Coordination of Economic Empowerment Researches

The National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) is an apex body which was established under the Act No 16 of 2004 (National Economic Empowerment Act) and is mandated to plan, coordinate and supervise the implementation of the National Economic Empowerment Policy (NEEP, 2004). The National Economic Empowerment Act provides for the following functions of NEEC:

  1. Implement the National Economic Empowerment Policy
  2. Provide Tanzanians with the opportunity to participate in economic activities.
  3. Encourage and promote savings, investment and meaningful economic participation by Tanzanians.
  4. Promote and support business ventures pioneered and run by Tanzanians.
  5. Manage, administer and identify sources of grants and donations for the Empowerment Fund.

The Act No 16 of 2004, which established NEEC through its Article 5(1) on the functions of the Council, recognizes the role research findings have in economic empowerment. That is why the same has given NEEC mandate to coordinate all researches that are geared towards facilitation of economic empowerment.  This means that NEEC have a legal mandate of identifying, collecting, storing in a database, directing to appropriate needy group and promoting for adoption all research findings for the sake of economic empowerment.

NEEC is very confident with the legal, regulatory and institutional framework available in Tanzania towards promotion of research and development. Overall research coordination is being done by COSTECH which is established by Act No 7 of 1986. Through the National Fund for Advancement of Science and Technology (NFAST) they call for proposals annually in their priority areas as per research agenda and disburse monies to the winners to undertake their respective research. In most cases they are interested in scientific research with emphasis in prioritizes programs in that material time. In other hand there is Research and Development Policy (2010) that guide how to promote research in Tanzania. The Universities Act No 7 of 2005 give Universities mandate to undertake research as their carriers. Also, there are quite a number of legally established sectoral research institutions with economic empowerment focus. To date there is involvement of private institutions in doing research. Such institutions include, REPOA, ESRF, ESAURP, TATEDO, Tea Research Institute of Tanzania, etc. Also, Sector Ministries allocate budgets to their respective institutions for undertaking Research and Development. There are list of R&D institutions specialized in Agriculture, Livestock, Industries, Mining, social, cultural, financing, etc. All are NEEC stakeholders as long as they produce research results that are geared towards economic empowerment. In this regard, NEEC is not reinventing the wheel, instead it will effective utilize the available frameworks and institutions to move forward. The role of NEEC will be to coordinate all these entities to the point that the intended objective of empowering Tanzanians is attained. Various partnerships and collaborations will be executed to serve this purpose.

In order to implement NEEP, 2004 effectively among other thing the research focus/themes should be looking at unlocking/ unleash economic potential by referring to the nine pillars of economic empowerment, namely:-

  1. Accelerating Economic Growth and Creating an enabling Investment Environment;
  2. Legal and Regulatory Framework and Public Service Delivery;
  3. Investment Capital/ Financial inclusion/Community Financial Groups
  4. Raising skills and knowledge/Entrepreneurship skills/ MSME/
  5. Economic Infrastructure/ICT/electricity/ road networks
  6. Privatization;
  7. Markets/Local and international access
  8. Cooperatives; and
  9. Land/Community Financial Groups

As far as NEEC mandates are concerned, coordination in this aspect needs to map all key players of research on economic empowerment.  They range from producers of research results, entrepreneurs and consumers. Producer of research results can be academia, research institutions, innovators and individual, those which undertake research as their carrier. In other words these form competent authorities in this area of specialization. Entrepreneurs are those which are able to take up a particular research results and invest in it for massive production at profit. They are very important vehicle of ensuring that the research results are absorbed and directed to its appropriate outlet. The consumers are the final destination of the research results and most research have to target at this particular group in order to add value to the society at large. This is the targeted audience who utilizes a particular knowledge from research in their daily undertakings. In view of this, NEEC is focusing to coordinate research results that have potential to bring about economic empowerment of Tanzanian men, women and People’s With Disabilities. Also, results which provide solutions of creating enabling environment will be taken and analyzed before it is directed to its respective route. Enabling environment should be able to bring on board Tanzanian men, women and PWDs to participate effective in economic activities. Coordination will be done by creating mechanisms that will bring together all players of the research result in question.

Modalities of coordination of research will be through setting various platforms that will enable bringing together all key stakeholders and share information’s. Through a Research Committee key players will be brought together to deliberate on how best the coordination role can be achieved. The research committee will convene a team with multidisciplinary experiences to ensure that there is diversity in whatever is given out for implementation. It is also expected that NEEC will be organizing exhibitions for the three groups (Public, Entrepreneurs and Researchers) to come together. This will be rotating in zones depending on the available research results, the possibility of that result to be consumed and the demand of the same. In playing its catalytic role NEEC will be posting in its website various research results that qualify the concept of economic empowerment as it is clearly defined by the NEEC Act No 16 of 2004. However, before this has been effected the approval of NEEC management is of high priority.

NEEC will host a database of all research results which are geared towards economic empowerment. The supply side and the demand side of the researches which are geared towards economic empowerment will be made available to the public so that they are informed immediately.

In view of this, NEEC is taking this opportunity to invite all key players in research as it has been explained above to visit our office for further explanation. For further information you may contact our email address neec@uwezeshaji.go.tz