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Numerous laws ‘choke’ Tanzania philanthropy

Wednesday July 18, 2018

By Joe Lihundi

Tranquility News Reporter, Arusha

A latest report has attributed stunted growth of philanthropy organisations in Tanzania to fragmented regulatory frameworks governing the sector.

The Companies Act Cap 212, NGOs Act No. 24 of 2002, the Trustees Incorporation Act 1956, and the Societies Act, Cap 337, all are meant for overseeing the sector.

This is despite the fact that several oversight ministries, state departments or agencies are charged with overseeing the same sector.

Most of the philanthropy stakeholders interviewed during the study on the state of philanthropy in Tanzania said complying with all these different regulatory regimes was complicated, time consuming and costly.

A decade ago, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy funded the construction of the first primary school in Arusha, Tanzania, designed to meet the needs of deaf and disabled children.

Besides non-conducive regimes, other challenges facing the sector are the inability to diversify funding sources, limited linking and joint learning, accountability hiccups among the actors and absence of safe and easy to use channels for giving.

Philanthropy generated about $549 million between 2012 and last year, equivalent to an annual average of $109 million, thanks to the absence of fiscal and tax incentives to promote the sector in the country.

While International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) contributed 71.7 per cent of the philanthropy receipts, Trusts and Foundations donated 12 per cent and bilateral and multilateral agencies 4.5 per cent.

The most consistent sources of funding to the sector were Trusts and Foundations by 45.1 per cent, INGOs by 41.2 per cent and individuals by 31.3 per cent. Companies and the government funded barely 1.1 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.

Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy and Sanctuary Swala work with Mwika Village on a grassroots beekeeping project, emphasising the preservation of the environment to bring rewards to the community on the western border of Tarangire National Park. PHOTOS | AGENCIES

The Lake Zone got a lion’s share of 20.5 per cent out of the funds closely followed by the Northern Zone 18.6 per cent, the Western Zone 16.7 per cent, the Coastal Zone 14.1 per cent, the Southern Highlands Zone 10.9 per cent, Zanzibar 10.3 per cent and the Central Zone 9 per cent.

The support was directed to livelihoods development (54.4 per cent), education (53.7 per cent), health (45 per cent) and governance (43 per cent).

Other sectors the support was invested in were environment (32.9 per cent), agriculture (23 per cent), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) (19 per cent), emergency relief 15 per cent and sports and culture at (14 per cent).

The study shows that most philanthropists support service provision in these areas instead of systemic issues underlying the lack of delivery even if they acknowledge the need for it.

Philanthropic giving towards disasters, funerals, weddings and other causes of catastrophes and festivities are quite high compared to giving towards structural or long-term development causes such as health and education.

This should also be aimed at unifying the definitions and local understanding of philanthropy and philanthropists within the context of Tanzania,” Report

The philanthropy stakeholders said the amount the sector generated in the past five years could double or even triple had laws, polices and institutions governing actors in the country been consolidated.

“This should also be aimed at unifying the definitions and local understanding of philanthropy and philanthropists within the context of Tanzania,” the study reads in part.

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) commissioned the study along with the Tanzania Philanthropy Forum (TPF) to generating data and information on the state of philanthropy in Tanzania, while Strategic Connections Limited facilitated it.

The FCS and the TPF intend to use the study outcomes to share learning across the philanthropy sector, stimulate joint advocacy among key philanthropy actors, as well as to guide further development of the sector.

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