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Results BriefsJanuary 5, 2024

IDA and Tanzania: A Focus on People, Cities, and Public Institutions for a Better Future

Tanzania Results

Arusha, Tanzania

Photo: Shutterstock

Tanzania reached an important milestone in July 2020 when it formally graduated from low-income to lower-middle-income country (LMIC) status. In partnership with the International Development Association (IDA), the country has made significant progress towards achieving the priorities of its development agenda, including in the areas of equitable and sustainable growth, energy, education and training, healthcare, social protection, housing and public sector modernization. Tanzania’s larger development agenda remains unfinished, however, and as the country looks to transition to middle-income country status, focus will remain on the quality of its growth and ensuring that Tanzania is a country with well-developed human capital, ample high-quality livelihood opportunities, and broad-based gains in living standards.


  • As of August 2023, the total World Bank-financed portfolio in Tanzania amounts to $8.3 billion, comprising 22 national projects ($7.26 billion commitments) and 6 regional projects ($1.04 billion commitments).
  • $2.79 billion in IDA commitments were provided in IDA19 and a further 2.14 billion have been provided so far in IDA20.

Under IDA19

  • 37 million people received essential health, nutrition, and population (HNP) services;
  • 5.9 million benefited from the Tanzania Education Program for Results Project which aimed to improve education quality in Tanzanian primary and secondary schools;
  • 4 million public transport users benefited from an average 24-minute reduction in travel time;
  • 3 million people were covered by mobile broadband services for the first time.

Under IDA20 (to date)

  • 6.6 million people have been provided with access to improved sanitation services;
  • 6 million people have received access to electricity, with new connections for more than 16,000 business enterprises;
  • 5.1 million people have received safety net transfers;
  • 66,700 people have accessed short-term training programs of whom 47,500 were women, with an average employability rate of 80.3 percent one year after completion;
  • 2.5 million secondary education students (49.9 percent girls) have benefited from improved curriculum and improved learning environments;
  • 22 million rural population have benefited from improved accessibility to services, markets, and opportunities; safer and resilient roads; and improvements in transport services;
  • 13 million people can now access judicial services within half the distance previously traveled.


The Road to Middle-income Status

Despite some significant gains, Tanzania still faces stubbornly high levels of poverty, in part as a result of dependence on low productivity agriculture, lack of infrastructure, poor access to markets, low levels of education, limited access to educational and employment opportunities, and population growth. Tanzania is water stressed, with knock-on effects on energy production, agriculture, and the livelihoods of the poorest communities. There are also large rural-urban disparities in incomes, job opportunities, electricity access, and basic services such as maternity care, water, and sanitation. Tanzania’s urban population is growing rapidly - the share of the total population residing in urban areas increased from 27.4 to 34.5 percent between 2009 and 2019, and half of the population is expected to live in cities by 2050.  Tanzania’s cities are critical for economic growth, yet the opportunities of urbanization have not been fully realized. Overcoming these challenges requires public and private investment in infrastructure, and an increasingly skilled, healthy, and well-nourished population, supported by sound public institutions. Addressing the quality and quantity of its investments in human capital development remains central to Tanzania’s goal of becoming a middle-income country with an industrialized economy.


Reducing Poverty, Growing the Economy, Modernizing Institutions

After two decades of sustained growth, Tanzania reached an important milestone in July 2020, when it formally graduated from low-income to lower-middle-income country status. This achievement reflects sustained macroeconomic stability - in addition to the country’s rich natural endowments and strategic geographic position - that has supported growth. IDA has been a key development partner for Tanzania during this time, supporting outcomes in a number of critical areas including transport, education, health, social protection, energy, water, urban resilience, housing, information and communications technology (ICT) and governance. Aiming for a growth path that is more inclusive and sustainable, a key focus has been on addressing the rural-urban divide and boosting the enablers of poverty reduction. IDA has helped implement the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the United Republic of Tanzania for 2018-2022, supporting three focus areas: (i) enhancing productivity and accelerating equitable and sustainable growth, (ii) boosting human capital and social inclusion, and (iii) modernizing and improving the efficiency of public institutions. The CPF aligns with the priorities identified in the medium-term development plans of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.


Towards Equitable and Sustainable Growth

The World Bank is delivering on Focus Area 1 of the CPF, enhancing productivity and accelerating equitable and sustainable growth by, amongst other things, harnessing urbanization to promote growth and job creation. The Bank has provided long-standing support to Tanzania’s urban sector and since 2011 has financed over $1 billion in infrastructure investments and institutional strengthening in the areas of urban management, planning systems, service delivery, and own-source revenue collection. It has supported 24 secondary and smaller cities and towns in building capacity to develop city master and spatial plans, drainage, sanitation, and solid waste plans, and in setting up revenue collection systems.  

The transformation of the public transport system through the ongoing implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is raising the accessibility to locations and services within 60 minutes through public transport from 42 to 73 percent in Dar es Salaam. The Dar es Salaam BRT-1 which started operations in May 2016 remains the first operational BRT in East Africa. Over 4 million public transport passengers have benefited from the reduction in transit time by 24 minutes on average. Additionally, 392 graduate engineers, of which 199 are women, have benefited from the project.

Scaling up access to modern forms of energy is a key component of the Tanzanian government’s long-term economic growth plan. With World Bank support, electricity access in Tanzania has increased from 7 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2021, one of the fastest access expansion rates in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The ongoing Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Program (TREEP) has, to date, provided electricity to more than 6 million people in Tanzania, with new connections for more than 1,600 healthcare facilities, close to 6,500 education facilities and over 16,000 business enterprises. The Program has created employment and business opportunities for women, improved outcomes for students in remote parts of the country, and is helping Tanzania to diversify its energy mix by enhancing the use of renewable energy resources. Through additional IDA financing the TREEP expects to electrify 15 percent of the current off-grid population, which will increase the access rate in Tanzania from 43 to 50 percent, further contributing to the Government’s goal of achieving universal access to modern energy services by 2030.

The World Bank has also supported improvements in rural road access and employment opportunities for population in rural areas, in addition to building the capacity for the sustainable management of rural roads incorporating community engagement approaches. Over 22 million of the rural population across 25 of the 26 regions of mainland Tanzania will benefit from improved accessibility to services, markets, and opportunities; safer and resilient roads; improvement in transport services; and a reduction in travel costs and operation costs.

Enhancing Urban Resilience in Dar es Salaam

Between 2002 and 2012 Dar es Salaam was one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, urbanizing at 5.8 percent per annum. However, the benefits of urbanization were not being capitalized on, as it took place against a backdrop of major infrastructure deficits, inadequate planning, insufficient resources, and a fragmented and complex governance structure. Dar es Salaam also suffered regular, widespread flooding, situated as it is at a low elevation.

Between 2015 and 2023, the IDA-supported Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project (DMDP) worked to improve the city’s urban services and institutional capacity, and to facilitate potential emergency response. Over four million people have benefited from the infrastructure developed, including 207 kilometers of roads with street lighting, sidewalks and roadside drainage. Community amenities in 14 low-income areas were upgraded, including widely used health facilities, recreational public spaces, water kiosks, and markets. Seventy-five kilometers of trunk and secondary drains have been constructed in five river basins, together with the city’s first stormwater detention basins. Together, these are protecting 406 hectares of land, including many low-income neighborhoods, from one-in-10-year flood events. Comprehensive planning of the flood-prone lower Msimbazi river basin has led to a $260 million investment to upgrade this economically important urban area to be resilient to 100-year floods.

The drainage investments substantially reduced flood risk and disease and are preserving mobility across the city when it rains. “Before we used to experience cholera almost every year especially during the rainy seasons when our communities would flood,” says one resident. “The project’s drainage construction initiatives have helped us avoid the flooding episodes associated with disease and as a result we have not experienced cholera in the last two years”. 

Boosting Human Capital and Social Inclusion

The World Bank has helped Tanzania boost human capital and social inclusion by improving the quality of and access to learning and teacher training at the primary and secondary levels, as well as skills building and vocational training for youth. While primary enrollment has increased by more than 2.5 million since 2013, Tanzania’s education sector remains constrained by inequitable access to early learning and primary education for rural marginalized and vulnerable groups, inadequate school learning environments, low teacher competencies, and a shortage of teachers. The Tanzania Education Program for Results (P4R) tackled these challenges, reaching 5.6 million students between 2014 and 2021, and increasing the percentage of students achieving Grade 2 minimum numeracy skills from 8 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2019 The program, which began in 2022, supported Tanzania’s first teaching skills competition and gives the country’s 180,000 pre-primary and primary teachers access to school-based continuous professional development. Sophia Kawagere, a primary school teacher in Arusha and the winner of the first event, hopes the promise of recognition will inspire others. “I feel motivated to continue teaching with more creativity, knowing that my efforts will be recognized,” she said. Boost Primary Student Learning Project, which supported Tanzania’s first teaching skills competition and gives the country’s 180,000 pre-primary and primary teachers access to school-based continuous professional development.

Through the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project, the Government has been able to increase secondary education enrollment by 41 percent in the last 5 years and to enroll 3,333 former dropouts of secondary education in Alternative Education Pathways program with improved curriculum, buttressed by a policy reform that authorized all former dropouts including young mothers and pregnant girls to return and access free public secondary education. The first ever secondary education Teachers Continuous Professional Program focusing on sciences and mathematics was rolled out along with a Safe Schools Program. By 2022, the secondary school network had expanded with an additional 200 secondary schools aimed at taking schools nearer to communities, and 10 girls' regional secondary schools.

Improving youth skills and training has been the focus of other IDA-supported initiatives, such as the Education and Skills for Productive Jobs (ESPJ) P4R and the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP). The ESPJ Program established and operationalized the Skills Development Fund which enabled 45,700 trainees (49 percent female) to access short-term training, apprenticeships and internships, established Sector Skills Councils, and initiated quality assurance measures in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The employability rate of the sample of the 47,500 graduates for the short training programs was estimated at 80.9 percent.  In the past few years, the project has helped make 238 courses more demand-driven and competency-based, and student enrollment has more than tripled. Tracer studies conducted by the EASTRIP-allied colleges have so far shown a 65 percent average employment rate six months after graduation, with an enrollment rate of 64 percent for women.

The World Bank has also helped strengthen human capital and social inclusion through social protection, with the gradual expansion of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net Program (PSSN), since 2012, under the PSSN I and PSSN II projects. Around 5.1 million individuals have benefitted from one or a combination of cash transfers, labor-intensive public works, and enhanced livelihood activities. An impact evaluation of PSSN I demonstrated that households receiving cash transfers experienced an extra 10 percent reduction in poverty relative to those that did not, accompanied by a 20 percent boost in monthly consumption.  The Program has also led to observed improvements in children’s school enrollment and literacy, attendance of regular maternal and child health services by mothers, health insurance registration, food security, and assets accumulation. World Bank support for maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) services, provided through the Strengthening Primary Health Care for Results Program between between 2015 and 2021, contributed to a significant expansion in coverage for antenatal care, delivery, and post-natal care, as well as reproductive health services and nutrition. The proportion of pregnant women attending at least four antenatal care visits increased from 41 percent to 90 percent while skilled birth attendance increased from 58 percent to 79 percent.

Modernizing and Improving the Efficiency of Public Institutions

Aligned with the third focus area of the CPF, the World Bank has been working with Tanzania to improve public sector accountability and the efficiency of public institutions, investments, and service provision. This has included capacity building to improve the management of public services, especially human resources; and enhancing the transparency and accessibility of all public services to improve their accountability and efficiency, particularly by harnessing ICT and extending mobile broadband coverage, also linked to the promotion of equitable and sustained growth.

With a focus on extending coverage of broadband internet, the World Bank partnered with the Universal Communications Services Access Fund to extend mobile broadband coverage to an additional 3 million people in over 1,000 villages across the country. Through a competitive tendering process using reverse auctions, in which all five mobile operators in the country registered bids, universal service subsidies were awarded for construction of cell towers in areas not previously covered, and upgrading existing towers to provide 4G mobile service. As well as providing internet service, the enhanced coverage brings the possibility of using digital financial services to provide increased resilience in rural areas.

Since 2016, the World Bank has been assisting Tanzania’s Judiciary in improving the efficiency, transparency of, and access to, citizen-centric justice services. The Citizen-Centric Judicial Modernization and Justice Service Delivery Project has supported the introduction of mobile court services (justice-on-wheels) for rural and hard-to-reach areas, providing easier and faster access to justice services for vulnerable groups such as women and the poor. Case clearance rates through mobile courts have dropped to only 30 days, compared to 120 days in a normal court, and time spent in a court is down to 4 hours from 96 hours. Access to court services has also increased through the construction of six Integrated Justice Centers (IJC), including the first ever IJC in Africa dedicated to matrimonial, probate and other justice services for women. Eighteen subordinate courts have been constructed across the country, serving over 13 million citizens. Citizens’ access to high court services has increased from 69 percent to 85 percent, transparency has improved through increased online publication of high court and court of appeal decisions from below 5 percent to 85 percent, and the backlog in cases has reduced by 50 percent. The project has also led to a 33 percent increase in citizen confidence in justice services.

4.9 Billion in Cumulative Commitments Across IDA 19 and 20

Tanzania Results

98 Million Beneficiaries Reached Across Sectors

Tanzania Results


Supporting Access to Finance in Tanzania’s Housing Market

The Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC) was established in 2010 under the IDA-funded Tanzania Housing Finance Project to increase access to decent and affordable housing. Five thousand mortgages and two thousand housing micro-finance loans were provided through the project, and almost 34 percent of the beneficiaries were women. Following on the success of the project, private capital was mobilized, led by IFC which, with the support of the IDA Private Sector Window, invested up to $12 million in the TMRC in equity and bonds, and provided advisory services. A Housing Microfinance Fund was also created to provide medium-term liquidity to institutions offering housing microfinance loans to the low-income population. To ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the TMRC beyond the project period, the World Bank and IFC designed its access to capital markets through bond issuances. These interventions worked together to expand the housing finance market seven-fold, meaning banks could extend mortgage repayment periods, lower interest rates, and ultimately make loans more affordable. When the project closed in 2019, prefinanced mortgages had increased from 5.6 billion Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) in 2014, to 61 billion TZS in mid-2019; prefinanced eligible loans had increased from 3.8 billion TZS in 2014, to 16 billion TZS in mid-2019; and pre-financed loans had increased from 17 billion TZS in 2014, to 69 billion TZS in mid-2019.  


A new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) will be developed in partnership with the government of Tanzania and is currently planned for completion by May 2024. It will encompass a Completion and Learning Review of the CPF for FY18-22 which, in analyzing the Partnership over these years, will also inform the focus of the forthcoming CPF.