Tanzania’s leading think Tank REPOA in collaboration with the European Union Delegation to Tanzania and the East Africa, organized a workshop on how institutions enhance or constrain socio-economic transformation, particularly a transformation which puts industrialization at the centre of its development path. The workshop held in Dar es Salaam featured international and national high-level researchers, policy makers, development partners, CSOs and media to promote the research on how institutions may ease the industrialization development in Tanzania.
The workshop enhanced the understanding of the role of institutions (and individuals) in shaping the character of growth and socio-economic transformation, both in theory and practice in Tanzania. Furthermore, the workshop brought together researchers and members of governmental bodies, as well as civil society representatives, to further promote research and deepen policy dialogue on the institutional needs for the Second Five-Year Development Plan and Development Vision 2025.
One of the key findings of Repoa’s 22nd Annual Research Workshop was that institutions are responsible for shaping the type and form of growth and development. Institutions matter because they shape incentives governing key economic actors in societies in a manner that affects investments in physical and human capital and technology, and the organization of production. The importance of institutions cannot be over-emphasized as they not only determine economic growth and development but also various economic outcomes including, but not limited to, how resources are distributed in the society.
Institutions may be categorized as hard, for example, the parliament, judiciary, government ministries, departments and agencies, or soft, for example, taxes, laws and policies. They can also be viewed as informal, for example, norms, attitudes, beliefs, habits, or social, for example, inclusion/representation of different groups in society such as gender, class, religion etc.
Given that institutions matter in promoting economic development and noting the limited progress in Tanzania’s industrialization to date, it may be deduced that different forms and quality of institutions may need to be in place for the country’s industrialization agenda to be achieved.