PUBLISHED in 2017 and edited by prominent persons, this paperback adds stock to the existing policy for prosperity series in Africa. This paperback depicts challenges of securing economic prosperity for Tanzanians and the reasons for the widespread economic reforms undertaken in the early 1990s.
This paperback has been published timely at the time the pace of economic transformation and integration into the regional and global economy is picking up, becoming competitive and becoming complex.
There is no doubt that with contributions by some of the world’s leading economists, including Prof Benno Ndulu, Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, in addition to specialists based in developing countries, this compendium without any doubt leads the reader to seek more knowledge of what is contained in the book.
Those who understand development, competition and economic security matters will agree very well know that the only realistic and respectful way to succeed in life as an individual or as a country is to start with the priority focus and then work outwards to either simple practical solutions if that is possible or grand generalizable theories if that is appropriate, to set record right for prosperity ahead.
More closely, the book indicates that to converting good prospect into sustained growth and decisive poverty reduction requires a degree of good luck, good policy formulation, resources and good economic management.
These are inspiring words you find from the first pages of the book the moment you open the first folio. Through its 303 pages the book focuses on topics that genuinely imply the road to prosperity.
In its twelve chapters, the first pages (1-8) a reader unearths accurately where to place Tanzania’s journey towards its desired destination. Drawing attentiveness into specific chapters is where as a reader treasures a rationale behind the book in on effective organisation to public and private sectors hands.
In my view, chapter one of the book ends up with a philosophical question of famous “chicken and egg question” amongst which comes first (pg. 7). Productivity brings prosperity or prosperity brings productivity? Editors would have enlightened readers if they had given a reader the answer on this troubling question.
Chapter two contained in the book (page 9-48), in my interpretation is thoughtprovoking and gives a reader an opportunity to understand drivers under various regimes i.e. first regime under Julius Nyerere 196185, second regime under Ali Hassan Mwinyi 1985-95, third regime under Benjamin William Mkapa 1995-2005, fourth regime under Jakaya K Kikwete 2005-2015 that has been pushing Tanzania’s quest for prosperity since attaining its independence.
Considering where Tanzania comes from, how as a country it has been battling with development issues and effort taken, the chapter unearth what make the status the country has today.
I adore the chapter’s conclusion (pg. 44), when it argues that to maximize the growth impact, infrastructure development could be supported by a comprehensive policy mix to reinforce the backwards and forward linkages of infrastructure investment in the economy.
Another chapter that is of meticulous note, both for its content and its relevancy to the path to prosperity is chapter three housed in pg. 49-85. It is a vibrant reads that throws up issues, questions on almost every page: the relevance resources utilization to contribution of GDP in subsistence conditions, the potential of hydrocarbon boom, boundary between policy choices and the path to final investment decision rest well in a language in my opinion crystal clear as open page after page.
The other fascinating issues contained in this paperback are clearly exhaustive explained throughout (pg. 86-189) horn on for example trade, logistics infrastructure, call for agricultural transformation and unlocking Tanzania’s manufacturing potentials supplemented with the call for skills building add to this archetypal book as party of Africa: policies for prosperity series.
What a reader will deduce in these chapters is that the contributors have gone to each issue and subsequent the topics like a dentist to suggest propose curative work.
In the final account the whole book chapters particularly chapter nine (pg. 190-213) seems to show the structures of the Tanzanian economy utilising 2007 as base year to determine appropriate analysis of the economy trajectory that indicate Tanzania’s current production structure may benefit following the reductions in the world prices for fossils taking place across the producing nations.
What unearthed most my excitement in chapter ten discussing public investment and call for fiscal reforms (pg. 214-240). Among other issues offered, is that the chapter underpin what is indispensable and how the economic role of the government should play but more importantly control the economic development contest.
Interest to a reader is when the role of financing is brought to the discussion at the sometime watching at the public balance sheet, public debt, fiscal balance and what it takes to bridge infrastructure gap.
Although the chapter admits that fiscal performance in Tanzania in the last ten years has been reasonably good, what they don’t tell a reader is why poverty reduction has correspond not declined? Chapter eleven (pg. 241-270) of the paperback is edged by analytical subject, that in my interpretation is something which other books of this type and nature lack – the monetary policy side but more outstandingly accomplishment and the road ahead.
This section of the book, in my opinion is fusion of theory and practice. Warning that I foresee is that theory may put everything in nice words, but reality is much more different. Although various books and papers monetary policy topic have already been published, here we have a topic that has constantly drawn attention and constantly open new dilemmas as central bank plays role in stabilizing the real economy. Aware of the dilemma, the chapter present to the public sometimes does not understand the role of monetary policy, and expectations of what can be achieved through its instruments.
But my interpretation trying to links up issues discussed in this master piece, one thing is certain: each central bank is a pillar of the financial system-the most answerable body for price and financial stability.
It is in this context that in this chapter (pg. 261) is written, in full and very meticulously what really means in retaining policy impartiality. Many positive features adorn this extremely practical book.
Realising the contributor of the financial sector development and financial inclusion chapter (pg. 271-289) was my lecturer at the university of Dar es salaam in 1992 gave memory on author’s painstaking lecture notes. Reinforced with other backers in the chapter, together have shown how spicily the government has placed financial inclusion agenda as a priority.
In conclusion, this book will be interesting not only to bankers and monetary theorists, students, postgraduates and doctoral students in the field, or business people who are in daily contact with financial institutions, but similarly interest to policy makers and common people who want to know more about the journey to prosperity and how easily that journey can be achieved.
Lastly, to any forthcoming reader he or she should note that this book is exceptionally well written and all topics discussed truly offer food for thought on the path to prosperity.