Government negotiations Germany supports Tanzania in introducing universal health insurance
The aim of the insurance scheme is to provide access to universal healthcare for all, which in Tanzania will benefit poorer population groups in particular. The German negotiation delegation was headed by the Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMZ, Dr Bärbel Kofler. The Tanzanian side was led by Finance Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba. Overall, Germany made commitments totalling 87 million euros.
Dr Kofler said: “Quality healthcare – something that we in Germany take for granted and see as an obvious part of a decent life – is something that in many other countries is a privilege of the few. By introducing a universal health insurance scheme, Tanzania has therefore made an important step towards achieving more solidarity and equality in society. Social protection systems do not only help to improve healthcare provision; they also contribute to more social equality. Germany will be at Tanzania’s side on this journey.”
In addition to poorer population groups, women and children in particular will benefit from the introduction of health insurance in Tanzania. Supporting them is one of the priorities of German development cooperation. That includes services in the field of maternal and child health and family planning services. We are also stepping up our efforts with regard to fighting violence against women and children, supporting the sexual self-determination of women, and promoting female employment in innovative sectors such as digital technology or renewables, for instance in areas like solar energy generation through the creation of new training opportunities and secure jobs.
Dr Kofler added: “It is a major step forward that the new Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has declared women’s empowerment a political priority and is speaking out publicly against gender-specific discrimination. For example, gender help desks for female victims of violence have been established at all higher education institutions and police stations. More and more women who are affected are using these offers. But the goal of building a society where there is no violence against women remains a major challenge.”
Even though Tanzania has experienced remarkable economic growth in the past few years, with a growth rate of 6 per cent, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. On the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), Tanzania ranked 163rd out of 189 countries in 2020. However, until the COVID-19 crisis, Tanzania’s economy was one of the strongest in sub-Saharan Africa. The crisis led to a massive decline in revenues, especially in nature tourism. At the same time, the population is growing very rapidly (at 3.1 per cent). Two thirds of the population are under the age of 24.