Tanzania has moved up slightly in international rankings of economic freedom, standing at 82nd place among 100 nations in the 2015 edition of the Fraser Institute’s “Economic Freedom of the World” annual report, up from 92nd place the previous year. Tanzania-based Atlas Network partner the Uhuru Initiative for Policy and Education (UIPE) recently held a press conference to announce its position in the rankings and for UIPE Executive Director Isack Danford to explain the many ways in which the country still lags far behind the rest of the world in creating a climate of economic freedom and prosperity.
“Mr. Danford reported that among issues that [draw] back our country in economic freedom [are] extra payment, bribes and favoritism, bureaucracy costs, administrative requirements, centralized collective bargaining, hiring and firing regulations and hiring contracts and minimum wages,” UIPE reported in a press release. “He said that on international trade the issue that affects economic freedom is investment restriction, non-tariff barriers and standard deviation of tariff rates. Mr. Danford pointed out that in the form of law and ownership of private property, other factors affecting economic freedom is business costs of crime, reliability of police, legal enforcement of contracts, protection of property rights, impartial courts and judicial independence.”
UIPE was founded less than two years ago, and in that time the organization has made ambitious strides toward educating Tanzanian citizens and policymakers about sound public policy. One early success was UIPE’s Economic Freedom of Tanzania Conference, held in Dar es Salaam in April 2015, which brought together members of parliament, journalists, and businessmen to debate and analyze the roadblocks that have hindered international trade and economic freedom.