TANZANIA COULD GET US$ 1.2 BILLION
At the Consultative Group meeting of 16 countries and eight bilateral and multilateral institutions in Paris on July 12 donors agreed, on the basis of accelerated economic reform, to provide Tanzania with up to US$ 1.2 billion for the coming year – $840 million of project assistance and $360 million of balance of payments support. WORLD BANK NEWS (July15) wrote that donors had welcomed recent progress in opening Tanzanian society to more democratic processes but had expressed concern that the pace of economic reform was inadequate to put Tanzania on a sustainable growth path. They had counselled against continued dependency on flows of external assistance, a risky strategy given the rapidly changing aid situation. They noted the continuing gap between announced intentions and actual delivery of reforms particularly with regard to the fiscal and parastatal reforms. (Bulletin No. 45). The Government of Tanzania had reiterated its commitment to enhancing the role of the private sector.
THE BRAILLE PRESS
SIGHTSAVERS, the journal of the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind in its Spring 1993 issue explained how the ‘stereotyper’ at the Braille Press in Dar es Salaam produces metal plates used to emboss Braille paper. The Press transcribes books for primary education. Now its output has been greatly increased so that as well as being able to produce computer discs to drive embossers, it can also generate aluminium plates (Thank you reader Paul Marchant for this item – Editor).
CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE LAW AND THE BARABAIG
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWSLETTER (No 31, 1993) referred in its issue No 31 (1993) to recent developments in the 10-year struggle of the Barabaig people ‘fighting for their land rights’ in an area developed by the Government, with substantial Canadian help. into a vast wheat production scheme. The article reported that Tanzania’s Parliament had passed a law in 1992 which had abolished virtually all customary land tenure in the country and had done it retrospectively. The Barabaig court case had thus been made invalid at one stroke. Lawyers acting for the Barabaig were maintaining that this law was itself invalid as it contravened the right to security of property in the Tanzanian constitution. (Thank you reader Christine Lawrence for this item – Editor).
THE PERSIAN FACTOR IN KISWAHILI
Muhsin Alidina of the Institute of Kiswahili Research at the University of Dar es Salaam, writing in the May issue of AFRICA EVENTS, argued for the importance of Persian words in the make-up of Kiswahili. He quoted an authority as having said that there are 78 words which may have been ‘borrowed’ directly and at least 26 others that may have entered the language through indirect contact, perhaps though Arabic. He provided lots of examples: In a Swahili household one would be served with pilau or biriani and sambusa with limau and pilipili and perhaps bilingani (egg plant) and dengu (lentils). The food would be served on a jamvi (mat). You might need ice (barafu – another word of Persian origin) in your water.
The writer stated that the present composition of Kiswahili is as follows:
plus lexical borrowings (loan-words) from Portuguese, German, French and Chinese.
ADD A DASH OF TANZANIA TO YOUR COOKING
An unusual way of raising funds to make it possible to participate in one of Health Projects Abroad’s projects (in Tabora) was reported in the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. With the help of contacts in the British Council, Anna Aguma has produced an attractively illustrated 31-page booklet of Tanzanian recipes under the title ‘Add a Taste of Tanzania to Your Cooking’, Copies can be obtained @ £2.50 (incl. p&p) from her at P 0 Box 29, Levenshulme Manchester M19 2JA. (Thank you reader Cuthbert Kimamba for item).
SWITZERLAND, FRANCE AND BELGIUM
In its most recent issue URAFIKI TANZANIA, the journal of the French Society ‘Amities Franco-Tanzaniennes’ described Swiss attitudes to Tanzania – ‘It is a country which has always been the subject of different and usually passionately expressed analysis because of the exemplary nature of its original experiences. I am not sure that Tanzania’s return to what might be described as international norms will change this situation’.
The journal also quoted from a long article in POLITIQUE AFRICAINE on Democracy in Tanzania in which a similar conclusion had been drawn – ‘La Tanzanie continue de suivre un cours singulier sur le continent africaine …. depuis le debut de 1990, le debat (on democracy) n’a cesse de se developer, notamment pour savoir s’i1 va1ait mieux conserver un systeme politique a parti unique ou passer au mu1tipartisme … ‘
URAFIKI TANZANIA also advertised a Belgian OXFAM exhibition of Tanzanian art scheduled to run from June to September 1993 at. the ‘Archives et Musee du Mouvement Ouvrier Socialiste’ at Gand.
At Dareda in Babati District the FINANCIAL TIMES reported (June 22, 1993) that the small herds of goats owned by most families are not only grossly inefficient for both milk and meat production, but as they roam the village, are also denuding the area of vegetation and trees. The British-based charity ‘Farm Africa’ recommends to the women (who do most of the work in farming) that they erect small huts for the goats and keep them confined all the time. The feed is then cut and carried to them by a system called ‘zero grazing’. The paradox is that animal welfarists in the West condemn such systems for limiting the movement of animals. In Tanzania however, the article goes on, the priorities are different and damage to the environment leading to lack of food and soil erosion is seen as the most important considerations (Thank you reader Hugh Leslie for this item – Editor).
SWAHILI SERVICES MOVE
After nineteen years a Swahili-speaking Congregation of many different denominations has moved from the Lutheran Church House for its Sunday worship to St. Anne and St. Agnes Church which is at the corner of Gresham St. and Noble St. in London. Announcing this in its June issue LUTHERANS IN LONDON stated that more than 100 East Africans attend the services.
A VANISHED AGE
writing about the development of studies in African history John McCracken in AFRICAN AFFAIRS (April 1993) described what he considered to be the well-funded ‘vanished age’ of the 1960’s. He mentioned John Iliffe’s book ‘Modern History of Tanganyika’ published in 1969 as an example of British Africanist scholarship at its best. ‘Based on an extraordinarily comprehensive investigation of both primary and secondary sources, Iliffe’s massive study bore witness to the greatest single potential strength possessed by British Africanists of his generation – the fact that so many of us had the opportunity to work in African universities. At one level it reached back into the 1960’ s in its then unfashionable reassertion of the significance of African ideas and agencies; on another, it pioneered themes that would come to be seen as of increasing importance in the 1980’s; notably the changing nature of African ethnicity (“the creation of tribes”) and the causes and consequences of ecological change … it provided its readers with history of an African territory … of a coherence, depth and style that none of the modern histories of Britain published over the last 20 years have begun to approach – though it is salutary to note that among the neo-Marxists who followed Iliffe to Dar es Salaam in the 1970’s it failed to win acceptance. In the standard ‘radical pessimist’ account of Tanzanian historiography, Iliffe’s work is relegated to a footnote and categorised … as ‘pure bourgeoise’ in its celebration of market forces’.
LIVINGSTONE’S GREAT TREK
The TIMES has reported that Livingstone’s great grandson, Dr. David Livingstone Wilson (67), a retired family doctor, is a member of an expedition retracing the famous explorer’s final epic journey. The four-month expedition was to start in Zanzibar and go via Bagamoyo to Ujiji where Henry Morton Stanley stumbled upon Livingstone in 1871. The expedition would then proceed to Lake Bangweulu in Zambia, which was where Dr. Livingstone died from dysentery and haemorrhage two years later. Dr. Wilson was born in Africa and was brought up there until he was ten. Where, in 1873 Livingstone relied on sextant and compass for navigation, Dr. Wilson was to be guided by three satellites and a computerised global positioning system.
ECOLOGISTS LOCK HORNS WITH TANZANIA
In what has become known as the ‘Loliondogate Scandal’ enraged environmentalists are in battle with the Government over the granting of hunting rights to the United Arab Emirate’s Brigadier Mohamed Abdul Rahim al Ali. Summarising the matter, which has raised a storm of protest in Tanzania, AFRICA EVENTS (July 1993) explained that the Prince had made friends in 1984 with the Tanzanian elite and had allegedly presented some gifts. 20 years later he has been granted a 10- year lease enabling him to hunt with his friends (67 people were said to have accompanied him on a January visit to Tanzania) in the Loliondo Game Reserve. The Director of Wildlife was said to have opposed the move as it would deprive registered hunting operators of the opportunity to conduct paid hunting safaris. However, it is believed that the Brigadier has paid a substantial sum for the lease. He is also said to have paid US$ 2.0 million for his hunting expeditions in 1991 and 1992 during which, the article claims, the Brigadier’s party shot indiscriminately and killed or maimed many animals.
WHO IS TO BLAME?
Commenting on the recent widely publicised attack by OXFAM on what it described as the failed IMF and World Bank structural adjustment policies in Africa, the FINANCIAL TIMES (April 29, 1993) admitted that the IMF and the Bank were hard pressed to find an African country where structural adjustment had led to a sustained recovery that had not been supported by continuing aid. But, the paper wrote, OXFAM’s proposals would be enhanced by a more detached and comprehensive examination of the causes of Africa’s crisis. ‘OXFAM’ puts most of the blame on external villains …… a markedly more cautious and inhibited approach characterises OXFAM’s analysis of Africa’s shortcomings, past and present. Zaire’s Mobuto and Malawi’s Banda are roundly and rightly condemned; but there is no appraisal, for example, of ex-President Julius Nyerere’s disastrous pursuit of African socialism in Tanzania …. ‘
CDC’S GROWING INVOLVEMENT IN TANZANIA
The Commonwealth Development Corporation’s DEVELOPMENT REPORT (May 1993) and the Annual Report for 1992 wrote about CDC’s growing participation in development in Tanzania. It referred to its oldest investment in forestry, the Tanganyika Wattle Company, which is now producing, on what was once unproductive grassland, 5,000 tons of wattle extract, 10,000 tons of fuel wood and 3,600 tons of sawn timber; the Kilombero Valley Teak Company, established in 1992 which is planning to produce 50,000 telephone poles, 300,000 building poles and 23,000 cubic metres of firewood with the first production expected in 2001; the Tanzania Development Finance Co Ltd, the most important. source of medium foreign exchange loan funds; the Tanzania Venture Capital Fund Ltd providing equity finance for small entrepreneurs; the Fatemi Sisal Estate which it is hoped will produce some 8.000 tons of sisal for export after an eight-year rehabilitation project; and, the East Usambara Tea Company – which was featured in Bulletin No 45.
A CIRCLE OF DEATH
‘I became afraid of the common Communion cup. This fear never diminished. I began to make sure that I sat in front in church so as to be at the head of the line going up to Communion; if I got behind anyone, I hoped it would be a missionary’. So wrote Gillian Goodwin in THE TABLET (June 12) describing her own fear of AIDS during her five years of teaching in Mwanza. Her article went on to describe the final days of a Ugandan friend who caught the dread disease (Thank you reader John Sankey for this item).