Lake Victoria: A threatened giant?

By Melisande Denis

lake-victoria-africaWith a surface area of over 68,600 km², Lake Victoria is the widest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater lake in the world: as such, it provides crucial environmental services to its riparian communities. Its basin, shared between each member states of the East African Community with the exception of South Sudan (Tanzania accounts for 49% of its surface water, Uganda for 45% and Kenya for 6%, while its catchment area extends over Rwanda and Burundi through the Kagera River), is home to 40 million people, almost one third of the total population of the EAC. Its importance for the region can thus not be overstated; but ever since the middle of the twentieth century, a growing number of interrelated challenges have altered the traditional balance of the basin, threatening both the livelihoods of surrounding populations and the giant lake’s ecosystem.

In fact, the introduction of the Nile Perch in the lake in the 1950s and its surge in the 1970s have opened up the region to a lucrative international market, which has attracted huge numbers of new fishermen along the shores: from 50,000 individuals in the 1970s, there are now 200,000 workers competing over Lake Victoria’s fishes. This population boom has had worrisome consequences in terms of human development: rapid and unplanned urbanization has put untenable pressure on the water sanitation facilities and on the waste disposal infrastructures of the region. Water-related diseases such as cholera, typhoid, or bilharzia, have therefore been prevalent among the local populations, with higher rates than national averages. Municipal services have not been able to perform efficiently, and the living standards of the area have raised serious concerns over the last forty years: the Lake Victoria Basin is not only one of the most densely populated areas in the world, it is also one of the poorest.

Besides these alarming social issues, and mainly as a result of human activities, environmental challenges have also been piling up. Intensive fishing, species introduction, poor waste management, hazardous agricultural procedures, deforestation or the use of outdated industrial infrastructures have resulted in the rapid eutrophication of the lake and a shift in its traditional ecosystem. One of the most spectacular manifestations of these changes might have been the huge outbreaks of water hyacinth, an invasive alga, over the waters of Lake Victoria in the late 1990s and again in the mid-2000s: some areas became so clogged that navigation was made impossible for weeks.

With higher nutrient loads flowing into the lake, its traditional water composition has indeed been altered, fostering the proliferation of algae. In turn, this evolution has been responsible for increased fish mortality rates, which have directly affected the revenues of local inhabitants, with the lower catch per unit effort leading to unsustainable fishing practices. Social and environmental challenges thus appear to be interconnected and indivisible. In this perspective, the current state of the Lake Victoria Basin is a cause for serious concern: not only are the living conditions in the region worsening, but the very sustainability of the lake might also be called into question.

However, this rapid overview should not be overly pessimistic: if the challenges facing Lake Victoria are clearly colossal, the economic and environmental potential of the basin also deserves to be mentioned. Indeed, the opportunities surrounding the lake could hardly be exaggerated: with its gigantic water stocks, its numerous species of fish, its diversified wildlife and its stunning landscapes, the lake holds promise in terms of hydropower, industrialization, irrigation for agriculture, fishing, local and regional transport, and tourism. That is not to say that these great resources will provide a magical solution to the difficulties surrounding the Lake Victoria Basin; but merely that if substantial investments and sustainable methods are put in place, current challenges could potentially be mitigated, if not overcome. As a matter of fact, the EAC, which has identified the basin as a key area for the development of partner states, i.e. “a regional economic growth zone”, has established two regional institutions specifically designed to monitor the management of Lake Victoria (the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization in 1994, and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission in 2003). If it could be argued that their efficiency is yet to be proven (considering the lake’s present condition), it could also be reckoned that the shared recognition of the need for regional management is a promising step. Given the breadth of the challenges lying ahead, effective cooperation between the riparian states will indeed be mandatory to harness the basin’s potential. If undeniably threatened, Lake Victoria is not doomed yet: significant efforts, fostering the engagement of all the stakeholders and taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the lake, should encourage the sustainable management of its basin.

Melisande Denis, currently interning at UONGOZI Institute, is pursuing a Master’s degree in European and International Studies at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle in France.

Why Nations Fail – A book review

WhynationsfailBy Melisande Denis

Why are some countries rich, and why are others poor? What can account for economic disparities across the world? Analyzing three millennia of world history and focusing on case studies from extremely diverse countries, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson address these questions in their book Why Nations Fail, The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. They argue that the wealth of a nation is dependent on its economic and political institutions: the more inclusive they are, the more prosperous the country will be. In other words, the key to sustained economic growth lies in open institutions that foster the participation of all the citizens.

The study of the city of Nogales, which is divided between the United States and Mexico, is the starting point of their argumentation: what can explain that, north of the border, American citizens enjoy much better standards of living (in terms of health, education, income or security), than Mexican inhabitants living in the southern part of the town? How can one border justify such a gap? D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson reckon that the major difference between the two countries is that American institutions have created a more conducive environment for economic growth than those of Mexico. Indeed, in the US, property rights are enforced, a level playing field is established, and investment in new technologies and skills is strongly encouraged: anyone willing to start a business in the US can do so without fearing arbitrary expropriation or unfair competition. State governments and the federal administration, which are democratically elected, are responsible for ensuring that equal chances are given to everyone; and, if they feel that they are being unfairly treated, citizens can rely on other institutions to defend their rights. Political institutions are centralized, designed to fight corruption, and enforce law and order across the country, hence fostering economic success. On the contrary, in Mexico, democracy is no second nature, and political institutions are more extractive: corruption is endemic and property rights are fragile. Creating a company in Mexico is a highly risky business, as monopolies and strong relations between politicians and large firms threaten smaller entrepreneurs’ interests. Institutions are partly designed to extract resources from the many by the few, and thus fail to provide incentives for economic activities. In short, inhabitants of the southern part of Nogales are poorer than those in the north because their institutions are not inclusive: the less people are encouraged to take part in business activities, the slower their economy will grow.

This is not to say that extractive institutions are inconsistent with economic growth: in order to have more to extract, political elites would, in theory, favor prosperity. But, as they extend their argumentation to different situations across time and space – ranging from the Soviet Union to the Kuba Kingdom in the actual DRC, through the recent rise of China – D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson argue that growth under this kind of institutions cannot be sustainable. Indeed, innovation is necessary for economic development, but with innovation comes creative destruction (meaning that older techniques and skills are replaced by new ones) which tends to destabilize established power relations. Elites thus fear innovation and tend to prevent it, and by doing so, hinder economic success. More than that, the fact that they benefit greatly at the expense of the rest of society means that power is highly coveted: political instability is often the rule in extractive environments, which prevents businesses from developing.

Economic disparities across the world depend thus on political institutions: the less inclusive they are, the more those in power are tempted to seek their own interests, and the more detrimental it is to their national economy. On the contrary, political institutions which distribute power in a pluralistic manner guarantee that various interests can compete, and that their economy will thrive. But why have some nations developed inclusive institutions, while others have not? As they review ruptures such as the Glorious Revolution in England, the signature of the American Constitution, or the Meiji Restoration in Japan, the authors reckon that these evolutions are mostly a matter of small differences. In fact, little divergences – such as the existence of broad coalitions that have a relative hold on power or the presence of some degree of centralization – have proven extremely meaningful during critical junctures. In the UK for instance, the fact that the Parliament had some influence over the monarchy in the fifteenth century (due to various historical circumstances) meant that the opening of the transatlantic trade could benefit a larger segment of the population, instead of only the Crown. And, as their economic power increased, they were gradually able to effect political change towards more inclusive institutions. Contingency and small differences are thus key elements of the book’s theory: had parliament not held this kind of power at this particular time, the Glorious Revolution might not have occurred this early.

This perspective necessarily constrains the predictive power of the authors’ approach, but D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson acknowledge and embrace the limit of their work, as they claim that it discredits any theory based on historical determinism. Prosperity and poverty are not given, but depend on the institutional drift of nations, which can hardly be anticipated. The major strength of their study is thus that it offers an innovative approach to the questions of economic development, which challenges formerly established theories. Indeed, the example of Nogales, one single city with very different levels of development, helps dismiss the geographical and cultural approaches (the former using climatic and territorial disparities to explain differences in development; the latter focusing on cultural factors, and claiming that some civilizations are ill-adapted to engineer economic growth). In the same way, the elites’ tendency to resist creative destruction challenges the ignorance theory, which considers that leaders do not foster development because they simply do not know how to do so: quite often, those in power are aware that their decisions are impairing national growth, but they decide to favor their own interests nonetheless. Why Nations Fail thus presents a creative theory to explain the origins of prosperity and poverty; and the variety of cases presented, which are highly readable and well-documented, makes the authors’ arguments all the more compelling.

Why Nations Fail, The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson is available in UONGOZI Institute’s Resource Centre.

Melisande Denis, currently interning at UONGOZI Institute, is pursuing a Master’s degree in European and International Studies at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle in France.

Technical and vocational education has a vital role to play in Africa’s sustainable development

Gwamaka Kifukwe


Everyone appreciates a quality craftsmanship, whether it is artistic or functional – and yet, we do not encourage our youths to pursue opportunities and livelihoods that require technical and vocational education. This is severely curtailing the potential for technical and vocational education to contribute to Sustainable Development – and much of the problem lies in our own attitudes and thinking. Sometimes, sustainable development challenges can be tackled through simple (note, ‘simple’ does not mean ‘easy’) solutions; and the untapped potential of technical and vocational training is one such case.

It is a familiar story; we finish secondary school with As and Bs and a few lucky Cs will go on to University to pursue degrees. The rest of the class are ‘doomed’ to vocational and technical education. But why has this sentiment become the norm? We all have friends, family and colleagues who are naturally gifted in different things: Some people can create magic in the kitchen, others have a knack for fixing things, others still are good at D-I-Y around the house, all of which we appreciate. So why do we not encourage people with these skills to develop them to their full potential? From the outset we stigmatise and demotivate those with the passion and talents to work with their hands, in order to promote academic pursuits. Ill-preparation for the job market as a whole.

Education has become about getting a degree, in order to get a good job or ‘escaping’ to richer parts of the country, the continent, or the world. Increasingly we are encouraged to become ‘job creators’ instead of ‘job seekers’. The truth is, we do need job creators. But the truth is also that we need skilled individuals to do those jobs! As it is, African labour may be cheap in terms of wages, but the trade-off for the quality of our products and services, render our labour uncompetitive due to the skills shortages in our labour pool and other related issues.

A major cause of the skills gap is poor enrolment in technical and vocational education. In all the world, Sub-Saharan Africa ranks lowest in terms of the percentage of total secondary enrolment in technical and vocational education (hovering between 4% and 5%). By comparison, the richest countries in the world (OECD) average around 20%. And we all feel the consequences of this. For those of you out there who own cars, or at least have been involved in getting a car repaired, you will be aware of how difficult it is to find a reliable and trustworthy mechanic to fix whatever problem your car might have. Typically in Africa one must ask around with other friends if they know someone, or know someone who might know someone… Have you ever thought to ask how and where the mechanic was trained?

In Africa, the informal economy is the largest employer, and a source of the majority of vocational learning. By 2008 in Senegal, some 400,000 young people were entering informal apprenticeships annually, compared to 7,000 graduates from the formal vocational and technical education centres! And in Ghana, it was estimated that as much as 80% of skills development was taking place through the informal apprenticeship system. As these apprenticeships offer no certification or documentation, upon their completion young people are absorbed into the informal economy. This poses several risks and problems, a few of which are listed below:

  • Clients and consumers have no knowledge of the quality of product or service they are receiving or purchasing.
  • Training is not standardised so there is neither quality control, nor standard operating procedures.
  • Costs are random.
  • Those taking on apprentices are effectively training their competition and so have conflicting interests.
  • Apprentices have no proof of skills and so have difficulty in presenting credentials to clients, or to financial service providers in case they would like to start their own businesses.
  • Governments are losing revenue.
  • Job creators and investors are unable to source local skills because they are not able to identify individuals even where they exist.

And the situation is likely to get even more complicated… NEPAD estimates that by 2025, there will be 330 Million young Africans eligible to enter the labour market. Africa needs jobs, yes – but it also needs people qualified to fill those jobs. As the world’s attention focuses on Africa, we are witnessing a growth in the immigrant population, many of whom are finding meaningful employment and economic activity on the continent. The diversity is welcome, however it also points to three facts that we cannot ignore. There are jobs in Africa; Africans are not able to access these jobs; and, we must do something in order for Africans to be able to compete for these jobs.

The perception that vocational and technical education will lead to being a ‘job seeker’ is misleading. University degrees do not guarantee that you will be a job creator or your own boss. You are just as likely to work for someone else in following either education pathway. Furthermore, from a development perspective, as the African market grows in terms of population, better linkages and spending power, there are huge opportunities for intra-African exchange. Why can these products and services not be produced in Africa? Currently Africa is outsourcing the very jobs that countries like Vietnam, Korea and China are using as the engine of their economic growth. Processing goods for the African market can and should take place in Africa – where the raw materials are found in any case. As the intra-African linkages get better, the reality is that there are many more opportunities for skilled labour (through vocation and technical education) as a starting point.

So why do we stigmatise vocational and technical education and prevent youth from pursuing viable, dignified and (frankly) needed careers based on vocational skills? Why are we not encouraging more skills and vocation-oriented education in our secondary schools so we can identify, nurture and encourage those with talents that are not academic to provide vital contributions to our societies? If science and technology education is a priority, where will we source the lab technicians or the mechanics? We are appreciative of good quality technical service, indeed sometimes we are dependent on it (from fire alarms to construction work), and yet many parents would not encourage (indeed may actively discourage) pursuit of excellence in technical and vocational fields. Why?

Furthermore, there is nothing preventing us from complimenting vocational and technical education, with entrepreneurship skills development. When we train chefs in nutrition, flavour balancing, and so forth, why do we not also impart them with knowledge on how to start and/or run a restaurant thereby becoming a potential job creator in the process? Africa will need entrepreneurs who are able to develop solutions from within as much as it needs entrepreneurs who adapt technologies, processes and ideas to the African context. In this area, those with the skills and experience in an industry can play a critical role in ensuring innovation is suitable to the needs and conditions of our context.

So what can be done? First of all we need to break the perception that vocational and technical education is the pathway for ‘those who don’t do well at high school’, added to this we need to identify and nurture those talented in non-academic ways so that they can prosper and contribute to their societies and communities using the passions and skills they are blessed with. Secondary education must incorporate more practical classes to expose pupils to alternatives in terms of future careers and possibilities (both as employees and employers). Governments can work with informal traders and service providers by providing guidelines and certification, individuals that collaborate and meet quality standards may be fast-tracked into the formal economy where they then have access to financial products and services to expand their business – various incentive packages to encourage enrolment may also be considered. These are just some of the ideas that could be considered.

Fundamentally however the change needed, as is often the case in Africa, is our own attitudes and approaches (‘mind-set’ to use the current phrase of choice). It is we Africans who must move away from thinking of vocational and technical education as the result of poor academic performance; of worshipping some kind of intellectual elitism. We must de-stigmatise technical and vocational education in order to enable individuals with passion and talent that are not captured in the current essays and written exams. We must recognise and encourage individuals to pursue excellence and an attitude of life-long learning in whatever field we are passionate about or talented in. The university-educated are just as job-seeking as they are job-creating. The same is true for those of vocational and technical educational backgrounds.

Vocational and technical skills have an important role to play in Africa’s future, so we must take education for these skills seriously. There are, and will be, many opportunities for people in Africa to prosper by pursuing this if they so choose. Because at the end of the day, what is development, if not to enable people the freedom to pursue their aspirations and ambitions and contribute to society through public and private pursuits?

Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe is the Programme Coordinator for the Sustainable Development Programme at UONGOZI Institute. He also hosts the Institute’s two flagship television interview programmes, ‘Meet the Leader‘ and ‘In Focus‘.  For more information, please contact us.

Industrial Development in Tanzania: renewed commitment amidst persistent challenges

by Dennis Rweyemamu pic+industrial

The fifth phase Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has demonstrated renewed commitment to industrialization, as part of a broader agenda to create employment opportunities and substantially reduce poverty. This renewed commitment to promoting industrial development is timely. Literature suggests that economic development requires structural change from low to high-productivity activities, and that the industrial sector is a key engine of growth in the development process. Virtually all country cases of high, rapid and sustained economic growth have been associated with industrialization, particularly growth in manufacturing production.

Unfortunatley, the manufacturing sector in Tanzania is an example of disappointing sectoral performance. In the past, policy failures both in design and implementation have contributed to poor industrial performance. During the import-substitution phase of the 1970s, government policies and efforts focused more on providing support to domestic firms than on getting them to perform. Furthermore, the emphasis was on setting up industries rather than on building dynamic capabilities that would allow firms to be competitive. High protection meant that domestic firms were poorly prepared for international competition. The fact that the state created and operated the manufacturing firms simply made the problem worse. Investments were often made with little regard to efficiency, and the managerial capacity of the state was badly overstretched.

The structural adjustment phase of the 1980s and 1990s, saw the withdrawal of government support, even in the presence of market failures, and the liberalization of trade without taking account of the capabilities of domestic firms is another example of policy failure. Emerging from being the worst affected during the economic crises of the early 1980s, (despite massive public investments), the sector has never really recovered. The main reforms in the sector evolved around restructuring activities and liberalizing the investment climate. While there were mild achievements in a few industries, the rest were either stagnant or worse off. With the ushering of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) in the early 2000s, resources were shifted away from the productive sectors that are necessary for sustained growth and poverty reduction, with a new focus on the social sectors.

Although policy failures did contribute to poor industrial performance, structural factors also played a role. The structural factors are manifest in the form of poor infrastructure (including roads, airways, railways, and communication), low human capital, small size of domestic markets, and a low entrepreneurial base. No industry can run smoothly in an environment where the whole range of basic infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, we are now seeing efforts by the Government to address infrastructural constraints, but these efforts need to be intensified.

The small size of domestic markets in Tanzania implies that we are unlikely to sustain an industrialization agenda without access to regional and global markets. These external markets would provide an opportunity to expand production as well as exports, and reap the benefits of scale economies. It would also make available the much needed foreign exchange to import intermediate inputs and capital goods for domestic industries.

But are we competitive enough to enter into these markets? It is important that industrial development efforts be part of an overall process of integration into the global economy rather than inward-looking as was the case during the import-substitution phase. Imposing import bans on goods will only help firms targeting the domestic market, and in a way be a “cost” to consumers who would have otherwise accessed cheaper imports of the same or even higher quality. There should be efforts towards building the capabilities of domestic firms and preparing them to compete in export markets for medium and high-technology manufactured goods.

While the Goverment has recognized the necessity to promote industrial and manufacturing development in order to address the country’s development challenges, there is need to search for an approach that is strategic, integrates lessons from the past, and takes into account the realities of a changing global environment. Investment in human capital should be key to any such strategy so as to improve efficiency and thus productivity levels. This, however, must be supported by necessary public goods (particularly investments in infrastructure), support institutions (for trade facilitation, credit, access to technology, establishment of standards and certification) and an incentive structure that is conducive to industrial growth.

So, in the fierce competition of export markets, does Tanzania stand a chance? Yes, it does. Not that it will be easy or quick, but with better policies and more investment, we could be competitive in things like agro-products, footwear, furniture and other low-skill industries. Opportunities are there, but we need to strategize and implement plans. Otherwise we may remain stuck in only exporting natural resources.

Is there a right formula for managing the oil and gas sector in Tanzania?


by Namwaka Omari

Discussion and debates around natural resources in Tanzania have in recent years focused on the projected revenues from the gas sector. The new discoveries of natural gas have shifted the nation’s conversation to turn to look at what this gas can do for the country. The underlying assumption here is that if the gas is developed, processed, piped and exported, it will bring in significant cash flow to the government; a new cash cow of sort. This is all well and good – in theory. In practice, the process is not all that simple and if not managed ‘right’, then we may not realise the projected revenues that are meant to come from the gas reserves. How then do we properly manage the sector? What should we put in place? What should we do first? What should we NOT do?

These are all important questions that we should be asking ourselves and thinking critically as to how to position ourselves to truly benefit from our natural resources. They cannot all be answered at one go, nor should they be attempted to be answered at one go as this is a complex sector that needs careful analysis. What we should do is learn from others that have gone before us on this journey, and determine which lessons we can take forward and which we should leave behind. Not all will work for us as Tanzania, but there may be some experiences that we can take from and build on – some good foundations.

An example of this is from a recent trip to Ghana, which revealed that their natural resources are protected in the mother law – the Constitution – with powers vested in the parliament to look at each and every contract that is in the realm of natural resources prior to approval. This oversight role is important in ensuring that each contract attains maximum benefit for citizens. This is indeed an important lesson for us in Tanzania, where does the buck stop with us?

What I am offering here is one foundation, which borrows from the Natural Resource Charter framework. I am offering a few of the ingredients in the recipe of how we can start to possibly think about ‘getting it right’:

Ingredient 1: Have in place a comprehensive national strategy or ‘vision’ for the sector with an effective coordination framework; this means developing a shared blueprint (vision) and creating an “authorizing environment” for the natural gas sector which spans all the relevant ministries and is housed at a high office.

Ingredient 2: Ensure Government ownership of geological information so that the Government knows how much is available and where, this will provide ownership of the data to the Government.

Ingredient 3: Empower citizens with correct information which speaks to the need to have a critical mass of informed citizens which can hold the Government accountable.

Ingredient 4: Secure efficient allocation of licenses to ensure maximum benefits by having a transparent licensing regime.

Ingredient 5: Realise the full value from the natural resources by vesting ownership to the Government through empowering the National Oil Company as a commercial entity, as well as ensuring that tax regimes enable the government to realize the value of resources.

Ingredient 6: Put in place an effective regulatory framework by establishing a regulatory authority and frameworks for upstream, as well as effective institutions and frameworks for midstream and downstream.

Ingredient 7: Make sure environmental and social costs of oil & gas projects are accounted for, mitigated and offset, which will mean enhancing monitoring of company operations, enforcement of compliance to laws that safeguard surrounding communities from harmful environmental impacts, as well as putting in place an effective system to respond to environmental disasters (such as oil spills or hazardous leaks).

Ingredient 8: Invest oil & gas revenues to achieve optimal and equitable outcomes for both current and future generations. Here we could learn from others and establish a Gas Revenue Fund which is independent, with the purpose of ring-fencing funding for continuous development of the oil & gas industry, ensuring financing of strategic infrastructure, managing fiscal volatility as well as saving for the future generations.

[Watch the In Focus show on understanding Sovereign Wealth Funds here]

Ingredient 9: Design integration of the oil and gas sector for economic transformation, by harnessing oil and gas to transform other critical sectors such as infrastructure as well as ensuring local content (employment, local supply chain,s etc.) and local skills are developed.

Ingredient 10: Dialogue with International Oil Companies (IOCs), to ensure they are committed to contributing to sustainable development through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in line with local development plans, as well as adhering to national standards.

Ingredient 11: Engage the International Community to support the sustainable development efforts of the country, by encouraging IOCs to operate in the same way as they operate in their countries of origin. Information sharing initiatives should be enhanced, while ensuring that the host country proactively engages with the IOCs.

This does not suggest that these ingredients are a magic pill; nor that they will guarantee ‘getting it right’, but it is a start. There is no one ‘right’ formula – no one size fits all in managing the sector, however, there are ingredients which are essential, and looking at what other countries have done, which give us a starting point, may put us on a path that could potentially work for Tanzania.

Other resources on managing natural resources:

Events in Pictures: Finnish Journalists Visit UONGOZI Institute

Chief Executive Officer of UONGOZI Institute, Professor Joseph Semboja (second from left) speaking to a delegation of journalists from Finland when they visited the Institute on Friday, 18 March, 2016. From left is the Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Finland, Ms. Milma Kuttenen, Ms. Liisa Tervo, Partnership Advisor at UONGOZI Institute, and Mr. Dennis Rweyemamu, Head of Research and Policy at UONGOZI Institute.
Chief Executive Officer of UONGOZI Institute, Professor Joseph Semboja (second from left) speaking to a delegation of journalists from Finland when they visited the Institute on Friday, 18 March, 2016. From left is the Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Finland, Ms. Milma Kuttenen, Ms. Liisa Tervo, Partnership Advisor at UONGOZI Institute, and Mr. Dennis Rweyemamu, Head of Research and Policy at UONGOZI Institute.


Delegation of 15 journalists from Finland who visited UONGOZI Institute as a part of a 5-day program  organized by the Finish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Delegation of 15 journalists from Finland who visited UONGOZI Institute as a part of a 5-day program organized by the Finish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland.


Natural Resource Management Programme Coordinator, Ms. Namwaka Omari (standing) delivering a presentation to journalists on UONGOZI Institute’s work on supporting the management of natural resources in tanzania, with an emphasis on the oil and gas sector.
Natural Resource Management Programme Coordinator, Ms. Namwaka Omari (standing) delivering a presentation to journalists on UONGOZI Institute’s work on supporting the management of natural resources in Tanzania, with an emphasis on the oil and gas sector.


One of the journalists from the Finnish delegation posing a question. Some of the issues that were discussed on the day included Tanzania’s work so far on sustainable development, capacity building for leaders in Africa, and the current state of Tanzania’s oil and gas sector.
One of the journalists from the Finnish delegation posing a question. Some of the issues that were discussed on the day included Tanzania’s work so far on sustainable development, capacity building for leaders in Africa, and the current state of Tanzania’s oil and gas sector.


Ms. Milma Kuttenen, Head of Development Cooperation from the Embassy of Finland thanking UONGOZI Institute on behalf of the delegation of journalists and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland for hosting the visit.
Ms. Milma Kuttenen, Head of Development Cooperation from the Embassy of Finland thanking UONGOZI Institute on behalf of the delegation of journalists and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland for hosting the visit.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 16

Goal Sixteen: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

SDG16-e1442928930621This goal, with a focus on governance, was not included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the preceding form of the SDGs. It is of particular importance for Africa due to its focus on institutions and policies that would serve as the basis for achieving many of the other goals.

The targets under this goal emphasize the importance of peace, non-violence, rule of law and inclusiveness in society for development. It also includes targets on, more specifically, the reduction of illicit financial and arms flows, corruption and bribery in all forms; as well as the development of accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and ensuring public access to information.

According to the 2015 Mo Ibrahim index, as a collective, Africa’s progress on governance has stalled since 2011. Although the figures vary from country to country, the index shows that there has been progress under Human Development and Participation & Human Rights, however Safety & Rule of Law and Sustainable Economic Opportunity have shown a decline. Specific areas of decline included public management, rights, accountability, the rural sector, national security and the business environment.

More information on the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance can be found here.


Proposed targets:

            16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related deaths everywhere

16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crimes

16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance

16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime

16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

More on governance in Africa:

The Centre for Conflict Resolution

The Institute for Security Studies

The Africa Governance Initiative

The African Leadership Forum Report 2015

The African Leadership Forum Report 2014

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 9

Goal 9

Goal Nine: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

SDG Nine focuses on the physical elements that surround the global population, which are integral in achieving sustainable development, but can be forgotten when weighed against issues such as healthcare and poverty. This goal emphasizes not only the most commonly thought of forms of infrastructure, such as roads and railways, but also the more modern versions such as internet access. Africa currently has approximately 330 million internet users with a 29% penetration rate on the continent and the numbers are growing. Still, this is relatively low in comparison to the rest of the world, with penetration rates of 40% in Asia, 73% in Europe, 52% in the Middle East and 55% in Latin America, for example. The upward progress, however, is a good sign for achieving the target of universal access.

This goal also emphasizes the need to increase industrialization, especially in developing country contexts. This is particularly relevant for Africa, with most countries in sub-Saharan Africa’s manufacturing share of output having fallen during the past 25 years. Some countries are already making significant progress, however, with Ethiopia’s manufacturing having grown at a rate of approximately 10% per year from 2006-2014, for example. Tanzania has also experienced growth in manufacturing output at 7.5% per year from 2007-2012.

Proposed Targets:

9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all

9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets

9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending

9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States

9.b Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in d4eveloping countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities

9.c Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

Related Content

Article: The Economist – More a marathon than a sprint

Report: UNECA – Industrialising through trade

Video: UONGOZI Institute – Knowledge and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 8

Goal 8Goal Eight: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal Eight, like Goal Seven, also does not stem directly from the Millennium Development Goals, with its emphasis on the economies of countries rather than some of the social indicators referenced in other goals. Part of this goal’s targets calls for specific annual GDP growth targets of 7 percent for least developed countries. Africa’s GDP growth is expected to be at 4.5% by the end of 2015 and 5% in 2016. This shows some positive progress and a strong likelihood of achieving the target.

Aside from GDP growth, this goal also focuses on labour rights and protections, as well as unemployment, with two of the targets with a specific focus on youth unemployment. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with the youth population expected to double on the continent by 2045. According the the Africa Economic Outlook 2015, approximately 19 million youth in Sub-Saharan Africa entered the labour market this year, and this figure is expected to grow to an average of 24.6 million a year over the next 15 years. This presents a significant risk for youth unemployment. Creating more productive jobs will become an even greater priority in the implementation of the SDGs.


Proposed Targets:

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries

8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value-added and labour-intensive sectors

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, eradicate forced labour and, by 2025, end child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

8.a Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries

8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

Related Information

Report on the Roundtable Discussion on ‘Shared Societies and Inclusive Sustainable Development’ organized by UONGOZI Institute and the Club of Madrid in 2013, including video from the event.

To To



Sustainable Development Goals Series: Goal 7

Goal Seven: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all


This SDG is the first that really doesn’t seem to originate in any direct way from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is likely due to the particular focus of this agenda on the sustainability aspect of development rather than development in general. The first target of this goal calls for increased access to modern energy services, such as electricity. In East Africa as of 2012, 15.3% of Tanzania’s population had access to electricity, 18.2% had access in Uganda, 18% in Rwanda, 6.5% in Rwanda and 23% in Kenya which is closest to the continental average of 24%.

The second target under this goal is to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Africa certainly seems to be on track with this. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s “Africa 2030” report, the use of renewable energy has the potential to grow from about 5% in Africa to 22% by 2030. Furthermore, at the COP21 United Nations climate talks in Paris, the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was launched, aiming to formalize the continent’s desire to increase its renewable energy capacity by as much as 300 GW — twice the continent’s total current electricity supply.

A particularly interesting aspect of this goal is its call for improved energy efficiency, focusing not just on how many people are able to use these resources, but also how well they are being managed and utilized. Other targets focus on improving international cooperation to facilitate access to and promoting investment in clean energy – which has also began to see some results in Africa with France committing to provide 2 billion euros for renewable energy in Africa between 2016 and 2020 at COP 21- and expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology for the supply of modern sustainable energy.


Proposed Targets:

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States