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European Commission


Brussels, 20 July 2012

EU Development Work in Tanzania

Although Tanzania averaged 6-7% GDP growth in the last decade, it remains one of the world's poorest countries in the world, with many people still living below the poverty line of $1.25/day.

From 2007 to 2013, Tanzania benefited from an initial allocation of €555 million (part of the 10th European Development Fund) as well as an additional €51.5 million on water under the MDG initiative. More than half of the funding is delivered through budget support to the government. The focus of the EU cooperation is on infrastructure and on trade and regional integration, particularly on agriculture. Furthermore, another €50 million are provided for projects in energy, environment and supporting civil society.

On 21st and 22nd July, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will take part in an official visit to Tanzania.

Six new development programmes announced

Six new financing agreements worth a total of €126.5 million will be signed during the official visit of 20-22 July. This new support will focus on the following areas:


Road infrastructure plays an important role in the development of rural and remote areas. The surface transport system in Tanzania is made up of a road network of about 86,847 km, out of which 58,037 km are rural roads.

Currently, only 1% of the rural roads of Tanzania are paved, while 21% are gravelled and the vast majority (78%) have an earth surface; in mid-2011, only 56% of rural roads were in good or fair condition. The EU support will scale up the national efforts in improving the overall condition of the road network, with particular emphasis on roads in rural areas, thus improving peoples' livelihoods and boost in local economies. Under the rural road infrastructure project more than 200 km will be rehabilitated.

Access to water and sanitation via the MDG initiative

Only 54% of the population of Tanzania has access to clean water and 24% have access to adequate sanitation. On average, women and children spend over two hours a day collecting water, and up to seven hours in remote areas, and 20,000 children die before the age of five each year in Tanzania due to diarrhoeal diseases.

The new EU support will improve access to drinking water for an estimated 500,000 additional people and access to improved sanitation infrastructure and services for some 140,000 inhabitants in the towns of Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigomathus; reducing the risks of water-borne diseases and contributing to poverty alleviation.

Support to civil society, good governance and democratisation

In order to strengthen the good governance, democracy and social accountability in the Zanzibar Archipelago, the EU will support local civil society groups to help promote dialogue with the Government. The EU will provide financial assistance and a comprehensive capacity development programme, which will include activities such as training, mentoring and coaching on project management, partnership building, leadership and policy advocacy.

Other key sectors in the EU-Tanzania cooperation


Very few people have access to energy in rural areas (estimated at 1% to 5% in 2010; the Government target is to increase the electrification to 16% by 2015). Over the last two years, the Tanzanian economy has increasingly experienced power interruptions that disrupted the pace of economic growth and development. Last year the country faced a 40% reduction in the national power supply largely due to droughts and reduced water level which affected hydropower generation.

The EU is active in the energy sector. Under the 10th EDF, €8 million were allocated to electrification. The objective is to further increase access to electricity to households, businesses and public services by also promoting Tanzania's renewable energy potential.

Tanzania has also been identified as one of the pilot countries of the Sustainable Energy for all Initiative launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in mid-2011 with a view to ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The EU is at the forefront in leading this Initiative.


Tanzania's economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than one-quarter of GDP and provides 85% of exports. It occupies approximately 71% of the population and contributes more than 20% to GDP. Agriculture plays a key role in food security, economic growth and poverty reduction.

The European Union is a long standing partner in the Agriculture and Food Security sector in Tanzania; helping to improve food security and agricultural productivity in order to lift farmers out of poverty. Under the Trade and Agriculture Support Programme (€55 million in total), the EU is promoting easier access to local and international markets, better competitiveness of agricultural products through the improvement of standards (cotton, horticulture, fisheries, coffee and tea), as well as applied research for the development of new varieties (coffee, tea). This is complemented by support to the Sugar Sector (Sugar Accompanying Measures) which mainly benefits smallholders, though improved access to roads, irrigation and training; resulting in increased productivity (€12.5 million over the period 2007-2013).

The European Union is also preparing future support for SAGCOT (Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania), an Initiative launched by Tanzania to stimulate sustainable commercial agricultural development in southern Tanzania through improved rural infrastructure and new types of finance. The EU support to SAGCOT was reconfirmed at the May 2012 G8 Summit in Camp David, which launched a new initiative called the 'New Alliance to improve food security and nutrition'.

Food facility

Various initiatives were introduced in recent years to respond to the 2007/08 food crisis, such as the €1 billion Food Facility launched in 2009 (from which Tanzania has benefited with €32 million, including €20 million as general budget support) while some €12 million were allocated to projects implemented by Non-Governmental Organisations.

Other examples of how the EU is making a difference in Tanzania

Support for access to essential public services

The EU is helping the Government to get more children into school, to improve maternal health, to expand and maintain the transport infrastructure, and bring down the costs of doing business. Notable results in 2011included the delivery of annual capitation grants of Tshs 25,000 per student to all government secondary schools, and the reduction in the number of days taken by the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) to register a company from 6.9 days in 2009 to 3 days in 2011.

The Swaya project site (which will be inaugurated by President Barroso during his visit)

A new water treatment facility will produce drinking water for distribution to Mbeya city. The facility will benefit 140,000 people and several industries. It was constructed under the Mbeya Urban Water Supply and Sanitation project, which will reach 490,000 people.

The Mbeya Urban Water Supply and Sanitation project included the construction of 3 treatment plants and upgrading of 3 further plants, 3 new chlorination stations, new reservoirs, the upgrading and extension of the water distribution network, the rehabilitation of a sewerage treatment plant and the construction of sewer lines.

The Mbeya Urban Water Supply and Sanitation project is part of a wider EU programme. It also helped in 2 other locations: Iringa and Mwanza.

BEST RAY Project

Implemented between 2008 and 2011, the project enabled several hundreds of people from rural communities, and in particular teachers, public officials, traders, local technicians, public institutions and women, to access energy through various technologies that include solar systems, mini-hydro plants, bio-gas plants and energy-saving stoves.

The Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI)

The coffee industry is a significant economic sector in Tanzania: it represents 24% of the export earnings and employs 420,000 smallholders. Established ten years ago to support the Tanzanian coffee growers, TaCRI, through scientific research, has produced 15 new Arabica and Robusta varieties (10 more are expected by the end of the year). These new hybrid varieties are resistant to the diseases that affected the crops beforehand. As a consequence the cost of growing coffee has been reduced by 30 to 50% for smallholders while the quality has also been improved.

For further information

IP/12/811 – President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs in Tanzania

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