Having gained independence from British colonial rule in 1961, Tanzania only assumed its present form in 1964 after unification between the mainland territory of Tanganyika and the archipelago of Zanzibar, which still maintains a semi-autonomous government. Despite political and economic stability, poverty remains widespread and stagnant making Tanzania of the poorest countries in the world. However, recent investments in mining, especially gold, better infrastructure, and policy reforms in the commercial sector continue to contribute to positive economic growth and eradication of poverty.
Politically, Tanzania has enjoyed peace and stability resulting in a strong multi-party republic. Although in the past elections were marked by violence and irregularities, the 2010 elections were peaceful and brought President Jakaya Kikwete to power as the fourth democratically elected leader of Tanzania. Most recently, the country embarked on a Constitutional review process which will be finalized ahead of general elections in 2015.
Together with local journalists, civil society partners and members of the government, Search for Common Ground has been working in Tanzania since 2010 to empower gender equality, promote good governance, encourage greater objectivity in the media, and overcome differences that divide Tanzanians.
The Team: Tanzania
Our outreach for The Team: Tanzania has brought us to schools in the region to show the program.
In the award-winning, multi-national drama The Team, SFCG merged the global appeal of football with soap opera story-telling. In Tanzania, The Team addresses gender issues and hopes to change the way these issues are discussed, understood, and confronted in Tanzania.
Set in a Tanzanian secondary school, The Team: Tanzania revolves around three sixteen-year old youth, Sophia, Upendo, and Baraka, and their spirited secondary school teacher Ms. Malaika Wito. The two young football players and their friend have different backgrounds, but have known each other all their lives. On the edge of adulthood, they search for their own identities while facing both familial and cultural pressures. The 13 episode TV drama-series addresses gender issues prevalent in Tanzania, such as rape and impunity; early marriage and teenage pregnancy; and various gender stereotypes, while focusing on the empowerment of young girls to make choices that will improve their lives and the life of women in Tanzania.
In addition to the TV series, SFCG, through its media arm, Common Ground Productions, also supports the production of The Team radio series. This enables us to reach a broader audience, particularly in rural areas throughout the country. Along with the radio and TV series, we conduct mobile cinema screenings and facilitated dialogue in remote regions of the country where local facilitators encourage community discussions around the issues covered in the series.
For more information on The Team, check out our The Team Tanzania page and website!
Advancing Sustainable Peace and Security in Tanzania
Sustainable Business Practice
Residents from the Kewanja village at a recent community meeting with African Barrick Gold.
SFCG works with African Barrick Gold (ABG) to reinforce the company's efforts to improve relationships with communities near its four operating mines located in remote areas of Mara and Shinyanga Provinces. The mines pose many challenges that make the operating environment difficult. The project employs a multi-pronged approach to help build trust among the various stakeholders: ABG, local communities, police and other security forces, and local leaders.
Project activities include:
- Joint Stakeholder Meetings
- Participatory Theater
- Sports (Football and Netball) bonanza tournaments
- Capacity building and training for women, youth and police in conflict resolution and the Voluntary Principles of Security and Human Rights (VPSHR)
- Community development: creating linkages between existing community support mechanisms and target communities.
Advancing Sustainable Peace & Security – In numbers
- In 2012, our activities reached more than 30,000 participants through participatory theater, training, community development activities, and other outreach campaigns.
- More than 1,000 police officers and 270 members of the Tanzanian Navy were trained in effective policing and the VPSHR.
- To date, 1,307 women and 1,621 youth have been trained in conflict resolution and leadership.
For more information on Sustainable Business Practice, check out our SBP page!
Supporting National Unity & Increased Citizen Engagement in Governance
Strengthening National Unity in Zanzibar
Since October 2010, SFCG has been engaging in an innovative top-down, bottom-up approach to strengthen the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zanzibar with the overall goal of supporting national unity and increasing citizen engagement in governance. This approach incorporates three separate, but interrelated components which are leadership, media, and civil society.
For more information on our programs in Supporting National Unity in Zanzibar, click here.
SFCG has four offices across the country: one in Kahama and one in Tarime in the northwest of the country, one in Dar es Salaam, the economic capital, and one in Zanzibar.