On 30th November 2018, the Embassy of Demark to Tanzania issued a press release to inform that it has decided to withhold until further notice a planned support of DKK 65 million (USD 9.8 million) to Tanzania, due to the worsening of the human rights situation and the shrinking of civics pace in the country.
A high-level delegation from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently completed a 2-day visit in Tanzania, part of an on-going review of Danish development cooperation with Tanzania prompted by the gradual worsening of the human rights situation and the shrinking of civics pace in the country.
Following a series of negative events, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation decided to withhold until further notice a payment of DKK 65 million (USD 9.8 million) to the Tanzanian Government and to conduct a thorough review of the situation, including consultations in Denmark, EU, and Tanzania.
During the visit, the delegation had consultations with the Government of Tanzania, members of the opposition, and representatives from civil society, the media, religious leaders, as well as international development partners.
During the meetings with the Government, the delegation underlined that Denmark has been a strong partner to Tanzania for more than 50 years.
However, the delegation expressed concern for human rights and democracy, including shrinking political and civic space, women’s rights, and protection of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community as well as repressive laws.
The delegation strongly encouraged the Government to deliver concrete improvements on these issues.
It was agreed to keep the dialogue open. The Danish delegation made it clear that the current review would continue overt the coming months, where the situation on the ground would be monitored closely in dialogue with partners in Tanzania and Denmark.
This would assist in determining whether and in what form the funds would eventually be disbursed.
Earlier in November, the World Bank (WB) also issued a statement about its missions and intended financial support to Tanzania, that was also under threat for the same alleged discrimination against LGBTI people previously announced by the Government of Tanzania.
Denmark Support to Tanzania
Tanzania was the first African country with which Denmark initiated a development assistance partnership in 1963.
This was just one year after the Danish Parliament passed the first Danish law on international development cooperation and shortly after the Tanzanian mainland, called Tanganyika, became independent.
Over the preceding 50 years, Tanzania has received more Danish development assistance than any other country, amounting to more than DKK 14 billion (USD 2.1 billion).
Today, Tanzania continues to be one of the main partners for Danish development assistance, contributing to the country’s efforts to struggle against poverty.