Tanzania must appreciate that adherence to ethical practices constitutes the critical and inseparable link in the implementation of people centred economic development programmes.
About 100 members of the Christian Professionals of Tanzania (CPT) attending a one-day conference called at the Mzimbazi Centre in Dar es Salaam to mark two decades of Mwl. Julius Nyerere’s death observed that a delivering economy is the product of activities in which human respect is reflected.
The participants’ strategic landscape included invitees from other faith-based organizations, political parties accentuated by the presence of CCM Mainland Deputy Chairman, Mr. Philip Mang’ula, Trade Unions Confederation of Tanzania (TUCTA), Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESSRF), Legal and Human Rights Commission (LHRC), the Civil Service Ethics Secretariat and the media.
Called within the framework of CPT’s ongoing Moral Revival Movement programme, the conference re-affirmed that the failure of many development plans in Tanzania principally originated from ignoring the crucial link between the economy and ethics.
It asserted that this state of affairs emanated from various causes, essentially involving the absence of or simply ignoring grassroots people’s input in development programmes targeting their development.
To put things right, the conference dwelt on putting specific moral tags on identified problem and remedial areas embodying the essence of people centred development. These include the concept itself and its implementation problem, inclusive planning for poverty alleviation, participation in productive activities, social protection, the family and its role in policy making, financial institutions and policy and social awareness.
While participation in the implementation of economic development activities remains everybody’s responsibility, the conference observed, that there has to be a formula. And that, empirical economic theories notwithstanding, Nyerere’s development module was still very relevant for Tanzania.
This reads, in part: “…The creation of wealth is a good thing and something that we shall have to increase. But it will cease to be good the moment wealth ceases to serve man and begins to be served by man.”
Prof. Beda Mutagahywa set the trend of the conference by highlighting two dimensions for people centred development. He pointed out that these were “to focus on the people … to realize their own development…so as to unlock their potential …and share the… the fruits of economic activity … in a fair and equitable way and care for the basic needs of everybody.”
He said Tanzania has good but often failing plans at the implementation stage calling for a fresh look into human behaviour, strengthening moral qualities and virtues.
On the question of broad-based and inclusive planning for poverty alleviation, he stressed the need for setting targets, achievable goals as well as regionalising and localising those goals. He set structures of the local government translating in dependence on resources, inputs and top-down decisions as a major obstacle. “There is an excess of State Power … (which) must be clearly defined... (because)…an inclusive economy calls for the right climate for such initiatives to succeed,” he remarked.
Prof. Mutagahywa hinted on family friendly policies to guarantee peace maintenance in society which, in turn, strengthens the moral quality of a nation and creates a climate for people wanting true, not just material progress. He called for a review of the Cost Sharing Policy because the majority of Tanzanians are too poor to participate in it.
He went on to propose a decentralization of the social protection policy which has recently been extended to cover the whole population. His suggested approach was to “plan what is possible and doable; not only by a contributory formula… as 28.1% of the population is poor.”
On the financial services front, he remarked that the providers “are too profit oriented and lacking social considerations in their credit and investment decisions. Only a small proportion of the population is bankable.”
He then went on to ask a litany of questions that set the conference momentum. Questions that set the conference in motion include: “Why are the people not bankable? Where are the big (pension) funds in our existing schemes being invested? Where is their solidarity with the poor; their own members often obtain very small benefits. Why?”