Category Archives: Tz2015

Electricity: the elections summed up in a single issue? Let’s hope not

Mwananchi, 7/10/15

Mwananchi, 7/10/15

Watching the election campaign this week got me thinking: can the whole election be summed up by the way the parties and candidates are addressing the problem of electricity?

Here are three ways in which this might be the case:

1. Little difference between the main candidates / parties:

From the Citizen on Wednesday: Continue reading

Collected reactions to Twaweza / Sauti za Wananchi opinion poll findings

Two weeks ago, my colleagues and I at Twaweza launched our latest political opinion poll for Tanzania – including the perhaps surprising headline finding that at the start of the campaign period, CCM presidential candidate, John Magufuli had a strong lead over the Chadema / Ukawa candidate, Edward Lowassa. In case anyone hasn’t seen the poll findings (where have you been?), support for Magufuli was found to be 65%, while support for Lowassa was 25%, and Magufuli had a lead across all groups – urban, rural, male, female, all ages, all education levels:

I must also remind readers that this data comes from a nationally representative sample of 1,848 respondents from all regions of mainland Tanzania. It is not a prediction of the election results: a lot can happen between the time the data was collected and election day at the end of the month. The only poll that really counts in the one that takes place on October 25th. However, my main purpose here is simply to gather together a variety of media reactions to this poll and others published around the same time (e.g. Ipsos, TADIP). Continue reading

Where will the election be close? Mwananchi’s analysis, mapped

Mwananchi 26/9/15, via

Mwananchi 26/9/15, via

Mwananchi newspaper has published an excellent analysis of the “34 constituencies” where the competition is close for the upcoming elections in Tanzania. In fact, they only listed 32, but the analysis, which is mostly written by on-the-ground journalists in those areas, is well worth reading.

In particular, it highlights how in many constituencies, local issues, local politicians and local dynamics are what will decide the election results, as much as national politics.

I have uploaded it all into the map below. By clicking one of the constituencies marked in red, an English translation of Mwananchi’s analysis is displayed. Continue reading for election-related data and resources

screenshot1I am delighted to be able to share with you a new site that I have developed for the elections in Tanzania next month:

It is intended primarily to encourage people to think about issues and policies. At the moment, therefore, it is largely made up of charts, maps and analyses of some of the key election issues. Some of it will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, but most of the content is new, not least a series of interactive maps showing election results from 2005 and 2010 on mainland Tanzania. Continue reading

Discussing Tanzania’s elections – my presentation to the APPG-Tz and the Britain Tanzania Society

coverI was lucky enough to be invited to speak last week in the Houses of Parliament, about Tanzania’s forthcoming elections. The meeting was organised by the UK parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Tanzania and the Britain-Tanzania Society.

Also speaking was Aikande Kwayu, who has posted a summary of her excellent talk online. In the same spirit, my full set of slides is at the end of this post. But first, here are my notes:

Part 1 – Context – the big trends / issues that will affect the election Continue reading

A discussion on Tanzania’s elections – London, 15 September 2015

UPDATE: Change of Venue – the discussion will now take place in Committee Room 14 in the Palace of Westminster. This means extra security procedures, so if you are planning to attend, please aim to get there in good time.

Readers based in or around London with an interest in Tanzania may be interested to come along to a discussion on the country’s forthcoming elections, to be held next Tuesday (September 15th) in Westminster.

The main audience will be the All Party Parliamentary Group of MPs with an interest in Tanzania and members of the Britain Tanzania Society (BTS), but it is open to all. If you intend to come, please let Emily Mills know at the address below.

I am one of the speakers, but don’t let that put you off. Also speaking will be Aikande Kwayu, who is always worth listening to.

From the flyer:


Tuesday 15 September 2015 – 4.00-6.00pm
In Committee Room 14, Palace of Westminster (The main parliament building)

On 25 October, Tanzanians will elect a new President and a new Parliament. This is the most open, and the most controversial election in Tanzania for many years, not least because there have been high level defections from the ruling party, CCM (Party of the Revolution), and a former Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, is the candidate for the main opposition party, CHADEMA (Party of Democracy and Development).

The discussion will be introduced by Ben Taylor who works for Twaweza, an East African NGO that (among other things) conducts opinion polls, and is co-editor of the BTS Journal Tanzanian Affairs, and Dr Aikande Kwayu, who works at the Centre for Comparative and International Education at Oxford University, and the research consultancy Bumaco Ltd.

This event is open to anyone interested in Tanzania. No need to book in advance– just come if you can. But if you are coming, please send an email to Emily Mills at

You will need to allow time to go through a security check to access the building. See this map for directions.