Tanzania Cluster Initiative Project Evaluation Report.

Tanzania’s eight cluster initiatives (CI) project was launched in January 2006. The SIDA-funded project is the first such project to have ever been embarked on in Tanzania, and therefore a trial project that was planned to run for 18 months. The mid term evaluation for the project was done in July and August 2006. This final evaluation builds on the previous evaluation, but also includes a brief overview of the mid-term evaluation as part of the background for each cluster initiative. Since the readers of this report might not had chance to read the mid-term report where the project was fully introduced and the framework for evaluation put in place, background information on the project is provided as well as the framework for evaluation. It is important to note that the framework used for the midterm evaluation consist of only those indicators considered necessary for the early stages of clustering, which in this report it is suggested that this be used during the baseline survey for selecting clusters to participate in the initiatives. The suggested table of indicators that should be used for evaluating clusters at different stages is given in Section six. The table, to a large extent, has been informed by this final evaluation.

The Cluster Initiative project is the outcome of the first Conference on Innovation Systems and Innovative Clusters in Africa held in 2004 in Tanzania, and Co-organized by the College of Engineering and technology (CoET) of the University of dare s Salaam. The broad objective of the conference was to establish the status of innovation systems and innovative clusters in Africa. Emanating from the conference was the fact that very little is known about the functioning of innovation systems and innovative clusters in Africa. More specifically, the concept of cluster initiative is hardly known, indicating that there are very few, if any, cluster initiatives taking place in the region. A plan of action to address some of these shortcomings was therefore developed. This included the 18 months clusters initiative pilot project consisting of 8 clusters. The first of the project was launched in January 2006 and ended in July 2007.