CCDO in Tanzania – for the eradication of poverty


By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following let us go back to Tanzania with another interview with Majaliwa Mbogella of the organization CCDO, the Children Care Development Organization, in the town of Iringa in Tanzania. We talked about the main social and economic problems in the countries, the rogramms for women and children the organization organizes. CCDO is a grassroot organization focussing on education, and community empowerment. Would like to thank Majaliwa for all the photos and so detailed answers to our questions.  


Give us some general information about your organization.
The Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) is a non- profit organization formed / founded on 13rd April, 2010 under Non-Governmental Organization Act, 2002 with Registration No. ooNGO/00003818 from the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children of the United Republic of Tanzania and mandated to operate in Tanzania Mainland in accordance with its governing Constitution. This is a National NGO.Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) is located in Iringa town of Iringa region in Tanzania. It is located between latitudes 6° 55¹ and 10 ° 30¹ south of the Equator and between longitudes 33° 45¹ and 36° 55¹ east of Greenwich. To the north of the region are Singida and Dodoma regions. It borders Morogoro region in the east and Ruvuma region and via Lake Nyasa the Republic of Malawi.  
The CCDO it formed to address the main economic and social issues faced by the most vulnerable children (MVC /OVC) and poor rural marginalized women living under vivid poverty and injustice under the following vision and mission statements;
1)     To strengthen local community through the promotion of education and access           to health care and information, in the hope of building capacity and resilience within our more deprived sectors
2)     To develop sustainable livelihood and conservation programs within our region, whilst promoting human rights, advocacy and positive life choices and decisions
3)     To build a vibrant, efficient and sustainable Revolving Fund Programme which will promote economic and social development of the economically active poor people in Iringa Municipality and elsewhere, by building their capacity through training and non-formal education and improving their opportunities to access and to eradicate the root causes of poverty in local communities so as to enable them attain self reliance and sustainability by setting up viable / profitable micro business to generate income for their families.  Therefore, CCDO is dedicated to reducing poverty by helping the lowest income rural women, and the economically active poor women in Iringa and Njombe Regions of Tanzania to start or expand micro businesses.
Since its inception, CCDO has performed various activities and such activities included:
1)     The primary problems in the area include the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, poverty, drought in some areas, incapacitation due to illness, and a growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs). To combat these problems, CCDO currently supports approximately 250 OVCs/ MVCs and 103 Women Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) by fulfilling their nutritional and clinical needs and providing them with small soft loans fund , counseling and referral hospital services, tailoring and ICT training that is relevant to their needs, and education
2)     Providing Healthcare to OVCs/ MVCs  and PLWHAs
3)     Ensuring that 250 OVCs /MVCs Complete Basic Education
4)     Providing OVCs/ MVCs with Adequate and Secure Shelter
5)     Improving the Psychosocial Well-Being of 250/MVCs/  OVCs and 1500 PLWHAs
6)     Improving the Nutritional Status and Food Security of OVCs/MVCs  and PLWHAs
7)     Fighting Social Stigma and Improving Legal Rights of OVCs/ MVCs  and PLWHAs
8)     Providing Home-Based Care services.
9)     Have trained 67 New Groups of 620 rural women clients.  The clients were reached in locations such as the cub-Counties of Kihesa, Mtwivila, Gangilonga, Kwakilosa, Mlandege, Nduli, Miyomboni, Ilala, Mlandege, Ipogolo, Igeleke, and Mkwawa wards inIringa Municipality.
10)The rural women were able to access the first cycle of loans of US $ 100 each.  Totaling US ($) 10,000.
11) Three of our Field Officers attended one-week training workshop in Micro-Finance Best Practices organized by Tumaini University at Iringa, Uganda Change Agent Association, and AMFIU – Association of Micro Finance Institutions of Uganda.
12) Trained 35 women in business skills and group management.
13) We are also involved in women and youth energy saving and conservation projects including the project of tree planting, climate change and environmental conservation around Ruaha National Park and Kitulo National Park at Makete Rural District of Njombe Region of Tanzania.
14) Under the program Bake for Life from Uganda Change Agent Association, we train rural women how to bake bread, bans, pans and doughnuts as an income generating activity.
15) Under the program Reducing Community Poverty through Practical ICT Solutions, we trained urban youth and children on ICT poverty solutions programs.
16) Construction of CCDO  School and Professional Development Center that is working to provide vocational training skills to among most vulnerable girls known as early pregnancy girls who failed to complete their Primary School Education and Secondary School (
What are the main economic and social issues in Tanzania?
The youngsters in Tanzania have got economic and social problems. The economic problem is lack of employment opportunities. Even though youth population is dominant in the Country, there are no enough jobs to absorb them and there is very high unemployment. As a result the youth do involve in illegal activities such as theft, gangsters, kidnapping and so on to sustain their lives. Common social problems are lack of recreation or entertainment centers, inadequate social facilities (health, education, and housing), etc. The lack of recreation center has led to engagement of youth in bad habits such as chewing chat (local stimulant plant) and drinking alcohol. In the study made by youth, sport and culture department of Iringa region 75% of the youth indicated that the reason for problems caused by youth in the town is lack of entertainment centers for them. The same study also shows that 66.7% the youth spend their time chewing chat, as there is no place for recreation. In the study 75% of the youth indicated that establishment of youth center could alleviate the problems of the above-mentioned bad habits.
To observe the problems of youth one can easily go to the streets of Iringa and observe the army of youth wondering joblessly. In every streets of Iringa it is common to see them in a very large number crowding the streets without any work .If these are mobilized in organized manner, they can really bring about great change in their lives and in the society. Youth at present is being scorched by HIV/AIDS. In Iringa town the report from Iringa Government Hospital indicates that the pandemic is as high as -11%. Besides 64% of the hospital HIV/AIDS patients occupy beds. The youth are one of the prime victims of the pandemic. Thus it is essential to act as soon as possible to reverse the deteriorating situation of the youth at least to maintain the sustenance of our generation. Their potentials could be used for the development of the nation if attention is paid to them. They could also contribute to attainment of our development agenda that we are hoping to attain.  
The CCDO, currently it is involved in addressing the main economic and social issues in Tanzania due to the current social, economic and political issues due to the truth that;
In 1964, after Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged, and the newly independent Tanzania was founded, its first president was the important Tanzanian leader, Julius Nyerere. In 1967, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration calling for Tanzania to adopt policies of egalitarianism, socialism, and self-reliance;-
1)     While the new policies resulted in the building of new schools and the improvement of water delivery to various parts of the country, the decision to establish communal farms was a disaster, resulting in huge reductions in agricultural production.
2)     By the 1980s, it was clear that the economic policies adopted by Tanzania in the Arusha Declaration had failed. Nyerere resigned from the presidency in 1985 although he remained an important political leader in the country. Tanzania suffered a large devaluation in its currency, saw its education and healthcare systems nearly collapse and its industrial production slow down. Tanzania’s economic crisis continued through the early 1990s. Foreign donors to Tanzania blamed the country’s one-party system and socialist policies for many of the problems. As a result of pressure from foreign donors, Tanzania repealed its laws providing for a one-party political system. Since then, a number of political parties have emerged in Tanzania. But the country’s president continues to be the dominant political force.
3)     The last two presidents have been pursuing economic reforms but the country is still one of the poorest countries in Africa.
4)     In addition to politics, a number of problems contribute to Tanzania’s poor economic condition. The country is plagued by tsetse flies that inflict the people and animals of Tanzania.
5)     As a result, much of the population lives on the border of the country, leaving much of the central land empty.
6)     Additionally, the population is dramatically lacking in medical professionals, with only “1 doctor for every 229000 people.”
7)     Due to the prevalence of subsistence farming, a huge part of the population lives in poverty.
8)     he reliance on agriculture is also being affected, as “land degradation is reducing the productivity of soils in many parts of Tanzania…Factors…include, among others, inappropriate cultivation techniques; a growing population; growing energy requirements; overstocking; and insecure land tenure.”
9)     Another issue affecting soil quality is the shift from “long periods of fallow with short periods of farming” to “long periods of farming with short fallow periods. This practice does not allow sufficient time for revegetation and recovery of soil fertility,
Current and future challenges and opportunities in Tanzania
Tanzania has undergone impressive political and economic developments and improvements in social welfare in recent years. However, the country continues to face considerable development challenges, not least in essential areas such as economic distribution, population growth, corruption and a stronger division between party and state. At the same time, new opportunities are arising which have the potential to become decisive for the necessary changes and reforms. 
Tanzania has been a macro-economic success story for nearly two decades. The rate of economic growth increased from 3.5 pct. in the 1990s to 7 pct. in the 2000s. Despite the global financial crisis, growth rates have been remarkably stable over the last decade, and they are expected to continue or even increase in the foreseeable future. At the same time, the country has experienced high population growth – from 11 million people in 1963 to around 45 million in 2012. Population growth remains high, at nearly 3 pct. annually. If this growth rate continues, there will be 53 million Tanzanians in 2018 and 100 million in 2042.
Economic growth and decades of massive international aid have created many good results, but it is important to recall that the growth began from a very low starting point and that poverty in Tanzania has proven extremely stubborn. With an annual GDP per capita of USD 532 (2011) and a Human Development Index rank among the lowest 20%, Tanzania is one of the poorest 15 nations in the world. More than two-thirds of the population live below the internationally recognized income poverty line of USD 1.25 per day and almost 90 pct. live on under two dollars per day. Around one-third live below the “basic needs poverty line” corresponding to around USD 0.96 per day.1 Measured by this limit, official poverty levels declined slightly from 39% of the population in 1992 to 34% in 2007, to 28% in 2012. Due to population growth, however, this relative decrease still means that the actual number of people living below the poverty line has remained relatively constant level of 11-12 million Tanzanians. Official surveys show a constant level of inequality from 2001 to 2007 (Gini 0.35). Other calculations, however, show a 20% increase in inequality in the same period.2 The degree of inequality can be illustrated by the fact that the richest 20% of Tanzania’s population accounts for 42% of total consumption, whereas the poorest 20% consume only 7%.
The modest reduction in poverty illustrates that economic growth has not been sufficiently broad-based. Growth is concentrated in telecommunications, financial services, retail trade, mining, tourism, construction and manufacturing. While growth was formerly driven largely by public spending and international aid, this is no longer the case. Growth today is generated mainly by the private sector, but the sectors with the highest rates of growth are predominantly capital-intensive and concentrated in large urban areas. Growth has largely failed to affect the great challenges, generating more employment and additional jobs in all parts of society and improving incomes for the vast majority of the population.
One major cause for the lack of poverty reduction despite economic growth is that Tanzania has not succeeded in raising productivity in agriculture over the last decades. Tanzania remains predominantly agricultural, with three quarters of the population living in rural areas. Eighty percent of Tanzania’s poor live in rural households. Growth in the agricultural sector remains low, at around 4% per year, and in the rural areas the growth in productivity can barely keep up with population growth. The birth rates in rural areas are high (6.1 births per woman compared to 3.7 in the urban areas).
While donors and the government have used significant resources to improve the social sectors, similar necessary support has not been given to agriculture and other productive sectors. Lack of secure land tenure to ensure that the traditional users in the rural districts do not lose their land is one of the most essential issues, constraining investments that could enhance productivity. Processing of food and other agricultural produce and other forms of manufacturing is also very limited in the rural areas creating very few additional employment opportunities.
For the same reason, Tanzania is experiencing significant out-migration of young people from low productivity agriculture to urban informal service sectors, where productivity is just as low. Unemployment is high and growing rapidly, especially in the urban areas and among youth. The official unemployment rate is 12% and is highest in the cities, reaching 32% in Dar es Salaam (2006). In addition, one-third of those employed are so-called “working poor”: technically employed, but whose income is less than the basic needs poverty line of USD 0.96 per day. They often work either in farming or in the urban informal service sector in low-productivity, part-time jobs. An estimated 700,000 new young job-seekers enter the labour market each year, but only a fraction of them have a realistic possibility of obtaining a stable job that can give them the possibility to provide for a family. The flow from countryside to city of rural-urban migration will continue in years ahead, and Dar es Salaam is already one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.
In sharp contrast to the largely stagnating extreme poverty, Tanzania has seen the emergence of a small, but growing urban middle class. It is a relatively small group, only around 10% of the population, but it has growing purchasing power, substantial political influence, and it has posed political and economic demands – for cheap electricity, imported goods, and better urban social services and infra-structure in the urban areas. The Government is working hard to meet these demands, through for instance, large subsidies for cheap electricity, comprehensive tax exemptions to foreign and national companies as well as government employees, and large non-taxed per diem allowances for civil servants. These government’s attempts to satisfy the middle class run the risk of further increasing, rather than reducing, the inequality in society. This can threaten the continued peace and stability as well as social cohesion in Tanzania.
With the recent discoveries of significant gas reserves in addition to its already large mineral resources, Tanzania’s long-term economic prospects appear promising, and these resources have already attracted foreign investors. However, the benefits to be derived from the exploitation of natural resources will not significantly materialize for another 10 years or so, and it is crucial to ensure macroeconomic management. In recent years, the Government has increased its use of both interest-bearing and low interest concessional borrowing. As a result of the increased borrowing, Tanzania’s public debt has jumped from 28% to 40% of GDP in only four years. The debt continues to grow rapidly, with corresponding increase in debt servicing and repayment. The country’s financial sustainability is not yet threatened, but debt management has become increasingly more important, and there is a strong need for significant strengthening of control of public investments. There is especially a need for greater openness in public contracts and procurement. 
Poverty cannot be measured simply by examining income distribution and distribution of assets alone. The official statistics focus only on private consumption and therefore underestimate the importance of consumption of public goods. The statistics thus underestimate the improvements achieved in recent years. The Tanzanian government has chosen to spend significant resources on provision of public goods to the population. As a consequence, access to water, education and health services have improved substantially over the last decades. As a result, Tanzania has moved up seven places on the Human Development Index (HDI) from 2006 to 2013, an index published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Tanzania has also made progress in its efforts to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Tanzania has placed special emphasis on education, and great improvements have been made in the population’s access to primary education. Today, Tanzania is one of the few low-income countries that are close to achieving universal primary education. Progress has also been made in efforts to reduce inequalities between girls and boys in access to education and in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, malaria and several other diseases. In the health sector, general success has been achieved in extending access to basic health services, and the results can be seen in the increasing number of children who survive. There have been declines in both infant mortality rate (the official child mortality rate) as well as in mortality for children under five years of age. However, there continue to be major challenges in reducing maternal mortality. Public spending on education has increased substantially in recent years, whereas health expenditures have declined, both in absolute value and as a share of the national budget.
Across all social sectors, there are major and sustained needs to increase the quality of services offered. The massive expansion of coverage and the attempt to reach out to everyone with education and health services, has reduced the quality of services across the board. Recent studies show comprehensive and persistent quality problems in both primary and secondary education, the consequence being that pupils leave school with entirely inadequate skills. In 2012, 60% of the students failed the public secondary school examinations.
The quality of primary health care has been negatively affected by a range of factors, including shortage and poor distribution of health workers, poor access to essential medicines and poor infrastructure. This situation is further affected by the rapidly growing population. One of the signs that the quality of healthcare services is inadequate is seen in the fact that there has been only a very slight increase in the proportion of women, who give birth at a public health institution. In 2004, 47% of Tanzania’s women gave birth in public health clinics. Six years later in 2010, the proportion had increased to only 50%.
Over the past years, the government of Tanzania has managed to reduce the proportion of unfilled health worker positions from 65% in 2007 to 41% in 2011. This is a significant improvement, but it is still just over half the positions which are occupied.
Access to social services continues to be unequally distributed. For both health and education, there are significant disparities in access to services and in the distribution of public expenditures to different groups in society. This concerns differences between rich and poor, where one lives in the country and differences between rural and urban areas. For example, the number of nurses in the health services per capita is 30 times greater in the best endowed district in the country than the worst. More than half of all Tanzania’s physicians work in Dar es Salaam. It is therefore not surprising to see that the proportion of women who choose to deliver their babies in health clinics is also three times greater than in the rest of the country. This shows how important it is to have strong focus on improving the quality and equal access for the population to social services. These factors that have been somewhat overlooked by the MDG’s focus on achieving as many targets as possible. 
From a regional perspective, Tanzania continues to have a relatively positive human rights record. Tanzania has ratified most of the international human rights instruments and established institutional frameworks to support democratic governance and the implementation of human rights. After the UN’s most recent Universal Periodic Review from 2011, the Tanzanian government accepted several of the recommendations made by the review. This can be seen as a sign of the Tanzanian government’s continued commitment to improve the human rights situation. However, despite the positive general framework, there remains considerable scope for very significant improvements in the actual human rights situation for the population in general.
The constitution provides for basic civil and political rights, including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. Civil society and media outlets have played a much greater role in domestic politics in recent years, and this has led to increased surveillance of media by the government. However, freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom are regulated by outdated legislation, that enables the government to ban critical newspapers, and several have been banned for various periods of time. Self-censorship is also occurring. The judiciary remains largely independent, but there has been concern over incidences of Tanzania not having lived up to international standards of fair trial, while corruption continues to be a major challenge. Lack of capacity and resource constraints, including legal, are a further obstacle for the majority of citizens gaining effective access to the rule of law, based on timely and just treatment of their cases. In addition, there occur occasional incidents of mob justice and extra judicial killings.
While efforts have been made to promote the practical implementation of economic, social and cultural rights, the full realization of these rights continues to be a major challenge. Unemployment is high, and international labour standards are not effectively implemented or enforced effectively. Gender inequalities are deeply rooted in socio-cultural traditions, and violence against women and children, including domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and child labour continue to be widespread. There is also widespread continuing concern over lack of secure sexual and reproductive rights, the result of which are continued high rates of preventable infant, under-five and maternal mortality. There are also very high rates of teenage pregnancies, and women lack access to information and assistance in family planning and other reproductive health care services.
Further, some minority groups like CCDOs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex), people with albinism and indigenous groups continue to face discrimination in Tanzanian society.


In terms of good governance, Tanzania achieves average scores in global rankings. One sign of progress is that citizens are beginning to demand more insight and influence than previously. Citizens, parliament, media and civil society are increasingly demanding that the government act responsibly, and that it be accountable to the population. Tanzania has also recently seen improvements in budget transparency and people’s access to information, but the political environment continues to be dominated by a top-down approach.
The government is constantly challenged on issues of effectiveness and rule of law, and the fight against corruption continues to be one of Tanzania’s major challenges.
Decades of reforms in the public sector have resulted in Tanzania scoring relatively better than most other African countries on Public Financial Management (PFM). A wide range of laws, regulatory bodies and systems have been enacted and implemented over the last 15 years. Procurement regulation is of international standard, but it continues to be a challenge to ensure compliance with these standards. Public budgets have become more transparent and open, but the citizens’ active engagement in these issues continues to be modest. The oversight capacity of the National Audit Office continues to improve, and its reports are being discussed among the public and in parliament, but following up the Audit Office’s recommendations continues to be a challenge.
Over the past decade, the government has been successful in increasing tax revenues, partly through more effective tax administration. Collections correspond to almost 18% of GDP, which is high by African standards. A challenge for the future is to revise tax policies so that the tax burden is distributed more broadly in society. Of particular concern is the large amount of tax exemptions, which is estimated to cause annual losses of almost 4% of GDP. In addition, the complex and non-transparent system of exemptions contributes to corruption. Rationalizing of the system and reducing the number of exemptions requires a comprehensive technical and professional effort and capacity, but political will and resolve are equally important.
Corruption remains a central and serious challenge for Tanzania, in terms of both good governance and for the entire social development. The levels of petty and grand corruption identified in international and domestic surveys continue to be of considerable concern and affect all sectors of the economy from public service delivery to natural resource exploitation, industrial production and business. The formal anti-corruption legislation and anti-corruption institutions in Tanzania are comparable to those of most other African countries. Hence, in principle, there should also be good possibilities to initiate a far more effective struggle against corruption, but this requires a combination of political commitment and increased engagement from the media, civil society and the parliament. There have been some positive developments in recent years, but key challenges remain in implementing and enforcing the legislation. Similarly, it is a great problem that very few of the corruption cases end up being prosecuted in the courts.
New major opportunities and initiatives are underway. Steps have been taken to implement legislation and to meet the standards promoted by organizations such as the Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) through its project of “Increasing Women’s Awareness on Good Governance in Tanzania” under support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWD), See the attached Report for further information awareness regarding our contribution to the promotion of women rights in Tanzania. This entails strengthening of domestic revenue and financial management, and positive developments within PFM reforms. Crucial, however, is a continued strengthening of the systems and mechanisms for openness, accountability and transparency in the public system. 
Tanzania is rich in natural resources and has one of the highest forest covers in East and Southern Africa. The wildlife is rich, and the tourism sector is growing rapidly, currently contributing with 18% of the country’s GDP. The mining industry has experienced high, but greatly fluctuating growth rates in the last decade with an annual average growth rate of 15% per year. However, it should be noted that the growth departs from a low base, and that the mining industry constitutes less than 5% of Tanzania’s GDP. The government expects that the mining sector will grow to 10% of GDP by 2025. Natural resources already account for a large proportion of Tanzania’s exports. In 2010, mineral export alone accounted for almost one-third of Tanzania’s total exports.
The recent discoveries of very large off-shore reserves of natural gas and potentially oil will make the extraction industry in Tanzania even more important. The expected intensified extraction, export and domestic exploitation of Tanzania’s natural resources holds great economic potential. It could contribute to solving the country’s long-standing energy crisis and significantly boost domestic revenue. Current estimates are that when gas exploitation reaches full production, incomes from extraction alone will be more than three times current ODA to Tanzania. Over the short to medium term, however, revenues from the natural gas will not be significant, and it is possible that the government may choose to mortgage its future income in order to satisfy short term needs. This tendency is already evident from the increase in government borrowing.
Based on current experience from the mining industry, there is no certainty that the exploitation of natural gas will generate large numbers of new jobs, unless significant new policy measures are taken to ensure this. The government is aware of the potential benefits to the nation’s economic development if linkages between gas exploitation and the local economy can be established, e.g. through local processing and subcontracting. Existing tax policies are being reviewed in order to use international experience to ensure national public revenues from exploitation of the gas reserves. In 2012, Tanzania’s policies in the extraction sector were declared compliant with the EITI standards, and implementation of the necessary legislation has begun.


Tanzania’s economy remains vulnerable to the environment. The country has relied heavily on hydropower to meet its electricity needs, but in recent years, electricity production generation has proven insufficient, due partly to poor rainfall and depletion of hydro reservoirs. The impact of climate variability Tanzania’s predominantly rainfall-based agriculture is also very evident. Most of the country’s agriculture is directly dependent on annual rainy seasons, and there is a close relationship between variations in the amount of rainfall and differences in the country’s annual economic growth. Agricultural production accounts for nearly half of Tanzania’s GDP, and reduced agricultural productivity has already occurred as a result of changes in rainfall patterns. In some regions, this has created problems for the total food production and food security. In early 2013 Tanzania adopted its first ever strategy to reduce the negative impact of climate change. 
Tell us something about your microfinance program and why it focuses on women? What about its impact?
The project of CCDO Capacity Building and Women Empowerment Project focuses on women due to the fact that, in recent years, governmental and non-governmental organizations in developing countries have introduced microfinance programs offering financial services to low income households especially targeting women. In 2007, more than 100 million of the world’s poorest families received microfinance and women made up 80 percent of the clients. The growth in the number of very poor women reached has gone from 10.3 million at the end of 1999 to 88.7 million at the end of 2007 (Microcredit Summit Campaign 2009). This is 7.6 times increase in the number of poorest women. The increase represents additional 78 million poorest women receiving microfinance in the last eight years. Access to credit has received greater attention in the context of poverty reduction and women’s empowerment objectives. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. They set measurable and time bound goals, which range from combating poverty, promoting gender equity and empowering women. With the aim to meet MDGs, there has been an increasing expectation on the impact of microfinance programs on women empowerment. 
However, in Tanzania women are still suffering from poverty income although most of the microfinance borrowers are women. One can ask questions, “Why most microfinance borrowers are women?” This is because formal sector commercial banks tend to favor men, mainly because men run the larger business that commercial banks favor. In addition, men tend to control the assets that bank seeks as collateral. Thus, traditionally women have been disadvantaged in access to credit and other financial services despite the fact that nearly 70% of the world’s poor are women. Therefore, increase in the number of poorest women receiving microfinance leads to good effect on poverty reduction. It may deliver stronger development impacts. Blumberg (1989) finds that women tend to be more concerned about children’s health and education than their husbands. Children’s welfare improves as women’s earning power increases. It suggests that lending to women yields greater social and economic impacts.
Microfinance enables women not only to increase the bargaining power within households, but also enables them to undertake income generating activities. It is estimated that women-owned businesses account for over one-third of all firms, and they are the majority of businesses in the informal sectors in developing countries. They play a major role in creating jobs and generating income for low income people. This means that expanding microfinance services for women may be the key to alleviate poverty and attain sustainable economic growth in developing countries. Then, I would like to raise one more basic and direct question; are microfinance really helpful for women who are supposed to be the poorest of the poor? Increasing women’s access to microfinance really enables them to undertake income generating activities? Are there any differences in the impact of microfinance on firm productivity based on the gender of the entrepreneurs? Targeting women is efficient or not? This is the issues that is forcing the CCDO to focus on women.
We have been conducted a survey regarding the need of the project, in which we used a questioner in which we targeted women families of small business holder/stall holders/local stallholders/BPL/SHGs. The first survey was conducted in 2012 in Iringa District and the second one was in 2014 in Iringa Municipality where CCDO works. The survey area covers 11 rural villages in these districts. Survey reveals a big need of microcredit project in both districts where more than 40% population passing their life below poverty line and very careless regarding their health and children education.
In rural village economy such as the survey area, agriculture is major income source of people. On average, people get employment in agriculture sector for 250 days a year. Rural poverty is concentrated among landless agriculture workers and small farmers, who constitute 46% of the rural workforce. They are suffering from vulnerability of income variation since agriculture depends on natural conditions such as precipitation amount. It is also said that women headed households in rural areas are worst affected by poverty. This micro-credit project will be successful to empower women socially, making them aware of the government scheme and so on. To provide credit is important to reduce poverty, however, how to achieve sustainable livelihood improvement should be considered at the same time. For example, fostering micro enterprises to generate income activities should have been emphasized more.
Inequality between urban and rural areas is one of the important features of poverty in Tanzania. This inequality is due to uneven division of natural resources. Poor natural resource endowments and poor access to natural resources is one of the most important causes of poverty. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of poor people in Tanzania are living in rural areas such as Iringa district, Kilolo, Mufindi, Njombe, Makete and Ludewa states. It is also said that Tanzania’s richest states have incomes that are five times higher than those of the poorest states. The reason that poverty concentrates on rural area is that rural Tanzanian primarily depend on agriculture income, which is highly dependent on natural condition such as precipitation amount. Inadequate rain and improper irrigation facilities can obviously cause low and sometimes no production of crops. To cope with this, it is better to diversify the risks. It will be essential for Tanzania to facilitate nonfarm entrepreneurship to get the rural economy moving. Encouraging policies that promote competition in agricultural marketing will also ensure that farmers receive better prices.
However, the CCDO microfinance program it focuses on women empowerment through the introduction of agribusiness development activities in terms of horticulture, maize and rice production since female smallholder rice and maize farmers in Tanzania face many challenges. The majorities of women in rural areas are the main producers in agriculture, but most still live in poverty because they do not benefit from what they produce and also they still use old agricultural technologies like hand hoes. This is due to socio-economic gender inequalities that deny women equal resource ownership and control, and to joint decision making, coupled with inadequate education on family planning and the burden of a heavy workload limiting social and personal time.
Due to gender inequality, women’s status is very low, they are overwhelmingly more disadvantaged than men, and face continuous discrimination. These inequalities are not only a threat to women’s basic human rights, but also pose a serious threat to the social and economic development of societies. (Gender Assessment Report, 2015).
At the beginning of the Empowerment of Women Smallholder Farmers in the Rice Value Chain project, CCDO conducted baseline surveys and observed the following challenges and gaps between men and women in social and economic activities:
1)     Women constitute most of the labour force in rice production and related activities including planting, irrigating, weeding, harvesting, threshing, winnowing, and sorting. Men who do engage in those activities put in fewer hours compared to women.
2)     Men are mostly the ones involved in the selling of the crops and deciding how income is to be used. Women’s financial gain is not comparative with the labour they provide. As men dominate in the milling industry, as middle agents, for the sale of fertilizer and other inputs, and on irrigation schemes and water management boards, the decisions made in these arenas tend to favour the interests of men more than women.
3)     Men tend to be more skilled and knowledgeable about farming technology than women. • Across all project areas it was evident that men have more access to and control of resources and benefits, when compared to women. Men are also the main decision makers, especially in determining what resources to have, what crops to grow and the use of income in the family. In a few families, women and men discussed this together, but the men still make the final decision. It was clear from the assessment that overall it is men who have the last say.
4)     The baseline also revealed that there are customary laws, norms, beliefs and practices that determine the extent to which women can access, own and control resources and benefits in the community.
In spite of their immense contribution women have not tangibly benefited from the dividends of the rice sector in the Project areas. This is due to the strong cultural and traditional inhibitions that give the men the upper hand in bargaining, negotiating and selling the rice. Also women continue to shoulder the largest burden of care at household level as well as face the consequences of poor health due to highly manual and labour intensive activities (Gender Assessment Report for the Women Empowerment, 2015).
Further, the predominately patriarchal culture dictates inequitable gender roles in the ownership of land and household decision making. Women’s equitable access to and ownership of land is supported by the legal framework (Village Land Act, 1999) but, due to customary practices, land ownership by women is limited.
Women only own 19% of titled land, and in turn this limits their access to collateral and to finance (World Bank 2007). Local Government is the main extension service provider, but women’s access to extension services is deterred as these extension services are male dominated and corruption is pervasive. There remains widespread gender discrimination, making it more difficult for women to practice agriculture and other activities. Unstructured rice markets and a male dominated buyers’ market, also prevents women’s participation. (Policy Analysis Report on Women Empowerment, 2015).
Therefore, our CCDO future plans are:
1)     To establish the CCDO Women Recreation Business and Resource Development Center
2)   To request our humanitarian donors who are considered as givers to assist us only 1 tractor for cultivating our purchased 20 acres of land at Kilolo Rural District at Ukumbi ward for horticultural and maize production project since we have identified a potential markets for maize, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, beans and green vegetables from (Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe countries), Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Iringa, Dodoma and Morogoro regions of Tanzania.
3)     To expand our Revolving Fund Program to target all the clients we train and to have continuous follow up.  With more financial and logistical support we hope to increase numbers of groups to be trained monthly and to access more rural areas to reach more women.
4)     To expand our capacity building / training program to gain more capacity by recruiting more field/ training staff.  Also to acquire more equipment for training, such as video, camera, digital camera, overhead slide project, etc.
5)     To add the widows and orphan empowerment component on Revolving Fund Program to Widows, orphans and / or orphan households to be assisted / empowered to be self reliant:
6)     To introduce new products / services such as health insurance scheme (micro-care) for micro-credit clients in conjunction with relevant service providers.
7)     To take up insurance scheme for our Revolving Fund Program so as to ensure and maximize all our local repayments to 100%.
8)     To expand to neighboring districts of Iringa Rural district, Kilolo and Mufindi district by the year 2017.
9)     Service additional 6000 Rural Poor women clients in the year 2018 directly with:
i)    Training in basic business skills and
ii)   Provide and extend to them Revolving Fund to invest in their agricultural micro-enterprises.
iii) To build our capacity to provide more services to the low income local women, more efficiently.  To increase numbers of rural beneficiaries who will have access to our much needed services.
iv) Expand our outreach.  We shall be able to expand our geographical coverage to more remote sub-counties in more remote areas where there is greatest need for empowerment of poor rural women – where credit and business skills are much needed.
v) Promoting the grassroots women in the economic and social development of their lives e.g. developing and replicating new models for community investment.
vi) Introduce financial products and services to the targeted communities.
vii) Acquire enough materials for training and business counseling.
Key outcomes/ change realized /impacts targets:
1)     Women challenge inequality as change makers for social and economical change.
2)     Women producer groups promote sustainable growth of women agribusiness farming as a business.
3)     Women maize, horticultural crops and rice farmers competitively access markets.
4)     Women rice farmers influence policies for a conducive environment for rice farming as a business.
5)     Increased knowledge and skills of volunteers peer educators on issues related to civic education in Tanzania.
6)     Increased women and community with knowledge and skills and make informed decisions and responsible choices about civic issues and the Tanzania general election.
7)     Around 100,000 men and women sensitized on  good governance and human rights issues, and educated on access to information and freedom of expression through community based events
8)     40,000 students and teachers of secondary schools and colleges have enhanced understanding of fundamental human rights and women awareness on good governance.
9)     50 media persons trained on human rights and women awareness on good governance issues, freedom of expression, access to information and how to report human rights violations against women  and effective follow up
10)50 lawyers trained on human rights and women awareness on good governance issues, and freedom of expression and access to information 
11) 200 Human Rights Forum members trained on women awareness on good governance and human rights issues, freedom of expression, and access to information and how to monitor human rights situation and support victims of HR abuses.
12) Capacity building of 150 representatives of local government on access to information and transparency and accountability. Therefore, a good example on how we  transform the mindsets of our Tanzanian women you can read below of what one of our Executive Ward Councilor Ms. Sarah Barutwa from Iniho ward at Makete District of Njombe where we implemented our project of increasing women’s awareness on good governance in Tanzania explained below;
“I decided to get involved in politics to be a voice for the women and children who were left behind and not catered for in local decision making because of lack of representation and participation. I contested with a man as a district counselor and I made it. I was a widow, so no one stopped my ambition……However, my experience in local council as a chairperson on the health committee, was not easy…I was faced with many challenges. Personally I lacked the courage and confidence to speak, I lacked relevant knowledge and skills to deliberate issues effectively, women issues were not given priority and attention in the council. Plus, male leaders and other men intimidated and called us names—they booed when we spoke! The pressures were too much: high expectation from the community, deliberate under budgeting of women‘s code, disunity and intrigue in the local council. Sometimes invitation letters to council meetings were withheld or deliberately sent late so that we were not prepared enough; minutes were altered if what was discussed did not favor the corrupt officials and the like. This meant that we women and other marginalized groups were not getting what we wanted by participation in leadership. It is at this time that CCDO carried out a mini study on effectiveness and challenges faced by local leaders representing vulnerable groups in local council. They later trained us—sharing information and skills that built our capacity and confidence., Through this we became more organized with a stronger united voice and we were able to ensure that policies and programs that benefited the poor especially women and children were given due consideration and priority. We got safe water to poor women and families through the provision of boreholes and protected wells in the community; we made sure the construction of schools included pit latrines and many other basic services. …Based on this experience, my recommendation is that local council leaders representing vulnerable groups need to be assisted to effectively participate and influence policy in favor of the poor people. They also need to be encouraged to interact with their electorate so that they can be informed of the most priority needs”. By Sarah Barutwa – a member of Makete District Council.
Yes, the CCDO planned  projects are cooperative with local authorities such as Iringa District and Makete District Councils, Iringa Municipal Council, Kilolo Rural District Council) and institutions such as the University of Iringa and Iringa Mercy Organization, Mkwawa University at Iringa, Women Producer Groups to facilitate social and economic empowerment. Project activities give women more voice and decision making power in their communities and households, as well as organizing women, and brokering trade relationships between their groups and rice / maize buyers/processors. Normally we cooperative with our local authorities and institutions through community symposium with local authorities, politicians, religious institutions, NGOs, CBOs and institutions, conducting workshops, trainings, group discussion, debate forums discussions, project designing and formulation,  local community fundraising sharing strategies through gospel events, musicians events participation, tree planting local and national campaigns  and HIV/AIDS Prevention campaigns.
Empowering women maize and rice farmers to challenge inequalities and influence change in control and ownership of productive assets and income was addressed as follows: Facilitate women to recognize their subordination, have a sense of rights, and organize for collective action through Women Producer Groups; brokering market linkages such as moving the market to women through Village based Contact farming, and access to agro-services and productive resources through cooperatives, producer associations, processors and government to increase women’s access to agro-services and productive resources.
Being the CCDO Chairperson and Founder I experienced many challenges in running NGOsand also on how to develop the most effective ways in fostering community empowerment in Tanzania can that can be seen in various strategies of promoting education as an empowering tool might help people to change the conditions of their lives by taking action while having knowledge and skills of a trade that will make them competitive in the particular productive field. Empowering dominant culture in taking action to do something about poverty as their own concern, as well. This is due to the truth that, giving more power through education, information, coaching and counseling, and  amplify the possibilities to get or create a job or business, trough micro-credits, access to ICT networks is the best way to achieve poverty eradication. Empowering have to also mean give the primary needs to someone: water, food, house, communications, energy, job, health.
Personally, I belief that empowering people can help eradicate poverty because those who have been empowered will become self-reliance from their skills that they have learned, they can have jobs which they will use to take of their family. If there is no one in the family could afford to take care of the children and other relatives the poverty will increase, so by empowering one person you have safe many lives.  This is because poverty is an essential part of many social settings. Unfortunately but apparently it is one source of the growth of national economies as we see it today, which can be best observed in BRIC countries. Empowering people  could be a strategy to improve the income status at the bottom line by making people aware of their rights, sometimes there real productivity, their power as the stand united, etc. This may have consequences counteracting growth to some extent, which is not a reason to skip empowerment, but maybe stop the fixation on GDP growth.
However, empowering people is critical for achieving poverty eradication. They need to be made aware of their rights and entitlements, equipped with skills to make informed choice and negotiate for their rights and have access to resources for their development, since empowering people to have the control and ownership of their lives, requires an array of opportunities to choose and decide. These empowering people are the actors of their own development.
Helping marginalized groups such as women, persons with disabilities, aboriginal people, elderly people, etc. to develop income-generation activities is probably a starting point, but efforts should go beyond economic considerations to explore sound mechanisms for increased and inclusive participation, including monitoring accountability of decision-makers. Poverty reduction is a complex undertaking because of the multifaceted nature of poverty, one of them being the unequal access to wealth and basic services and commodities in several societies or countries, which point to some roots causes of inequalities. Reducing poverty therefore also means addressing governance issues by challenging the adequacy of policy-making and accountability mechanisms existing institutions.
Empowering implies the recognition that anyone can make the difference in his/her life and other people’s lives. In many countries of the world, governments do not/cannot allocate sufficient resources/capacities to efficiently support programmes aiming at poverty reduction. In this context, civil society organizations, including a wide range of organizations, may take over this responsibility and promote/support self-help institutions, volunteer organizations, groups of interest, in order to fight poverty eradication. Depending on the level of organization and capacity to articulate needs to address them, the civil society can play a critical role in achieving poverty eradication. However, the civil society cannot operate in a vacuum or in isolation. There has to be a network and connection with both government institutions, private sector, international organizations, etc..
When people are empowered they are equipped with skills and knowledge with which they will be able to earn a living. In this way, they will both be able to get paid employment or start up a business and earn an income. Earning income is the first step towards poverty eradication.
Empowering people to achieve poverty eradication implies developing clearer and more consistent coverage polices that appropriately address the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. Enabling persons with disabilities to live independently and participating in all aspect of life and ensure them access to transportation, information communication technologies and other public facilities and services and eliminating obstacles and barriers to accessibility. To empower their mental capacity, education is the main key to eradicate poverty, therefore the key
is ensuring an inclusive education system at all levels and long learning. Empowering persons with disability to develop their talents, creativity, mental and physical abilities, in other words their fullest potential
Empowered people can help to achieve a sustained economic growth and sustainable development, through education, health care and employment. They, also, have the potential to integrate economic, cultural and social policies to achieve a better life for all. Hence, empowerment makes people powerful, able and active to participate. Then they will get the power and the ability to work for poverty eradication.
In the cooperative movement we believe that through the support of the dignity of the individual and the support of the group as a whole, much more can be achieved in poverty reduction. Often the strength in numbers achieved through a cooperative effort can spell the difference between a farmer unable to sell his/her products or being able to compete in the market place by having financial, and group support for purchasing needed equipment, getting goods and services to market. Cooperatives are the ultimate form of “empowerment” through the use of a values based business model.
By empowering people living in poverty to be part of the solution, we could move from abstract thought into real action by providing individuals, families, and communities with what they need to succeed. The decision for a person living in sub-Saharan Africa may be drastically different than that of a person living in South America, but, by allowing access to the decision making process, the persons affected by policy and action would have an ability to have an input into what is needed.
If you empower people it means you are helping them achieve some things such as the required education to gain employment or get the require capital to start business of your own.
It would help using people’s experience and knowledge, tapping and channeling their energy, intelligence and capacity positively. Empowerment can come through community mobilization and volunteer efforts that are based on bottom up efforts, allowing communities to identify and formulate their priorities. Empowerment starts from the individual who needs to trust in his/her capacities. People, who have not gone through formal education, often totally underestimate how much they know, just because they don’t speak the sophisticated language and can’t write it down in the same way as the ones with an academic background. People, who have contributed to identifying problems and developing priorities, feel moe responsible for the delivery and sustainability of the solutions developed. Empowerment leads to ownership and increases accountability as people are more interested in the delivery of results that they have themselves contributed to identifying.
Empowering people means enabling their access to the structures and knowledge which support a minimum income and standard of living. Many women do not have access to the value of their care giving work: ensuring financial supports for caregivers would help to eradicate poverty of women and men caregivers.
To maintain control over the financial aspect of their lives, skills acquisition remains the basis for poverty eradication. A level above skills acquisition, there should be a tutorials classes on how to covert learnt skills to a marketable one and a source of income generation. At the tip of their empowerment cycle, a course on financial literacy should be taught them. This will mark the pinnacle of their empowerment. Creating a system where empowered people also feel the need to empower others will lead to poverty eradication subsequently.
In my view, education is the best way to eradicate poverty. Educated people are able to achieve their goals in a much better way and that is usually the way in which the poverty cycle can be broken.
Empowering individuals and communities is necessary to attain equal distribution of available resources so that a few do not benefit from the labor of many. Each human has the right to share natural resources and participate in gainful work; however, these rights are not honored in all Nations. Laws, policies and practices have restricted fair access to resources needed to sustain families, reserving opportunities for a privileged few. Empowering people means engaging all persons in economic activity.
Everyone has God given gifts and if all can tap into their gifts and are given the resources/opportunities to use and share them for the common good, all will have what’s needed, not necessarily wanted.
The continuance of poverty and the growing inequality that we experience today has much to do with power relations between individual and groups in society – those who have and those who don’t have. Empowering people through human rights training, the implementation of human rights based policies and programmes – e.g. implementation of the social protection floor at national level guaranteeing basic services and minimum income by right, closing the gap between the haves and the have not respecting persons as persons and upholding human rights could contribute much to poverty  empowering people is absolutely essential, we much acknowledge and recognize that poverty eradication will take place by focusing only on the persons living in poverty, but rather change of mindset, perception attitudes and actions of all people towards poverty eradication will change the structures and systems that perpetuate poverty. Every person must be ’empowered’ to eradicate poverty.