Tanzania: Calls for World Bank to scrap $500m loan over rights concerns


Activists in Tanzania are calling for the World Bank to scrap plans for a $500 million loan to the country over human rights concerns.

Opposition MP Zitto Kabwe has also joined calls for the loan to be withdrawn, sending a letter to the bank’s board members, urging them to suspend any loans to the country until a range of human rights issues are addressed, including media and political oppression.

Calls for loan withdrawal over rights issues

In a separate letter sent to the World Bank, civil society organisations have also called for the loan to be withdrawn, highlighting a number of rights issues faced by young women and schoolgirls in Tanzania. Namely, President John Magufuli has introduced a ban that prevents pregnant schoolgirls from attending school – a move that has been widely criticised for impeding upon educations rights.

The ban was also called out for punishing young girls when many young pregnancies in Tanzania are the result of rape and sexual assault.

Under Magufuli, the government has forced girls to undergo pregnancy tests and thousands of young girls have been excluded from schools. Campaigners say that approving the proposed $500m World Bank loan would send out the wrong message that Magufuli’s campaign against essential human rights should be tolerated.

Featured image: By ChuckTBaker – Own work This file was derived from: 320 worldbank-logo.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32076789

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.