Unintended consequences of foreign aid in Tanzania.

Author:Stewart, James
 
FREE EXCERPT

20 September 2012

How has foreign aid helped, and unintentionally hindered, Tanzania's democratic consolidation?

Tanzania has been a relative success story in terms of African political reform. In the early 1990s Tanzania shifted from a one-party to a multi-party system, allowed greater freedoms for the press and civil society, and in 1995 held its first multiparty elections since 1962. The country has also been somewhat of a donor darling since the late 1980s due to the institution of wide ranging structural adjustment policies as prescribed by international organizations. It is the second largest aid recipient in sub-Saharan Africa, after Ethiopia, and received about $26.85 billion in assistance between 1990 and 2010. In the WIDER working paper 'Donor Assistance and Political Reform in Tanzania' Aili Mari Tripp assesses the impact donor assistance has had on Tanzania's democratic transition and consolidation. She argues that foreign assistance has in many ways directly strengthened democracy through support to civil society, parties, the media, legislature, and the judiciary, but that it has also had some, unintended, negative consequences on the quality of the countries democracy.

In the UNU-WIDER working paper 'Donor Assistance and Political Reform in Tanzania' Aili Mari Tripp assesses the impact donor assistance has had on Tanzania's democratic transition and consolidation. She argues that foreign assistance has in many ways directly strengthened democracy through support to civil society, parties, the media, legislature, and the judiciary, but that it has also had some, unintended, negative consequences on the quality of the countries democracy.

Tanzania has been a relative success story in terms of African political reform. In the early 1990s Tanzania shifted from a one-party to a multi-party system, allowed greater freedoms for the press and civil society, and in 1995 held its first multiparty elections since 1962. The country has also been something of a donor darling since the late 1980s due to the institution of wide-ranging structural adjustment policies as prescribed by international organizations. It is the second largest aid recipient in sub-Saharan Africa, after Ethiopia, and received about US$26.85 billion in assistance between 1990 and 2010.

Foreign assistance, political reform, and accountability in Tanzania

Tanzania has been on a fairly steady trajectory of democratic consolidation since it adopted multipartyism in 1992...

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