International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Making Decentralization Promote Empowerment of the Local People: Tanzanian Experience
Cliford J. Ringo, Henry A. Mollel

Decentralization is a form of governance that has recently gained much emphasis in Africa. This form of governance is emphasized as it promotes popular participation in decision making. It involves the transferring of powers and resources to the lowest levels of government. However, transfer of the sought powers and resources to enable the local people take their destiny on their own ends has remain a challenge. Some studies have shown a gap between policy theory and practice in the ground. This paper highlights the contemporary state of decentralization in Tanzania by examining community’s autonomy in development projects. The paper employs secondary data analysis from various documents. It was found that community voice was less reflected in the Council Comprehensive Development Plans (CCDP). It is through CCDP community voices on development projects are expected to be observed. In most cases community levels development projects were superimposed by the central government. Community’s wishes were only observed in situation where they coincided to “central government’s priorities’’. It is argued that new strategies and mechanisms are needed to make decentralization a reality in promoting popular participation. This is a manifestation that more commitment is required from the government to support it. The paper finally gives some recommendations to improve procedures and practices of decentralization in Tanzania.

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