Oxfam livelihoods project tailoring studio in the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. Oxfam gave out grants to groups of refugees to start businesses that would provide them with an income, and several people now work here as tailors. Credit: Amy Christian/Oxfam

The United Republic of Tanzania is the largest of the East African countries. 42.5 million people live in Tanzania's 947,300 km² territory. Of Tanzania's 26 regions, 21 are on the mainland and five in Zanzibar.

Tanzania has enjoyed political stability and peace since independence and also possesses a wealth of natural resources. However, these advantages have not been translated into higher standards of living for the majority of the population. Tanzania is ranked 159th on the UNDP's Human Development Index. Relatively good scores on the life expectancy, adult literacy and school enrollment indicators compensate for a low GDP per capita of $744.

The poverty reduction targets of the Millennium Development Goals are very unlikely to be met in Tanzania: Although rates of economic growth have increased since 2000, levels of poverty have remained high. 33% of the population lived below the official basic needs poverty line in 2007 – a reduction of 2.5% in the preceding 7 years. The gap between the richest and the poorest is increasing as the benefits of growth flow to the wealthier sections of society. The poorest 10% have seen their standards of living decline during the last decade. Men earn 1.7 times more than women, although this ratio has decreased in recent years.

Oxfam in Tanzania

Oxfam has been working in Tanzania since the 1960s and it's based in five locations (Shinyanga, Morogoro, Loliondo, Arusha and Dar Es Salaam).

The program goals will be to ensure:

  1. Enhanced governance and transparency: Transformed power relationships between women, men, government, and businesses enables citizens to demand accountability and advocate for the provision of quality essential services.

  2. Women’s empowerment: Women are politically, economically and socially empowered to be transformative leaders and change agents within their households and communities.

  3. Tackling rural poverty: Rural women have access to and control of economic resources, including land, and influence over markets and investments to ensure sustainable food security and resilience to disasters, especially those induced by climate change.

The program ambition in this phase (2015 - 2019) is to explore work to: Embed innovation in youth and development: young women and men are empowered to be agents of change and are supported to influence policy implementation to create social, economic and political opportunities.