New cooperation programme with Tanzania
An assessment carried out in April 2008 indicated that the scope of the ongoing Indicative Cooperation programme (ICP) was far too broad, leaving Belgium spreading rather limited resources across too many domains. Another factor hindering the adoption of a consistent approach to bilateral cooperation was the sheer size of the geographical area over which the projects were spread.
So the new ICP is focussing mainly on two sectors: local government reform and the management of natural resources. These domains were chosen at Tanzania's request and also in light of the fact that in recent years Belgium has acquired extensive experience in them.
Local government reform
Belgium is providing financial and technical support to Tanzania's Local Government Reform Programme . This programme was set up to strengthen local governments and transform them into efficient facilitators of local economic and social development. It entails decentralising administrative responsibilities and financial resources to local governments. Consequently, local governments will assume responsibility for meeting local needs and will be answerable to local councils. This will make them driving forces of development, striving to respond to basic needs.
In November, Belgium was elected co-chair of the group of development partners for local government reform, which will give our country an opportunity to play a key role in this sector.
The management of natural resources
Natural resources play a crucial role in long-term economic development and the general reduction of poverty. Communities in Tanzania depend for their livelihood on natural resources - through fishing, agriculture, hunting, livestock rearing and forestry. For this reason, Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) is continuing to support Tanzanian initiatives combining environmental protection with economic development.