Tanzania: Sweden Issues 10bn/ - for Poverty Alleviation Research

THE Swedish government has approved a grant of 10bn/- to support the Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) research program from 2021 to 2024.

REPOA will use the grant to conduct research on five themes that appear to be separate but are fundamentally linked to productive sectors and inclusive development, gender and human development, governance, accountability, and citizen participation, environment and climate change, and technology and innovation.

Dr Donald Mmari, REPOA executive director, said the Swedish funding will help the institution to implement its strategic plan for the next four years after signing the grant agreement in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

"This agreement reflects the Swedish government's commitment to Tanzania's development and the embassy's position that the economy and people's well-being are dependent on solid policies, plans, and well-coordinated efforts from all stakeholders in the nation," he said.

Dr Mmari said their research agenda is effectively connected with national development targets while also responding to regional and international commitments such as the African Union Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to him, the funding will give the institution the autonomy and resources it needs to carry out its strategic research, as well as related activities aimed at encouraging evidence-informed policy development and targeted capacity building for researchers and research users.

REPOA was formed in 1994 in Tanzania with the mandate to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in its multiple dimensions through research and capacity building.

Over time, REPOA's mandate has expanded beyond alleviating poverty to encompass growth and socio-economic transformation for poverty reduction.

For his part, the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania Anders Sjoberg, said the agreement was a key milestone in their ongoing collaboration with Tanzania, which began in the 1960s.

"Several bilateral strategies have been implemented over the years. Sweden's government has adopted a new strategy for Swedish development cooperation with Tanzania for the period 2020-2024," he stated.

He said the new strategy covers four areas of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and gender equality, education, inclusive economic development, environment and climate change.

Mr Sjoberg said the Swedish embassy has assessed REPOA as a relevant partner, not only to the Swedish Strategy but first and foremost to the national socio-economic priorities, the regional and global commitments included in the East African Community Vision 2050, African development Agenda 2063 and 2030 Global Agenda on SDGs.

Sweden has funded REPOA since 2010 and plans to continue funding their strategic plan from 2020 to 2024, he said, because it directly contributes to Tanzania's growth through evidence-based research.

Some of the sectors REPOA have contributed intensively and proactively through research and policy reviews include finance and planning, industry and trade, investment and economic empowerment.

Others are agriculture, Regional Administration and Local Government, minerals, energy, education and health, employment and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In Zanzibar, they have worked with the office of the Second Vice President, Ministry of Trade and Industrial development and the office of Chief Government Statistician.

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