ANALYSTS have reacted to the US News and World Report released recently that showed Tanzania's performance in a number of areas, including good governance, human rights, gender equality, religious freedom and good distribution of political power is outstanding.
In the report titled 'Best Countries in the World', Tanzania has secured the fourth slot in Africa and 54th in the World. South Africa which has taken the lead among African countries, has secured the 37th slot in the world.
Egypt has been ranked third in the African continent with Morocco scooping the fourth position. In the World ranking, Egypt has taken the 40th slot while Morocco has been placed in the 42nd position.
A total of 80 countries were involved in the study by the American institution. Prof Gaudence Mpangala, a political scientist from the Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU), said to a large extent, Tanzania's outstanding performance is contributed by the government resolve to throw its weight into a number of programmes with infrastructure development and war against graft taking the lead.
"To be frank the performance of the fifth phase government stands out in certain aspects, including development of communication and transport infrastructure, waging a spirited battle against corruption and accelerating people's economic growth but I think the performance could be far much
better if democracy was expanded," he said. But, Prof Mpangala said democracy and development are integral parts that are necessary for the wellbeing of the society.
However, he said he was aware of the fact that it is not possible for the government to be perfect by a hundred per cent. Former Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR) lecturer Dr Kitojo Wetengere said the level of political will displayed by President John Magufuli in the fight against graft is one of the areas that have elevated Tanzania's status in the international stage.
"The political impetus with which President Magufuli fights corruption has, to a larger extent, made Tanzania and the president himself popular in the world," he said.
According to him, the determination by the president to revisit mining contracts and the laws is something that few leaders in the world can dare do.
"This is a big plus to the government." Other aspects that made President Magufuli and his entire government popular in the world, making it a promising nation, is the resolve to become self-reliant by judiciously spending its domestic revenue.
Commenting on the aspect on democracy and development, Dr Wetengere said it is almost impossible for democracy to thrive in a society where poverty is abject, insisting that "development starts, then democracy follows."
He said many developed nations first fought poverty before democracy was embraced. However, he said it is sad to learn that people perceive democracy as an ample room for politicians to hold public rallies and demonstrations.
On his part, Dr Benson Bana, a political scientist from the University of Dar es Salaam, gave a thumps up to the government for investing in communication and transport infrastructure to spur the country's economic growth.
"Much has been done by this government in building infrastructure to support the country's economic growth. The investment made will have huge returns for the nation in future," he remarked.
He also hailed the government for throwing its weight into expanding education, health and water services. However, he was quick to call upon the government to take deliberate measures to improve them.
According to Dr Bana, having focused on expanding the services the focus should now be made on quality improvement (Q uantity vs quality).
The 2019 Best Countries report and rankings are also based on how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies.
But, other aspects on which respondents assigned scores during the study include adventure, heritage, openness for business, quality of life, entrepreneurship, cultural influence and citizenship.
The attribute of Citizenship took on board several aspects such as care about human rights, care about environment, gender equality, religious freedom, respect for property rights, trustworthiness and well distribution of political power.
An attribute of 'Q uality of Life' took on board attributes such as good job markets, affordability, economic stability, family friendliness, income equality, political stability, security, well-developed public education system and well-developed public health system.
Countries that secured the first five positions in orderly form are Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.