Tanzania has been one of Norway’s chief development cooperation partners for several decades. The development cooperation is aligned to the Tanzanian government's goal of independence from foreign aid.

Facts about Tanzania

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Life expectancy
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GNI pr capita
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Percentage poor people (below 1.25$)
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Bilateral assistance million kroner

Bilateral assistance million kroner

Bilateral assistance million kroner

At present the country is in a transitional political situation in terms of both progress and challenges. The gas discoveries that have been made may yield substantial revenue in 15-20 years. However they have also created expectations of swift income growth, job creation and improvement of social services and general living conditions. One of the challenges now is people's expectations of rapid results.

The country's real economic growth has been around seven per cent for the past ten years. In 2014 inflation was about five per cent.

Despite high economic growth and advances in social indicators such as health and education, the poverty level remains high, although the national poverty statistics show a decline of about 17 per cent from 2007 to 2013. This is consistent with developments in the Human Development Index and central millennium development goals.

Development cooperation

Energy, revenue generation and tax, natural resource management and climate are all important in development cooperation, with a steadily increasing emphasis on collaboration with the private sector. Business development and job creation are prioritized in the sectors in which Norway is involved.

Climate and forestry

In 2008, Norway entered into a collaboration on climate and forestry with Tanzania. Investment in forestry management over a period of five years with an upper limit of NOK 500 million was promised. In 2013, it was decided to extend the period in order to continue the venture within the framework of NOK 500 million.

Support in excess of this is limited to strategic interventions to enable Tanzania to take part in result-based financing based on a reduction of carbon emissions after 2015 due to deforestation and forest degradation.

Food security and sustainable development

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is to contribute to greater food security through increased production and a green revolution in the country. The idea is to shift more agricultural production to commercial operations, with the focus on smallholders and Agriculture Green Growth.

At present the area is dominated by smallholders growing food for their own consumption. The goal is to put them in a better position to serve markets, both regional and international, and to improve the living conditions of the farmers and their villages and increase food security in Tanzania.

The initiative involves Tanzanian authorities, development partners and the private sector. Norway contributes to the financing of the SAGCOT secretariat, which mediates contact between parties interested in investment that will also benefit smallholders. The secretariat is also intended to be a driving force behind the reform of the agricultural sector and the removal of obstacles to the growth and sale of agricultural produce.

SAGCOT has more than 70 partners who have all signed heads of agreement on investment in the corridor. Thirty partners have announced concrete investment plans totalling USD 1 billion, while development partners have committed to investing in infrastructure. SAGCOT's flagship is a rice plantation in Kilombero, where Norfund is one of the main investors.

Norway supports the Eastern Arc Mountains Conservation Endowment Fund (EAMCEF), the goal of which is forest conservation in a mountainous area with extensive species diversity. In order to protect the forest, the EAMCEF subsidizes the local community living in the vicinity in order to improve their food security and thereby make them less dependent on resources from the forest for their subsistence.

This funding has provided 900 households with better access to protein by supporting husbandry of animals such as pigs, chickens and cattle. Over 5 000 people have increased their income as a result of learning fish farming, beekeeping, sunflower cultivation, the production of young trees for sale etc.

Tanzania Agricultural Partnership Phase II (TAP) aims to give smallholders readier access to agricultural input factors such as fertilizer and pesticides. TAP is also intended to promote a more smoothly functioning market for those who produce a surplus they can sell. The Agricultural Council of Tanzania is the initiator, in close cooperation with local and national authorities.

A number of subcontractors also assist where there is a need for specific expertise. For example, the Zambia Conservation Farming Unit (http://conservationagriculture.org/) has established a branch in Tanzania that provides advisory services on climate-smart agriculture.

Others assist in training local suppliers of equipment, or in organizing local smallholders, in order to facilitate their contact with the market. The primary target group consists of 100 000 smallholders in 29 districts. Greater food security is an important goal.  Norway's contribution is NOK 70 million over a five-year period.  More information: http://www.actanzania.or.tz/


Norway has been an important partner for Tanzania in the energy sector for many years, particularly in the work of securing a power supply for Zanzibar. The 74-kilometre sea cable that links the island of Pemba to the main grid on the mainland was manufactured in Halden and funded by Norway.

Norway continues its collaboration with the Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO), and is now focusing on building capacity and on investment associated with maintenance of the distribution network. After initial delays, the planning phase of the maintenance project was completed in 2014.

The principal outcome of this phase is the establishment of a maintenance unit in ZECO, detailed mapping of maintenance needs and the preparation of an overarching electrification plan.

Evaluation of the long-term development effects of subsidizing the electricity supply and road-building on Pemba commenced in 2014. The preliminary finding is that the cable has resulted in an increased and more stable power supply. The investment has had particularly positive outcomes for business development and job creation, as the number of companies connected to the Internet has tripled.

Regional power lines

Norwegian-funded pilot studies of a regional power line between Kenya and Tanzania have persuaded the African Development Bank to finance the development.

Norway is also financing some of the pilot studies for the planned power line between Tanzania and Zambia, which in the longer term will connect the South African Power Pool and the Eastern Africa Power Pool.

The advantages of regional power trading include greater profitability for hydropower developments, which can help to reduce both electricity prices and greenhouse gas emissions.

Norway is continuing its collaboration with the Tanzanian power company TANESCO, which connected more than 240 000 new households, businesses and institutions to the grid in 2014.

The institutional twinning of Statnett and TANESCO has contributed to the drawing up of the first grid development plan in Tanzania's history. The plan shows that Tanzania must alter the planned sequence of the main grid development, and is likely to result in major savings for the country.

Norway is also funding a programme for capacity building and investment in the maintenance of TANESCO's hydropower plants. Training has been completed in the project, and computer systems have been installed for monitoring and maintaining the power plants at Kihansi and Kidatu. These are the two biggest power plants in Tanzania. The result has been a halving from 2013 to 2014 of plant downtime.

In 2013, Norway signed an agreement to make major contributions to the Tanzanian Rural Energy Fund, with the aim of increasing the access of rural Tanzania to modern energy services. This agreement did not progress as well as expected in 2014, as the proposed investment projects did not satisfy quality and cost-effectiveness requirements.

Thanks to Norwegian-funded technical assistance, sound investment projects have been designed and are to be ready for launching in the first half of 2015.

Norwegian support through several phases formed the basis for household electrification figures of 53 per cent in Unguja, 24 per cent in Pemba and 45 per cent in Zanzibar as a whole.

Norway has also signed agreements to finance maintenance of hydropower facilities and contribute to boosting capacity and maintenance expertise in the state energy companies on the mainland and in Zanzibar.

An ongoing institutional partnership between TANESCO and Statnett has increased the reliability of the power supply from the main grid, resulted in more generated power reaching consumers, fewer non-planned power cuts and fewer negative consequences due to load shedding.

In 2013, Norway and Tanzania signed an agreement whereby Norway will contribute NOK 700 million to improve the power supply to rural Tanzania.

Norway has funded the drawing up of a 10-year investment plan for village electrification, the National Electrification Investment Prospectus, which has now been adopted. According to this plan, Norwegian funding will contribute to both grid expansion and private investment in isolated networks, as well as to distributed systems in partnership with Lighting Africa Tanzania.  

Petroleum and taxation

Norway has subsidized the Tanzanian petroleum sector since 1985. In 2014, NOK 28.8 million was channelled through the Oil for Development (OfD) programme.

Extensive investment and intensified exploration are expected in the years ahead.

Tanzania is preparing to enter the petroleum age, and expertise, legal and institutional frameworks are needed to ensure that these resources benefit the country.

Norway is contributing through the programmes Oil for Development and Taxation for development to strengthening the country's institutions in three pivotal areas:

  • resource management
  • revenue management
  • environmental protection

The focus of the cooperative programme has been on developing an all-embracing petroleum policy and on mapping training and educational requirements.

Norway has contributed through OfD to the development of a national petroleum policy. This was updated in 2014 after an extensive consultatory process involving various authorities, the private sector and civil society.

Health, environment and safety

Capacity development has resulted in enhanced sector competencies and increased knowledge in the fields of health, environment and safety and environmental protection management.

Measures targeting civil society, religious leaders and parliamentarians have boosted sectoral expertise in spheres other than national administrative bodies. Adjustment of expectations with regard to the scope and time perspective for the development of a petroleum economy remains a major challenge. Although OfD is in great demand at the highest level in Tanzania, the programme is struggling with limited capacity and a lack of willingness at institutional level to prioritize the activities in the programme.

More tax

Boosting tax revenue is high on Tanzania’s list of priorities, and the positive trend continued in 2014. Long-term Norwegian assistance in reforming tax policy culminated in the drafting of two bills relating to tax administration and value added tax, which have now been enacted by parliament.

The value-added tax act was originally designed to place substantial restrictions on tax exemption, but was diluted in the process. The act has not as yet entered into force.

Norwegian backing has been given to tax models that have subsequently been used in contract negotiations with international mining companies.

The institutional cooperation between the tax directorates of Norway and Tanzania has yielded substantial revenue. This applies in particular to the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes' assistance in calculating the back taxes of a number of international companies and applying knowledge of and guidelines for transfer pricing in tax audits of large companies.

Democracy, human rights and good governance

Norway is donating NOK 10 million of earmarked support to the UN's work on promoting good governance in Tanzania. The UN has helped to prepare the way for free and fair elections in 2015 by strengthening the electoral commissions, devising a voter education strategy and establishing mechanisms for consulting civil society. A challenge is presented by the fact that biometric voter registration, which is not supported by the programme, is delayed and controversial, and may therefore be an obstacle to a credible electoral roll.

The UN assists the government in meeting international obligations, for example by establishing a monitoring and reporting system, whereby national and local authorities must report on the implementation of the national human rights action plan.

Norway and Sweden together provide core support to two of the key human rights organizations in Tanzania: Legal and Human Rights Centre  (LHRC) on the mainland (NOK 7 million) and Zanzibar Legal Service Centre  (ZLSC) (NOK 2 million).

These organizations are responsible for the annual report on the status of human rights. Through the network of the LHRC's legal personnel and assistants, Norwegian support provided free legal aid to over 19 000 persons in 2014, while ZLSC assisted more than 1 250 clients.

The free legal aid work helps to identify cases to be taken up as part of the campaign to change laws and practice.  Examples of such cases are early marriage and assaults on persons with albinism.

The LHRC tested a new SMS-based election observation method during the local elections, and reports were available much faster than in previous years. The method is now being revised and improved prior to the autumn 2015 elections.

Norway, Sweden and Switzerland jointly provide annual funding of NOK 4.8 million for the independent Media Council of Tanzania (MCT). A mid-term review of the Media Council's strategic plan revealed good implementation of activities, while assessment of the long-term effect was limited.

Gender equality and women's and children's rights

Women's rights and gender equality form an integral part of Norwegian development cooperation in Tanzania. Special interventions targeting women and children are mainly supported through civil society and support for the UN development plan for Tanzania.

Strengthening women's opportunities for active participation on an equal basis with men is a key goal. The election support programme includes special measures aimed at mobilizing women, adolescents and persons with disabilities into participating more in elections, particularly as candidates.

Central electoral acts and the parties' own rules and procedures are reviewed to ensure that they lay the foundation for gender equality and social inclusion and participation.

The UN has placed special emphasis on budgets, plans and legislations that help to strengthen women's rights and gender equality. In 2014 for the first time, a gender budget statement was prepared by women's groups in the national assembly and in the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

The establishment and strengthening of non-party-affiliated women's groups in the parliaments has boosted knowledge of reproductive health, gender-based violence, challenges facing women with respect to land rights and the general importance of women's participation in political and economic activities.

The UN assisted the Tanzanian government and civil society in national consultations and reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in autumn 2014.

A project to provide legal aid for children who are in conflict with the law in Dar es Salaam has yielded very positive results: All children qualify for free legal aid, their cases are fast-tracked in the courts and the length of their stay in institutions is reduced.

In 2013, Norway signed an agreement to fund UN Women's work in Tanzania to the tune of NOK 5 million annually for two years. This funding is supplementary to that provided by other UN grants, and is intended to cover areas of UN Women's country strategy.

UN Women advises the authorities on follow-up of international commitments with respect to women's rights and gender equality, including support to Tanzania's delegation to the Women's Commission and preparatory meetings.

The remit of UN Women includes strengthening the framework conditions for gender equality, women's rights and women's participation. The focus is on capacity-building, strengthening institutions and planning.

In 2014, UN Women continued their efforts relating to the Constitution through a coalition of 50 women's networks, including women from grassroot organizations and political parties. The group succeeded in ensuring that 100 of the 201 representatives appointed by the president were women.

With the aid of UN Women's analyses of opportunities and challenges in the draft Constitution, it was possible to win acceptance for a number of important measures targeting women, including establishing the right of women to own land and to inherit.

UN Women have also achieved commendable results in the sphere of safeguarding the gender equality perspective and women's rights in policy development, planning and budgeting processes. UN Women have assisted the authorities with gender equality analyses and statistics in all sectors assigned priority in the reform programme "Big Results Now".

UN Women are also of value in the work to strengthen local actors, many of whom are highly qualified, but with poor administrative skills. This has caused extra work for UN Women and implementation delays.

Cooperation with the Engineers Registration Board and support for women engineers resulted in a total of 48 women being registered as professional engineers in 2014 after they had completed the necessary practical training. Of the 273 female apprentices who have taken part in the Norwegian-funded Structured Engineers Apprenticeship Programme (SEAP) since its inception in 2010, 210 had obtained jobs even before they had completed their training.

Public welfare services

The last Norwegian contribution to Tanzania's government budget was disbursed in 2014. Evaluations show that budget support has yielded substantial results in social sectors, and has been important in reducing poverty.

The budget support has been important in providing readier access to education and health services. Registration for basic schooling has doubled in the past decade, and the number taking further education increased from 20 per cent in 2006 to 54 per cent in 2012.

A reduction in the number of pupils per teacher has laid a basis for higher quality primary education. The dropout rate from primary and lower secondary school and the high failure rate show that the education sector still faces considerable challenges. An increase in the number of health personnel per capita has improved the health service, but here, too, there are major weaknesses, particularly in rural areas.

Higher education

A mid-term review in 2014 of the Norwegian support for Enhancing Pro-poor Innovations in Natural Resources and Agricultural Value-chains (EPINAV) with Sokoine University of Agriculture as the implementing institution showed that progress is generally good. Further concentration on sustainability is necessary.

The programme has been systematically engaged in gender equality issues both at institutional level and in research projects. As a result, 30 Masters students and five PhD students are working on their degrees.

In line with the prerequisite for the programme, approximately half of the students are women. In addition, 77 training programmes for smallholders have been established under the programme. Sokoine University of Agriculture has been collaborating for several decades with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences at Ås, which is heavily involved in EPINAV.


Norway and Tanzania have a long history of development cooperation in the sphere of health. This cooperation extends from missionary hospitals in the 1950s to state-to-state aid, private organizations, university collaboration, and in recent years has taken place through health diplomacy among heads of state in international forums.

Norway's contribution of NOK 12.8 million to the Haydom Lutheran Hospital in 2014 has enabled the hospital to offer good health services in a marginalized and poverty-stricken area of Tanzania.

The hospital has experienced a decline in the number of patients using some its services. This is probably because the hospital has gone from offering free health services to introducing small charges for consultations in order to cover the hospital's budget deficit.

In 2014, the Norwegian Embassy worked more closely with the hospital, concentrating in particular on strengthening the management, administration and financial systems of the hospital. The hospital is delivering good mother and child health results, and offers reasonably-priced services.

With financial support from Norway and specialist support from the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Tanzanian Ministry of Health has conducted a pilot programme on the use of result-based financing in the Pwani region of Tanzania.

The pilot programme took place over a period of 13 months, starting at year-end 2012/2013, and was followed by an impact evaluation and implementation research through the Ifakara Health Institute, with specialist support from London's School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Although the programme was of short duration, it showed that result-based financing had a positive effect on various health services, such as malaria prevention among pregnant women (22 per cent increase), the use and quality of pregnancy check-ups, and births at clinics (nine per cent).

The effect on births was strongest among the poorest third of households. Some effect was also observed on vaccination against polio. Result-based financing had little impact, either positive or negative, on other services.

The programme is being continued and scaled up through the Norwegian-British Health Results Innovation Trust Fund in the World Bank (HRITF).

Peace, reconciliation and democratization measures

The collaboration with the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) contributes to systematic reporting on developments in the political situation in Zanzibar and in the union, and provides a good basis for evaluating developments over time. The

University of Zanzibar (SUZA) has taken over the administration of the questionnaire survey centre that was established by ILPI. The surveys are also used by the authorities to refine developmental measures and improve the delivery of services.

The work of documenting experience from the reconciliation process that led to the coalition government in Zanzibar in 2010 is used to stress the importance of the Government of National Unity for political stability and peaceful elections.

Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland have jointly supported a project at the University of Dar es Salaam for conducting studies on the political change in Tanzania.

Draft articles were discussed at a major conference at the university in January 2015 that was attended by representatives of political parties, authorities, police and civil society. The completed articles are to be published in the spring of 2015. The project has provided data for an increasingly critical domestic policy debate in which academia is more active than in the past.

Demands for Islamic private law courts (Khadi courts) and disagreement on the constitution have led to a heightening of political and religious tensions. Through Norwegian Church Aid and their partners, Norway has supported a national inter-faith dialogue with a series of regional follow-up meetings. The feedback from religious leaders was positive on the whole, but there has been a rekindling of 'us' and 'them' rhetoric.

There have also been conflicts on the mainland about land rights and distribution of the proceeds from natural resources. Land conflicts appear to be on the rise, and the legislation regulating land rights is both complicated and sometimes contradictory. This is a particular problem in the relationship between pastoralists (mobile land-users with freely grazing animals) and other farmers, and in connection with potential conflicts in connection with investment in land.

In a bid to strengthen the dialogue between representatives of pastoralists, authorities and other actors, the Norwegian Embassy helped to fund Pastoralist Week in autumn 2014. The result of the gathering was a joint statement on the steps that have to be taken to prevent and resolve conflicts between pastoralists and other groups.

Other cooperation

Culture The music festival "Sauti za Busara" is still one of the most important arenas for the promotion of African music generally and East African music in particular. Past participants have secured other gigs in the region, and talent scouts at Busara have booked regional artists for European festivals.

The festival thus makes a positive contribution to the regional market for musicians. In autumn 2014, the Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam signed a new three-year agreement with Busara Promotions, which arranges the music festival.

An agreement has also been entered into on support for "Music Mayday: Sounds of Tomorrow" - a newly established music-training centre mainly financed by the EU. The centre can demonstrate good results so far.

Several final-year students secured jobs as a backing band to one of Tanzania's biggest artists on his European tour. The centre's recording studio is often used by local artists, and has made it easier for them to market themselves to an international audience.


Norad supports a number of Norwegian NGOs that have Tanzanian partners. Funding in 2014 amounted to a total of NOK 54 million. This funding covers a wide range of activities, from education, women and children's rights, to natural resource management, climate and the environment.

The chief Norwegian actors are Norwegian Church Aid, FOKUS, Care International, the Atlas Alliance, the Strømme Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Society for Development (Norges Vel) and the World Wildlife Fund. Norges Vel's work led to the establishment of 38 village community banks, which enable farmers to sell their yields collectively without being dependent on bank loans with high interest rates.


Published 29.08.2014
Last updated 02.10.2015