FILE PHOTO: A participant stands near a logo of World Bank at the International Monetary Fund.
INTERNATIONAL –  The World Bank on Thursday urged Tanzania to undertake important and urgent investments to accelerate progress in the health and education of its youth if the country is to improve its human capital for sustainable development. 

The World Bank's latest economic update for Tanzania released in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said in recent years, the east African nation has made gains in human development, with reduced under-five mortality, an increase in the average number of years of schooling for its youth, and improved adult survival. 

However, Tanzania's human capital index (HCI) of 0.40 means that children born today in the country may reach only 40 percent of the earnings that they could have attained with full health and education, said the update. 

"Tanzania's wealth has increased by 45 percent since 1995 and this is an important achievement, but the country's population has also grown, leading to a decreasing of per capita wealth which is not sustainable," said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania. 

"For the country to achieve sustained and inclusive growth, it needs to make a concerted investment in its people, as human capital is the most important asset of any country," said Bella. 

The World Bank launched the HCI in October 2018, as part of the new human capital project to encourage countries to invest more and better in their people. 

The index focuses on five factors that have an important bearing for future earnings, said the update. 

The factors were the survival rate of children past age five, the expected number of years of education completed by youth, the quality of learning in school, how long workers will remain in the workforce, as measured by adult survival past 60, and prevention of stunting in young children. 

XINHUA