By Prosper Makene
THE government has commended three pieces of research that have been commissioned by the Tanzania Urbanisation Laboratory (TULab), saying that are relevant and timely and will generate useful inputs required to produce a credible and implementable roadmap in the country.
The three pieces of research are conducted by Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Ardhi University (AU) and Mzumbe University, whereby the Urbanisation Laboratory is chaired by the Planning Commission and coordinated by the ESRF.
Participating stakeholders are from public, private, civil society, and academic organizations in Tanzania.
Speaking at the Tanzania Urbanisation Laboratory Meeting held in Dar es Salaam on Friday, Dr. Lorah Basolile Madete, Acting Deputy Executive Secretary, Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and Planning said that they look forward putting the output from urbanization laboratory in to good use.
“Meeting deliberations we are having today are intended to review and provide inputs to the research teams to strengthen their work, as well as ensure stakeholders’ involvement in all stages of the research to increase the familiarity and uptake of the research findings,” she said.
Dr Madete also said that one thing that is clear to the government is that it cannot achieve this alone.
“Addressing multifaceted and multilayered development challenges grappling our urbanization process requires forging strategic and effective partnerships and collaborations with the various stakeholders of the urbanization process, and here is where an arrangement like Tanzania Urbanisation Lab becomes crucial,” she said.
She added: “The Lab is an ideal forum for facilitating effective, collaborative, evidence-based decisions concerning urbanisation in Tanzania.”
The focus is on identifying the most immediate binding constraints with regards to urbanization and to enable effective prioritization of government resources for ensuring better urban planning and management in the country, she observed.
…We are honored to be chairing the programme which is currently being financially supported by DFID through the Coalition for Urban Transitions (CUT), with support from the World Resources Institute (WRI) - Ross Center, and African Centre for Cities (ACC,” she said
Dr Madete further said that to attain the objectives of the set interventions, the Implementation Strategy for FYDP II which is currently being finalised outlines some concrete measures and proposed some reforms.
“We are fast-tracking the formulation of long overdue urban development policy; streamlining legal and institutional management roles and responsibilities on urban development; harmonization of National policies, legal and institutional frameworks towards enforcement of existing urban acts”
She noted: “We also make review of the existing laws on urban planning to allow local government Authorities and urban Authorities to work collaboratively. Cities earmarked for this medium term are: Dodoma, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha, and Mtwara.”
On her part, ESRF’s head of strategic research and publications Prof Fortunata Makene said: “On 4th August last year we met here during the launch of an analytical paper titled Better Urban Growth in Tanzania.”
She said at the launch they shared research findings of the analytical paper which was built on the empirical and analytical base for understanding and fostering policy dialogue on the urban transition in our Country.
The work was accomplished through a joint effort by several local and international stakeholders and was coordinated by the Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and Planning, the ESRF, and the New Climate Economy (NCE) Coalition for Urban Transitions (CUT).
Prof Makene highlighted that Tanzania Urbanisation Laboratory aimed at building capacity of stakeholders to identify and address issues related to Urbanisation in Tanzania.
“I am so pleased to inform you that the program was successfully established, and we witnessed first meeting under Tanzania Urbanisation Laboratory in November 2017 and today we are sitting for the second meeting,” she said.
She added the research teams will be presenting the preliminary results, the first research is on understanding the current extent of urban infrastructure and services finance in Tanzania.
The second piece of research describes the relationship between National and Local Government in Tanzania and its impact in the delivery of urban services and infrastructure.
The third research piece provides missing urban data required to enhance investment in urban infrastructure in Tanzania. These research pieces will provide important material for the National Urbanisation Roadmap that ACC and WRI through CUT has been contracted to produce, she said.
She pointed out that badly-managed urban centers experience high levels of social instability and environmental pollution and do not have infrastructure capable of delivering social services and maintaining economic growth.
“Important solutions regarding urbanisation will come from this Lab. This is a forum for deeper analysis and policy debate of key development challenges, particularly related to institutional setup to oversee urban development, financing of urban development, as well as connectivity and competitiveness of urban centers in Tanzania,” she concluded