Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions

This report discusses the current political climate in Tanzania, an important U.S. ally in Africa. The report also provides some general background information.

Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions Ted Dagne Specialist in African Affairs August 31, 2011 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RS22781 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions Summary Tanzania, an important U.S. ally in Africa, is a stable and important regional actor. There has been a gradual increase in political pluralism, but Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM ), the ruling party, remains dominant in government and parliament. Tanzania’s current president, Jakaya Kikwete, who previously served for 10 years as Tanzania’s foreign minister, won 80.3% of the votes cast in the December 2005 presidential election. In October 2010, President Kikwete was reelected for a second term with 61% of the votes cast. The ruling CCM won 70% of the seats in parliament. Tanzania continues its pattern of steady real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and has a low and stable inflation rate. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.3% in 2011 and 6.9% in 2012. Inflation is expected to reach 9.1% in 2011 and 8.2% in 2012. Congressional Research Service Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions Contents Background...................................................................................................................................... 1 Politics ....................................................................................................................................... 1 President Kikwete............................................................................................................................ 2 Economy.................................................................................................................................... 3 HIV/AIDS.................................................................................................................................. 3 Regional Role ............................................................................................................................ 4 Human Rights Conditions ......................................................................................................... 4 U.S.-Tanzania Relations .................................................................................................................. 4 Tables Table 1. U.S. Assistance to Tanzania ............................................................................................... 5 Contacts Author Contact Information............................................................................................................. 5 Congressional Research Service Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions Background Tanzania, with an eastern seaboard on the Indian Ocean and a western border abutting several of East Africa’s Great Lakes, is a medium-sized poor country. Though it is socially diverse, with about 125 ethnic groups, it has enjoyed general political stability and national unity for about 40 years in a region wracked by civil wars, often with ethnic dimensions, in neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique. Tanzania is a union formed in 1964 between the mainland—a German colony and later a British protectorate formerly known as Tanganyika—and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and several smaller islands. The islands, which remain semi-autonomous with their own president and parliament, are populated by peoples of mixed Arab and African descent, and almost all are Muslim.1 Tanzania’s first president was Julius Nyerere, who led a one-party state that nationalized key industries and created ujamaa, a rural, collective village-based movement of “African socialism” and “self reliance.” Ujamaa faced increasing popular dissatisfaction, and was slowly abandoned in the 1970s and 1980s.2 In 1977, Tanzania repelled an invasion by the brutal Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, and in 1979 intervened in Uganda to overthrow Amin. Tanzania was active in opposing racist political systems in South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Nyerere, who had a reputation as an honest, humble, idealistic leader, retired as president in 1985, and became an elder statesman, mediating peace processes in neighboring Burundi. He was succeeded by the president of Zanzibar, Ali Mwinyi, who oversaw political reforms and a gradual transition to a market economy, in part due to economic collapse brought on by ujamaa and centralized economic management. Politics There has been a gradual increase in political pluralism, but the CCM remains dominant in government and parliament, and is periodically accused of subverting the aspirations of opposition parties. Opposition parties have reportedly on some occasions been denied rally permits, and their party members detained, intimidated, and harassed, notably during electoral periods, according to human rights groups. In April 2005, CCM offices on Zanzibar were bombed. This event followed the discovery of the body of a missing CCM official, and the Zanzibar Election Commission’s (ZEC’s) ruling that the leader of the Zanzibar-based Civic United Front (CUF) party was ineligible to run for the Zanzibar presidency. In the 2000 general elections, Zanzibar political activists, notably those of the locally dominant opposition CUF, accused the CCM, and by implication the government, of administering the poll in a manner biased toward the CCM. The election was characterized by substantial violence between state security forces and opposition supporters. 1 2 Europa Regional Surveys of the World. Africa South of the Sahara, 2008. Europa Regional Surveys of the World. Africa South of the Sahara, 2008. Congressional Research Service 1 Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions In October 2005, Zanzibar held its presidential election. Amani Abeid Karume was elected president with 53.2% of the votes cast, while opposition candidate Seif Hamad received 46.1%. In the legislative elections, the ruling CCM took 31 seats, while the CUF won 18 seats in the House of Representatives. Observers reported about election-related violence and claims of electoral fraud.3 The Commonwealth recommended an investigation into the election-related violence. The Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) stated that the elections were free and fair. In December 2005, presidential and legislative elections took place on Mainland Tanzania. CCM candidate Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete won 80.3% of the votes cast in the presidential elections, while the CUF candidate, Ibrahim Lipumba, won 11.7% of the votes cast. The ruling CCM won 207 seats, while the CUF took 18 seats in the National Assembly. Tanzania at a Glance Geography: East African coastal country; Nearly one and a half times the size of Texas. Population: 42.7 million (2011 est.) Population growth rate: 2% (2011 est.) GDP (purchasing power parity): $58.4 billion (2010) GDP per capita (PPP): $1,400 (2010) Major Exports: Gold, coffee, cashews, tourism, manufactured products, cotton, cloves Languages: Swahili (official); English (official, used in business, administration, higher education); Arabic (Zanzibar); about 123 other local languages, many Bantu-based Religions: Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar /islands over 99% Muslim Literacy: Male, 77.5%; Female, 66.2% (2003) Under-5 Mortality: 165 deaths/1,000 live births HIV/AIDS adult infection rate: 6.2% (2007) Life Expectancy, years at birth: Male, 50.5 Female, 53.5 (2009 est.) Sources: CIA World Factbook 2011. In October 2010, President Kikwete was reelected for a second term with 61% of the votes cast. The ruling CCM won 70% of the seats in parliament. Opposition candidate Wilibrod Slaa won 26% of the votes cast. In Zanzibar, CCM candidate Ali Mohamed Shein, a strong ally of President Kikwete, won the presidential election with 50.1% of the votes cast, while CUF candidate Seif Sharif Hamad won 49% of the votes cast. In late 2010, President Kikwete announced that his government would establish a commission to review the constitution, a demand made by opposition members. Opposition leaders have demanded changes to reduce the powers of the president and to allow independent candidates to run for office. President Kikwete appointed Attorney General Frederick Werema as head of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). President Kikwete Tanzania’s current president, Jakaya Kikwete, previously served for 10 years as Tanzania’s foreign minister. He is pursuing an agenda of political continuity that builds on the achievements of Mwinyi and Benjamin Mkapa but also seeks to generate greater economic growth and reform. He has also voiced a desire to resolve political conflicts that have long affected Zanzibar internally and in its relations with the mainland. In May 2009, President Kikwete met President Obama in Washington, DC. 3 The Norwegian Center for Human Rights (NORDEM). The United Republic of Tanzania: Presidential and Parliamentary Elections December 2005. Congressional Research Service 2 Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions Economy The Mkapa Administration pursued a number of key economic reforms and was generally seen positively by bilateral and multilateral donors, which have provided substantial financial and technical support to Tanzania. Some of these reforms included privatizations of state firms; ongoing improvements to Tanzania’s weak infrastructure system; the creation of growing cell phone networks and increased Internet access; and an increasingly robust and investor-friendly private sector, particularly in the tourism, retail, gold and gems mining, transport, communication, and agriculture sectors. Tanzania reached its completion point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in 2001, and has received partial debt stock reductions under the initiative. Several donors have recently provided bilateral debt relief to Tanzania. Tanzania continues its pattern of steady real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and its low and stable inflation rate. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.3% in 2011 and 6.9% in 2012. Inflation is expected to reach 9.1% in 2011 and 8.2% in 2012. Despite its real GDP growth, Tanzania’s economy largely fails to address the needs of ordinary Tanzanians (i.e., healthcare, education, employment, and poverty reduction). In recognition of this failure, the MKUKUTA (National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty) has been developed with the goal of raising economic growth and the reduction of poverty.4 The price of gold—Tanzania’s main export—remains high due to the global market and the weakness of the U.S. dollar. HIV/AIDS Tanzania faces a severe AIDS epidemic. Its HIV/AIDS infection rate, at about 8.8% (2003), is lower than that in southern Africa, but higher than those of its East African neighbors. Tanzania is estimated to have the 12th-highest national infection rate globally, with between 1.6 million and 2 million HIV-positive persons, with work force-aged and urban populations most hard-hit, mostly on the mainland. Zanzibar and the other islands have an estimated infection rate of about 0.6%. In April 2005, however, the National AIDS Commission (TACAIDS) chair announced TACAIDS/U.S. Agency for International Development-funded survey data showing a decrease to 7% in infection rates for Tanzania—though some estimates remain far higher. In 2000, Tanzania declared AIDS to be a national disaster and later established TACAIDS and a separate Zanzibar AIDS Commission (ZAC). These entities design and administer national anti-AIDS efforts, including programs implemented through local government HIV/AIDS committees. In August 2004, at the signing of an $87.9 million grant by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, President Mkapa announced that his government would begin providing free antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to AIDS patients. In June 2005, the government announced a very ambitious goal of providing 100,000 patients with ARVs by late 2006, and of reaching 400,000 patients within the next five years. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, provides technical, policy, public education, and financial assistance to TACAIDS and ZAC. Tanzania also receives AIDS assistance from a variety of private AIDS foundations, and from the United States. It is a “focus country” under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.5 4 The Economist Intelligence Unit. Tanzania, December 2007. 5 The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. 2007 Country Profile: Tanzania. Congressional Research Service 3 Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions Regional Role Tanzania is a member, with Kenya and Uganda, of the East African Community (EAC), established by a 1999 treaty, which revived an earlier EAC, defunct since 1977. The EAC Treaty provides for the creation of a range of regional development, economic policy cooperation, trade, and political coordination initiatives and entities. EAC members signed a customs union agreement in March 2004, which began to be implemented in January 2005. Tanzania, a Southern African Development Community (SADC) member, is also cooperating with its southern neighbors in regional economic development projects, notably in transport. Tanzania has also helped to facilitate an end to the conflict in neighboring Burundi. Human Rights Conditions6 Although the Tanzanian government is not reported to be responsible for any politically motivated killings or disappearances in the past year, there have been several instances of unlawful killings by policemen and prison guards. Police and prison wardens are also accused of torturing and threatening suspected criminals. The police force lacks funding and is plagued by corruption and the excessive use of force. According to the State Department 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Principal human rights problems in both Tanzania and Zanzibar included the following: use of excessive force by military personnel, police, and prison guards, as well as societal violence, which resulted in deaths and injuries; abuses by Sungusungo traditional citizens’ anticrime units; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; lengthy pretrial detention; judicial corruption and inefficiency, particularly in the lower courts; restrictions on freedoms of press and assembly; restrictions on the movement of refugees; official corruption and impunity; societal violence against women and persons with albinism; child abuse, including female genital mutilation (FGM); and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Trafficking in persons and child labor remained problems.7 U.S.-Tanzania Relations U.S.-Tanzanian relations are cordial and friendly. The Obama Administration’s bilateral policy priorities, according to its FY2010 Congressional Budget Justification, include “strengthening Tanzania’s democratic institutions and security forces, as well as local and national systems and institutional capacity in health, including HIV/AIDS and malaria, and education.”8 U.S. concerns about terrorism in Tanzania stem from the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, the capital, by al-Qaeda and from the alleged growth of radical Islamic views within Tanzania’s large Muslim population. In addition, several Tanzanians are known to have joined al-Qaeda. The United States provides anti-terrorism and financial and immigration fraud capacity-building assistance, and the U.S. Embassy maintains an emphasis on the protection of U.S. citizens in Tanzania. A Peace Corps contingent carries out projects in education, natural resource management, and health, with an emphasis on combating AIDS. Tanzania is eligible for trade 6 7 8 The State Department. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2006. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119028.htm Congressional Budget Justification, 2010. Congressional Research Service 4 Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, including textile and apparel benefits, and is a Millennium Challenge Account threshold country, making it eligible to apply for MCA assistance. In September 2007, Tanzania signed a $698 million compact agreement aimed at poverty reduction, access to clean water, transparency, and anti-corruption efforts. U.S. assistance to Tanzania has increased over the past several years. In FY2008, bilateral assistance totaled an estimated $370.2 million, $368 million in FY2009, and an estimated $462.5 million in FY2010. The Obama Administration has requested $549.6 million in 2011. Tanzania is one of the 15 focus countries of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In December 2009, the National Institute for Medical Research was opened in Dar Es Salaam. The institute will house three major medical institutions. The United States provided $9.5 million, through PEPFAR, and laboratory equipment. Table 1. U.S. Assistance to Tanzania ($ in thousands) Total Development Assistance FY2008 Actual FY2009 Actual FY2010 Actual FY2011 Request 370,246 464,983 467,739 549,622 571,892 21,439 26,890 38,252 58,118 100,000 700 200 200 Foreign Mil. Financing FY2012 Request Global Health and Child SurvivalState 281,000 329,921 336,254 336,254 346,342 Global Health and Child SurvivalUSAID 52,796 61,078 83,525 112,000 124,000 300 375 450 400 400 450 950 950 International Military Education and Training Int. Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs 149 2,110 14,562 6,051 Peacekeeping Operations Public Law 480 (Food Aid) Source: Congressional Budget Justification, FY2011 Author Contact Information Ted Dagne Specialist in African Affairs tdagne@crs.loc.gov, 7-7646 Congressional Research Service 5