Tanzania has been receiving a record amount of attention in WORLD BANK NEWS in recent months as it has acquired a number of new IDA credits.

‘Tanzania Modernises Dar es Salaam Port’ (March 1990)- US$ 37.0 million designed to double the capacity of the port’s container terminal and improve other port services.

‘Tanzania Tackles Problems of Malnutrition. Ineffective Health Services’ (March 8) – a US$ 70.0 million project.

‘Tanzania Set to Revitalise Agricultural Sector’ (April 5) – an IDA Credit of US$ 200.0 million in which the emphasis is on reducing the Government’s role in marketing while encouraging cooperatives and the private sector.

‘Tanzania Rehabilitates Road Network’ (June 7) – a US$ 871.0 million project aimed at restoring 60% of the nation’s primary roads and 50% of the regional road network in 11 agriculturally productive regions.

In its item on a new Education Project (US$ 38.0 million credit) WORLD BANK NEWS described Tanzania’s Education sector as having deteriorated from ‘what was once an exemplar system to one that is now on the brink of collapse’. The article went on to state that primary school enrolment had dropped from 96% of all eligible children in 1979 to 78% in 1978. Secondary school enrolment was amongst the lowest in the world, with only 37% of pupils between the ages of 14 and 17 attending school. School buildings were dilapidated and there was no system in place to maintain them. The project includes construction and renovation of schools, more appropriate curricula and improvements in management of the system.

Roger Carter comments on the criticisms of the system as follows: Editor:
‘In 1974 the CCM Party resolved, in what came to be known as the Musoma Resolution, that by November 1977 every child of school age would receive an opportunity of enrollment in Std 1 of a primary school. As a result Std 1 enrolment grew from 433,000 in 1974 to 878,000 in 1977.

This figure included, not only children in the seven year age group, but also many older children who had missed an earlier chance of primary schooling. The subsequent percentage decline and reported deterioration in standards were largely caused by financial stringency. The original Party decision on Universal Primary Education (UPE) had been taken on the basis of a cost calculation made in 1969 and it is doubtful whether Tanzania could have withstood the burden of UPE, even in favourable circumstances, without a serious decline in standards.

In the case of secondary education the number of schools in the public sector remained almost constant from 84 in 1977 to 86 in 1985, reflecting in part the priority given to primary education. One consequence was the blossoming of the private sector. By 1988 the number enrolled in the private sector was 38% greater than in the public sector. Inevitably the standards in private schools in most cases were very poor owing to 1ack of resources and teaching skills’.

Under this heading AFRICAN CONCORD in its June 18th issue wrote that Tanzania’s President had kicked against a suggestion by Western nations to make the adoption of multi-partyism a condition for economic aid. President Mwinyi had told the Vice-President of the European Community Manuel Marin that this amounted to both political and economic blackmail of the poor. It is not proper for external powers to force their political standards on others.

Microbiologists at the University of Dar es Salaam have discovered a new way of converting organic matter into fuel according to USPG NETWORK, the journal of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel’.

The breakthrough came when they discovered how two micro–organisms affect each other in the mouth of the cockroach, which is famous for eating anything. As fossil fuel reserves decline they leave biomass as the most important potential resource for producing renewable energy. Until now the process – which involves the breakdown of cellulose – has been too slow for practical use. Now, thanks to Tanzanian scientists and the humble cockroach, natural systems may be developed which will speed up the process and give the world an alternative source of energy.

What entertainer hasn’t dreamed of seeing his or her name in lights asked TIME magazine in an article in its June 4th issue. It then went on to describe and illustrate in colour how Tanzania is now offering the ‘stellar names of the black entertainment world’ something different – their faces on postage stamps. Those featured included Makossa saxophonist Manu Dibango from Cameroon, comic actor Eddie Murphy and Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder from the USA, South African singer Miriam Makeba and the late Sammy Davis Jr.

The WALL STREET JOURNAL stated in a lengthy and highly critical
article in its June 18th issue that Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and the Hollywood movie to the contrary, there is no ‘Road to Zanzibar’.

Stating that the latest brochure on Zanzibar from the tourist office in Dar was printed in 1963 and speaks of up to four flights daily and several passenger ferries, the article went on to describe how the ‘Virgin Butterfly’ (Bulletin No 33) which had plied the seas in airc-onditioned style had had to be towed to Mombassa for repairs and had then ‘just disappeared back to Scandinavia’ from which it came. Next had come the ‘Dolphin’, a fresh-water ferry from the USA which had been made seaworthy for sea water. For several weeks it had chugged from mainland to island in about three hours until it had hit a reef about six miles off Zanzibar and still awaited repair.

‘For the truly desperate traveller there are the Arab trading dhows ….. if tile wind isn’t right to lighten the load the traders will first throw the tourist’s luggage overboard and then, if need be, the tourists themselves. “It happens” says a travel agent for the Tanzania Tourist Corporation. “Why not just fly?”

But, went on the article, ‘its not for nothing that the locals call the Air Tanzania Corporation “Any Time Cancelled”……

After some very unflattering remarks about the Bwawani Hotel – ‘a concrete monstrosity painted a garish yellow’ – and reference to a Zanzibar dissident in Dar es Salaam who had said that the authorities didn’t _want foreigners because the Zanzibari’s would inform them about ‘the situation’ the Zanzibar Chief Minister, Dr Omar Juma, was quoted as having hoped that a privately run airport, a private air service and with Stone Town in the hands of private owners who would fix up the
houses, Zanzibar’s tourist industry could be saved.


The thirteenth issue of the JAPAN – TANZANIA ASSOCIATION NEWS of June 13th reported on the State Visit of Tanzania’s President to Japan from December 17th to 22nd 1989. The President had attended welcoming ceremonies at the Akasaka Palace, a dinner at the Imperial Palace and had signed diplomatic notes for the extension of Yen 2.0 billion of Japanese grant aid. The Japan-Tanzania Association had sent more than fifty people to the welcoming ceremonies and had presented a Japanese doll to the President. In Kyoto the Presidential party had visited several historic places such as the Kinkakuji Shrine, Nijo Castle and, in Osaka, several electric factories.

‘It is a typical day at the University of Dar es Salaam. Ernest Maganya arrives a little breathless for the class he teaches in Developmental Economics, for he has been getting his usual practical experience in the subject. His professor’s pay of US$ 75 per month is enough to feed his family for- about a week, and he supplements this by ferrying produce and chickens to market every morning in an old pick-up truck.

So began an article in a recent issue of the JAPAN TIMES quoting from the LOS ANGELES TIMES. ‘Down the hill from the classrooms’ the article went on ‘student President Matiko Matara arrives back in his office in the student center from which he was escorted at gunpoint two days earlier by the Tanzanian security police. The police had been questioning him about his role in fomenting an eight day student strike ….. they accused him of being on the US Central Intelligence Agency payroll.

There followed a paragraph about the closure of the university. This story could be written about any of more than forty institutions of higher learning on the continent of Africa …. the condition of African universities night be described as a silent disaster. There are no dramatic photos, no heart-rending personal histories. But the cradles of African leadership are almost uniformly victimised by physical collapse, a ‘brain drain’ fuelled by ludicrously low salaries and political unrest. Government hostility, donor neglect and decades of mismanagement and inept planning are helping them crumble’ … .

‘The library at the Dar university is useful more as a chronicle of the institution’s past than as a study tool. In the periodicals room scarcely any of the technical journals are up to date. The file of Psychological Abstracts stops at 1963. Current biography at 1977. The most recent World Almanac is 10 years old. Bound volumes of the Times of London Index stretch back 30 years but the most recent issue available is dated 1977 …. ‘.

In an article under the title ‘The Fisheries of Tanzania’ WORLD FISHING in a recent issue endeavoured, in two pages, to describe the whole of Tanzania’s fishing industry.

‘In 1974 the Government established a State-controlled fishing company TAFICO ostensibly to develop, manage and exploit all aspects of the marine fishery with particular emphasis on shrimps. TAFICO has had a chequered history since its inception. International aid donors with good, albeit misguided intentions, contributed vessels of varying designs ranging from 20m beam trawlers from Australia to 10m vessels from the UK, Finland and Japan …. the result was predictable: machinery of a multitude of origins and designs soon broke down with no provision for spare parts or other back up services. Boats became discarded with minor mechanical faults, to lie rusting on the beach in Tanzania’s humid climate. In essence, epitomising in microcosm what should not be done in developing countries which lack trained technical staff and support facilities.

Happily. in recent years. the Government has reviewed its policies. TAFICO is now being assisted by Japan which is providing technicians and operating new prawn-catching vessels of the very latest design. Prawns are caught, processed and packed on board, ready for export. Foreign vessels under license have also been allowed into the fishery thus sharpening the competitive edge. Earnings have increased dramatically.
Paradoxically, the local artisanal fishery is still the main producer of fish, accounting for some 85% of the total marine catch. It is a fishery that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years ……. ‘.

‘By the year 2000 at the cost of US$ 1.9 billion of western aid Tanzania’s potholed road network will be restored to 70% of what it was in 1975. It is a damning assessment for a country which has consistently been ranked one of the world’s top aid per capita recipients’.

So began an article highly critical of aid to Africa in the August 11th issue of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The article went on: ‘Between 1970 and 1989 Tanzania received about US$ 9.5 billion of foreign assistance. Aid workers from Peking to Stockholm poured fistfuls of money into the country to shore up an African experiment in alternative development … Socialism and Self Reliance. But 20 years of self reliance have made Tanzania more dependent on imports and foreign aid, currently running at just over $1.0 billion a year, than almost any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. And, apart from the leaps forward in literacy and the provision of rudimentary rural health services, there is little to show for the massive handouts of assistance … there had been wanton mismanagement of the economy. But poorly designed and implemented development projects combined with bad advice from donors also contributed to Tanzania’s economic malaise’

The Swedish Ambassador was quoted as having said that “Tanzania came to symbolise our hopes in Africa. We supported a development policy we thought was correct and which appealed to the philosophy of our own country. But it was not successful. Sweden and others helped to drag Tanzania into the crisis”.

The article described the World Bank sponsored Morogoro Shoe Factory as a good example of an ill-conceived industrial strategy combined with very poor project design and the Norwegian sponsored Mbegani Fisheries Development Centre (Bulletin No 36) as a ‘hare-brained scheme’

Under this heading the Japanese newspaper ASAHI SHINBUN reported recently that a Japanese dealer in second- hand cars in Nagoya had had printed a glossy circular offering refurbished Japanese cars at bargain prices on receipt of cash from Tanzania. The cars did not arrive as promised. The Japanese embassy in Dar es Salaam issued warnings through the newspapers that some 50 people had responded and had lost their money. In all a sum of US$ 170,000 had been lost. A Japanese businessman in Dar es Salaam had subsequently written to the ASAHI SHINBUN appealing to Japanese people to compensate those Tanzanians who had been exploited and for the government to stop such schemes. The car dealer has been expelled from the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce.

Sulk (Nuna) and Ire (Hamaki) sound rather bizarre as labels for political parties; but they are indeed the initials that stand for the names of two of the dissident political groupings that met in London recently as joint signatories to a challenging letter addressed to the Chairman of the sole and ruling party in Tanzania – the CCM.

So began an article in the July issue of AFRICA EVENTS. The article went on: The document welcomes ‘the initiative of the CCM Chairman in allowing the introduction of. … competing parties in the political system of Tanzania, suggests changes in the Constitution to allow for multi-party activity and asks for the elections to be postponed to give time for new parties to register and campaign.

‘Oscar Kambona who fell out with Nyerere in the sixties, and is now in exile in Britain, is the leader of one of the parties the Tanzania Democratic Front. The monarchist Zanzibar organisation, dual based in Portsmouth and Dubai. …. endorsed the petition. Hamaki, led by … .. .. Marxist ex-Umma Party activists based mainly in Copenhagen were also there…… The Tanzania Action Front, centering around the highjackers of a Tanzanian civilian plane a few years ago were not to be left out. There were also the Nuna and Tanzania Youth Democratic Movement parties.

Observers in London are … . rather at a loss to understand how such a …. combination could ever possibly have been achieved …… there is a common streak running through the leadership … most were once in senior positions in the cabinet, the civil service or the army … . they see a chance to snap back into the great whirlwind excitement of politicking in the centre rather than the outer wilderness of foreign lands’.

In the June 25th Issue of the AFRICAN ECONOMIC DIGEST there was an article describing how the Bank of Tanzania had exported 196 kilos of gold worth £ 1.0 million In seven weeks since it took over responsibility for gold sales from private traders. This compared with 1,087 kilos exported over seven years between 1982 and 1989. 196 kilos were exported to the Bank of England for purification. Purity in gold content was rated at 84.7%

The Bank of Tanzania has ordered 24 weighing scales to expand its buying activities nationwide. Since its takeover of gold purchases, black marketeers have pushed prices up in an attempt to defeat the Bank. On June 16th therefore the Bank announced that it was raising the price from July 1st in on attempt to drive out the black marketeers.

AFRICA EVENTS in its August/September 1990 issue published a three page analysis aimed at determining the reasons for the closure of the University of Dar es Salaam by the Government on May 12. The Sokoine University in Morogoro remains open. The article concluded that there was still a lack of agreement about the real cause.

It traced the events: a 12 day ‘Baraza’ amongst the students, joined at one stage by some members of staff; a student delegation to the President to invite him to come to the university to ta1k to them about their grievances (the control of the student organisation by the youth wing of the ruling party; education cuts; shortages of space, books, medicines etc; cuts in their spending power for food and lodging); a promise by the President to do so after a forthcoming overseas visit; the refusal of the students to return to their classes; a strong ultimatum from the government; an eventual reluctant return to classes; return of the President and his refusal to meet the students because they had originally disobeyed his instruction to return to classes; the placing on walls of all kinds of filthy posters by the students. The government stated that it was forced to take action because of the d6ngerous security situation that was developing.

AFRICAN CONCORD wrote in its June 4th issue about the aftermath of the very severe flooding which Tanzania has suffered from this year.

‘It began as a trickle. But all too suddenly the heaven’s bowels opened and the rains came down in torrents. Tanzanian meteorologists have not seen such floods for more than ha1f a century. Worst hit regions were Lindi, Mtwara, Arusha, Dodoma, Tabora, Mara, Shinyanga, Morogoro and Kilimanjaro. 200,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

Tanzanians themselves raised some US$ 268,000 to help the victims and the country received foodstuffs, tents, medicines blankets, utensils and building materials as well as cash donations from foreign donors.

In a seven page article in the April issue of THE PARLIAMENTARIAN Tanzanian MP, Mr Philip S Marmo, compared aspects of democracy in Tanzania with democracy in certain other states. He pointed out that in the last 25 years, on average, more than half the incumbent members of Tanzania’s Parliament, including senior government Ministers had failed to be returned at elections. This meant a high degree of leadership circulation. Under one-party conditions elections tended to be much more unsafe for personal political careers than in countries where parties competed with each other’. Furthermore, the Tanzanian system allowed the electorate to choose the most competent persons as MP’s rather than having to vote for persons chosen by competing parties.

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