Tanzania’s first “National Science and Technology Policy” was adopted in 1996. The objective of the government’s “Vision 2025” (1998) document was to “transform the economy into a strong, resilient and competitive one, buttressed by science and technology”.

Under the umbrella of the One UN Initiative, UNESCO and Tanzanian government departments and agencies formulated a series of proposals in 2008 for revising the “National Science and Technology Policy”. The total reform budget of US$10 million was financed from the One UN fund and other sources. UNESCO provided support for mainstreaming science, technology, and innovation into the new “National Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy” for the mainland and Zanzibar namely, Mkukuta II and Mkuza II, including in the field of tourism.

Tanzania’s revised science policy was published in 2010. Entitled “National Research and Development Policy”, it recognizes the need to improve the process of prioritization of research capacities, develop international co-operation in strategic areas of research and development, and improve planning for human resources. It also makes provisions for the establishment of a National Research Fund. This policy was, in turn, reviewed in 2012 and 2013.

In 2010, Tanzania devoted 0.38 percent of GDP to research and development. The global average in 2013 was 1.7 percent of GDP. Tanzania had 69 researchers (in head counts) per million population in 2010. In 2014, Tanzania counted 15 publications per million inhabitants in internationally catalogued journals, according to Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded). The average for sub-Saharan Africa was 20 publications per million inhabitants and the global average 176 publications per million inhabitants.