The index gives each country a score between 1 and 100, representing the level of perceived corruption. (It is understandably difficult to measure actual corruption as it usually happens in secret). A higher score is better – ie. it means the level of perceived corruption is lower.
Tanzania’s Finance Minister, Saada Mkuya, said earlier this week that there was nothing the government could do to stop the value of the shilling from sliding against the dollar. The Citizen reported her as saying that all major currencies in Africa are in freefall, thanks to the stronger dollar.
I have looked at the numbers to see whether this claim is correct. Specifically, I have looked at how five different currencies – including the Tanzanian shilling – have lost value against the US dollar since January 2015. The other four currencies are the Kenyan and Ugandan shillings, Zambian Kwacha and Mozambican Metical. Continue reading →
Transparency International published their latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) data and report last week. It draws on data from a number of surveys to assess how corrupt each country is perceived to be.
I’ve taken a look at the data, and there are some interesting insights in here.
I have two charts for you. The first simply shows each country’s CPI score since 2012, for Tanzania and all her neighbours, plus a handful of other comparable countries – Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Botswana. Continue reading →
The same World Bank Service Delivery Indicators project has collected data on this as well, in the same four countries: Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. I’ve pulled out three indicators: health worker absenteeism, adherence to clinical guidelines, and diagnostic accuracy.
Health worker absenteeism is worst in Uganda, where nearly half (46%) of health workers were found to be not present at the time of an unannounced visit.
In Tanzania, absenteeism is substantially higher in urban areas (33%) than rural (17%).
Senegal appears to have a bigger problem that the other three countries with the quality of services provided. Only 22% of health workers were found to be following clinical guidelines, and only a third (34%) of diagnostic tests were found to be accurate.
In all three East African countries, health workers are more likely to follow clinical guidelines in urban areas than rural. And the accuracy of diagnostic tests was also higher in urban areas.
Last time we looked at data that showed how Tanzanian teachers really are on a “cold strike” (mgomo baridi). This time, a simple question: do teachers really understand what they are supposed to be teaching.
The same World Bank Service Delivery Indicators initiative asked grade 4 teachers (known as Standard 4 in Tanzania) in Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda to take tests based on the primary school curriculum. Essentially, they were asking how well the teachers understand the subjects they are teaching. Continue reading →
Teachers in Tanzania are often said to be on a “cold strike”- mgomo baridi. Not officially on strike, but seriously demotivated and not putting in anything like the amount of effort that the government expects of them. Some may be absent from their schools, others at school but not in the classroom. This is often cited as one reason why children are not learning as well as they should be.
But exactly how bad is the situation, and how does it compare with teachers in other countries? Continue reading →
Pew Global Research have just published some new data from their Global Attitudes Survey, collected in early 2014. There were seven African countries among the sample, including Tanzania.
Let me start with a simple chart, with a conclusion that is perhaps surprising: More Tanzanians (90%) see corruption as a “very big problem” than in any of the other six African countries surveyed – more than in neighbouring countries, Kenya and Uganda, and more, even, than in Nigeria.
Does inequality matter? What are the effects of wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few individuals?
Well, if you believe some of the world’s most respected economists – people like Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz, Branco Milanovic, Wilkinson and Pickett – it matters. And they say it is getting worse. The World Bank and the IMF made “shared prosperity” the theme of their annual meeting this year, and the IMF head, Christine Lagarde, described the rise in global inequality as “staggering”. Just in the past week, Bill Gates, the Financial Times and the (UK) Guardian have all made the case that inequality matters.
Uwezo released their latest report last week, looking at learning outcomes across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They surveyed well over 300,000 children aged 6 to 16, across all but a handful of districts in these three countries, with each child taking a short test in maths, English and Swahili (other local language in Uganda).
The tests are designed in line with the Standard 2 syllabus – though the vast majority of children taking participating are in higher classes.
Here’s my favourite chart from the report, showing test pass rates for older children (10+) in each country and each subject.
1. The chart suggests the quality of primary education is higher in Kenya than in either Tanzania or Uganda. (Though none of the results are “good”: even the top score in the chart (74%) means a quarter of children over 10 in Kenya can’t read very basic Swahili).
2. Tanzania is doing really, really badly at teaching English. With Secondary Schools using English as the medium of instruction, this could go a long way towards explaining the appallingly bad Form 4 exam results.
Is it time to reconsider the use of English in Secondary Schools? Or to focus a big push on improving English teaching in Primary Schools? Or both?