Chart #40: What do Tanzanians think of media freedoms?

As usual, the latest release of Afrobarometer 2014 data and analysis on Tanzania has some very interesting findings. For advocates of media freedoms, it doesn’t make for very comfortable reading. And in a context where newspapers can (and have been) closed down, and where there are new restraints on space for public debate, this matters.

First, two charts that show a decline in support in Tanzania for having an independent and critical media since previous surveys in 2008 and 2012: Continue reading

Public Debate on Statistics and Cybercrime Acts, University of Dar es Salaam, 18/4/15

A public debate on Tanzania’s Statistics and Cybercrime Acts will be held at the University of Dar es Salaam on Saturday April 18th. It will take place in Nkrumah Hall, starting from 2pm, in Swahili. The event flyer is posted below.

The bills have attracted considerable criticism, so it should be a lively debate. The criticism includes two previous posts on this blog (here and here), two articles in the Washington Post (here and here), an article in the Citizen today by Omar Mohammed, and much more. My colleagues and I at Twaweza have also put together a more detailed analysis of the Statistics Act.  Continue reading

Three (government) statistics that could be illegal under Tanzania’s new Statistics Act

Updated 11/4/15, with responses from the Big Results Now team and the Ministry of Water – see below.

Justin Sandefur of the Centre for Global Development (CGD), writing in the Washington Post, presented five charts that may soon be illegal in Tanzania. He was referring to the Statistics Act, recently passed by the Tanzanian parliament, which makes it a criminal offence to publish false statistics, or statistics “that may result in the distortion of facts.”. This is punishable by a minimum 10m/- ($6,000) fine and/or a minimum 3 year prison sentence.

Here, I have done something similar. But I only refer to statistics produced or cited by the Tanzanian government itself.

My purpose is not to accuse any particular part of the government of deliberately misleading people, but instead to point out some of the difficulties of making it an offence to publish false or distorting statistics. Continue reading

Chart #39: Interactive – Gender in Tanzania, from Tanzania Human Development Report

As I mentioned last week, the Tanzania Human Development Report has a wealth of interesting data tables, many of which have data broken down by region for the first time. I plan to explore this data over the next few weeks. To start, I have prepared a dashboard showcasing the report’s data on gender.

Specifically, this includes two things:

1. Analysis by region:

  • A Gender Development Index (GDI) score for each region of mainland Tanzania, based on the health, time spent in education, and living standards of women and men in each region. Along with the GDI score, I have included charts on each of the indicators that is used to calculate the GDI.
  • Women in decision making positions, by region. This gives the percentage of each region’s MPs, councillors and key officials (RCs, RASs, DCs, DASs) who are female and male.
  • You can choose which region to look at by selecting from the drop-down menu.

2. Analysis by indicator:

  • This shows GDI and Human Development Index (HDI) scores for each region, by gender along with scores for the component indicators that make up the HDI, and representation of women in various decision making groups.
  • Again, you can choose which indicators to look at using the drop-down menus.

Continue reading

Four bills later: is blogging with statistics in Tanzania now only for adrenalin junkies?

Nipashe, 25/3/15 - "Media Bills" under tight security

Nipashe, 25/3/15 – “Media Bills” under tight security

By Aidan Eyakuze and Ben Taylor *

At first we were excited. Tanzanian media and freedom of information advocates had been waiting for years for the Access to Information (ATI) and Media Services Bill, and the timetable for the latest parliamentary session included both. Were things finally moving?

The timetable also had bills on Statistics and Cybercrime. Was President Kikwete trying to push through a series of new laws before his time in office comes to an end later this year? He has played a leading role on the global stage on these issues, particularly through the Open Government Partnership (OGP), so perhaps this was an attempt to enshrine open government as his legacy.

Then we were concerned. Why were the ATI and Media Bills not available on the bunge website? Why were they being rushed through under certificates of urgency, severely limiting opportunities for consultation and debate? Continue reading

Alliance for Change and Transparency? Zitto and ACT Wazalendo in cartoons

The (Tz) Guardian, 29/3/15

The (Tz) Guardian, 29/3/15

The long-awaited launch of ACT Wazalendo as Tanzania’s newest political party finally took place on Sunday. As expected, Zitto Kabwe, whose long-running battle with his former party, Chadema, recently came to an end, has been appointed as party leader.

Perhaps the new party’s most notable policy position is their insistence that all party leaders much make a declaration of their assets, which will be posted online. Continue reading

Chart #38: The best and worst of the Tanzania Human Development Report 2014

The 2014 Tanzania Human Development Report was released last week. It’s been prepared by the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), with support from the UNDP.

It should be a fascinating document – the equivalent reports in the past have often been the best national-level summary of Tanzania’s progress towards Millennium Development Goals and Mkukuta targets – see this 2009 report, for example. But this time I was disappointed. In several important areas, the report has almost nothing to say. Continue reading