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       Chapter IX: Economic Aspects of Capital City Development

National and Regional Economic Objectives

This is a menu of the topics on this page (click on any): NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES Development of Human and Economic Resources    Search and Evaluation of Natural Resources    Equitable Regional Participation in Economic Development   .


Development of Human and Economic Resources

To provide all Tanzanians with equal opportunities to improve their lives, is the Government's fundamental objective and is one of the principal bases for its policies. The only realistic means of achieving this national goal is to motivate all Tanzanians to accept it also as their personal goal — self-help, self-reliance and hard work are the essential tools, not only the efforts of a few, or the grants, loans or investments from foreign countries.

A second basic philosophy is that economic development and social and community betterment are inseparable and must always be in balance with each other. Without health, people cannot be fully productive nor can they enjoy their lives; without education, people cannot achieve better technical skills, nor can they fully participate in the country's political life; without adequate transportation, the farmer's cash crops cannot reach their markets, nor can the villagers make use of the services and facilities provided by neighbouring towns and cities; and so on.

An initial development objective must, therefore, be the provision and enrichment of the facilities and services available to people in their villages and towns, which will foster and mobilize people's productive capacities. The provision of schools and technical training programmes, water supply and sanitary facilities, adequate housing and road connections to the villages are the essential elements which must go hand-in-hand with rural economic development.

The self-help and communal effort approach of Ujamaa must be used to the fullest extent in achieving this objective of community improvement. The scarcity of funds precludes any other methods to build this foundation for economic growth. The lack of skilled labour is one of the country's most pressing problems; the training of qualified manpower should, therefore, be regarded as being as important as co-operative or individual effort, which cannot be fully effective without skills.

Search and Evaluation of Natural Resources

The Government has already begun a comprehensive programme to survey the country's natural resources, in terms of its land, water, forests, minerals and metals. The objective is to determine their locations, quality, quantity and exploitation potentials, so that effective development plans can be initiated to make Tanzania economically as self-sufficient as possible.

In the short-term, one of the most important goals is to create local substitutes for imported materials, as a means of improving Tanzania's foreign exchange position. However, the production of surplus for export also has a high priority.

The preservation of a sound ecological balance is of prime concern to the Government in its efforts to utilize the natural resources. Every possible precaution is being taken to avoid or to correct undue resource depletion and environmental destruction. In this context, the development plans must include measures, such as erosion control, water preservation, waste recycling and the replenishment of renewable resources. still endowed with significant numbers of game and other animals, forests and water bodies, and spectacular landscape features. The Government follows an enlightened policy to preserve and enhance these unique resources, both as a national heritage and to ensure their optimum economic utilization. It is the Government's firm intention that the country's game parks and forest preserves will, for all time, provide the Tanzanian people and foreign visitors with recreational and educational opportunities, which have virtually disappeared in other parts of the world.

Equitable Regional Participation in Economic Development

Economic growth, in most industrialized and developing countries, is all too often measured on a national scale. Relatively little emphasis is generally placed on the distribution of the economic effects throughout the country. As a result, development action is limited to a few growth centres, while the balance of the country remains economically under-deveioped and socially under-privileged.

Even where development is distributed among the country's different regions, the same problem can exist, in that growth remains concentrated in only a small part of the region, leaving the remainder untouched.

The inherent danger of this approach is that the contrasts between the "have" and "have-not" parts of the country will lead to social and political unrest and conflicts. The failure to equalize investments and improvements on a regional basis often means that most of the country's people do not receive their fair share of the benefits of growth, in terms of jobs, incomes, schools and other community services.

The Tanzanian Government has, therefore, adopted a bold policy of distributing economic development equitably throughout the nation — among the various regions and within them.

The Government recognizes, however, that there are significant differences in the economic growth opportunities among the various regions. The respective natural resource potentials and the current levels of socio-economic status must form the foundation for the economic growth models of each region and district. Moreover, the regional development potentials are inevitably influenced by the region's location in the country and by its national and international linkages.

Within the context of these variables, it is the Government's goal to diminish the differences in regional and sub-regional economic opportunity and participation, down to the grass-roots level of the towns and villages. Tanzania's political, legislative, administrative and financial policies and structures are all aimed at reshaping the present state of regional and local inequality to a position of equal opportunity and participation in economic growth and social improvement.

In response to these policies, the national development process consists of an integrated hierarchy of national, regional and local programmes and action projects. These are designed to optimize the productive interaction of all the components, based on the available natural resources, the human capacities and needs, the national economic linkages and on the current levels of regional disparity.

It is this promise of an equal distribution of social advancement and economic progress, which motivates all Tanzanians to accelerate their personal and communal efforts in the spirit of self-help, self-reliance and Ujamaa. It encourages people to initiate, with effective leadership, local development projects which are most advantageous in the light of the local environment, but also within a realistic regional and national context.

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Copyright: Project Planning Associates Limited, Toronto, Canada, directed by Mr. Macklin Hancock and recipient "The Government of Tanzania, Capital Development Authority under the auspices of Mr. George Kahama.".