Tanzania

The Swiss Cooperation Programme 2021-2024 supports Tanzania’s process towards an equitable and stable middle-income country and empowers young people to advance socially and economically. Especially supporting impoverished women, as the main driver of change to contribute to regional stability and prosperity. Switzerland reinforces state institutions and local, national and international civil society organizations in the domains of health, governance, employment and income with gender equality as a cross cutting issue. 

Map of Tanzania
© FDFA

Tanzania is Africa’s sixth-most populous and fastest-urbanising country with a population of 58 million. For the first time in 2020, the World Bank with a GDP per capita of USD 1,080 classified Tanzania as a lower middle-income country. However, economic growth has not been inclusive and not been able to raise incomes of the poor. Approximatively 14 million live below the national poverty line of 21 USD per month. Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, among young people and women-headed households. 

Politically, Tanzania is at a crossroad after almost two decades of slow but steady progress towards a more inclusive democracy, although civil society organisations and democratic processes currently face increased constraints. While access to health care has improved, the quality of the services is not satisfactory. High and persistent gender inequality, mainly due to traditional social norms and the prevailing legal framework in Tanzania, hinder sustainable development. With most of the GDP based on natural resources, such as agriculture-based exports, climate change will factor into the future development of Tanzania’s economy.

Efficient, Effective and Inclusive State Institutions

Switzerland aims at strengthening core state institutions and local authorities to be more efficient and effective in a systematic and sustainable manner, to be more responsive and accountable to the society, particularly young men’s and women’s needs and less prone to corruption.

Switzerland supports Ministries to formulate and implement inclusive and sustainable policies and foster the ability of the public sector to deliver quality and gender-sensitive basic health and gender-based violence (GBV) services, social protection, market-relevant vocational skills development (VSD), and financial solutions and innovations that leave no one behind. As an example, Swiss support in the health sector has contributed to the improvement of service delivery and the accountability for utilized public funds of around 90% of the 6’000 clinics in the country. Furthermore, the partnership between the government and the private sector has guaranteed the availability of medicines: 80% of clinics report no stock-outs of essential medicines in 2020.

Good governance

Health - A prerequisite for development

Enabling Civic Space

Switzerland aims at protecting and promoting the space that enables citizens, especially poor young women, to express themselves freely and to shape, monitor and influence social, political and economic matters that concern them.

Switzerland supports advocacy activities of accountability actors and human rights defenders to preserve and open new spaces for citizens, especially youth, to engage with institutions at national and local levels and to hold them accountable for their duties. Concretely civil society organizations and national networks have been involved in monitoring exercises to assess the implementation of development actions plans and budgets. Their requests have led to service delivery improvements in education, health and agriculture, benefiting thousands of citizens. Switzerland has maintained its role as a lead agency in the media sector. Supported community radio stations have increased their audience, giving millions of young people the information they need to make decisions affecting their lives. 

Better Youth Livelihoods

Switzerland aims at empowering and improving the livelihoods of the youth, in particular poor young women, by contributing to increased access to market-relevant vocational skills, innovations and financial solutions; sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services; and social protection for those most in need.

Switzerland promotes public services and private sector engagement to expand social and economic options for youths. This allows them to pursue new gainful income-generating opportunities and enhances the productivity of their current activities. Thus, supplementing and stabilizing income flows, and contributing to sustainable livelihoods and reduced income poverty. Thanks to the recent modest initial support of Switzerland to vocational skills development projects, nearly 90% of the targeted disadvantaged youth and young adults entered (self) employment in agribusiness and renewable energy.

Basic Education and Vocational Skills Development

Private sector development and financial services

Transversal Themes

Gender and Governance

Switzerland seeks to promote more gender-inclusive governance and public institutions; increase the participation of women in decision- and opinion-making; and improve poor young women’s livelihood. Switzerland will address gender in its policy dialogue, planning and monitoring, capacity building and communication.

Switzerland aims to influence power relations and supports duty bearers to deliver services in an efficient and effective manner to create enabling spaces for citizen participation and right holders to hold decision-makers accountable at different governance levels.

Gender equality

Other Themes

Climate change and Culture

Switzerland will address climate change in its projects as an amplifier of existing stressors in the areas where it is engaged, for instance in connection with malaria, agriculture and especially forest management. It will also continue to allocate 1% of its operational budget to the promotion of local artists and culture to contribute to building a strong, dynamic and innovative arts and culture sector.

Climate change and the environment

Art and culture – drivers of social change

Approach and Partners

Switzerland has a set of various instruments to support the Government of Tanzania and Tanzanian non-state actors and to partner with Swiss and international NGOS. The main responsibility for implementing the Swiss Cooperation Programme Tanzania 2021-2024 lies with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), at the country level represented by the Swiss Embassy. SDC closely collaborates with the Political Division and the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and with Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

History of Cooperation

Swiss tradition, interests, and added value

Switzerland has been involved in development cooperation in Tanzania since 1960. Its activities were stepped up in 1981 when it opened a cooperation office in Dar es Salaam, now an integral part of the Swiss Embassy. Swiss cooperation is aligned with the goals of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and coordinated with the work of other countries and international organizations. It is guided by the Swiss Foreign Policy Strategy 2020-23 and Switzerland’s Strategy for International Cooperation 2021-24 that pursues key objectives in the areas of economic development; the environment; human development; peacebuilding gender equality and governance.

Current projects

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Dynamic electronic decision trees for managing childhood illness (DYNAMIC)

15.11.2019 - 31.12.2023

Every year, more than five million children die before the age of five due to preventable or treatable causes, most of them in developing countries. New technologies combined with rapid tests can improve diagnosis and management of sick children and reduce health costs. This collaborative research project makes use of Switzerland’s knowledge in digital technologies to improve the health of children and reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in low resource settings.


Health Promotion and System Strengthening

Women with their babies wait at the Hombolo Health Centre in Dodoma

01.11.2019 - 31.10.2023

The Health Promotion and System Strengthening Project is a SDC flagship project in Tanzania. In this third and exit phase, the project will strengthen the efficiency of national institutions to scale up policy reform processes that have been introduced based on the successful health innovations financed by SDC. The institutional capacity of 187 district councils will be enhanced to improve access to social protection, medicines supply, medical equipment maintenance and health promotion through technical assistance, digitalized solutions and researches for policy dialogue.


Strengthening Agro-biodiversity in Southern Africa (SASA)

01.09.2019 - 31.08.2023

While governments have regional and national seed policies favourable to commercial certified seed

production, these are restrictive on farmers’ seed systems that are diverse and resilient. The project

capitalises on Swiss regional experiences on supporting seed systems in Southern Africa. This will include

the empowerment of civil society, farmers’ organisations and governments in developing inclusive agricultural

policies that ultimately contribute to sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and improved well-being of

smallholder farming communities.


Accountability in Health & Agriculture

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

While governments have translated regional policies on Food Security and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) into national policies, these are poorly implemented and the public lacks capacities to act effectively upon them. The project will improve the accountability and gender responsiveness of public resource management and complement the ongoing Swiss funded projects in ensuring that policy/advocacy work developed at national, regional and global levels is disseminated and implemented by relevant SADC and governmental institutions.


Ifakara Health Institute: Scaling up of research results and innovations for public health impact

'Young changemakers'

15.06.2019 - 31.12.2024

Investment in health research and innovation in Tanzania is a national policy priority but receives irregular public support. This contribution aims to strengthen the Ifakara Health Institute, a successful research institution with Swiss roots, to improve its research impact at policy and community levels. The intervention will also bring together researchers and end-users in an innovation hub to identify livelihood challenges of youths and innovative approaches to address these. Private sector partnerships with Swiss innovators will be primary clients of the innovation hub.


Tanzania Election Support 2019/2020

01.05.2019 - 30.06.2021

Since the contested 2015 Presidential elections, civic space and democratic values have been on the decline in Tanzania. The 2019 local and 2020 national elections will therefore be a crucial moment for Tanzania’s democratic trajectory, which Switzerland has supported for many years. This single phase project supports a coalition of Tanzanian Civil Society Organizations to conduct long- and short term election observation; as well as a targeted intervention in Zanzibar to promote peaceful dialogue, especially for youth.


Youth-Inclusive Rural Finance (YIRF)

15.03.2019 - 31.08.2025

Millions of Tanzanian youth living in rural areas, in particular young women, are affected by vulnerable employment. Based on the Swiss added values on vocational skills, innovations and private sector development, the program will increase gainful self-employment through tailored digital financial products and services. Beyond results at the community level, policy dialogue, research and capacity building of private and public institutions will also contribute to more inclusive financial policies.


Social Accountability Programme

Tanzanian citizens

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

Against the backdrop of shrinking civic space in Tanzania, the Social Accountability Program supports four key accountability Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country. It aims to enhance transparency and accountability of public resource management at national and local level and to empower citizens – including youth and women - and local organizations to engage effectively in public oversight, decision making and advocacy on social issues of concern.


Towards Elimination of Malaria in Tanzania

NETCELL project, 2017

01.12.2018 - 30.04.2024

Tanzania deploys innovative approaches for malaria control and elimination since 2000. To sustain and expand gains that have been achieved, the project will capacitate Tanzanian institutions to engage in subnational, intersectoral and cross borders elimination strategies, thus making available best practices to normative bodies such as World Health Organization (WHO). Tanzania’s and Switzerland’s recognized strong expertise, network and influence in malaria elimination will be increased through this programme.


Scaling Up Youth Employment in Agriculture Initiative

01.08.2018 - 31.10.2023

Education systems in Southern Africa do not prepare youth for work; they cannot access or create economic opportunities and ignore the available options. The project will scale up in Southern Africa a model already tested by Switzerland in Tanzania. It will improve (self)-employment of 20’000 young women and men in Zimbabwe and Zambia by strengthening their skills and matching them with existing job opportunities, thereby contributing to the implementation of youth policies in-country and regionally.


SCOPE - Sustaining a Culture of Peace

01.03.2017 - 31.12.2025

Increasing tensions based on political, religious, socio-economic and natural resource-based conflicts indicate that Tanzania’s culture of peace needs strengthening. SDC will therefore promote the use of peaceful means to prevent and deal with conflicts. It will support the Government to establish a conflict early warning and response system, and state and non-state actors to increase public space to address conflictual topics, in particular for women and marginalized.

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