Tanzania: More support for development work – and less for weddings

Brief information on Tanzania’s foundation and philanthropy sector, at a glance:

Number of foundations: The majority of philanthropy actors in Tanzania are civil society organisations and the majority are registered as local non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Also foundations are mainly registered as NGOs – and some other forms of registrations, such as trusts or societies. The estimated number of NGOs is about 8,000, including foundations. It is, however, not possible to estimate the number of foundations registered as NGO. There exists a relatively wide distribution of philanthropy actors across the country, with the Dar es Salaam, Western and Southern regions hosting close to 55% of the philanthropy actors. (Source: The State of Philanthropy in Tanzania 2018 Report).
Main umbrella body:
  • Tanzania Philanthropy Forum, established in 2015
  • East African Philanthropy Network (EAPN), established in 2003
  • Africa Philanthropy Network (APN), launched in July 2009 as the Africa Grantmakers Network (AGN) and rebranded as APN in July 2015
State of the sector: The philanthropy sector in Tanzania is still developing. However, the following currently take place:
  • giving by international non-governmental organisations (28.9%)
  • individual giving (17.3%)
  • allocations from annual revenues (13%)
  • funding by multilateral and bilateral agencies (8.7%)
  • funding by companies and government (1.1% and 2.2%, respectively)
Biggest opportunity in the sector: The coordination of individual giving.
Biggest challenge for the sector:
  • Weak or unfavourable (non-conducive) regulatory regimes
  • Limited linking and joint learning
  • Limited information and data on philanthropy
Francis Kiwanga
Francis Kiwanga, Executive Director, Foundation for Civil Society 

26. June 2019

Interview with Francis Kiwanga, Executive Director, Foundation for Civil Society

Francis, what are the three broad issues that will drive Tanzania’s foundation and philanthropy sector in the next 10 years?
Transparency and accountability, but also discussions about the following sectors: livelihoods, education and health.

Which topics do you expect philanthropy to focus on?
Building assets for local philanthropy to support social justice and poverty alleviation.

What is traditional philanthropy in Tanzania and how do you expect this to develop in the future?
Traditionally, Tanzanians are philanthropists. Our system of life is characterised by supporting extended families, which in one way or another is considered as a normal way of life. Moreover, most Tanzanians give a lot of support when it comes to social causes, such as weddings, a bit for medical treatment, and for funerals. Support for development work is still lagging behind.

Also, most companies have their own cooperate social responsibility (CSR) policies that support causes that are of interest to them.

With a lot of discussions about philanthropy, I am expecting this trend to improve or change to some extent. I am expecting to see more people supporting development work more, and supporting weddings less. However, a lot of dialogue and discussion needs to be conducted in order to reach this stage.

On companies, my recommendation is to develop a policy/law that will attract the private sector to give more support to development work. In some way, that policy should provide tax relief for philanthropists.

What role will philanthropy take on?
There will be more collaboration with corporate givers/companies with strong CSR, and there will be more conversations around data on philanthropy.

Will Tanzania’s philanthropy be more nationally focused, or also regional and global?
As philanthropy is still developing in Tanzania, for the first few years the focus will be national, then it will grow to regional and finally to global.

If people want to be informed about news and trends in the sector in Tanzania, where can they find this information?
There are very limited sources of information on philanthropy in Tanzania but the Foundation for Civil Society, in collaboration with the Tanzania Philanthropy Forum, conducted a study on the state of philanthropy in Tanzania in 2018. This is the first time such a study was conducted in Tanzania. This is one report in which one can get information about the sector. It has to be noted that, as this was the first research to be conducted, it leaves room for improvement and whoever writes a second report will now have a baseline to start.


Compiled by the EZ-Scout seconded to the Association of German Foundations

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