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ONGOING PROCESS TO DEVELOP THE NATIONAL GUIDELINE OF 10% LOAN ADMINISTERED AT LOCAL COUNCIL

For effective governance of 10% administered at local government for impactful empowerment of groups of women, youth and people with disabilities UNA Tanzania and President Office development of National Guideline is on going.

Morogoro: UNA Tanzania and President Office Regional Administration and Local Government Authorities are developing the national guideline for effective governance of free interest loan 10% loan set by Local Government Authorities. The 10% Loans are set to uplift economically disadvantaged groups of women, youth and people with disabilities household income. The presence of loans trace back in 1993 when the parliament of Tanzania made a resolution due to the limited access to fixed collateral required by the banks for loan granting decisions. 

In 2018, the Government of Tanzania amended Section 37 of Local Government Finance Act by adding that all Local Government Authorities to mandatory set aside 10% interest free loans from their own revenue for empowerment of women, youth and people with disabilities, by providing groups to carry out income generating activities to lift their households out of poverty. These 10% free interest loans are distributed by 4-4-2 principal (4% women, 4% youth, 2% people with disabilities (PWDs). 

To make sure the amendments of the Local Government Finance Act, 2018 are adequately implemented and well known to the citizens, the Government introduced the Regulation for Loan Provision and Management among Women groups, Youth and People with Disabilities in 2019. Despite 93.3 billion being issued across the country, still, there are several challenges  including lack of proper Machinery for Governance of 10% Loan, Economic empowerment skills to monitor groups development, No special desk confined to work on 10% loan, Ghost Groups, Defaulting, Insufficient amounts issued to groups, Lack of lenient mechanisms for PWDs to access smoothly, Short Period until start of Loan repayment.

With the presence of these challenges and several reports and studies done by PORALG, UNA Tanzania and other key stakeholders, it was observed that there is a need to develop a  national Guideline for effective governance of the 10% loans for empowering women, youth and people with disabilities in 2020. 

In this role, UNA Tanzania with consistency, being in the frontline in advocating for the 10% loans as dear to seeing more beneficiaries out of it, has been assigned by PORALG, to take lead in coming up with guidelines that will be used throughout the nation, defining the regulations into simpler terms and to inform the public on the availability of the loans all in purpose to make the 10% loans more effective and to be known by many who can benefit from it and moreover to empower a larger group of women, youth and people with disabilities. In this case, the need to have the national guidelines cannot be overemphasized.

UNA Tanzania conducted a strategic meeting with PORALG discussing the existing gaps and ways to improve the Regulation for Loan Provision and Management among Women groups, Youth and People with Disabilities. During this meeting, it was realised that the lack of proper machinery governing the 10% free interest loans was among constraints to the effectiveness of implementing Local Government Finance Act, 2018. 

In April 2020, as a follow up action to develop a proper machinery of governing the 10% free interest loans, PORALG consulted UNA Tanzania in developing a roadmap for the 10% free interest loans national guideline from the youth, online and offline, drawing success stories from the 8 regions, 3351 young people that it works with in this area, fetching challenges and recommendations to enrich the national guidelines.

MAKING 10% LOANS WORK FOR YOUTH, WOMEN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

UNA Tanzania Secretary General, Reynald Maeda, clarifying on the 10% interest free loans.

As a champion to the implementation of the 10% interest free loans issued from the Local Government Authorities, UNA Tanzania hosted and highlighted on the topic during the monthly debates organized by Policy Forum, advocating, raising awareness and information on the topic.

10% loans were first introduced in 1993 for the purpose of empowering marginalized groups of women and youth with no resources to set as collateral in financial institutions. In 2018, the amendment of Local Government Financial Act Cap 290 sec. 37A set 10% as a mandatory free interest loans set by LGAs from own revenue for empowerment of women, youth and people with disabilities, by providing to groups to carry out income generating activities to lift their households out of poverty.

10% loans are revolving loan schemes distributed by 4-4-2 principle, for Youth, Women and People with Disabilities respectively.

The debate engaged different stakeholders and beneficiaries from the 10% loans, that contributed to the challenges they face, both from LGAs and the beneficiaries, while giving recommendations on the amendment of the regulation as currently UNA Tanzania was chosen by PORALG to take lead to develop the National guidelines to ensure effective governance of the 10% loans at the local councils that will be used at all LGAs in Tanzania.

IMPROVED OPPORTUNITIES AND OBSTACLES TO DEVELOPMENT (O&OD): AN APPROACH THAT ENHANCES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TOWARDS SDGs IMPLEMENTATION IN TANZANIA

Sustainable Development Goals is a set of international development goals from 2015 to 2030, which was adopted by the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in September 2015 building on the success of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They (SDGs) are universal goals applicable, not only to developing countries but also developed countries, and pledge to “Leave no one behind” through the implementation process.

They define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among stakeholders such as the Governments, UN Agencies, Private sector, Business and Civil Society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all, within the boundaries of the planet.

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development’s fundamental principle of “leave no one behind” calls for inclusiveness in the implementation follow up and review of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Governments are obliged to respect this principle by ensuring that community members particularly the vulnerable and marginalized groups in the society including women, youth and people with disabilities are actively engaged into national development planning and implementation frameworks for the benefit of the country.

In an effort to make participatory planning a reality, the Tanzanian Government through the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) introduced the Improved Opportunities and Obstacles to development (O & OD) approach in October 2019. This was a result of gaps observed in the convectional (former) Opportunities and Obstacle to Development (O &OD) approach including  failure to materialize the government aspirations to realise bottom-up planning and budgeting with maximum community participation due to several shortfalls such as people’s participation fatigue, lack of people’s ownership and people’s dependency on Government support. The convectional approach was rolled out in 105 out of 132 LGAs by 2010.

The improved O and OD approach is a methodology that supports collaborative interactions between Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and the community for better service delivery and local development by empowering communities and promoting community initiatives.

The most important difference between Conventional and Improved O&OD approach is that the conventional focused on just participatory planning and budgeting methodology while the Improved O&OD is a more inclusive methodology with an objective of establishing a collaborative interactions between the Government and the communities. Further, the improved O and OD approach strengthens LGA’s capacity in identifying and encouraging community initiatives as well as empowering communities to implement and complete community initiatives.

In ensuring the knowledge of the improved O and OD approach reaching stakeholders involved in its implementation, the Local Government Training Institute (LGTI) is mandated to facilitate training on the improved O and OD approach.

However, with Covid19 effects, the LGTI has until March 2020; successfully trained the O and OD approach to ten (10) regions and one hundred and sixteen (116) Local Government Authorities across the country, remaining with 16 and 69 respectively. Given the nature and design of the O and OD approach, it is true that the approach is essential in enhancing community engagement in the implementation, monitoring and review of SDGs in Tanzania.

The improved O and OD approach promotes citizens engagement including the vulnerable and marginalized groups such as youth, elders, women and people with disabilities. This is very important to ensure that SDG implementation is inclusive and leaves no one behind. For example, through village assembly which is conducted at a village level, community members regardless their socio-economic status, have an opportunity to contribute their inputs in the planning processes in a collaborative manner with their local leaders. 

It also leverages citizens’ voices through reliable data to strengthen national, regional and global review processes of the SDGs and to facilitate policy change. Since the O and OD approach derives information directly from the community members themselves during village assembly where they discuss their key development agenda.

Most importantly, it contributes to evidence based policies. The improved O and OD approach provides an opportunity for community members to share their inputs during the village assembly before being taken to further stages. This process can later contribute to evidence based policies as it would reflect community’s concerns taken during the village assembly.

On the same spirit of ensuring citizens are at the forefront in contributing to their planning processes and sustainable development UNA Tanzania is working to influence policy change by emphasizing citizen generated data for ensuring effective and meaningful SDGs implementation, follow up and review particularly to the developing countries such as Tanzania where most provided data are aggregated at national and regional levels thus may not reflect the true picture at the local levels.

Through Citizen Report Programme (CRP) which is designed to monitor the implementation of the SDGs in Africa through citizen generated data, UNA Tanzania has directly reached a total number of 254 (128 females and 126 males) including women, youth and people with disabilities by involving them in data collection process and community hearing workshops, and then documented their opinions towards the progress of Sustainable Development Goals 1 (End Poverty), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality and Women Empowerment), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduce Inequalities) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) for policy engagements.

During the implementation of CRP, one of the approaches used was the “Citizen Hearing Approach”, as an integrated approach that entails a citizen’s sharing their lived experiences in their own words, with the aim of ensuring that ordinary people’s voices, realities and experiences are expressed and documented.

The Citizen Hearing approach cements the improved O and OD approach which also uses local platforms such as village assembly as a tool to share citizens’ concerns with Local Government Authorities in a collaborative manner.

It is undisputed fact that many Governments are facing challenges in ensuring that majority of their citizens are adequately included in the national planning processes, yet the improved O and OD approach can be an essential tool for accelerating an inclusive and participatory planning processes in the society. However, it is a responsibility and an opportunity to all stakeholders particularly Civil Society Organizations to take initiatives to educate the society about this approach considering its huge importance for sustainable development which reflects society’s reality especially in developing countries such as Tanzania where most provided data are aggregated at national and regional levels thus may not reflect the true picture at the local levels.

Goodluck Willy is a development professional currently working with United Nations Association of Tanzania (UNA Tanzania) on areas of Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights issues.

CSOs CONSULTATIONS ON FIVE YEARS DEVELOPMENT PLAN III

Dr. Wilberforce E. Meena from HakiElimu presenting consultation inputs on the education sector.

The FYDP III is the coming National Plan which will be implemented from 2021/22 to 2025/26 and marks the end of the Long Term Perspective Plans (LTPPs) started in 2011/12. As its processes are underway, UNA Tanzania as Co-conveners of the Sustainable Development Platform facilitated and supported a 2 days, (22nd and 23rd October 2020) Civil Society Organizations consultation on the Five Year Development Plan (FYDP) III 2021/22-2024/25 which precedes the FYDP II (2016/17-2020/21). 

The Plan’s theme “Realizing Competitiveness-led Export Growth” contributes to the FYDP II theme on “Nurturing Industrialization for Economic Transformation and Human Development” and the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 which aspires to have Tanzania transformed into a middle income and semi industrialized nation by 2025.

The consultation brought together civil society organizations representatives from different parts of Tanzania and diverse range of sectors including education, health, climate change, gender, governance and agriculture. It involved a total number of 25 participants (10 female and 15 male), from organizations such as FCS, TGNP, Policy Forum, Twaweza, Hakielimu, Hakiardhi, and Forum for Climate Change, ANSAF and Restless Development were among to be involved.

YOUTH CONSULTATIONS ON FIVE YEARS DEVELOPMENT PLAN III

As youth voices are a niche to us and to development, on 21st October 2020, UNA Tanzania brought together youth led/serving organizations in a discussion essential to gather recommendations from FYDP II and inputs to enrich the coming FYDP III a sendoff plan for the Tanzania Development Vision 2025.

Tanzania Youth are acknowledged assets important into national development planning and implementation frameworks for the benefit of the country. Heading to the Five Year Development Plan III formulation, views and insights addressing youth issues and priorities are of importance considering their potential workforce.

The consultation was a blend of youth representatives from youth led and serving organizations from different sectors involving of 30 participants (12 female and 18 male). This consultation focused on four main thematic areas namely;

  • Education,
  • Health,
  • 21st century skills
  • Youth Economic Rights.

The challenges, recommendation and inputs given were centered on Competitiveness, export growth and efficiency enhancement and innovation. Way forward, the consultations will be consolidated in the process of developing, strengthening or implementing frameworks for youth empowerment and mainstreamed participation.

Young people immersed in discussions on the recommendations for the FYDP III on Education and 21st Century Skills.

UNA Tanzania kuongoza zoezi la utengenezaji wa Mwongozo wa Utoaji na Urejeshwaji wa Mikopo ya Asilimia 10% Tanzania

Katika kufikia maendeleo ya pamoja haswa katika kuhakikisha makundi ya wanawake vijana na watu wenye ulemavu yana nufaika na mikopo ya asilimia 10% isiyo na riba UNA Tanzania kuongoza zoezi la uandaaji wa Muongozo wa utoaji na usimamizi wa mikopo ya asilimia 10%. Kazi hii ni muendelezo wa kazi za UNA Tanzania katika kuhakikisha kua fedha za mikopo isiyo na riba zinanufaisha makundi ya Wanawake, Vijana na Walemavu. katika kuanzisha shughuli za kimaendeleo na kuiingizia kipato kama vile biashara,ufugaji na uzalishaji wa bidhaa mbalimbali.

Hatua hii ni muendelezo wa kufanikisha utekelezaji wa Sheria ya Fedha ya Serikali za Mitaa iliyo fanyiwa marekebisho katika ya mwaka 2018 (Cap 290, Section 37A). Marekebisho haya yanazitaka halmashauri zote nchini kutenga fedha kutoka kwenye mapato yao ya ndani kwa ajili ya mikopo ya vikundi vya wanawake, vijana na watu wenye ulemavu. Marekebisho hayo ya sheria yalifuatiwa na utungaji wa kanuni zinazoainisha masharti, vigezo vya utoaji na usimamizi wa mikopo inayotolewa na Halmashauri kwa vikundi hivyo.

Mnamo tarehe 13/10/2020 UNA Tanzania pamoja na Policy Forum walishiriki kikao cha kimkakati kilichofanyika na Uongozi wa Idara ya Serikali za Mitaa (Tamisemi). Katika kikao hiki ilibainishwa kwamba ijapokua kuna sheria na kanuni zinazo simamia uratibu wa mikopo hii katika ngazi za halmashauri, bado kuna changamoto nyingi zinazokabili mfumo na utaratibu wa utoaji na usimamiaji wa mikopo kwa vikundi vya vijana, wanawake na watu wenye ulemavu nchini. Akielezea kuhusu changamoto hizo, Mkurugenzi Msaidizi Idara ya Serikali za Mitaa, Bi Angelista Kihaga, alieleza kuwa licha ya mikopo yenye thamani ya zaidi ya Shilingi Bilioni 91 kutolewa kwa vikundi vya vijana, wanawake na watu wenye ulemavu, bado kuna  tatizo la usimamizi na uwepo wa vikundi hewa. Alieleza kuwa wasimamizi wengi hawana ujuzi wa kutosha wa kusimamia vikundi ili viweze kutekeleza shughuli zake za maendeleo ziwe endelevu na pia ziweze kuzalisha fedha ambazo zitarejeshwa katika Halmashauri husika. Alisisitiza kuwa kuna haja ya kuwajengea uwezo wasimamizi hao ili kuleta tija za mikopo wanayopatiwa wanavikundi.

Changamoto kama, ukosefu wa fedha na ujuzi wa kufanya ufuatiliaji kwa vikundi vilivyopata mikopo ilielezwa kama moja ya changamoto zinazokabili Halmashauri nchini. Changamoto hii inaenda sambamba na ukosefu wa vitendea kazi vya kitaalamu hasa ngamizi (computer) kwa ajili ya utunzaji wa kumbumbuku ya utoaji na urejeshwaji wa mikopo iliyotolewa. Bi Kiaga alitanabaisha kuwa pia, kunahitajika kuendelea kutolewa kwa mafunzo kwa vikundi jinsi ya kufanya shughuli za kijasiriamali ili vikundi hivyo viwe na mafanikio katika miradi yao na iwe endelevu ambayo itasaidia kukuza kipato cha wana kikundi na kuwezesha urejeshwaji mikopo hiyo kwa wakati na kwa ufanisi.

Akizungumzia kuhusu namna ya kutatua changamoto zilizopo katika kusimamia shughuli na mfumo wa utoaji na urejeshwaji wa mikopo, Afisa wa UNA Tanzania ambao wataongoza zoezi la uuandaaji wa muongozo, bwana Lucas alieleza kua kutokuwepo kwa muongozo ambao utaleta utekelezaji makini wa kanuni na sheria ni sehemu ya changamoto za uendeshaji wa Mikopo hii. Akisisitiza katika hilo, Mkurugenzi wa Idara ya Serikali za Mitaa Dk. Charles Mhina alisema kuwa kuwepo kwa kanuni na sheria zinazosimamia mikopo hii ya 10% hata hivyo kuna uhitaji wa kua na muongozo ambao utaonyesha namna bora zaidi na kusaidia kutoa tafsiri ya ndani zaidi na kutoa maelekezo rafiki katika itekelezaji wa kanuni hizo. Alitolea mfano kuhusu muundo wa vikundi amabao nao unatakiwa kuangaliwa ili kuhakikisha vikundi hivi vinafanya kazi kama zilivyo ainishwa kwenye uchanganuzi wa wazo la biashara. Pia alisisitiza kuwa ni muhimu kundaa mwongozo bora ambao utawezesha  zoezi la utoaji na urudishaji wa mikopo kuwa rahisi na lenye tija kwa vikundi vinavyo nufaika  na kusaidia uelewa wa urejeshwaji wa fedha hizo ambo umekua ni changamoto kubwa.

Akizunguza katika kujibu hoja moja wapo iliyo tolewa na Mratibu kuhusu UNA Tanzania, ambae aligusia kuhusu mabadiliko katika kanuni, Dk Mhina alieleza kwa ufasaha kuwa Serikali imesha andaa rasimu ya kurekebisha kanuni zilizopo zinazoratibu utoaji na usimamizi wa mikopo kwa vikundi vya vijana, wanawake na watu wenye ulemavu. Mabadiliko haya ya kanuni ni sehemu yanabeba maono ya muda mrefu ya UNA Tanzania ambayo yaliwasilishwa TAMISEMI katika vipindi kadha wa kadha. Alibainisha kua mabadiliko haya ni katika kuhakikisha kanuni zinakua rafiki na zenye kuleta tija katika utoaji wa mikopo hii isiyo na Riba. Hata hivyo alidokeza kuwa ni muhimu kuwa “ili tuweze kuwa na mwongozo bora lazima tuwe na kanuni ambazo zipo imara”. 

Katika kufunga kikao hicho maazimio yaliwekwa ikiwemo kuundwa kwa kikosi kazi cha uandaaji wa muongozo ambacho kitaongozwa na UNA Tanzania alie kabidhiwa jukumu la kusimamia na kuhakikisha mchakato unakamilika kwa wakati. Kikundi kazi kitajumuisha wadau kutoka Tamisemi na Policy Forum pamoja na wadau wengine ambao watakaa pamoja ndani ya siku thelathini (30) na kuandaa mwongozo ambao utajumuisha mawazo ya wadau wengine. Mwongozo huo utakapokamilika, utasambazwa katika ngazi husika ili kurahisisha na kuweka ufanisi zaidi katika mfumo wa utoaji na usimamizi wa mikopo kwa vikundi vya vijana, wanawake na watu wenye ulemavu nchini.

UNA TANZANIA CHAMPIONING YOUNG PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC RIGHTS – 4% LGA LOANS DURING TANZANIA MODEL UNITED NATIONS 2020

Our Youth Wing YUNA Tanzania, annually, organizes a simulation of how the UN makes decisions as a conference, hosting 200 + young people from different backgrounds, local and International.

This year, It was held in the Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology from 28th September – 4th October 2020 with the theme, “Youth Role in Creating The Future We Want” focusing on intense discussions on:

SDG 3: Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 13: Climate Action

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Following the work that UNA Tanzania does on the 10% loans that are assigned to be given to Youth, Women and People with disabilities as free interest loans to help them get empowered economically.

On the Panel, UNA Tanzania broke down why the loans, the process, challenges and how young people can take on such opportunities. This was supported by the work we do, in partnership with the government specifically the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) and other stakeholders in ensuring young people are well informed and moreover their challenges are well presented for amendment of the policies governing the disbursement of the loans.

UNA TANZANIA CONDUCTS TRAINING ON THE LINKAGES BETWEEN OPPORTUNITIES AND OBSTACLES TO DEVELOPMENT AND THE SDGS

Through SDGs Program, our program officer participated in the improved opportunities & obstacles to development (O & OD) approach training held in Dodoma from 21 to 25 September 2020. The training was convened by Policy Forum (A CSOs network) which UNA Tanzania is a member under the Local Governance Working Group (LGWG). The training was conducted by the Local Government Training Institute (LGTI) in collaboration with the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG).

The main objective of the training was to strengthen Local Governance Working Group (LGWG) members’ capacity on the improved O & OD Approach which was introduced in October, 2019. The improved O & OD Approach is a methodology to build and sustain collaborative relationships between Local Government Authorities and communities for better service delivery and local development by empowering communities and promoting community initiatives.

UNA Tanzania program officer had an opportunity to present on the link between the Sustainable Development Goals and the improved O and OD Approach in Tanzanian context. Further, how the approach contributes to the implementation, follow up and review of the SDGs by promoting citizens engagement including the vulnerable and marginalized groups such as youth, women and people with disabilities, leverages citizens’ voices through reliable data to strengthen national and regional review processes of the SDGs and facilitates policy change and contributes to evidence based policies.

GLOBAL ACTION WEEK #ACT4SDGS

Marking the 75th year of the UN, and 5 years of the Sustainable Goals, This September –   millions of people across the world took action together while world leaders meet (virtually) at the UN General Assembly, to make this a turning point for people and the planet. This was a global call to people and organizations everywhere to take action for the Sustainable Development Goals

At UNA Tanzania, partnering with our youth wing YUNA Tanzania, 0n 19th September 2020, we used this once in time opportunity to engage with the society online through an educative  platform online known as Elimika Wikiendi, highlighting what as an organization has achieved in the previous 5 years of the SDGs, aspiration and a call to more action, commitment and ambition for the next 10 years of the delivery of the goals.

The Online engagement met more than 1 million social media users, while also engaging with SDG champions, giving their experience and of what impact they have been in ensuring the SDGs are known to the society.

Deep Diving in the Tanzania Youth Manifesto (2020-2025)

Tanzania is a young nation with more than 50% of its population aged below 35. While acknowledging that youth are significant assets for Tanzania’s attainment of Tanzania development Vision (Vision 2025), the National Youth Development Policy recognizes the importance of preparing them as leaders and partners to drive the force, and to play a vital role in the socio-economic transformation of the nation.

 The Vision 2025 can be realized if Tanzanians (including youth) capitalize on their strengths, engage the appropriate driving forces for development, and effectively avoid the impediments, which have held back their development.

The panelists of the session gave insights on the following:

  • How the government, private sectors and institutions addresses young people’s impediments in its diversity.
  • How and if Tanzania youth are given enough spaces and capacity to contribute and deliver to the development priorities set in the Vision 2025.
  • What can be done to unleash young people’s potential towards achieving inclusive development in Tanzania.

Our Secretary General, Reynald Maeda who is also the co-chair of the CSOs working group (East African Region) for the African Regional Forum for Sustainable Development stressed that youth have available opportunities that we need to take and work on them for a sustainable future:

  • The National Youth Development Policy 2007 Review
  • The Coming Five Year Development Plan III (2020/21 – 2024/25)
  • The Sustainable Development Goals 2030.