THE government is reviewing the current sports development policy which has been in force for the past 15 years.
The process is in the initial stages and is coordinated by the director of Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports, Gasper Mwambezi.
The ministry's assistant director of sports, Juliana Yassoda, who is responsible for policy matters, told THISDAY last week it will take some time to come up with a new policy that will facilitate smooth running of sports in the country.
The current policy was launched in 1995 by the then Minister for Education and Culture, Professor Philemon Sarungi, after 10 years of preparations.
“The world has changed drastically in the last 15 years. There have been so many social, political and economic changes,” Yassoda said.
“Sports has not been left behind, so we need to have an effective up-to-date policy that will enable sports administrators in the country to face new challenges,” she added.
Yassoda said a second draft of the new policy was prepared in Tanga last month by officials from the ministry, National Sports Council (NSC) and heads of zonal sports centres.
“We met for three days (May 26-28) in Tanga on the sidelines of the ministry's Workers Council and prepared the second draft,” she said.
“We have also consulted sports policies of other countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia and Botswana,” she added.
The draft will soon be submitted to Mwambezi for review and later sports stakeholders' views will be sought.
Yassoda said they want to involve all sports stakeholders in the process so as to come up with a tangible policy.
We'll seek views from the public, sports experts, national, regional and district sports associations as well as clubs,” Yassoda said.
She said several new developments in the local and international sports arena have necessitated the need for Tanzania to have a new sports development policy.
“Previously, we had amateur sports in Tanzania but now we're semi-professional and some of our soccer players are real professionals,” Yassoda said.
In addition, most of the national soccer associations have now become federations and their constitutions have changed, too.
“We, therefore, need to have a new sports development policy that will accommodate these changes,” she added.