Finland’s development cooperation in Tanzania

Tanzania’s economy has grown rapidly throughout the 21st century, contributing to the reduction of poverty. Nevertheless, nearly half of the population live below the international poverty line. Tanzania is rich in natural resources and this has made the country an attractive target of investments. Even though natural resources have served the Tanzanian economy in many ways, revenue cannot be expected from, for example, its gas reserves until after some years.  Finland supports Tanzania implement its own Development Plan and to become a middle-income country by 2025. Finland's planned budget frame for Tanzania in 2016–2019 is EUR 52 million.

The Tanzanians’ life expectancy has risen and a growing number of children start school.  Tanzania has improved its tax management and it is less dependent on development aid than before. The greatest challenge lies in how to produce the basic public services and how to create jobs for the rapidly growing young population in order to maintain the strong economic growth and human development. Increasing attention must also be paid to gender equality.

Country Strategy for Development Cooperation; Tanzania 2016-2019

Infograafi Tansania, englanti

Commercial cooperation

Tanzania’s rapid economic growth opens up opportunities for expanding the cooperation between Finland and Tanzania in the trade sector. The bilateral programmes in the forestry and innovation sectors aim to also increase cooperation and investments between the countries’ private sectors and to lay a foundation for partnerships in other sectors.

Civil society organisations

Finnish civil society organisation (CSOs) are active in Tanzania.  More than 20 Finnish CSOs are carrying out projects in the country. The organisations focus on complementing Finland's bilateral cooperation by supporting service delivery and the development of a democratic, inclusive and transparent society.

Finnish CSOs support Tanzania’s development especially in education, health care and human rights work.


The impacts of development cooperation show in Tanzania’s poverty figures. 34.4 per cent of Tanzanian households remained below the basic needs poverty line in 2007; in 2012 the corresponding figure was 28.2 per cent. This means an improvement of over six percentage points in five years.

  • Finland has supported Tanzania’s Public Finance Management Reform Programme, which has brought macro-economic stability, improved budget management, strengthened the public financial management systems and the national audit systems, improved public debt management and procurement systems, and helped to fight corruption.

  • Finnish support has been channelled to the promotion of women’s economic and political empowerment and strengthened civil society’s capacities to hold the government accountable for its actions. The number of female members of parliament has risen in Tanzania through UN Women’s programme on women’s leadership and political participation, which is supported by Finland.  More women than earlier were nominated as candidates in the most recent elections.

  • Women gain income from forestry and agriculture thanks to projects in the natural resources sector.

  • Finnish support has influenced the objectives of Tanzania’s forestry and forest management. People are better informed about the significance of forests as a source of income and forests’ importance in the development of industries. Finland’s support has also played a role in that the rate of deforestation is slowing down.    In the action plans to mitigate climate change in Tanzania, forests’ role is critical.

  • Finland has supported the construction of a more reliable modern electricity grid in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. Power failures have been a very big problem for the residents, hospitals, schools and businesses in Dar es Salaam. Its overhauled electricity grid and monitoring system enhance the reliability of electricity supply and reduce the losses that occur during distribution. Finland has also contributed to the training of employees in the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) to run the newly improved system.

  • Innovations and entrepreneurship have developed through the TANZICT programme implemented in cooperation with the Tanzanian Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology. A community of start-ups in the field of technology has been created in Dar es Salaam and community-based technology environments have emerged in different parts of the country. Growth companies have been supported through seed funding. Additionally, Tanzanian universities provide better training courses for entrepreneurs. An extensive national ICT strategy has been prepared with Finland’s support, too. Together with the national innovation policy, it will improve the operating environment in the private sector and facilitate the launch of the newest technologies.

  • Projects supported by Finland have managed to boost productivity and create jobs in agriculture and forestry.

  • Finland’s support has been used in land and forest use planning and in registering properties in different parts of Tanzania. This has safeguarded communities’ right to land and laid foundations for private sector investments, which form an important source of income in the villages.  A project in the private forest sector in the Iringa Region involves plans on the use of 246,000 hectares of land, affecting 11 villages with over 16,000 inhabitants.

  • In Zanzibar, the Sustainable Management of Land and Environment (SMOLE) has developed a digital property register, for which 63,000 properties have been surveyed. Support has also been channelled to land use planning in which the needs of the local communities and the environment are addressed better and which promote investments. A national forest programme and the Lindi and Mtwara Agribusiness Support project (LIMAS) have also supported land use planning and safeguarding of ownership rights in village communities.

  • Approximately 2,000 smallholders and small enterprises have managed to improve their business activities through the LIMAS project.  In addition, a method that helps to maintain soil nutrients has been taken into use in an area of 240 hectares.

  • The East African Community is enjoying an over ten per cent annual growth rate. The activities of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), which is one of the promoters of growth, are supported by Finland. Conducting trade is less complicated: border crossing times and containers’ transport times have become clearly shorter than before.

  • The Uongozi Institute, an advanced and respected training institute for Tanzanian leaders, keeps special themes related to sustainable development actively on the agenda.

Risk management

Cooperation between Finland and Tanzania involves many risks. The risks associated with the implementation of development cooperation often arise from local partners’ poor capacity, weaknesses in economic management and corruption. Risk management in the various programmes and projects requires careful planning and monitoring as well as continuous learning and quick reactions.

Risks faced in the implementation of the Country Strategy in Tanzania include deterioration of democracy, human rights and good governance.  Massive population growth poses big challenges to the country’s education and health care systems and provision of basic services.


Support provided by Finland:

Effective public sector

  • Public Financial Management Reform Program (PFMRP): EUR 1.2 million a year
  • Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (Uongozi Institute): EUR 3 million a year
  • Plans are under way related to cooperation with Tanzania’s Tax Revenue Authority aiming at the development of taxation systems and with UN Women to support a programme promoting women’s leadership and political empowerment.

Employment and livelihoods:

  • Private Forestry Programme (PFP): EUR 19.7 million in 2013–2018
  • Forestry and Value Chains programme (FORVAC) EUR 9.9 million in 2017-2021
  • Tanzanian Innovation System Programme (TANZIS) EUR 8.9 million in 2017-2021
  • Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI), about EUR 700,000 to the Spatial Data Infrastructure Project in Zanzibar (ZAN-SDI), EUR 700,000 to a forest information system programme  (INFORES)

Regional and multilateral projects:

  • TradeMark East Africa, which promotes the preconditions of trade in eastern African countries: EUR 9.8 million in 2017–2020
  • Energy and Environment partnership programme (EEP), which develops renewable energy solutions
  • Local Cooperation Fund (LCF) to support good governance and human rights: EUR 400,000 a year