Tanzania: Poverty and Malnutrition on the Rise in Africa - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1351 Words
Date:  2023-01-11


Sub-Saharan is the world's leader in the poverty level scale, with about half of its population living below the poverty line. While impressive steps are being taken in the Middle East and Asia, Africa is still behind in the development and eradication of poverty. A research conducted by The Borgen Project, the fraction of people living below the poverty line in Tanzania is at about 68%, with the biggest problem being malnutrition which is at nearly half of all the children being malnourished, families led by women are the most affected as the main source of income is through agropastoralism (Mutabazi, Sieber, Maeda and Tscherning 2015). From projects and aid send by United Nation and other organizations, the level of extreme poverty has been cut to 9% from the former 11%.

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I conducted a case study where some individuals from Tanzania were randomly selected; the objective of the case study was to determine what causes poverty in Tanzania and some of the steps the country is taking to ensure that it improves its citizens. With a primary level education Masalu Zalongwa and a single mother background, he ventures into business starting from small businesses such as selling charcoal and later into managing a retail shop. He can pay his dowry and educates his children in private schools. Another individual Sekina Mkunde is married to a local boy with no income, she was unable to attend any school and hence relies on her children, and being sickly she is unable to fend for herself and the family. The older siblings help out in payment of fees; her husband works at the city as a manual laborer; they can barely provide for their food.

Just like many others, Jasiri maji was born in a farmers' family of 9 children, he has a primary level education but goes ahead to hustle in the city and manages to secure a living for his children. Janilo Mapelo born in the family of four drops out of school and chooses to go to the city and start working as a mechanic, life for him doesn't work well as he is abandoned by his first wife due to his poor state. He then works harder and can gain his feet and marries again. His venture into some scrappy trade allows his get to own two shops and doing agriculture. Godson Mkunde is a son to a civil servant who has what many may call a good paying job. He fails his examinations and ends up working in the streets. His father pays his dowry, but he can manage through the acquisition of loans from some financial institutions, he expanded his business and built more shops for himself (Banks 2016.).

On the other hand, David Polly lives a life with the Christians at the church; being born again helps him as he can acquire a few skills which then earn him a living. However, but then things take a rough turn when he is found with a case of adultery, he loses his job at the church and is divorced by his wife, the later leaves him devastated as all he had is divided into two, and a lot of funds is spent in the courts doing cases. Mandito Mali sets off by acquiring loans for his education and can get employment; this, however, doesn't last long because he gets sick and is unable to work. He chooses to retire and focus on agriculture at his home town (Gray, Boyle, Francks and Yu 2019). Joshua Misanza is an excellent example of a story from poverty to success and back. He starts with a small farm, renting and then slowly started agriculture while selling the produce he was able to gain momentum, but with a sudden climatic change, he was unable to continue farming and with nothing to make more profit he had to sell his assets to survive. He was, however, able to educate his children.

According to an article by the USAID, Tanzania is Africa's fastest growing economy. Women are the largest in population in Tanzania followed by the youth; these two groups also have the highest ability to change the story of Tanzania. The level of education that a common Tanzanian has is a primary school level education; this qualification doesn't offer any job to the young youth, they are then reduced to being beggars and working as laborers in the firms where they are paid very little (Tiberti and Tiberti 2015). Many girls are married off early because parents view this as an easy source of income. They are then reduced to homemakers with nothing to provide for their kids. With such level of education, many Tanzanians are unaware of the current trends in the global market; they are unable to access primary medical care so having them go for a family planning is another thing altogether.

Poverty in the East African country Tanzania has been contributed by many factors; first is the deliberate ignorance of the importance of education (Christiaensen, De Weerdt and Kanbur 2016). While it is true that most families are unable to fend for themselves, it is also true that relatives, who sometimes have the financial ability to help their nieces pay for school fee, neglect them and opt that they work for them at the farms. This attitude has reduced the country into a continuous circle of poverty. Drought and famine are yet another factor, due to the overreliance on agriculture, the population is greatly affected by natural calamities such as drought and attack by pest and diseases (Roy, Cawood, Hordijk, and Hulme 2016)

Lack of enough capital and skills is the source of the demise facing Tanzania. Many individuals who have shown the ability to work well if supported are unable to do so because they do not have access to funds and even loans, the youth are devastated by poverty while they have a lot of ideas and zeal to work. 45% of Tanzania's population consists of youth below the age of fifteen the lack of school fee then leaves this large population at the mercies of the cruel economy. A standard family in Tanzania has about nine children, this high rate of fertility is rendering the parents futile because they are unable to provide food for their children let alone an education. The unavailability of funding to women and youth leaves them poor and vulnerable to abuse and manipulation.

Despite these challenges, the government is working on ways to improve its people's lives. The government has invested in education where all children can access an education which will enlighten them and help them pursue their goals (Pallotti and Tornimbeni 2016). This step has also been backed up by the introduction of student's loans which will help them have easier access to education. Tanzania is a country that is growing at a fast rate; this is all attributed to the continued state of political stability which has been witnessed over the years. This has enabled foreign investors to settle in Tanzania and hence provide employment opportunities to the large workforce.


Banks, N., 2016. Youth poverty, employment and livelihoods: Social and economic implications of living with insecurity in Arusha, Tanzania. Environment and Urbanization, 28(2), pp.437-454.

Christiaensen, L., De Weerdt, J. and Kanbur, R., 2016. Urbanization and poverty reduction: the role of secondary towns in Tanzania.

Gray, L., Boyle, A., Francks, E. and Yu, V., 2019. The power of small-scale solar: gender, energy poverty, and entrepreneurship in Tanzania. Development in Practice, 29(1), pp.26-39.

Mutabazi, K.D., Sieber, S., Maeda, C. and Tscherning, K., 2015. Assessing the determinants of poverty and vulnerability of smallholder farmers in a changing climate: the case of Morogoro region, Tanzania. Regional environmental change, 15(7), pp.1243-1258.

Pallotti, A. and Tornimbeni, C., 2016. Rural Development and the Fight Against Poverty in Tanzania: A Fifty-Year Perspective. State, Land and Democracy in Southern Africa, pp.39-60.

Roy, M., Cawood, S., Hordijk, M. and Hulme, D. eds., 2016. Urban poverty and climate change: life in the slums of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Routledge.

Tiberti, L. and Tiberti, M., 2015. Rural policies, price change and poverty in Tanzania: An agricultural household model-based assessment. Journal of African Economies, 24(2), pp.193-229.

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Tanzania: Poverty and Malnutrition on the Rise in Africa - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 11). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/tanzania-poverty-and-malnutrition-on-the-rise-in-africa-essay-sample

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