Empowering Media in Tanzania - EMT


A young girl in rural Tanzania © UNESCO

Information provided by media contributes to improve government accountability and people’s livelihoods by providing relevant information to citizens. Yet, the media sector faces challenges including a restrictive legal environment, low professional standards and lack of economic viability. This is a contribution towards addressing those key challenges through partnering with UNESCO, Tanzania Media Foundation and the Media Council of Tanzania.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Tanzania
Governance
Education
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Media & freedom of information
Decentralisation
Democratic participation and civil society
Basic life skills
01.08.2014 - 31.12.2020
CHF 9'765'000
Background

Tanzania has a vibrant media sector with 763 registered newspapers, 26 television stations, and over a 100 radio stations. There is a close interlinking between business interests and political interests. There are also laws that limit media freedom including restrictions on publishing information considered to be classified by the government and discretionary powers of authorities to ban media outlets.

About 73 % of Tanzanians live in rural areas where public services like education, health and water are of low standard. A study found that 99% of inhabitants of rural areas have access to and use radio (urban areas: 91%) with 61.5% using radio only, and no other media. About 31.2% of rural residents have access to TV (urban: 67.5%), and 25% read newspapers (urban: 48.4%). Radio access is almost equal regarding gender (95% women, 97% men), age, education and regions. So radio is the most consistently available medium for all Tanzanians across income levels, gender and locations. With challenges in service delivery in rural areas and the majority of citizens living there, radio, and media in a general, has a huge potential to bring about transformations as a platform for dialogue between government and citizens.

 

Objectives

This programme aims to contribute towards transparent and accountable state systems. By supporting media to play its role as a fourth estate, citizens will be better informed and will engage more effectively in decision making, oversight and advocacy regarding development policy processes at local and national levels.

Target groups

Direct beneficiaries: National and regional media houses, journalists

Ultimate beneficiaries:  Citizens, including women, in rural areas.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Enabling environment for freedom of expression and of the media is strengthened.
  • The quality of media reporting has improved and reporting has become more relevant to the lives of rural citizens.
  • Supported media have capacities for long term, sustainable and autonomous service delivery to their communities
Results

Expected results:  

  • Lobby for  enactment of Right to Information and Media Services Acts.
  • Male and female journalists have enhanced their professional capacities for reporting on issues of public interest, particularly through investigative journalism.
  • Local radios strengthened in terms of financial and results based management.


Results from previous phases:  

  • Freedom of expression:  Lobbying and advocating for constitutional reforms that would entrench press freedom and right to information in the mother law led to introduction of bill of rights in the proposed new constitution.
  • Rural coverage: TMF’s content analyses show that stories funded by TMF have covered especially rural areas: 82 per cent of TMF-funded content covers rural areas, compared to 25 per cent coverage of rural content by the average Tanzanian media. 
  • Financial sustainability of media houses:  These include, the following media houses with increases in income in brackets: IMTV (53%), Jamii Forums (62%), Jogoo FM (67%), Kitulo (33%), Upendo FM (54%), Moshi FM (51%) More verification has to be done on other grantees.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign Non-Governmental Organization
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector North
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • Schweizerische UNESCO-Kommiss
  • UNESCO, Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) and Media Council of Tanzania (MCT)


Coordination with other projects and actors
  • CSOs/programmes: Social Accountability programme, Democratic Empowerment Project (DEP)
  • Government: Local government authorities
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   9'765'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   7'455'896
Project phases Phase 1 01.08.2014 - 31.12.2020   (Current phase)