Project Case Study
Strengthening the role of the media in supporting reforms in Tanzania
Promoting private sector development aims through the media
In the hope of improving the country’s growth trajectory, Tanzania embraced the market-led economic reform agenda earlier than most countries of the wider East African region after decades of central planning.
In 2000, only about 5% of Tanzanians had access to piped water, electricity or phones. As part of a wider effort to address this, we played an important role in establishing the Parastatal Sector Reform Commission’s Information Unit and supporting it through the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Through the Unit, we launched inexpensive mass media campaigns, chiefly through radio but augmented with print and television. These aimed to educate one of the world’s poorest countries on why private sector participation was needed to build the infrastructure and spread the associated benefits to millions of poor and those climbing out of poverty.
The Information Unit has received glowing praise from elsewhere in the government, plus from Tanzania’s business community, foreign embassies, donors and potential investors. Our team advised on all aspects of communication associated with the Commission’s agenda, designing the overall communications and public relations programme as well as advising on specific transactions.
A key role of the Unit has been to work with local media organisations to strengthen their understanding of the reforms and their capacity to write and report on them accurately. Our work in the area included providing extensive training to radio, print and television journalists and advising key media organisations on improving their operations and management.