Policy Workshop: Exploration of the Governance Environment of Rural-Urban Transformation in Tanzania

From 3rd to 4th of June, 2021, the project titled “Rural-Urban Transformation (RUT): Governance, Mobility, and Economic Dynamics, in Emerging Urban Centres for Poverty Reduction” which is hosted at Sokoine University of Agriculture organized a two-day policy workshop to explore the Governance Environment of Rural-Urban Transformation in Tanzania.


Group photo

The aim of the workshop was to meet with policy stakeholders to discuss various policy issues that have been raised by the project's research study which was conducted in Ilula (Kilolo) - Iringa, Madizini (Mvomero) - Morogoro, Igowole (Mufindi) - Iringa and Kibaigwa (Kongwa) - Dodoma for about ten years by researchers from Sokoine University of Agriculture and Copenhagen University

The event was held at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) hall located at SUA main campus and was attended by various stakeholders from inside and outside the university and those who could not physically reach the venue followed the event and presented their presentation through the internet (via Zoom platform)

Among those in attendance were Representative from the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government Ministry (PO-RALG), Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), ASPIRE NGO, Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Ilula, Madizini , Igowole, Kibaigwa and many others.

Dr. Evelyne Lazaro

Speaking at the event, the Project coordinator, Dr. Evelyne Lazaro who is a senior lecturer from the Sokoine University of Agriculture explained that their study was intended to look at the challenges and opportunities that exist in emerging small towns that transform into townships in Tanzania.

Dr. Lazaro noted that one of the biggest opportunities available in a village/small town to transform into cities is that it boosts business, increases the income of the people, and the living conditions of the people improve even more.

She also spoke about the various challenges that arise as small towns grow and become cities, the biggest challenge lies in the policy area where the policies that govern the growth and development of cities still have many shortcomings that need to be worked out so that the available opportunities benefit the intended citizens in those areas.

Dr. Lazaro described what needs to be done urgently first and foremost is the planning of activities that take place in those cities where the current situation is that people are doing their business arbitrarily after seeing the growth opportunities in those cities.

Dr. Mkuki Hante

After Dr. Lazaro finished speaking, the time to hear a presentation from various speakers arrived where one of the presenters was the Director of Urban Development from the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government ministry (PO-RALG), Dr. Mkuki Hante who presented a topic titled “Eco - Emerging Small Towns: A Cradle Towards Inclusive Urban Development in Tanzania”. He talked in detail about the definition and the origin of small urban centres in Tanzania, Achievements in the course of Urbanization in Tanzania, and Experiences during Covid – 19 pandemics.

Also at different times, participants had the opportunity to listen to PhD students who were sponsored by the RUT project namely Mr. Lekumok Kironyi and Stephen Nyaki whereby each one highlighted various area touched by the project study describing the opportunities, challenges and also did not hesitate to provide advice on what can be done to develop cities for the benefits of Tanzanians.

Mr. Kironyi presented a topic titled “critical services for people: governance challenges of emerging urban centers during rural-urban transformation” while Stephen presented a topic titled  “opportunities in Emerging Urban Centres: Market Development, Business Networks and Employment creation”

Professor Esron Karimuribo

Other speakers who presented various topics as well were the Deputy Dean of School of Agricultural Economics and Business Studies (SAEBS) - SUA, Dr. Zena Mpenda, the Director of Postgraduate Studies, Research, Technology Transfer and Consultancy - SUA, Professor Esron Karimuribo, the Representative from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Rodger Shengoto, The Director of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Mr. Zaki Mbena, Director of ASPIRE NGO, Mr. Emanuel Domonko, and many others

Professors Torben Birch-Thomsen, Jytte Agergaard Larsen, Marianne Nylandsted Larsen, both from the University of Copenhagen – Denmark, presented their topics virtually online by using the zoom platform.

A representative from Kibaigwa Town 

Dr. Zena Mpenda

Group Discussion sessions

At the end of the event, Dr. Evelyne Lazaro thanked all participants for taking the time to come and participate in the workshop which was truly productive. She expressed her sincere gratitude to the entire management of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) for supporting and enabling the RUT project to carry out its operations effectively for all these years.

About the project
RUT project activities were organized as collaborative research between the School of Agricultural Economics and Business Studies (SAEBS), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania and the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), Section for Geography, University of Copenhagen in Denmark

Read more here: https://ign.ku.dk/english/rut/​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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