TIME MAGAZINE published a lengthy cover story under the title ‘The Agony of Africa’ in its September 7th issue. On East Africa it wrote ‘Trade between Kenya and Tanzania is supposed to be closely regulated. At Namanga on the border, there are police, customs and immigration posts on either side …. but the boundary does not physically exist. Tanzanian instant coffee is smuggled into Kenya. Tanzania produces fresh milk that is sold in sachets but it has a short shelf life so Kenyan ultra-heat-treated milk is smuggled into Tanzania. Tanzanian gold, diamonds and emeralds come across the line; state controls on mining in Tanzania have made smuggling the export route of choice ……’
Would he, now that he was in retirement, and with hindsight, have done things differently, Mwalimu Nyerere was asked in a lengthy interview published in Volume Number 1 of AFRICA FORUM. “In the basic things, I would not change anything” he replied. “I do not think I would change the Arusha declaration. With hindsight, I would have tried to implement it differently. On nationalisation, either I would have nationalised more carefully or taken joint ventures with the owners, rather than nationalise outright”. On rural policies Mwalimu would have toned down ‘Siasa ni Kilimo” (Agriculture is Politics), the rallying cry of the Iringa Declaration that led to villagisation. “I would have tried to develop agriculture differently. Agriculture is very difficult to communalise. I would have emphasised the family but encouraged the people to work together. We wasted too much energy trying to develop community farming. We could have been more relaxed about it… but the object would have been exactly the same….”.
In his retirement Mwalimu was said to go every day to his farm, to inspect his cattle (most of them retirement presents from grateful citizens), work with a hand hoe, keep fit by walking ten miles some days – he dislikes an unfit appearance and has often told off officials who developed beer guts ….
ZAMBIA PULLS OUT
After failing to take off as scheduled on April 1st this year as scheduled, African Joint Services which was being planned as the forerunner of a regional airline of the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) for Eastern and Southern African States, has received a jolt according to the October issue of AFRICAN BUSINESS. Zambia, which had been one of the founder members with Tanzania and Uganda, has withdraw because of economic constraints. New partners are now being sought.
TANZANIA COMING INTO ITS OWN
In a lengthy and well illustrated article in the November 1992 issue of its publication HIGH LIFE, British Airways gave an update on safaris in Africa. ‘Tanzania’ the author wrote, ‘for so long overshadowed by Kenya’s booming safari trade, is at last coming into its own. Certainly, there is nothing to beat the spectacle of the wildebeest migration in the vast Serengeti plains. The greatest wildlife show on earth. I was there in February at the start of the rains when the plains are green and the wildebeest – all 1.2 million of them – were massed in the south of the park. It is an extraordinary sight. Most of the calves are born in the space of a couple of weeks. The day I arrived I saw only a handful. By the end of the week the plains were alive with gangling new-born babies ….
TANZANIA PLANS AN ENVIRONMENT HOUSE
Tanzania’s Minister for Tourism, Natural Resources and the Environment was quoted in the January 1993 issue of AFRICAN BUSINESS as having announced that the government is planning to establish an Environment House to accommodate all non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) involved in conservation.
The aim was to ensure more efficient coordination and use of common facilities. He made the announcement when welcoming Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, founder President of the World Wide Fund for Nature, who was in the country to inaugurate Tanzania’s first forest park – the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Morogoro Region.
‘As the Kiswahili language links Uganda, Kenya and
Tanzania, the Taarab music of Zanzibar links ancient customs and modern behaviour’ wrote Graeme Ewens in a book quoted in the December issue of AFRICA LIFE. ‘The music grew from women’s wedding music (first recorded by Siti Binti Saad in 1928) to today’s large orchestras. The classic Swahili top song is ‘Malaika’ recorded by the singer Miriam Makeba. This aside, however, East African music has not spread like other styles. Instead, it has been dominated by waves of Zairean influence…..
SEED FROM THE LIVINGSTONE TREE GERMINATES
110-year old seeds from the tree under which the heart of the explorer David Livingstone was buried have been germinated at a school in Kent, according to the DAILY TELEGRAPH (October 5). The seeds were from among several brought to Britain as souvenirs by one of the parents in 1882 and stored in a cardboard box in the school’s archive room. The Scottish explorer had been found dead by his servants in May 1893 at Ghitambo in what is now Zambia. They removed his heart and viscera in order to embalm his body and buried them in a tin box under a mapundu tree. His body was later brought to England for burial in Westminster Abbey. Livingstone’s niece was a pupil at the school. The seeds have been planted in the school greenhouse and the ones which germinated were growing during the summer by six inches a month but the Headmistress fears that they will soon outgrow the greenhouse and she is looking for someone to adopt the trees.
NOT OVERLY PLEASED
According to an article by Hans Bakker in a recent issue of the JOHANNESBURG STAR the Tanzanian leadership is not overly pleased with the end of the cold war and the beginning of what is referred to as the ‘New World Order’. It quoted President Mwinyi as saying that Africa had become the loser. “To us it remains a new order. Order in the real sense of order. We have to obey orders. In the past, when we were given orders by one side we could always find refuge in the other. But now … we have to obey orders whether we like it or not. At present, with commodity prices continuing to fall, we have no alternative but to go with our caps in hand and ask for aid….”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Mwalimu Nyerere in an article he wrote in the GUARDIAN (November 16) ‘The market has become religion’ he wrote, ‘and the money speculators have become the leaders of the world. So we have a ‘New World Order’….. there are no signs of a (real) New World Order. What we have is a world dominated and ruled by the wealthy and the strong…. basically international affairs are conducted in accordance with the law of the jungle, where might is right….’.
FOOTBALL VIOLENCE WITH A DIFFERENCE
According to the DAILY TELEGRAPH (September 7) football violence took a new turn in Tanzania recently. Not fans v fans, not police v fans, but police v players. When Milambo players disputed a referee’s decision in the game against Simba, 50 policemen intervened, giving some of the footballers a severe pasting. The goalkeeper fractured his knee and a defender suffered a serious rib injury. An MP told Parliament that the players should be paid compensation for the ‘cruel’ actions of the police.
THE BIGGEST STEEL PILING JOB IN EAST AFRICA
The COURIER, in its September-October issue gave considerable prominence to an account of the many European Community projects in Zanzibar. These include a US$ 31 million project for rehabilitation of the ports of Malindi in Zanzibar town and at Mkoani, Pemba. The government hopes that the completed port works at Malindi, which include demolition of the old wharf, the construction of new west and north wharves and the construction of a new container storage area of 5,500 square metres, will facilitate plans to make it into a free port. The depth of water at Malindi after dredging is now from 7.5 to 11.5 metres compared with only 4 metres before the rehabilitation. For the first time, ocean-going vessels will be able to sail direct to the two islands thereby reducing transit times, eliminating lighterage charges and saving the expense of transhipment in the port of Dar es Salaam. A total of 543 steel piles were driven 60 metres deep through the ocean floor at Malindi. Each pile was filled with reinforced concrete and had to accept a theoretical load of 200 tons. This had to be done after a soil investigation revealed that it would be impossible to construct the deck by drilling boreholes into the ocean floor since the coral limestone would not be able to sustain the pressure. British contracts engineer, John Appleby, said that the works at Malindi represented the biggest piling job ever carried out in East Africa.
The EC has also financed the rehabilitation of the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar (built in 1927) and Chake Chake Hospital in Pemba (built in 1914).
The EC has provided US$ 336,000 for urgent repairs to the House of Wonders (built in 1870) in Stone Town and the restoration of the Old Fort.
The EC has also financed (US$ 11.5 million) the rehabilitation of the north feeder road in Pemba which runs for 38 kilometres from Maili Tano to Konde.
The journal of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANT, in its October issue featured Tanzania in text and illustration in recounting the experience of VS0 volunteer Aileen Lyon who worked for three years at ‘one of the largest cooperative colleges in East and Central Africa – the Cooperative College at Moshi’. Here she taught a tertiary course leading to an advanced diploma.
The Editor of the TROPICAL AGRICULTURE ASSBCIATION NEWSLETTER (December 1992) has described a ‘treasure hunt’ under way at Mbeya for ‘miracle (coffee) trees’ that do not appear to suffer from two major diseases affecting coffee in the region – Leaf Rust and Coffee Berry Disease. One clue to the source of the disease resistance found in the miracle trees (some of which have been found on Kilimanjaro) is the elongated shape of the berries.
DAR ES SALAAM THE BASE?
Dar es Salaam was mentioned on the front pages of several South African newspapers almost every day during December 1992. This followed attacks resulting in the deaths of white people by what was described as the ‘Dar es Salaam based African People’s Liberation Army (APLA) – the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) which was believed to have associated itself with the attacks. The Johannesburg CITIZEN quoted the PAC as stating that APLA was controlled from Dar es Salaam. However, in spite of several attempts, South African journalists were unable to obtain a response from the PAC’s office in Dar es Salaam. The Johannesburg STAR subsequently reported that strong statements had been issued by the OAU, ANC, and SA Communist Party condemning statements reportedly made by APLA cadres, declaring war on whites.
The December issue of NEW AFRICAN gave the latest results in the preliminary rounds of the 1994 World Cup. There were some surprises. Burundi beat Ghana 1-0. Niger held the African champions Cote d’Ivoire to a goalless draw and, in group H, ‘Tanzania and Madagascar slugged out a dour 0-0 draw’.
‘MISSIONARIES WILL ALWAYS BE NEEDED’
When I asked Archbishop John Ramadhani if missionaries were still needed in Tanzania he replied that they will always be needed because Christians need to be constantly reminded that they are a worldwide Church and, as partners, have much to learn from one another”. So wrote Andrew Ashton in the GUILDFORD DIOCESAN HERALD (November) after a visit he paid to St Raphael’s Hospital in Korogwe.