Tanzania – Ambitious Productive Sector Initiatives Implemented by Factionalised Elites – DIIS

Tanzania – Ambitious Productive Sector Initiatives Implemented by Factionalised Elites – DIIS.

Tanzania – Ambitious Productive Sector Initiatives Implemented by Factionalised Elites
Wednesday, 9 November 2011, 14.00-16.00

Danish Institute for International Studies
Main Auditorium
Strandgade 71, ground floor, 1401 Copenhagen K


Like many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania has grown rapidly during the last decade. Influential research attributes this to the emergence, across the continent, of new leaderships, increasing democratization, better economic policies, and improved relationship to donors.

A closer look at two major recent state initiatives in Tanzania to support productive sectors –domestic rice production and manufacturing exports tells a different story:

·         New leaders largely continue the policy-making styles of the past and continue
(for better or worse) to make ideologically inspired decisions
·         Ruling elites prioritize winning elections and maintaining coalitions that support
them rather than achieving beneficial and widespread economic outcomes
·         Most productive sector entrepreneurs are small and poorly organised while
the bureaucracy is an important support base for the ruling elite; this gives
parts of the bureaucracy a degree of autonomy to implement policies to its
own advantage
·         Donors may influence policy making but have much less say in implementation

Insights from the literature on developmental states and state-business relations help to explain these findings. They emphasize the importance of structural contexts within which state initiatives are decided and implemented. And they help to explain why Tanzania’s recent growth has not reduced poverty significantly and in a sustainable manner.

The presentation will subsequently be published in an expanded version as a DIIS working paper in the EPP sub-series.


Ole Therkildsen is a senior researcher at DIIS and the programme coordinator for the EPP. For this programme he has written “Policy making and implementation in agriculture: Tanzania’s push for irrigated rice” and co-authored “Continuity and change in Tanzania’s ruling coalition” to be published shortly as DIIS working papers. He has also co-authored a policy brief on “Elections in Africa: a mixed blessing for growth and poverty alleviation”. In addition, he has written on taxation, bureaucratic performance, reforms of the public sector and decentralisation in Eastern Africa.

Jens Kovsted is a development economist and evaluation specialist. He is employed as a senior advisor at the Institute for Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen. Fields of expertise include impact evaluation, evaluation methodology and theory, economic governance and regulation, and health analysis. He has written on public financial management and budget analysis, financial sector regulation, macroeconomic policies, private sector development, and health.


14.00-14.05       Introduction
                        France Bourgouin, Project Researcher, DIIS

14.05-14.35       Tanzania – Ambitious Productive Sector Initiatives
Implemented by Factionalised Elites
                        Ole Therkildsen, Senior Researcher, DIIS

14.35-14.50       Comments
                        Jens Kovsted, Senior Advisor, University of Copenhagen

14.50-15.05       Coffee Break

15.05-16.00       Open Discussion

Chair: France Bourgouin, Project Researcher, DIIS

This is the fourth of seven seminars in the 2011 EPP Fall Seminar Series. These seminars deal with the conceptual tools needed to understand the political economy of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation and how these tools are applied to studies of state interventions in productive sectors in Bangladesh, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The main finding is that it is the motivation of political elites to support state interventions in productive sectors and mutual interests between these elites and producers that matters for good outcomes – rather than good governance, market driven development or empowerment of poor people.

For more information see the EPP research programme.

Practical Information

The seminar will be held in English.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use below online registration form no later than Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 12.00 noon.


Yes please, I would like to register for the DIIS event mentioned above:
Full Name, Organisation, and E-mail must be filled out. If a field is not filled out, the form cannot be sent

Please await confirmation by e-mail from DIIS for participation. If you have not received a confirmation from us within 2 workdays, please contact us directly, or telephone +45 32 69 87 51.


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