Switzerland is contributing to the struggle against poverty in Tanzania’s central corridor. While facilitating access to good quality health services, it is also working to promote employment and boost incomes in rural areas, as well as to strengthen civil society and independent media.

Map of Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest countries. According to the World Bank, in 2012, 28.2% of the country’s population was still living below the poverty line. But there are encouraging signs: Tanzania is one of the most stable countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is making progress in transitioning to a market economy as a result of democratic and social reforms.

The Swiss development programme is coordinated around the national poverty reduction strategy (MKUKUTA) and the government’s “Big Results Now” initiative, which is promoting change in priority sectors such as transport, water, agriculture, energy and the use of domestic resources. 


Accessible, high-quality care

Switzerland is working to improve the availability and quality of health care for communities in remote areas. The emphasis is on strengthening the system for funding health care, decentralising the health system and promoting research projects to define the country's medical priorities.

Fighting malaria

In the fight against malaria, the SDC supports a centre which is implementing a national mosquito-net programme for the Tanzanian government. This has made a significant contribution to reducing the incidence of malaria, which decreased from 18% in 2007 to 10% in 2012.

Health – A prerequisite for development


Transparency and responsibility 

Switzerland promotes dialogue between civil society and the authorities with the aim of fostering a culture of transparency and civic responsibility. Switzerland also aims to strengthen local authorities’ capacities to provide better services, and it supports the government in combating corruption.

The Swiss international cooperation provides financial assistance to independent media, especially rural radio stations, with a view to disseminating high-quality information and enabling people to assert their rights more effectively.

Conflict prevention

Switzerland implements conflict-prevention measures with the aim of strengthening inter-community dialogue, particularly by involving the leaders of religious organisations.

Democratization - Fundamental for effective aid

Fragility and violence impede poverty reduction

Economic development

A sustainable market in agricultural products

Switzerland supports the development of the agricultural sector to create economic opportunities for the rural population, particularly women and young people. Farmers' organisations need to be able to defend their interests vis-a-vis buyers and so improve living conditions.

In one project, the SDC is promoting the economic integration of small producers living close to the poverty line in rural areas of Tanzania. As a result, most farmers active in the value creation chain of sunflowers, rice, cotton and poultry have been able to increase their household incomes by 15% per annum.

More jobs for young people

Switzerland is helping young people to access the labour market by bringing the content of vocational training courses into line with the skills sought by employers.  

State and Economic Reforms

Cross-sector issues

Gender equality and HIV/AIDS

In all its projects, Swiss cooperation works to promote equality between men and women, applying a consistent policy to achieve this goal. Another of its central concerns is to prevent HIV/AIDS by raising people's awareness of the issue and calling for non-discrimination.

Gender equality – gender and women's rights

Approach and partners

Switzerland closely coordinates its transition aid with the Tanzanian authorities, other donor countries and international organisations. To achieve its goals, it cooperates in different ways with Swiss and international agencies (contributing to projects, mandates).

  • Swiss NGOs: Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Swisscontact, Solidarmed
  • Research: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Ifakara Health Institute
  • Government: ministries; regional/local authorities
  • Tanzanian NGOs: Foundation for Civil Society, Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group, Policy Forum, Sikika, Agriculture Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF), among others
  • International NGOs: Voluntary Service Overseas, Simavi, among others
  • Multilateral organisations: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO
  • Bilateral aid donors: public development agencies (Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland)
  • History of cooperation

    Projects in a single region

    Switzerland has been involved in development cooperation in Tanzania since 1960. Its activities intensified in 1981 when it opened a cooperation office in Dar es Salaam. Its programme is harmonised with Tanzania's poverty reduction strategy and coordinated with the work of other countries and international organisations. Political and technical dialogue with partner agencies takes place at both central and local level. The aim of Swiss cooperation strategy for the period 2015-2018 is to channel aid principally to the projects its supports in the country's central transport corridor (regions around Dodoma).

    Active in Tanzania since 1988, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) scaled down its activities in 2010. It is now providing support only to certain projects involving water infrastructure and economic development.

Current projects

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Planned project

Skills for Employment Tanzania – SET

01.07.2022 - 31.12.2029

This multi-layered program aims at enhancing prospects of gainful youth (self-) employment through a contribution to improved access to agricultural skills, and cross sectorial support to relevance and quality of Vocational Skills Development (VSD) by fostering existing institutions. Focus is placed on the coordination of skills providers and market players and on innovative solutions. The aim is to generate wide impact in order to significantly address the needs in VSD, particularly those of women.

Planned project

Domestic accountability and local revenue mobilisation

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023

The project will support national and local government actors to increase local revenue generation alongside improving their capacities to exercise internal and external control functions. Equally importantly, dialogue and exchange between the local population and local authorities will also be fostered in order to make the collection and use of public funds more transparent, local authorities’ behaviour more accountable and thus improve service delivery.

Grain Post-Harvest Loss Prevention (GPLP)

01.11.2017 - 31.03.2020

GPLP aims at improving food security and income of small holder men and women farmers in the Central Corridor of Tanzania by addressing major constraints in post-harvest practice, access to improved technologies and adoption, knowledge sharing and related policies. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation is implementing GPLP using a market system development approach and working through multi-stakeholder partnerships with private sector and public organizations. This is the second and exit phase of GPLP.

SCOPE - Sustaining a Culture of Peace

01.03.2017 - 31.12.2025

Increasing tensions based on political, religious, socio-economic and natural resource-based conflicts indicate that Tanzania’s culture of peace needs strengthening. SDC will therefore promote the use of peaceful means to prevent and deal with conflicts. It will support the Government to establish a conflict early warning and response system, and state and non-state actors to increase public space to address conflictual topics, in particular for women and marginalized.

Skills for Employment Tanzania – SET

Babati, Tanzania

01.03.2017 - 30.06.2022

SET seeks to enhance youth (self) employment by improving the Vocational Skills Development (VSD) system. It will support public and private stakeholders to expand access to quality training that matches the demand from both the economy and youth, in particular women, including young mothers. Key elements from the Swiss VSD model will be emphasized: the coordination between skills providers and private sector, practical training and innovation.

Cultural Programme Tanzania (CPT)

01.09.2016 - 31.12.2019

This programme uses a comprehensive approach to promote local culture and livelihood opportunities for young artists, and for social cohesion. It aims to do so through institutional and specific projects’ support. The programme is in alignment with SDC’s Culture and Development Policy that supports devoting a minimum of 1% of SDC’s operational budget in a country to initiatives in the local artistic and culture sector.

Transforming Tanzania's Charcoal Sector

01.12.2015 - 30.11.2019

The project formalizes, up-scales and promotes a tested and functioning model of a sustainable, more energy efficient charcoal value chain. A Community Based Forest Management approach contributes to the generation of higher incomes from charcoal and other forest products and related royalties invested into community development through local governance mechanisms, benefitting 80’000 villagers. The existing model of 8 Kilosa villages is extended to 22 new villages in 3 districts through practical stakeholder training.

Performance-based Health Basket Fund

01.11.2015 - 30.06.2020

With its contribution to the health basket fund Switzerland supports the Government of Tanzania, in particular local governments, to accelerate equitable access to health services by women, children and isolated rural populations. Switzerland, as chair of the health development partners group, will lever the Fund resources through policy dialogue to create an innovative financing modality to ensure the utilization of all Tanzanians of quality health services.

Opportunities For Youth Employment

01.07.2015 - 30.09.2019

SDC contributes to the existing project Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) implemented by SNV since September 2013, for its upscaling in Tanzania. OYE aims to improve the livelihoods of young women and men by developing and expanding their set of skills and by matching them with existing rural job markets and opportunities for self-employment in agri-business, renewable energy, sanitation and hygiene in 5 regions of the Central Corridor (CC). Co-funding donor of OYE besides SDC is the MasterCard Foundation.

HPSS – Health Promotion and System Strengthening Project in Dodoma, Morogoro and Shinyanga Regions

01.06.2015 - 30.09.2019

The Health Promotion and System Strengthening project (HPSS) is improving access to and the quality of health services both in terms of the demand (health promotion, health insurance) and the supply side (drug procurement; health technology maintenance). After a successful pilot phase in the Dodoma region, the Tanzanian government is requesting the SDC to expand this approach to two other regions with a focus on those most at risk (the poor, women, children, youth and the elderly).

Anti-Corruption Support Programme (ACS)

01.05.2015 - 31.12.2024

The programme will build technical capacity in the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau to more effectively investigate complex financial corruption cases and increase asset recovery. This will reduce impunity, return financial resources and have a preventive effect. The programme will also promote collective action between state and non-state actors to build a social climate that is adverse to corrupt practices.

Anti-Corruption Support

01.05.2015 - 31.03.2020

This intervention aims at fostering an institutional and social environment that is increasingly adverse to corruption. Support to reform-oriented “duty bearers” – by strengthening the technical and procedural capacities of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) - will be combined with activities enhancing collective action by supporting the private sector for a more transparent business environment and a multi-media campaign inspiring behaviour change of citizens (“right holders”) to strengthen integrity.

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