Tanzania  has joined 37 other UN affiliated countries in the world in ratifying the Open Government Partnership Programme. This effectively makes Tanzania the fifth African county to do so after South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Liberia.

After the signing yesterday, the country’s Minister in the President’s Office (Good Governance), Mr Mathias Chikawe said that the government would soon make public the action plan to implement the programme.

The action plan is not yet ready but the minister promises that it “will be prepared transparently and will involve few priorities. Preliminary priorities will be strengthening transparency, integrity and accountability in health, education and water sectors.”

The Open Government Partnership programme was launched at the United Nation General Assembly in New York in September 2010. It aims strengthening accountability and transparency in governments enabling the public access to correct information for use in planning development, fighting corruption and stimulating the use of technology and innovation.

In preparing the action plan, the minister announced that “there will be public hearing involving media, private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations and the public at large.”

The Tanzanian open government action plan will then tabled for discussion during the ministerial meeting of the programme members to be held on December 7-8, 2011 in Brasilia, Brazil.