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PREAMBLE: We, the members of the Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition (TTJC), a Civil Society Coalition advocating for fairness in taxation, having done a series of review sessions and consultations on Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM) in relation to the National budget during the COVID-19 pandemic,  have considered the proposals presented in March 2020 by the Minister of Finance and Planning for 2020/21 which emphasized raising domestic revenue collection from TZS 23.05 trillion in 2019/20 to TZS 24.07 trillion in 2020/21. We: (MORE)

 

This submission from the Policy Forum (PF), a network of 76 Tanzanian NGOs brought together by their interest in public money accountability, is a continuation of efforts to contribute to the budget process, discourse and performance. Compiled by its Budget Working Group, the submission focuses on key public sectors namely; education, health, agriculture, youth and water and presents crucial concerns related to resource mobilisation, allocation, and execution and makes recommendations worth consideration in the Parliamentary deliberations. Being the final year of the Five-Year Development Plan  (FYDP  II 2016/17 to 2020/21), the submission takes stock of what has been accomplished across the education, health, agriculture, youth, and water sectors since the plan’s inception and, humbly offers some issue worth considering in the formulation phase of the next development plan. The submission also puts forth other aspects that are in need of concerted interventions in relation  to budgeting, planning or policy. This submission  also  comes  at  a time of uncertainty caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in unprecedented devastation and a worldwide economic standstill of which Tanzania is not invulnerable. The health, education agriculture and tourism sectors have taken a massive hit and livelihoods both in the formal and informal sectors have also been negatively affected. Click here to read more.

Recently Policy Forum did an analysis to assess the extent to which Tanzania’s mining fiscal regime is aligned with the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). The AMV, which was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in February 2009, serves as a regional policy tool to guide the development of mineral resources in Africa. The AMV’s overarching goal is to create a regional framework that supports a “transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources to underpin broad based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”.

The Action Plan for implementation of the AMV was approved in December 2011. The Action Plan comprises of 9 programme clusters of activities. These are: mineral rents and management; geological and mining information systems; building human and institutional capacities; artisanal and small-scale mining; mineral sector governance; research and development; environmental and social issues; and linkages and diversification. The Action Plan provides guidelines for prudent, transparent and efficient development and management of Africa’s resources.

This analysis focuses on Cluster 1 of activities under the AMV Action Plan which deals with mining revenues and mineral rents management. The first issue addressed by Cluster 1 is how to design fiscal terms which are fair and equitable to both the investor and the resource owner (the Government on behalf and in trust of people). The second issue is how to design and implement policies and strategies that ensure the most efficient and productive use of revenues accruing from the mining sector.

The AMV Action Plan under cluster 1 acknowledges that the greatest challenge facing governments when designing fiscal frameworks is striking a balance between obtaining an optimal share of the revenues and attraction of investment. While governments wish to maximize the value of mining investment to fund socio-economic infrastructure and other national development priorities, mining companies seek for appropriate compensation for the high risks associated with mining projects. In practice, mining companies have more expertise, information and experience in the mining sector than most governments in Africa do. Consequently, fiscal provisions in mining concessions are not optimized. It has been reported that the extractive sector is a primary source of illicit financial flows (IFFs) in Africa, accounting for more than half of Africa’s IFFs. This illustrates the potential losses of financial flows from unequal contracts in the extractive sector in Africa.

Based on this state of affairs, the AMV Action Plan concludes that mining fiscal regimes in most African countries are characterized by overly generous tax holidays and poorly designed royalties and additional profit taxes. Further to that, mining companies devise several techniques to avoid and evade payment of taxes, royalties and levies. Consequently, there is a widespread sense that Africa does not obtain commensurate compensation from the exploitation of its mineral resources.

The AMV Action Plan also acknowledges that there are several challenges facing African countries in managing revenues accruing from mining sector. These include volatility of commodity prices, non-renewability of resources and equitable sharing of such revenues. In this regard, Cluster 1 goal is to create a sustainable and well governed mining sector that effectively garners and deploys resource rents.

In 2017, the Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJNA) in collaboration with Policy Forum (PF) launched a study in Dodoma, Tanzania entitled “Where is the Money? Taxation and the State of Africa Mining Vision Implementation: A case of Tanzania and East Africa.” One of the major findings of that study was that there have been notable improvements in Tanzania’s extractive sector tax administration and revenue management at the national level. However, there continued to be challenges in terms of engaging local communities in employment decisions and investing part of revenues back into communities hosting large extractive projects.  Based on its findings, the study provided recommendations to enhance the pace towards meeting the AMV aspirations at the national level in Tanzania.

The analysis reviews the existing literature on the AMV, on the Tanzania’s mining sector, Tanzania’s mining sector revenue policy and legislation as well as mining sector revenue regime in general from 2017 to 2019. The main objectives being: providing an examination of how the Tanzanian legal frameworks (from 2017-2019) are aligned to the AMV; assessing the extent to which the AMV study (by TJNA and PF) recommendations’ have been reflected by changes in the current statutes, policy, administrative circulars, regulations and political declarations; establishing what happened in two other East African countries (Kenya and Uganda) in terms of AMV implementation and whether there are any remarkable achievements that Tanzania could replicate; identifying any advocacy gap and providing recommendations that can help in the implementation of the AMV in Tanzania.

The analysis concludes that Tanzania has undertaken measures towards realisation of the AMV and most of notable developments have taken place since 2017. Tanzania has undertaken some major reorganisation of her fiscal regime applicable to the mining sector over the past three years. There are, however, areas which need further improvement and thus the study suggests remedial measures. For further reading click the link https://pfmis.org/allfiles/documents/15870263782397.pdf

We are all by now undoubtedly aware of the global pandemic outbreak known as Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is highly contagious which has resulted in one case being confirmed in Tanzania on Monday the 16th of March 2020. In response, the government of Tanzania, through the Prime Minister Hon. Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa, has called for the prohibition of public gatherings including seminars, workshops and conferences for 30 days to help curb the spread of the epidemic. The government will be constantly appraising the situation as it follows developments and will provide further instructions accordingly.

To heed this call and to avoid situations which could increase the risk of transmission, Policy Forum regrets to inform that is has been compelled to postpone the Annual General Meeting (AGM 2020) which was to be held on the 26th and 27th of March 2020 until further notice.

In case of any queries regarding this notice, please feel free to contact the Secretariat by email (info@policyforum.or.tz) or phone (Landline: +255 22 278 0200 | Mobile: +255 782 317434).

Furthermore, we take this opportunity to urge the membership to stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak in Tanzania and to follow instructions on how to prevent its spread through public announcements from the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children (MCDGC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

 

 

Making Policies Work for People in Tanzania!

 

Although the Parliament of Tanzania as a major decision-making body adopted a quota system in 1985 to address gender imbalance, the national assembly still consists of about 37 percent of women Members of Parliament whereby 30 percent are from special seats arrangement and 7 percent are elected by the citizens in their constituencies. There is a deficit of 13 percent of women in parliament to achieve a parity with men in the National Assembly. The deficit is also vivid in  local governance whereby elected women councillors constitute about 240 seats, which is equivalent to 5 percent of the total number of approximately 4000 councillors in Tanzania.

The initial objective of special seats for women was not to redress the imbalance but rather to ensure that the voices of a special category of citizens are heard in decision making bodies in order to enhance the representation of varied interests. It is said that special seats system has increased women’s numerical participation in the Parliament of Tanzania. The process of acquiring female members of special seats is held within their constituencies based on the level of membership attained, yet some stakeholders lament that the process is obscured by corruption and nepotism.

Unveiling a study on the women special seats in Tanzania at the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate of 28th February 2020 entitled “Towards the 2020 General Elections: Reflecting on Women Special Seats in Tanzania”,  Dr. Victoria Lihiru a Lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania emphasized that female participation in decision making has consistently been at the  centre of the global  development  agenda,  especially  after  the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and ratified in Tanzania in 1986 and the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, 1995.  The platforms have been instrumental in bringing to light issues that hinders equality between women  and men.

Despite the efforts to increase female parliamentary candidates, there has been a challenge for women to contest for electoral positions which hinders further numerical increase in the number of candidates that have been voted for by the people. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) should put in place proper guidelines on how to secure candidates to eliminate bewilderment. Hence the improvement of women special seats and its implementation should be aligned and geared to accelerate realization of its objectives, Dr Lihiru added.

Dr. Suma Kaare,  a renowned gender specialist stated that although the gender norms are changing at a snail pace, many negative norms still prohibit women from contesting for leadership position.

She further commented that restructuring of the women special seats based on CEDAW  guidelines (are supposed to be temporary in nature, diverse and broad) might not be as effective as stipulated rather suggested that  the realignment and repurposing of CEDAW and placement of  monitoring and evaluation frameworks to superintend women participation. Significantly, the greater representation of women in parliament has led to improved articulation of women issues and in positive legislative changes for women.

The Political Parties Amendment Act of 2019 gives guidelines on how political parties should empress gender equality and social inclusion in different aspect like in making of their policies and selection of their leaders. Women  Parliamentarians  formed  a  convention called  Tanzania  Women Parliamentarians’  Group  (TWPG)  to  enable  them  share  skills  and  experiences  and  unite  them regardless of their political differences, to address gender issues in a more focused way. The  group  has  increased  sensitization  and  awareness  of  gender  issues  for  Parliamentarians, decision makers in the public service, NGOs and the private sectors and led to the appointment of more women to leadership positions even in areas that are traditionally not occupied by women.

Moreover, Dr. Kaare emphasized on developing a mentoring programme aiming at assisting women to gain the political knowledge and skills that is needed. This will support female MPs to become more effective, but also to better understand the political processes and might build support to challenge to be a candidate for a constituency.

Policy Forum adopted social accountability monitoring (SAM) in 2008 as one of its strategic approaches to capacitate its members working at the sub-national level in Tanzania to engage in policy processes more meaningfully. Since then, I have seen SAM initiatives contribute to building teacher’s housing at remote schools, the operationalisation of primary health care facilities, and the empowerment of communities to lead participatory forest governance efforts among others. Conversely, I had to come to terms with our persistent failure to obtain a sustained shift in behaviour at the eco-system level to sustainably improve the way public resources are managed. Of course, the many factors and actors influencing a change at this level make this an arguably unrealistic objective for a single CSO network. The question was then how to develop a realistic and measurable strategy that keeps us focused on the desired result while providing an appropriate balance between flexibility and rigour.

A disappointing impact evaluation in 2016 motivated our decision to take part in a Learning Pilot Exercise,  both of which influenced our decision to rethink our strategic approach to SAM. Instead of merely providing formal training to a growing ecosystem of SAM actors and assuming that this would change behaviour at scale, we decided to be deliberate about which capacities to build, for whom, and why and how to determine whether it is worthwhile. We did this because we wanted to define for ourselves what our impact would be measured against through a fit-for-purpose MEL[1] strategy so that future evaluations contained no surprises. We then redesigned our SAM strategy to reflect our new strategic approach.

Our most persistent problem was that of accountability for the implementation of SAM findings at the subnational level. We therefore made a strategic decision to focus on working with Councillors because of their legal power to enforce their recommendations. It therefore made sense for us to focus on improving their capacity to make informed recommendations and to enforce timely, appropriate and meaningful corrective action. We chose to work in four under-performing local government authorities (LGAs)[2] (according to CAG[3] reports) where at least one Policy Forum member was also working. In December 2016, we began to train Councillors on a version of SAM training that has been tailor-made for their oversight role. Since then, 106 Councillors have been trained.

The feedback from both councillors and the local government officials they oversee has been overwhelmingly positive on the impact of training on their ability to implement their role. In fact, we are now getting requests from councillors from other LGAs who have heard from their colleagues about how this capacity building has benefitted them. Earlier this year, our work with councillors was evaluated and the findings recommended that we consider mechanisms to scale up the intervention and ensure its sustainability.

Despite the success we have had, three main things still keep me up at night:

  1. Councillors are elected for five-year terms at the end of which they might not return to the role. Even those who have been trained require on-going support to ensure that relevant capacities are built and used. How do we ensure that the capacity to perform effective oversight is retained and improved within Councils even beyond the electoral term?
    • To address this Policy Forum is currently negotiating a partnership with the Local Government Training Institute, a government training institution for public officials at the subnational level, to collaborate to institutionalise the training so that it can become part of their institutionalised capacity building support to LGAs across the country.
  2. Capacity is not the only thing that drives the decisions and actions of politicians. How do we ensure that we take this into account in setting goals and developing realistic indicators? Better yet, how do we navigate the other political and non-political incentives in a way that motivates councillors to use their newly acquired capacities to effectively perform their oversight role accountably?
    • This is a difficult one, but we at Policy Forum have begun to invest in our learning more strategically beginning with our new PMEL[4] strategy. In implementing the strategy, we have also begun to set up an electronic management information system to ensure that what we learn individually is available to others within the Policy Forum secretariat and membership, both currently and in future.
  3. Our primary goal in training councillors is for them to ensure that LGAs become and remain accountable to their constituents and communities in an informed and inclusive way. How can Policy Forum strengthen the influence of citizens over their councillors in between elections?
    • Here is where the Policy Forum membership is expected to play a key role. Policy Forum also sponsors community radio programmes in the districts where it works. This provides a guaranteed platform for locally based CSOs, CBOs and community members to ensure that their most important issues receive enough publicity to motivate action on the part of their political representatives.

Our biggest lesson over the last five years has been that we can only fail if what we learn fails to change us. We hence keep learning and we keep changing and hope to continue telling our story in the course of our journey.

 

[1] MEL = monitoring, evaluation and learning

[2] Kiteto, Kilwa, Mafia, and Mafinga

[3] Controller and Auditor General

[4] Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Development and the use of technology including mobile phones has been rapidly on the rise across Tanzania. According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), out of 59.7 million people in Tanzania, the number of internet users in 2019 amounted to approximately 23.1 million. This has eased communication and information sharing amongst the public and institutions including the government and among others, has presented the opportunity to utilize Artificial Intelligence in the realization of quality education in Tanzania.

‘Ticha Kidevu’, Tanzania’s first virtual teacher created by Shule Direct, is a website application with real teachers in the back-end designed allow students to interact with the platform and respond to their questions and be provided with links in order to access reference materials through google searches like in a classroom but through e-learning. The idea of using technology in education is not to replace the teachers but to support them.

This was revealed at the Policy Forum Breakfast held on 31st January 2020 entitled “Digital Platforms for Social Impact: The Role of Technology in Addressing Education Challenges.”  A presentation on how to bridge the educational gaps in Tanzania to convert quantity into quality was made by Faraja Nyalandu and Erick Kondela from Shule Direct.

Expounding on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its contributions towards the realization of the quality of education in Tanzania, the Executive Director of Shule Direct  Faraja Nyalandu emphasized that although nothing can replace the experience of learning in a classroom with a qualified teacher, educational technology offers an effective and efficient solution to bridge the educational resources. She also assured that AI is one of the safest methods to use in child protection and safeguarding.

Erick Kondela further elaborated that Artificial Intelligence, simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans, is capable of closing teachers' shortage gaps and addressing inadequate supply of learning materials in the education sector. This also caters for students with special needs as AI comes with different forms such as audio, visuals and signs.

“Artificial Intelligence opens up more opportunities that lead to the improvement of learning outcomes. It enables the distribution of needed learning materials,” Kondela said.

Dr. Gerald Kafuku, Principal Researcher from COSTECH highlighted that the government would continue to partner with innovators in Tanzania to gain the infrastructure and to develop their work to help solve social challenges including the education sector.

Reacting on the presentation, a member of the audience Boniface Kyaruzi posed a question on the concept of “Leaving No-one Behind” and whether students from Non-English Medium Schools would struggle communicate with Ticha Kidevu because Kiswahili remains the medium of instruction.

Another member of the audience , Rahma Mwita expressed her fear of leaving the Girl Child behind due to the ban imposed to students who become pregnant forcing them to end their studies abruptly. She further asked how AI will assist in making sure that the girl child is still onboard.

Nyalandu responded to the question posed by Ms. Mwita by emphasising the importance of rethinking the classroom as not necessarily a place with walls but a space where access to learning is provided and this can be virtual. Hence whilst the debate to return girls to school continues, the virtual platforms can be remotely accessible to girls who are banned by giving them an unlimited array of subjects to study and virtual teachers to help them prepare for their national examinations.

Moreover, it is a great achievement that we have more children in schools today. However, to keep up with the increasing population growth and improved enrolment and retention rates that are straining the quality of education delivered, the most suitable intervention is technology which will help the country leapfrog some of these education challenges we face, Nyalandu said. “Are we meeting the demands of the 21st century ? Should our children continue paying the price for infrastructure challenges in education?,” she posed.

Also with the educational needs of our society no longer limited to age, gender or physical appearance, in order to provide quality education there is a need for the government to incorporate and integrate the use of technology in the country’s education policy from a junior level to accommodate the needs of different students in the society.

As a final word, Nyalandu also stated there are many ways to improve teaching methods and infrastructure in schools and that it is necessary to take steps to ensure that students are empowered to translate school-based education into real life and produce positive results.

Kindly be informed that Policy Forum secretariat office will be closed for Christmas and New Year Holidays from December 21, 2019 to January 13, 2020.                                    

We would like to wish you a very Happy Holidays.

The Policy Forum Secretariat regrets to announce the untimely death of Mr Sharifu Maloya Kombo, of member organization Lindi Association of Non-Government Organisations (LANGO) who passed away on Saturday 23rd November 2019 (picture attached).

Sharifu Maloya Kombo was the Executive Secretary of LANGO, an organization established to coordinate and enhance relationship and cooperation amongst Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lindi Region. He worked untiringly for citizens through enhancing Good Governance and Accountability and Financial Management in Lindi and other Regions.

He was an active participant in many of Policy Forum’s activities and his contributions to the network and elsewhere included:

  • Being a focal person for Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) in Oil and Gas Revenues (Service Levy) in Kilwa District undertaken in collaboration with Policy Forum (PF).
  • Having good knowledge of Social Accountability and Good Governance, he played an important role as a participant of PF’s community radio broadcasts in Lindi.
  • He collaborated with PF in facilitating election dialogues through local media outlets and motivating women participation in the 2019 Local Government Elections.

The burial ceremony was held at his homestead (Lumesule Nanyumbu District, Mtwara) on Sunday 24th November 2019 at 10am.

For those with condolence messages or interests in making financial contributions (rambirambi) to the family, please contact us by email to info@policyforum.or.tz and we will forward them to the family.

Agreements that are signed between a  government of a developing country and foreign mining companies to supplement or supplant the existing mining legal and fiscal regime also known as Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) are signed with the aim of assuring foreign investors that a developing country’s government will not change the rules of the agreement once investors put in their money and the investment starts bearing profit.

In 1979, the first piece of legislation that enabled the government to sign mining agreements with foreign mining companies  was enacted, the Mining Act No 17 replaced the old Mining Ordinance in Tanzania.

MDAs cover a wide range of issues some of which are not covered by the general laws of the country, such as taxation, immigration, exercise of ministerial discretions, settlement of disputes, waiver of sovereignty, exchange control, infrastructure; barring of change of law.

These findings were highlighted at the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held on 25th October 2019  from the presentation of a study conducted by Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC) on the Extractive Industry Legal Regime Reforms in Tanzania under the theme “Extractive Sector Reforms: What are the Recent Policy Changes and their Implications?”

Dr. Nshala highlighted that in 1998 the Mining Act of 1979 was repealed and replaced by the Mining Act No 5 of 1998 following the World Bank mission visit to Tanzania in 1997 that viewed the promulgation of the Mining Policy of 1997 and the Written Laws Financial Laws Miscellaneous Amendments Act No. 27 of 1997 and the Investment Act of 1997.

However, He also elaborated further by highlighting that in 1969 in the oil sector, the President of Tanzania created the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation vide GN No 140 of 1969. In 1980 the Parliament enacted the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act No 27 of 1980 Cap 328 RE 2002.

Another stakeholder, Ms.  Glory Mafole from the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) highlighted lack of appropriate information has been the main problem for Tanzania. The weakness is exploited by multinational companies which declare loss to Tanzanian authorities , while declaring profits and dividends abroad,” she said.

Moreover, Glory Mafole further the discussion by stating that  although the Acts provide room for transparency to most companies dealing with mining extraction, disclosure of contracts to the public so that the citizens of Tanzania would have a clue of the content of the contracts. The establishment of the local content committees, Tax content, the expansion of the Mining Industry and Openness to the government is quite important.

Dr. Nshala, said the 16 per cent shareholding given to Tanzania is paltry. For one, the Tanzania government will not have decision-making power regarding TMC operations on the ground. Also, Tanzania does not have shares in the parent company Barrick Gold Corporation.

According to Nshala, Tanzania should focus on getting shares in the parent company and shouldn’t be satisfied with the paltry shares in the subsidiary company. He gave the example of Botswana which secured 15 per cent shareholding in the UK-based gold and diamond processing firm that was also compelled to shift its headquarters to Gaborone from London.

Jimmy Luhende , Executive Director from Action for Democracy & Local Governance focused on scrutinizing the analysis by highlighting the value chain and  why the contracts that are being signed have tough clauses and  complications.

Dr. Nshala concluded by saying despite the reforms undertaken in Tanzania, the mining sector, including oil and gas, still face numerous challenges. A comprehensive dialogue is required to formulate functional regulatory frameworks that would be effective even after the present regime has completed its term in office

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