A history of development aid and poverty alleviation in Tanzania: a case study of finnish aid in Lindi and Mtwara regions.

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigates whether Finnish Development Aid has taken into account social relations in its attempt to alleviate poverty in Lindi and Mtwara regions, southeastern Tanzania. It is also a historical study of how these two regions have remained largely poor compared to the rest of the country. Finnish aid has been aiming at alleviating poverty among the highly poverty stricken people of southeastern Tanzania. Finnish aid approach to poverty alleviation in the 1960s-1970s was that economic prosperity would trickle down to the poor, thus tried to provide resource, expertise and technology to transform Tanzania into a modern state. This approach failed. After the collapse of the East and the Berlin Wall in 1970s to 1980s Finnish-aid approach to poverty alleviation in Tanzania has been through coercing Tanzania to adopt SAP policy. Its approach to poverty alleviation has since 1980s changed from technical to rural integrated. However, both the SAP policy and the rural integrated approach have failed to alleviate poverty in south eastern Tanzania.There has been lack of historical and relational analysis to development. This is likely because political and economic concerns and fears of the western capitalists have been the fundamental concern of providing Finnish aid to Tanzania since independence rather than poverty alleviation and consequently less benefit to poverty alleviation in Tanzania. This is revealed from the continued differentiation between the north and the south in social and economic needs like adequate; health, education, transport, tools of production, per capita GDP and reliable food supply, among others caused by an external oriented economy and its accompanied social relations serving the western capitalist needs. Finnish aid has also been established to maintain poverty because of the unequal power and resource distribution between the donor, the recipient (Government of Tanzania) and the target group (Southern poor). Consequently, Finnish aid sustains rather than eradicates inequalities and therefore continued poverty of the south-eastern poor.
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Economic assistance, Lindi and Mtwara Resources, Structural Adjustment Programme, Poverty, Tanzania
Shariff, R. (2000). A history of development aid and poverty alleviation in Tanzania: a case study of finnish aid in Lindi and Mtwara regions. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (