In her budget speech to parliament yesterday, Minister of Finance, Saada Mkuya Salim, gave some positive figures on access to electricity in Tanzania. Between 2011 and 2014, she said, access to electricity increased from 7% to 36% (see page 44).
The figure made it onto the front page of Mwananchi newspaper.
Numbers that don’t sound plausible are worth checking out, especially when presented by politicians. So I decided to check the sources. Continue reading →
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 →
This blogpost was originally published on the Ideas for Africa blog, run by the International Growth Centre (IGC) of the London School of Economics and Oxford University. It is co-written with Ruth Carlitz of UCLA.
A few weeks ago, the Tanzanian NGO Twaweza released a research brief detailing the ongoing challenge of access to clean water in the country. The brief showed that just over half of all Tanzanians (54%) obtain their drinking water from an ‘improved’ source; the figure for rural citizens is even lower at just 42%. These findings become even more striking when put in the context of recent investments. As shown in the figure below, Tanzania’s current level of access is similar to that of 20 years ago, despite a lot of money having been spent.
Figure 2 from “Money Flows, Water Trickles,” Sauti za Wananchi Brief No. 10.