UNDP’s global flagship for 2015 launched in Tanzania

Mar 11, 2016

The cover of the 2015 Human Development Report

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Friday launched its flagship Global Human Development Report for 2015 in Tanzania.

Titled ‘Work for Human Development’ the report, taking a broader view of work, examines linkages between work and human development and explores changes between job security, flexibility and demand for skills as well as issues of paid and unpaid work, including care, voluntary, creative and sustainable work.

In order to strengthen positive links between work and human development, the report recommends policies that expand productive, remunerative, satisfying and quality work, that protect workers and their rights and create work opportunities both for present and future generations.

According to the report, significant gains have been made in human development in Sub-Saharan Africa including Tanzania, however to strengthen progress there is an urgent need to address wide inequalities and gaps in opportunities, including in work.

Since 2000, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the fastest annual growth rates in the Human Development Index (HDI) among all regions - growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 2000 and 2010 and 0.9 percent between 2010 and 2014. The HDI is a measurement that assesses long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

Twelve countries in the region, including Botswana, Cabo Verde, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, and Zambia have levels that put them in the high or medium human development group, individually. However Sub-Saharan Africa, on average, remains in the low human development category and HDI levels are still low: a shortage of good work opportunities is preventing many from reaching their full potential and making decent livelihoods.

Tanzania in particular, registered an average annual HDI increase of 1.18% between 1985 and 2014, increasing its HDI from 0.371 to 0.521, an increase of 40.5 percent positioning itself above the Sub-Saharan Africa’s HDI of 0.518. Between 1980 and 2014, Tanzania’s life expectancy at birth increased by 14.5 years, means years of schooling increased by 2.6 years and expected years of schooling by 3.3 years. Tanzania’s GNI per capita increased by 55.9 percent between 1985 and 2014.

“Indeed this is not a small achievement, yet Tanzania still faces challenges which include persistent poverty, rising inequalities, vulnerabilities to shocks and risks and climate change. All of these issues are extremely relevant and in sync with Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, said.

Delivering the key note address, the Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office: Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Hon. Anthony Peter Mavunde said the report comes at a pertinent time in Tanzania’s own socio economic landscape where the significance of equitable and decent work is a prevalent topic.

“It is for this reason that I would like to assure you that the Government of Tanzania looks at this report as a very important resource which will certainly help us in improving policies, strategies and actions related to work in Tanzania,” he said.

In her vote of thanks, the UNDP Country Director Awa Dabo, stressed that the agency was well placed to play a critical role in supporting Tanzania and other countries address the linkages between work and human development t in the context of the SDGs.

According to the flagship report, while policy responses to the new world of work will differ across countries, three main clusters of policies will be critical if governments and societies are to maximize the benefits and minimize the hardships in the evolving new world of work.

The report therefore proposes a three-pronged action agenda: a new social contract between governments, society, and the private sector, to ensure that all members of society, especially those working outside the formal sector, have their needs taken into account in policy formulation; a global deal among governments to guarantee workers’ rights and benefits around the world and a decent work agenda, encompassing all workers, that will help promote freedom of association, equity, security, and human dignity in work life.

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