Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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The dependent character of development planning in Tanzania

Benedict Mongula


This paper examines development planning in one particular developing country, namely Tanzania, and the problem of dependency associated with it. It analyses Tanzania's shift from a comprehensive development planning to a decentralized planning in 1980 in terms of sector and area plans and indicative planning, in the form of Poverty Reduction Strategy. This shift, which had more to do with the surge of neoliberalism than domestic conditions, resulted in a simplified and more interactive planning, and lesser dependency on foreign experts than before. While Tanzania experienced rapid economic growth under the new planning regime, this was not without serious trade-offs, particularly in terms of reduced priority to industrialization and economic nationalism. The paper shows the various planning approaches as having been donor-driven, and also maintains that the way the Government has recently been trying to institutionalize O&OD planning is likely to lead to village dependency on the Districts.

Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review Vol. 22(2) 2006: 65-83
AJOL African Journals Online