Financing for Gender Equality in Tanzania

Carol Ndosi
4 min readNov 15, 2023

Bridging the Gender Gap Through Strategic Investments

A woman farmer and entrepreneur in Dodoma Region

A high level meeting on Africa Financing for Gender Equality was held in Dar es Salaam today by The Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Finance, UN women and IMF. The meeting has brought together Ministers from 22 African countries to address the gender gaps & innovate financing for #SDGs on women’s advancement.

As the host, Tanzania is a member of the Generation Equality Forum and a leader of the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights, focusing on addressing the economic impacts of gender disparities and boosting funding for Gender Equality.

A report shared at the Action Coalition Gatherings earlier this year for the midpoint review gives an overview of where we are as a country and further demonstrates our commitment to gender equality and women’s advancement through the diverse and strategic financial initiatives implemented across the nation.

These efforts, encapsulated in the Tanzania Generation Equality Forum Midpoint Moment Report, highlight how investments in gender-responsive services and infrastructure can significantly impact women’s lives. Herewith excerpts from the Tanzania midpoint review report;

Key Result Area 1: Supporting Women in Care and Domestic Work

Tanzania has made notable strides in reducing the burden of care and domestic work on women:

  • Early Childhood Development Centers: Over 3,033 centers in Tanzania mainland and 54 in Zanzibar were established to reduce childcare responsibilities.
  • Nursing Rooms: Facilities in offices and marketplaces allow women to nurse comfortably.
  • Water and Sanitation Services: Improved access for 77% of the rural and 88% of the urban population, reducing time spent on fetching water.
  • Electricity Access: 76.7% of rural households are connected to the grid, along with 75% in Zanzibar, easing domestic chores.

Key Result Area 2: Enhancing Women’s Participation in the Economy

Tanzania’s initiatives to integrate women into the formal and informal economy include:

  • Agricultural Programs: Programs like ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’ empower women in agribusiness, benefiting over 812 women and youth 40 % of whom are women.
  • Digital Women Trading Portal (iSOKO): A platform for over 4,320 women traders to sell products and access vital business information.
  • Access to Entrepreneurship Knowledge: Over 2,222,000 women received training in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and leadership.
  • Loans for Women Entrepreneurs: Loans totaling Tsh. 748 billion were issued to 1,349,144 women entrepreneurs.
  • Women in STEM: Establishment of special schools and scholarships to promote girls’ participation in science and technology.

Key Result Area 3: Ensuring Women’s Access to Productive Resources

Efforts to improve women’s access to productive resources in Tanzania include:

  • Land Ownership: Issuance of 43,524 certificates of customary rights of occupancy, with 15,109 specifically granted to women.
  • Awareness Training: Conducted for 83,886 community members on women’s land rights and gender equality.
  • Financial Inclusion: Reduction of the gender gap in financial inclusion from 10% in 2017 to 4% in 2023.
  • National Identification Number (NIN): Over 10 million women received NIN, facilitating access to financial services.

We can claim we have pursued a holistic approach to financing gender equality By addressing issues ranging from domestic responsibilities to economic participation and access to productive resources for women.

However, disparities in education, healthcare, and economic opportunities continue to hinder their full participation.

The Road Ahead

Tanzania’s journey towards gender equality is not just a matter of social justice but also economic pragmatism. By prioritizing and financing initiatives that support women,not just MICRO but MACRO, Tanzania can harness the full potential of its population, driving sustainable development and economic growth. The time is ripe for action, collaboration, and strategic investment to build a more inclusive society where both women and men can thrive.

Financing Gender Equality in the Digital Economy- A Strategic Imperative for Tanzania

As Tanzania progresses towards the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), integrating financing for gender equality into the digital economy emerges as a crucial strategy. This integration is vital for ensuring that women not only participate in but also significantly benefit from the burgeoning digital economy.

Tanzania’s current initiatives lay a foundational framework for this integration:

  • Digital Trading Platforms: Platforms like iSOKO underscore the need for financial support mechanisms that assist women entrepreneurs in digitizing their businesses. Providing microfinancing, grants, or low-interest loans for women to access digital marketplaces is key.
  • Capacity Building and Access to Finance: Training in digital literacy should be coupled with financial literacy. Empowering women with knowledge on digital financial services, online banking, and investment options is essential.
  • Financial Products Tailored for Women: Developing financial products and services specifically designed for women in the digital economy. This includes start-up financing, growth capital, and insurance products that cater to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs.

Leveraging AfCFTA for Women’s Economic Advancement

Under AfCFTA, these initiatives become even more pivotal:

  • Access to a Wider Market: AfCFTA offers a massive market for women-led digital businesses. Financing solutions can help women scale their operations to meet the demands of this larger market.
  • Cross-Border Financial Services: There’s a need for financial products that facilitate cross-border trade, such as multi-currency accounts and trade financing, which are especially crucial in a free trade area.
  • Policy Integration: National policies should integrate financing for gender equality in the digital economy, creating an enabling environment for women’s participation in AfCFTA.

The Role of Financial Institutions and Stakeholders

  • Banks and Microfinance Institutions: Should offer tailored financing options for women in the digital economy, including gender bonds and gender-focused investment funds. Kudos to NMB Tanzania for the Jasiri Bond and CRDB Bank with the Imbeju Program that targets women entrepreneurs.
  • International Partnerships: Collaboration with international financial institutions and development partners can provide additional resources and expertise in financing women’s digital inclusion.

This blog post provides a comprehensive look at how Tanzania can and is implementing various initiatives to finance gender equality, offering a hopeful perspective on the future of women’s development in the country.

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Carol Ndosi

🇹🇿 |Development Advocate|#GlobalGoalsTZ Champion|Feminist|MWF ‘16|Social & Biz Entrepreneur @MaMaendeleo @nyamachomafest @bongofesttz @thelaunchpadtz