small foundation with a big impact

President Magufuli

12-12-2018
Recent reports (among others in de Volkskrant) about President Magufuli's policy give cause for concern.
 
Magufuli was elected President in 2015 after an election campaign aimed at combating the enormous corruption in Tanzania and to take better control of state spending. With these themes the President has energetically set to work and has honored his nickname `the bulldozer`. The international community also looked with confidence at attempts to create a reliable government and the targeted investments in the infrastructure. After all, these are two fundamental pillars for the development of a country.
 
This strong leader, however, now also develops very unpleasant sides, which cause his support at home and abroad to erode. His attempts to silence the opposition speaks the most here. Journalists are disappearing in Tanzania! His plea for large families, bad anti-AIDS policies and condemnation of homosexuality have meanwhile made the World Bank and Denmark decide to put utilities on hold.
 
This naturally calls into question the impact this has on our activities and how we should respond to them. We applaud the anti-corruption measures and the introduction of taxes (and above all the actual collection of taxes), despite the strong increase in our cost base; For example, we now pay VAT on all our purchases. However, the short-term effect on small businesses in Tanzania is negative, because taxes really have to be paid. Poverty seems to increase, but hopefully this is a temporary effect.
 
The violation of fundamental human rights is obviously completely unacceptable. Fortunately, we are independent and we determine our own policy - said within the framework of the school inspection and with due observance of laws and regulations. This freedom still allows us to raise and educate our children according to the standards and values ‚Äč‚Äčthat also suit us. However, this is not a matter of course. We must be alert to this and therefore explicitly seek dialogue with our people in Tanzania. We stand for a new generation of Tanzanians who are open and tolerant in life.
 
We asked the Dutch Government for their opinion and received the following reaction from Paul Litjens, Head of Central and Southern Africa Department of Sub Sahara Africa:
"Just like the World Bank and Denmark, the Netherlands is concerned about the political developments in Tanzania, particularly with regard to the scope for civil society and human rights. The investment climate has deteriorated in recent years. The government has conveyed these concerns to the Tanzanian government, and the Netherlands has also raised the concerns in a European context. The European Union issued a joint statement on the situation in Tanzania on 15 November.  in the light of recent developments, EU decided to review the policy towards Tanzania. This review is still ongoing. At the same time, the EU, including the Netherlands, considers it important to continue the dialogue with Tanzania, both for the Tanzanian government, for the opposition and civil society."
 
We will of course continue to follow developments closely.
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