One obstacle is the high rate of population growth, which is about three per cent. For the majority of Tanzania’s population, the fundamental economic and social rights to education, health, social protection, food and water are only met in the most basic way.
Almost 20 per cent of school-aged children do not go to school. Only a bare 70 per cent of the children who are enrolled actually finish primary school. There is a lack of qualified teachers, and teaching and learning conditions are poor in the crowded and for the most part sparsely equipped schools. There are also clear deficits when it comes to the availability and quality of vocational training.
Despite the good progress that has been made in past years – for example with regard to reducing child mortality and the HIV infection rate – health care still has a lot of room for improvement, especially as regards health care for women. The health sector is underfinanced and there is a huge shortage of trained staff. A large share of the population has no insurance in case of illness. There have been plans since 2016 to introduce a general health insurance scheme that would also cover the poor. The first preparatory steps have been taken; however, the scheme has not yet been introduced and funding remains uncertain.
Diseases like diarrhoea and cholera, which are caused by unclean water, are widespread. More than half the rural population has to manage without hygienically clean water. Access to clean drinking water has improved in recent years, but is still inadequate. Only about one in three people in Tanzania has access to basic sanitation. The main reasons for the deficits in sanitation are infrastructure that is either non-existent or derelict, inadequate management of the institutions responsible for sanitation and water, and a level of population growth that repeatedly wipes out any progress made in providing these services.