Future Directions for Tanzania

Tanzania possesses many solid foundations in order to continue its trajectory of growth and political stability, which bodes well for its future role in regional and international spheres. In order to secure their possibility of continued strength and success as a nation, Tanzania must focus on several key issues. Leaders must first focus on addressing and improving underlying domestic problems, encourage and facilitate continued foreign partnerships, and solidify their regional power. All of these factors will help to secure Tanzania’s continued rise as a politically stable and economically relevant nation in the international system.

Throughout this term we have learned about the significance of domestic politics and its ability to affect political and economic stability. Corruption and neopatrimonialism are issues that plague many African governments and entrench domestic political and social divides. State elites are often heavily influenced by the role of neopatrimonial relations in their regimes, which subsequently effects their behavior and motivations in the political sphere and in dealing with various security challenges (Taylor and Williams, 2008). While Tanzania has taken great strides to combat corruption in its political system, it is still susceptible to these challenges. The current president, Magufuli, has lead initiatives to rebuild trust and end rampant corruption in the country (Muvunyi, 2016). Efforts like the ones that Magufuli is leading to combat corruption and to improve the reputation of the government, are critical to increasing domestic security. However, there have still been reports published about corruption and embezzlement of public funds and of issues that plague the judiciary (Otindo). More accountability and transparency is necessary to improve relations between the government and civilians. Additionally, more trust in the government can lead to more political stability, which builds a good foundation upon which leaders can create further changes. The provision of resources and protection of basic human securities should be another issue of critical importance to Tanzanian leaders. A nation should have the dominant role in provision of resources to its population, because it can help prevent the rise of non-state actors, particularly those with violent agendas (USIP). Provision of services further secures domestic stability, which is critical for engagement with other regional and international powers, thus this is something that Tanzanian leaders should focus on

As a relatively stable nation in Africa, Tanzania stands in a good position to increase its regional power and capabilities. It lacks internal strife and has also managed to remain largely uninvolved in regional disputes. However, this domestic stability has not necessarily translated into economic prosperity, which is something the nation could potentially expand by improving foreign partnerships (BBC). Tanzanian leaders should advertise their domestic stability and emphasize it as a favorable market for foreign investors. This could prove beneficial for improving the economic situation, while also improving Tanzania’s international position. China is presently one of the largest providers of economic assistance to Tanzania and gives funds to help improve infrastructure and other sectors. While China remains a key diplomatic partner for Tanzania, instead of letting their relations with this foreign entity weaken, Tanzania should push for and encourage a continued partnership. Because China is interested in Africa for development and economic projects, this is an opportunity that Tanzanian leaders should capitalize on, to help promote their own development and economic prosperity. In addition improving relations with external foreign powers, Tanzanian leaders should also focus on building strong regional partnerships and engaging with its neighbors.

As Herbst (2006) suggests, there will be some ‘winners’ and some ‘losers’ in Africa in the future as development continues and conflicts emerge. Tanzania certainly has the potential to be such a ‘winner,’ if its leaders focus on internal development and fostering foreign partnerships. Encouraging economic growth and limiting corruption are two critical issues that leaders need to focus on in order to secure domestic stability, which will then enable them to improve their relations with other regional and international partners. Tanzanian leaders should be aware of factors that could undermine their success and weaken their ability to succeed; moreover, they should be proactive and attempt to act in advance to mitigate issues that may arise.

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Herbst, Jeffrey, and Greg Mills. “Africa in 2020: Three Scenarios for the Future.”Brenthurst Discussion Papers, February 2006, 1-14.

Muvunyi, Fred. “Tanzania’s Magufuli Leads Fight against Corruption.” Deutsche Welle Africa, May 12, 2016. http://www.dw.com/en/tanzanias-magufuli-leads-fight-against-corruption/a-19252614.

Otindo, Oscar. “Major Problems Facing Tanzania Today.” Africa and the World. http://www.africaw.com/major-problems-facing-tanzania-today.

Taylor, Ian, and Paul D. Williams. “Political Culture, State Elites, and Regional Security in West Africa.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 26, no. 2 (June 12, 2008): 137-149.

United Institute of Peace. “Provision of Essential Services.” United States Institute of Peace. http://www.usip.org/guiding-principles-stabilization-and-reconstruction-the-web-version/8-stable-governance/provision-es.

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