Home Column/Opinions Poverty: main threat to peace and security in Tanzania.
Poverty: main threat to peace and security in Tanzania.
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Friday, 08 October 2010 04:27

Emmanuel D Tayari

Looking towards general election provides us an excellent opportunity to re-examine national priorities essential to our progress and well-being as a people.

Researchers have documented a lot of information on how political stability influences economic growth. It is expected that the peace and stability in Tanzania should be the main vehicle for our economic development. Since it is undeniable that peace and political stability is one of our greatest strengths, it thus remains as our topmost priority to protect.

One could argue that the desire of every nation is not only to be peaceful, but also to be prosperous. Unfortunately, all of the global development statistics are clearly showing that we have failed to capitalise on the peace and stability and that it does not assist on attainment of economic prosperity. Even though we are a very peaceful country, we are still among the poorest countries in the world. In the light of these facts, we should concentrate on their meaning, particularly assessing their significance and what should we do when we are setting our national priorities during  the general election.

We cannot simply hope that the existing political stability and peace will automatically fully transform the landscape of economic opportunity and aspiration. There are weaknesses on how we treat the peace we have right now, in regards to how we take it for granted, meaning; we forget that peace is subject to the conditions of time and space, and must be established and maintained by different methods and under different conditions of urgency in the everyday relations of our nation.

For example, last year the former, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, warned that the deepening world financial crisis posed a paramount threat to US national security than al Qaeda. This demonstrated that, the U.S was adopting with time, concerning its security matters. But this is not the case for Tanzania, where politicians seem unable to implement the reforms needed to promote peace and security. They forget that poverty is a great threat to the peace of Tanzania and it is a number one National Security concern. 

Looking at the subject of peace in Tanzania in  big picture, I believe that political unrest in Tanzania can only happen as a result of government failure in finding the right ways of eradicating poverty and managing the economy. Creating sustainable jobs is perhaps the domestic priority which will ultimately help to enhance our security and stability.

If we start recognizing poverty as a threat to peace and security in Tanzania, we can easily manage to tackle the challenges that hinder us to achieve economic growth.  To put this concept in perspective, we may assume the poverty threat as a war enemy and that we have been forced to defend ourselves against hostile countries. I am sure if that would have happened, the president would  have taken  an immediate  measure to deal with that threat and he would probably have used his power as commander in chief to order  JWTZ (Tanzania People Defence Force) to hit back and protect us. But this is not the case in the real situation, where we see corruption and mismanagement of funds ignored and not treated as a national security issue which may cost us our peace and security.

The main objective of all political parties when they are selling  their political manifesto  to us should be on planning how to use the little resources we have. They should not spend a lot of their time on finding ways to brainwash us, instead they should think of ways in which we can tackle our economic problems. They should  spend most of their time on finding ways in which we can combine the little resources we have on setting  priorities on the economy's needs. To achieve this, the ultimate goal should be to reduce the gap between campaign promises and reality; two promises which are kept are more preferred to than two thousand broken promises.

All in all, regardless of our failure to utilise the peace and stability we have, we still have a wonderful opportunity to change the course and make Tanzania prosperous .There is no better way to keep Tanzania safe and peaceful than eradicating poverty and inequality, and we can only effectively do that if we are ready to declare that poverty is a serious National Security threat which needs to be defeated.

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