The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), approved on April 6th 2016 a credit of USD 65 million for the Tanzania Citizen-Centric Judicial Modernization and Justice Service Delivery Project which aims at improving the efficiency and transparency of, and access to, selected citizen-centric justice services.
The new project responds to Tanzania’s Development Vision 2025 and the Judiciary Strategic Plan 2015–2020, part of the government’s aim to improve peoples’ lives by enhancing the business and investment environment, increasing transparency and reducing poverty.
The Judiciary Strategic Plan contributes to national priorities by supporting improvements in service delivery and increasing access to justice, the World Bank (WB) indicates.
According to WB’s Doing Business 2016, which provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 189 economies, in Tanzania it takes 515 days to resolve a commercial dispute, while in Singapore it takes only 150 days. Disputes go through 38 procedures and costing 14.3% of the total claim in Tanzania.
With the Bank’s support to the judiciary and justice entities, citizens, including vulnerable groups (e.g. women), rural poor, informal traders, small businesses, large commercial enterprises and banks, will all benefit from the project.
Currently, approximately 47% of the Tanzanian population does not live close to a high court. The design and construction of one-stop-justice centers in select locations will help close the huge rural-urban gap in justice service provision, and will reduce travel and transaction costs for users.
“There are too many Tanzanians for whom access to justice services is a luxury but it shouldn’t be – it is core to social sustainability and peoples’ well-being,” said Ms. Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia and Malawi.
“And with the economy growing as fast as it is, the country’s justice system which is part and parcel of the enabling environment for business and investment needs to support increased demand,” Bird added.
The program will also provide e-justice services that will reduce costs and make services more efficient and transparent.
Moreover, adherence to timelines and cutting case backlogs will increase government revenue.