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Kigoma main streetIf you are reading this, you are probably aware that Seed Change works in Tanzania. You may also know that we work in the Kigoma region of Tanzania. But you probably don’t know too much about Kigoma itself. Maybe just something about palm trees growing nicely here. Or if you are chimpanzee fan you may know that Jane Goodall did her research here. Or those history buffs and/or adventurer fans may know that Stanley presumptively met Dr Livingstone here. These things are all true. And obviously other non-euro centric things happened here as well.

So for everyone to brush up on their Kigoma facts and figures before their next dinner party, here are a few more (warning: you could be accused of being depressing if you use these facts and figures as dinner-party fodder):

  • Annual per capita income in Kigoma: 608,000 shillings (USD $278)
  • Life expectancy: 62
  • Average number of years in school: 5
  • Percentage of children who suffer from stunting: 48
  • Percentage of births that do not occur in a health facility: 67
  • Percentage of adults with some secondary education: 5
  • Pupil to teacher ratio: 53:1
  • Average classroom size: 77
  • Average number of students per pit latrine: 70

Overall Kigoma has the lowest Human Development Index, a composite measure of development used by the UN Development Programme, in Tanzania. Tanzania itself is ranked a lowly 151st. Norway tops the charts with Australia hot on her icy Scandinavian heels in second.

Tanzania’s economy has grown at over 7% a year for the last decade or so. Yet HDI has increased only 1.44% over the entire last 15 years. Last week this blog wrote a piece discussing how Seed Change is working to make Tanzania’s economic growth more inclusive. More inclusive economic growth would leave more money in people pockets to pay to give birth in a health facility or buy their children more nutritious food to avoid stunting.

You may look at this list of facts and think that Seed Change should be working in health or education. And clearly the room for improvement is great. However, the Tanzanian Human Development Report 2014 (available here and where a lot of these facts are taken from) states that “intensifying agricultural production would create the most immediate impact on poverty reduction and livelihood improvement in Tanzania”. Most immediate impact on poverty reduction – that’s a pretty great thing to be working towards.

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika

Jacobson Beach

Jacobson Beach

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