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Activities in Tanzania

JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers) in Tanzania


JICA's volunteer program started in 1965. As of now, over 54,000 JICA volunteers have been dispatched to work alongside local communities in 98 countries and regions in the world. The program aims to achieve its three main objectives as follows:

  1. To cooperate in the economic and social development, as well as the reconstruction of developing countries
  2. To deepen mutual understanding and coexistence in cross-cultural societies
  3. To give back the volunteer experience to society

The first batch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) arrived in Tanzania in March 1967. It was the second batch to be dispatched to Africa. Since that time, about 1,700 Japanese volunteers have been dispatched to Tanzania. Volunteers live and work at the grassroots level, speaking the same language (i.e., Swahili) as the local communities and carrying out activities with an emphasis on fostering self-reliance for sustainable change.

The program in Tanzania focuses on three priority areas:

  1. Nurturing driving forces of economic growth
  2. Infrastructure development conducive to economic and social development
  3. Improvement of governance and public service delivery

Volunteers have worked in various areas of Tanzania, including the largest city (Dar es Salaam), inland area (Morogoro, Iringa and Dodoma), the Indian Ocean coast area (Bagamoyo, Pwani, Tanga), at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, inland city of Lake Victoria (Mwanza), high land areas (Mbeya and Ruvuma), along the Mozambique border (Mtwara and Lindi), and Zanzibar.

Volunteers are generally dispatched for two years, and JICA provides Swahili language training to volunteers before their assignments, since they work locally with the people of Tanzania for the development of the regions.

Volunteers mainly work in the following fields in Tanzania:

Priority Areas of Assistance: Nurturing Driving Forces of Economic Growth
Dispatch Field: Agriculture

PhotoA volunteer on vegetable growing giving guidance on vegetable cultivation

The agricultural sector in Tanzania accounts for about a quarter of the country's GDP, and about 80% of the population make a living from agriculture, which is the core of economic growth of the country. Therefore, JICA implements multiple grant aid and technical cooperation projects in this field. As for the volunteer program, JICA has dispatched volunteers for vegetable growing and animal husbandry.

Priority Areas of Assistance: Nurturing Driving Forces of Economic Growth
Dispatch Field: Industrial Human Resource Development

PhotoA PC instructor teaching students how to use the computer

In Tanzania, where high economic growth continues, development in human resources in the technology industry has high demand. Many volunteers have worked at various vocational training centres, universities and other institutions of higher learning to contribute to the development of human resources. At vocational training centres, ICT and PC-related volunteers have worked on several activities in collaboration with volunteers in different fields. Volunteers of various fields, other than ICT, have also been dispatched to higher education institutions such as colleges and universities to meet local needs.

Priority Areas of Assistance: Improvement of Governance and Public Service Delivery
Dispatch Field: Education

PhotoClass scene of a volunteer teaching mathematics at a secondary school

In order to enhance public services in the field of education in Tanzania, there are many requests for volunteers in science education, mathematics education and in primary school education. Volunteers for science education and mathematics education teach in secondary schools. Chronic shortage of science and mathematics teachers is one of the challenges in Tanzania, and this often make students proceed to secondary schools with insufficient basic arithmetic knowledge and skills. Volunteers in primary schools and those in secondary schools in the same region sometimes cooperate and contribute to improving the basic knowledge and skills of their students.

Priority Areas of Assistance: Improvement of Governance and Public Service Delivery
Dispatch Field: Local Administration

PhotoA community development volunteer supporting the activities of residents

Regarding capacity building in public financial management, which is one of the development issues in Tanzania, the volunteer program assists in the area of local government reform, especially in community development. Volunteers in community development facilitate the improvement of working efficiency in district, municipal and city councils, which are some of the locations where volunteers are assigned. They also contribute to building capacity of staff in those local governments and often work with local residents, in many cases with women, to encourage their autonomous activities.

Priority Areas of Assistance: Improvement of Governance and Public Service Delivery
Dispatch Field: Health

PhotoA nursing volunteer promotes 5S-KAIZEN at hospital

To promote capacity building in public financial management in Tanzania in general, volunteers have worked in the field of public health service. Volunteers in the fields of nursing and midwifery have been dispatched to work in hospitals at various levels including national, regional and district hospitals. Nursing and midwifery volunteers have helped facilitate 5S-KAIZEN (i.e., quality management) activities so that quality management would be established in their assigned places. Volunteers municipal and district councils have mainly contributed to capacity building of staff there. Physiotherapy is another field where volunteers are assigned to hospitals from national to district levels. One of the volunteers' activities in this field is to offer advice on treatment of patients through their work, with Tanzanian counterparts, which would lead to improvement of the skills of physiotherapists in Tanzania.

Priority Areas of Assistance: Improvement of Governance and Public Service Delivery
Dispatch Field: Physical Education, Sports

PhotoA baseball volunteer coaching young people

JICA has dispatched volunteers in the field of Physical Education (P.E.) to secondary and higher education institutions with the aim of popularizing physical education in Tanzania. In addition, based on the ‘SPORT FOR TOMORROW' initiative advocated by former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, JICA has provided many people with the opportunity to participate in sporting activities. In addition to P.E., JICA has dispatched baseball and judo volunteers to Tanzania.


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