Tanzania: National Decentralisation Policy Undergoes Review

DETERMINED to encourage people to participate fully to development activities, the government is reviewing the National Decentralisation by Devolution Policy, which was adopted in 1990s.

Minister of State in the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr Selemani Jafo, noted here yesterday that the aim of the review is to uplift the level of efficiency of the government activities.

"The revisited national policy will provide the government with legal framework on responsibilities and limitation," said the minister while opening a task-force meeting to review the policy.

The meeting, which was hosted by the President's Office, brought together Regional Commissioners and Regional Administrative Secretaries from all 26 regions to give out their suggestions on the policy draft.

Mr Jafo charged that lack of legal framework posed a serious challenge in the implementation of the policy hence the need for the review.

"We came up with the idea to review the national policy due to contradicting perspectives between executives and political leaders at village, ward and council levels on implementation of the development projects," he observed.

Mr Jafo said the review will help to address challenges encountered in implementation of the policy, citing some of the challenges as local government's dependency on the central government.

He directed the meeting participants to fully participate by giving out their suggestions and recommendations to improve the draft of the revisited policy for the people's interests.

"Your suggestions and recommendations are vital in improving the policy draft, which aims at improving implementation," said the minister.

Mr Jafo used the occasion to remind RCs and RASs on good management of public funds and well supervision of projects, including construction of health facilities and school infrastructure.

"The government has already disbursed funds for construction of health facilities, school dormitories, classrooms and latrines to improve the learning environment," he said.

Coast RC Engineer Evarist Ndikilo, who doubles as Chairman for Regional Commissioners, pledged effective participation to the meeting, saying development projects will be completed within the timeframe.

"We will well supervise construction of development projects to get value for money," he said.

Representative from UNICEF Pius Chaya said the national policy review came at the right time when the government is carrying out many projects to bring social services close to the people.

"Key stakeholders who took part in the national policy review have promised to accord maximum cooperation to the government," he said.

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