World Bank Prepares Country Assistance Strategy for Tanzania

According to recent reports, the World Bank is currently in the process of consulting with other stakeholders in order to prepare a new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Tanzania.

In a statement that was released in December 2010, the World Bank explained that the new CAS for the country, which will run from 2012 to 2015, is scheduled to succeed the current Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania (JAST), a plan that was originally prepared in 2007 in collaboration with other Development Partners.

The World Bank prepares a new CAS every three to four years and uses the plan as a means of describing their specific strategy for a country based on an assessment of priorities as well as a means of indicating the amount and type of assistance that they will provide to the country.

The consultation process, which began in June 2010, is expected to continue until February 2011 and will include face-to-face meetings, a client survey and other key elements.

According to a recent report by the East African Business Week (EABW), three regional workshops were recently held with stakeholders in Zanzibar and in the Mbeya and Mwanza regions, at which time the stakeholders were briefed on the role of the CAS, on current programs, or recent achievements of the program and on any issues and challenges that the CAS may face in the future.

John Murray McIntire, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, explained the consultation process in the recent EABW report.

“Consultations with various tiers of government, civil society, donors and the private sector have been an integral part of the CAS formulation process,” he said, “It is an opportunity to discuss issues affecting the Bank’s ongoing program and offer suggestions for improvement.”

In addition, Mr. McIntire said that the Bank uses this process as an opportunity to reengage with stakeholders.

“It also enables the Bank to reengage with stakeholders, renew dialogue and take the pulse of external perceptions of our work,” said the Country Director, “That is why the guiding principle of the consultative process is that of active listening.”

According to reports, the new country assistance strategy will expand on the 26 active projects that the Bank is currently supporting with a net commitment of USD 2.85 billion that is used to support agriculture, education and community development, energy, environment, financial and private sector development, health, public sector reform, transport, urban infrastructure, water and sanitation.

According to preliminary findings, most of the interventions within the country that have been financed by the Bank are making a good contribution to the country’s overall development, however, according to the Bank, there is still work to be done in poverty reduction, service delivery and governance.

“While the country has accomplished much including a reduction in infant and under-five mortality rates; significant increase in primary and secondary enrolment rates; improved conditions of trunk road networks; a broadened tax base, and increased domestic revenues, progress in some key reform areas was disappointing including improving the business environment, increasing the quality of education, reducing maternal mortality, and strengthening public financial management,” the bank indicated in the recent EABW report.

The new CAS is expected to be further discussed in April 2001 by the Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors.