One of the critical challenges facing African countries today is how to make governments work for the people – using resources at their disposal efficiently, delivering public goods and services, and guaranteeing an equitable distribution of opportunities and national income among citizens. In many places, systems of checks and balances have not lived up to expectations in making state institutions deliver such public goods. As a result, citizen participation in government oversight is now recognized as almost indispensable. In representative democracies, citizens elect politicians at predefined intervals, who then take on the role of overseeing the executive. Members of Parliament (MPs) are one such group, along with local government councilors and, as chief of the executive, the president. Since these politicians obtain their mandate from voters through elections, they should be answerable primarily to the voters. In fact, with weaknesses in the functioning of horizontal checks and balances, the primacy of voters in holding their elected leaders to account cannot be overstated.
In successive Afrobarometer survey rounds, more than seven of 10 Tanzanians have said they feel free to say what they think, placing Tanzania near the top among African countries in perceived freedom of speech. The Tanzanian news media environment, however, is only partly free, according to Freedom House assessments, and recent years have witnessed extensive […]
Tanzanian Citizens Assess The Performance Of Parliament And Consider Its Responsibility For Legislation And Oversight
The key roles of legislatures are drafting, enacting (passing, amending and repealing) laws and exercising oversight over the executive branch of the government. In a democracy, legislators perform these roles as representatives of the people. In order to perform its essential functions, the legislative body, in this case, the Parliament of Tanzania, must be a […]
The survey results indicate that more citizens are aware of their tax obligations when access to tax information is easy. Furthermore, citizen’s educational attainment is associated with greater awareness of tax obligations, while urban residents are more often aware of their tax obligations than rural residents. Based on this evidence, the brief recommends improving access […]
The last two decades have seen Tanzania implement important reforms of its tax system in search for more reliable financing for development, other than foreign aid. Thanks to these efforts, revenue raised domestically has grown noticeably, from 12.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in fiscal year 1997/8 to 17.8 percent of GDP in 2011/12. […]