World Bank considers suspending funding to Tanzania over changes in the Statistics Law

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Klapton’s RUC* Committee reviewed the global lending institution statement that the law would undermine the production of useful and high quality data.

The Tanzania lawmakers passed amendments to the Statistics Act that would impose fines, at least three years jail time, or both, on anyone who questioned the accuracy of official figures.

Tanzania attorney general said the changes were needed to enforce standards.

Concerns were raised with the Tanzanian authorities that the amendments, if implemented, could have serious impacts on the generation and use of official and non-official statistics.

Opposition groups and other critics in Tanzania have said the changes were part of a broader government crackdown on dissent and criticism of its political and economic record – a charge which has been dismissed by authorities.

The World Bank said the changes to the law – which still have to be approved by President John Magufuli, were not in line with international standards.

The Tanzania government officials views are different and do not agree with the World Bank views.

The potential conflict with the World Bank may have little effect on Tanzania economy, as this conflict is viewed as a short-term dispute that will most probably be resolved by the parties in discussions to be held in the coming months.

However, it may slow down promotion of infrastructure projects proposed for funding by the World Bank, and may also delay spending on guarantees required for such projects.

Reviewed by Klapton’s RUC Committee, it was viewed that it shouldn’t delay the processes of accreditation under TIRA requirements, and that the Tanzania economy is still presenting a good prospect for guarantors and financial investments.

*Klapton’s RUC Committee (Reinsurance, Underwriting & Claims) reviews economic and political events affecting the guarantee markets in Africa, where Klapton provides guarantees to the business community.

by Assaf Reches

Photo by Daniel Afanador / CC BY 2.0