Tanzania’s initiative in trying to achieve a world-wide ban on the trade in ivory (Bulletin No 34) caused a heated debate at the biennial conference of the UN sponsored Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Switzerland in October 1989. Eventually 76 countries voted for a total ban on ivory but eleven voted against. Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Burundi declared that they might file a reservation which would enable them to sell and export ivory. Furthermore, trophy hunting and the local use of meat, skin and ivory of the elephant is still not banned.

The immediate effects were good however. Reports from South Africa in early November spoke of the bottom falling out of the ivory trade. Shopkeepers selling ivory reported losing 60% of their normal turnover. American tourists were said to have reacted with horror on seeing ivory objects still on sale on the shops.

The Government has authorised the establishment of an ostrich farm in Arusha in spite of opposition from members of the Regional Development Committee who feared that this could lead to disturbance of the ostriches in their natural habitat. Parent stocks of the birds wi11 be captured from the wildlife areas and eventually produce up to 20,000 ostriches mainly for export . The farm is at Gomba Estate and already has some 200 ostriches. The birds are bred mainly for their valuable tail feathers, skin and meat – Daily News.

Tanzania has the richest and biggest ruby deposits in the world a Swiss geologist/gemologist said in Arusha recently. The Longido mine was the biggest ruby mine in the world. The mine was nationalised in 1972 and operated by Tanzania Gemstone Industries (TGI) but closed shortly afterwards. However, it is now operating under a joint venture between TGI and a Swiss Company, Tofco SA. The new company has imported all necessary mining equipment and lorries – Daily News.

According to the Ministry of Education’s 1987/88 Annual Report 42,316 pupils left school in 1988 because of pregnancy, early marriage, entering petty trading and following the emigration of parents in search of pasture.

Arusha Region had the highest incidence of pupils leaving school followed by Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Mbeya and Kagera Regions.

However, some 3,169,202 pupils were enrolled in primary schools and the number entering Standard One in January 1988 was 548,055 – an increase of 8,698 children compared with 1987. The enrolment represents 89.6% of the school age population. This means that some 800,000 children were not sent to school – Daily News.

A Regional Dermatology Training Centre is being set up at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Mosh!. It will cover the needs of English speaking countries in East , Central and Southern Africa. The training will be aimed at the Medical Assistant level and will cover the diagnosis and treatment of the skin diseases prevalent in rural areas, including leprosy and sexually transmitted diseases, (including AIDS) in a two-year course leading to the award of a Diploma in Dermatology from the University of Dar es Salaam. The International Foundation of Dermatology will construct the training centre and hostel on the grounds of the KCMC. In addition to these capital costs considerable finance will be required to fund the training courses. Fund raising amongst potential donors was one of the purposes of a meeting about the project held on September 13th 1989 at the Bolivar Hall attached to the Venezuelan Embassy in London and hosted by H.E. the Venezuelan Ambassador who is himself a dermatologist.
Harold Wheate

‘Dr’ Remmy Ongala and his Super Matimila orchestra are, according to the Daily News, taking Europe by storm. The 10 man Tanzanian orchestra has so far performed in Yugoslavia, Norway, Finland, Holland, Belgium, France, Denmark, West Germany, Spain, Canada, the USA and Britain.

‘Throughout our tour’ said Ongala, ‘so many people have got interested in our music that we now have the double task of explaining where Tanzania is …. we play all our numbers in Kiswahili to show them that we come from that peace-loving, beautiful country in East Africa’

Foreign consultants have been criticised from two directions recently.
Discussing a paper on ‘Energy and Biotechnology’ at a three-day Party seminar in October a participant said that Tanzania was spending about US$270 million a year on foreign consultancy. He said that there were many Tanzanians who could do such assignments but many institutions preferred foreigners who are given 97% of all consulting work in the country.

Two weeks later Mwalimu Nyerere, told the closing session of a seminar on science and technology at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam, that Tanzania should start refusing external aid which increased the country’s dependence on foreign experts. Reiterating the call for collective self-reliance among the developing countries, Mwalimu, who is also Chairman of the South Commission, said countries in the South should meet each others demand for human and material resources before going to the North. His remarks were cheered by the audience. At the same time Mwalimu donated Shs one million from the monetary part of the Lenin Peace Prize he got in 1987 to a proposed International Village for Science and Technology to be built in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, a Tanzania Association of Consultants (TACO) has been inaugurated at the Hellenic Club in Dar es Salaam. It was originally registered by Government in May 1988. The association is a multidisciplinary body comprising consultants in engineering, agricultural and rural development, financial management systems and administrative management. The Chairman is Mr Aloyce Peter Mushi of Co-Architecture, Dar es Salaam. The priority is to help the Government to cut down on expenditure on foreign consultancy companies – Daily News.

The University of Dar es Salaam is one of the few examples in Africa in which faculty and research economists are contributing significantly to national economic policy analysis, according to the World Bank Annual Report for 1989. The economists had been seconded to Government and parastatals where they participated in the drawing up of the first Economic Recovery Programme and in techniques of external negotiation. The Bank praised the way in which the authorities had opened debate on difficult policy issues.

The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Ahmed H Diria, has appointed an eleven-member technical committee to undertake feasibility studies on the establishment of television in mainland Tanzania. This follows the Part y and Government decision to introduce television by the year 2,000 Daily News.

More than 50 Civil Aviation engineers have left their jobs and sought employment elsewhere because their scheme of service, approved by the Ministry of Manpower in 1983 has not yet been implemented.

It was with these words that the Danish Ambassador to Tanzania described the recently renovated (with Danish help) MV Victoria. The ship had broken down three years ago and the rehabilitation has included the changing of all engines, three generators, rewiring, and installation of A/C instead of D/C current. Its carrying capacity has been increased by 450 seats so that it can now carry 38 first class, 66 second and 1,096 third class passengers in addition to 200 tons of cargo. The vessel’s speed has been increased from 12.5 to 14.0 knots so that it will be the fastest of the 12 ships the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) operates on Lake Victoria.

MV Victoria dates back to 1958 when it was first built in Britain. It was brought to Kisumu in Kenya where it was re-assembled in 1960. When the East African Community collapsed in 1977 the vessel was held up in Kisumu and stayed there until the completion of lengthy negotiations between the Community partners and it was allowed to come to Tanzania. SHIHATA

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.