each year looking at a timely theme. This comes as a recent United Nations report says Tanzania is among 14 countries in the world that recorded above two per cent growth in human development index (HDI) trends between 2000 and 2012.

Tanzania which is in the category of low human development group of countries in the human development report 2013, recorded an average annual HDI growth of 2.15 per cent while the fastest growth was recorded by Afghanistan at 3.91 per cent.

The Report titled "The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World," says the developing countries referred to as "the South" have achieved sustained rates of economic growth at a time of great involvement with emerging economies.

The report attributes many of the achievements of the South to smart national strategies that have allowed them to engage in the global economy while at the same time implementing social programmes like education and health that protect those most vulnerable.

"Tanzania has made a remarkable growth in human development in the last decade in terms of internet connectivity, rise of middle class and other economic drivers, "said Mr Amarakoon Bandara, the UNDP Economics advisor.

He however added that the country was still lagging behind in tackling poverty. "Tanzania could make enormous gains in human development with little additional efforts by making its policies more people centered, growth more inclusive and putting in place appropriate social safety nets to protect the most vulnerable from shocks," said the UN resident coordinator Mr Alberic Kacou.

Economic experts who attended the launching session of the project in Dar es Salaam said it was timely to have a report that looks at both issues of poverty and growth. Dr Adolf Mkenda of the University of Dar es Salaam said that for the report to touch issues of growth by looking at a topical issue every year, it is commendable.

The Human Development Report, released annually by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), assesses the state of human development on the basis of health, education and income indicators, as an alternative to purely macroeconomic assessments of national progress.

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