Tanzania

The Swiss Cooperation Programme 2021-2024 supports Tanzania’s process towards an equitable and stable middle-income country and empowers young people to advance socially and economically. Especially supporting impoverished women, as the main driver of change to contribute to regional stability and prosperity. Switzerland reinforces state institutions and local, national and international civil society organizations in the domains of health, governance, employment and income with gender equality as a cross cutting issue. 

Map of Tanzania
© FDFA

Tanzania is Africa’s sixth-most populous and fastest-urbanising country with a population of 58 million. For the first time in 2020, the World Bank with a GDP per capita of USD 1,080 classified Tanzania as a lower middle-income country. However, economic growth has not been inclusive and not been able to raise incomes of the poor. Approximatively 14 million live below the national poverty line of 21 USD per month. Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, among young people and women-headed households. 

Politically, Tanzania is at a crossroad after almost two decades of slow but steady progress towards a more inclusive democracy, although civil society organisations and democratic processes currently face increased constraints. While access to health care has improved, the quality of the services is not satisfactory. High and persistent gender inequality, mainly due to traditional social norms and the prevailing legal framework in Tanzania, hinder sustainable development. With most of the GDP based on natural resources, such as agriculture-based exports, climate change will factor into the future development of Tanzania’s economy.

Efficient, Effective and Inclusive State Institutions

Switzerland aims at strengthening core state institutions and local authorities to be more efficient and effective in a systematic and sustainable manner, to be more responsive and accountable to the society, particularly young men’s and women’s needs and less prone to corruption.

Switzerland supports Ministries to formulate and implement inclusive and sustainable policies and foster the ability of the public sector to deliver quality and gender-sensitive basic health and gender-based violence (GBV) services, social protection, market-relevant vocational skills development (VSD), and financial solutions and innovations that leave no one behind. As an example, Swiss support in the health sector has contributed to the improvement of service delivery and the accountability for utilized public funds of around 90% of the 6’000 clinics in the country. Furthermore, the partnership between the government and the private sector has guaranteed the availability of medicines: 80% of clinics report no stock-outs of essential medicines in 2020.

Good governance

Health - A prerequisite for development

Enabling Civic Space

Switzerland aims at protecting and promoting the space that enables citizens, especially poor young women, to express themselves freely and to shape, monitor and influence social, political and economic matters that concern them.

Switzerland supports advocacy activities of accountability actors and human rights defenders to preserve and open new spaces for citizens, especially youth, to engage with institutions at national and local levels and to hold them accountable for their duties. Concretely civil society organizations and national networks have been involved in monitoring exercises to assess the implementation of development actions plans and budgets. Their requests have led to service delivery improvements in education, health and agriculture, benefiting thousands of citizens. Switzerland has maintained its role as a lead agency in the media sector. Supported community radio stations have increased their audience, giving millions of young people the information they need to make decisions affecting their lives. 

Better Youth Livelihoods

Switzerland aims at empowering and improving the livelihoods of the youth, in particular poor young women, by contributing to increased access to market-relevant vocational skills, innovations and financial solutions; sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services; and social protection for those most in need.

Switzerland promotes public services and private sector engagement to expand social and economic options for youths. This allows them to pursue new gainful income-generating opportunities and enhances the productivity of their current activities. Thus, supplementing and stabilizing income flows, and contributing to sustainable livelihoods and reduced income poverty. Thanks to the recent modest initial support of Switzerland to vocational skills development projects, nearly 90% of the targeted disadvantaged youth and young adults entered (self) employment in agribusiness and renewable energy.

Basic Education and Vocational Skills Development

Private sector development and financial services

Transversal Themes

Gender and Governance

Switzerland seeks to promote more gender-inclusive governance and public institutions; increase the participation of women in decision- and opinion-making; and improve poor young women’s livelihood. Switzerland will address gender in its policy dialogue, planning and monitoring, capacity building and communication.

Switzerland aims to influence power relations and supports duty bearers to deliver services in an efficient and effective manner to create enabling spaces for citizen participation and right holders to hold decision-makers accountable at different governance levels.

Gender equality

Other Themes

Climate change and Culture

Switzerland will address climate change in its projects as an amplifier of existing stressors in the areas where it is engaged, for instance in connection with malaria, agriculture and especially forest management. It will also continue to allocate 1% of its operational budget to the promotion of local artists and culture to contribute to building a strong, dynamic and innovative arts and culture sector.

Climate change and the environment

Art and culture – drivers of social change

Approach and Partners

Switzerland has a set of various instruments to support the Government of Tanzania and Tanzanian non-state actors and to partner with Swiss and international NGOS. The main responsibility for implementing the Swiss Cooperation Programme Tanzania 2021-2024 lies with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), at the country level represented by the Swiss Embassy. SDC closely collaborates with the Political Division and the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and with Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

History of Cooperation

Swiss tradition, interests, and added value

Switzerland has been involved in development cooperation in Tanzania since 1960. Its activities were stepped up in 1981 when it opened a cooperation office in Dar es Salaam, now an integral part of the Swiss Embassy. Swiss cooperation is aligned with the goals of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and coordinated with the work of other countries and international organizations. It is guided by the Swiss Foreign Policy Strategy 2020-23 and Switzerland’s Strategy for International Cooperation 2021-24 that pursues key objectives in the areas of economic development; the environment; human development; peacebuilding gender equality and governance.

Current projects

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Tanzania Election Support 2019/2020

01.05.2019 - 30.06.2021

Since the contested 2015 Presidential elections, civic space and democratic values have been on the decline in Tanzania. The 2019 local and 2020 national elections will therefore be a crucial moment for Tanzania’s democratic trajectory, which Switzerland has supported for many years. This single phase project supports a coalition of Tanzanian Civil Society Organizations to conduct long- and short term election observation; as well as a targeted intervention in Zanzibar to promote peaceful dialogue, especially for youth.


Social Accountability Programme 2019 - 2022

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

Against the backdrop of shrinking civic space in Tanzania, the Social Accountability Program supports four key accountability Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country. It aims to enhance transparency and accountability of public resource management at national and local level and to empower citizens – including youth and women - and local organizations to engage effectively in public oversight, decision making and advocacy on social issues of concern.


Scaling Up Youth Employment in Agriculture Initiative

01.08.2018 - 31.10.2023

Education systems in Southern Africa do not prepare youth for work; they cannot access or create economic opportunities and ignore the available options. The project will scale up in Southern Africa a model already tested by Switzerland in Tanzania. It will improve (self)-employment of 20’000 young women and men in Zimbabwe and Zambia by strengthening their skills and matching them with existing job opportunities, thereby contributing to the implementation of youth policies in-country and regionally.


Gender transformative SRHR Systems for Improved HIV prevention

01.04.2018 - 31.12.2021

This programme contributes to the reduction of HIV infections and the improvement of sexual and reproductive health status of adolescents and young people in five Southern African countries. It strengthens capacities of communities and governments in mapping and addressing HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) needs of young people and advocates for integrated regional policies and frameworks.


Regional Arts and Culture Programme (RACP)

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Southern Africa has a strong artistic heritage and cultural tradition which exudes from the talent of its diverse people. However, this rich heritage has been stifled by the lack of capacity, networking and resources among artists in the region. Through this programme, Switzerland supports art organisations and individual artists in Southern Africa to bring fresh perspectives, build on available cultural resources and strengthen the arts and culture sector’s contribution to development in the region.


Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (RVAA)

01.08.2017 - 31.03.2022

The project supports the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its Member States in reducing vulnerability of households to disaster risks by increasing their preparedness for response and recovery and in strengthening their resilience. This will be achieved through institutionalising and sustaining vulnerability assessments and analyses systems that enhance emergency and developmental responses at national and regional levels.


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.


Planned project

Strengthening Social Accountability and Oversight in Health and Agriculture

01.05.2016 - 31.12.2025

The projected intervention aims at improving public resources management and services delivery in health and agriculture sectors through strengthening the oversight and social accountability roles as well as the capacities of selected parliamentary committees and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the region. It facilitates knowledge sharing and learning at regional level and supports collaborations between parliamentary committees and CSOs in five SADC countries.


Performance-based Health Basket Fund

01.11.2015 - 31.12.2021

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.


Seeds and Access to Markets Project (SAMP) Phase 3

01.10.2015 - 31.12.2021

The project contributes to increased food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers by improving availability of and access to adequate quantities of quality seeds and planting material of suitable and diversified crop varieties. This enables smallholder farmers to produce enough food to sustain themselves, their communities, and earn higher incomes. The project strengthens national and local farmer-led institutions, supports community seed and commodity production and strengthens seed and commodity distribution networks.


Support to St. Francis Hospital in Ifakara

01.10.2010 - 31.12.2022

SDC plans to support health services and management improvement, and address the role of the hospital as a place for practical training and clinical research. The project would focus primarily on improving health care and look for synergies between St. Francis Hospital, the Ifakara Health Institute and the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health, and the Swiss institutions that support them (SDC, Novartis Foundation, SwissTPH and Solidarmed). During the entry proposal period, SDC and partners will have an opportunity to explore which organisational option would best serve these objectives. Refurbishment of the pediatric ward will also be undertaken and equipment provided.

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