Monday, July 28, 2014

Important areas for MDGs not yet met, says an economist

Child mortality rates, improvement on maternal health and extreme poverty are the most common difficult areas which Tanzania government has totally failed to address successfully in its efforts to reach the targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, a government economist has said. The Principle Economist at the Ministry of Finance, Ekingo Magembe made the observation in his paper presentation which he presented at a breakfast talk organized by a policy forum at British Council last week in Dar es Salaam. Magembe who was the key speaker at the forum said that, the government has been facing lots of challenges in order to tackle problems related with child and maternal deaths as well as extreme poverty which has been troubling people’s lives  in the country. However, he noted that the government is striving very hard in order to accomplish the need for other areas prior to the deadline set by 2015, and that he is optimistic that, with the few remaining months, the targets would be achieved, In his report, he pinpointed areas which have shown a slight improvement at a higher rates includes water supplies, combating HIV/AIDS and malaria infections, gender equality and women empowerment, achieve universal primary education. He said these have been achieved at 87 percent. However, he said adding that, although water sector shows a stagnant improvement he is sure with the current efforts being undertaken by the government to address the matter to the general public, the problem would end by 2015. Elaborating the failure by the government to combat child mortality, Magembe told this blog in an exclusive interview that, poor technology and lack of medical expertise is a main exacerbating factor that keeps the situation going on in most hospitals in the country. He further elaborated that, the continued poverty stricken situation among Tanzanians the majority of whom depends on agricultural activities is due to poor farming implements and applied crude technology on how to run the sector profitably. He said most farmers in the country still rely on small scale farming activities an aspect that most of them fails to reduce their poverty situation. He has however, asked the government to concentrate on big state farming where farmers would be able to access market and better farm seeds. Contributing a debate on government’s failure to meet its proper targets, a retired Professor of economy Adolfo Mascarenhas said that, government t executives have developed a tendency of addressing the country’s problems instead of focusing on the solution. He cited the issue of land grabbing attitude which is taking a high stake of social problem but the government does not address the issue to clear the menace coming up in most parts in the country, and is very annoying to see that, the executives keeps quite about the issue. An information officer of the UN offices in Dar es Salaam, Stella Vuzo, highlighted corruption and lack of commitment at places of work has been the major cause from achieving all these targets. She said that, the government needs to involve people of all kind for its entire development plans from the grass root level to the top most executives in order to be able to tackle obstacles lying ahead in its move to spear the goals. A Kenyan national, Othieno Nyanjom who is an economic researcher and consultant said that, Tanzania has concentrated more investments in bigger issues which does not help its poor citizens especially farmers.  He commended that, the government has to start to design for the next cycle of the MDGs for 2016-2025 to rectify u all the areas it might have mistaken while implementing its objectives into achieving proper targets.He noted that, the government should look critically at the issue of youth employment and women empowerment this should be addressed in MDGs for the two groups are the main conductors of the national economy. Citing an example in his country Kenya, unemployment is growing at an alarming rate and the government is striving hard to address the issue at national level. Policy Forum holds the People and Policy Debates. This is an informal discussion over Breakfast aimed at providing a forum to broaden public understanding and debate on a topical policy issue. The debates are held at the British Council Auditorium in Dar es Salaam city centre.

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