In an 8-page ‘Special Focus on Tanzania’ AFRICAN BUSINESS (September 1984) an optimistic picture was painted of the investment scene in the country. Quoting the Investment Promotion Centre’s chief technical advisor Harish Pant, the article stated that projects approved by the IPC had created over 70,000 jobs. There had been some 229 projects in manufacturing, 93 in tourism, 51 in agriculture and 43 in natural resources. Mining was beginning to boom and the IPC had approved 21 projects for investors from the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Britain.
ASIANS IN TANZANIA
‘Asians are proving to be awkward bedfellows for indigenous Tanzanians. Energetic and utterly business-oriented, with a huge network of contacts, the Tanzanian Asians behave rather like the elite courtesans of 19th -century Britain. They enjoy power without responsibility – much to the chagrin of the wazawa or indigenous Tanzanians who resent what they see as the Asianisation of the local economy’. These were the introductory words of a full-page article in AFRICA ANALYSIS (September 30) which pointed out that the 80,000 Asians represent only 0.3% of Tanzania’s population but control 75% of the business. The article listed the prominent Asian personalities who hold franchises for international brand names – Pepsi-Cola (Girish Chande), Toyota (Hatim Karimjee), Peugeot (Shabir Abji), Freight Forwarders (Hassan Dhalla) but pointed out that, as insurance, most Asians have taken on politically influential indigenous Tanzanian directors. All this was said to be causing some hostility at street level between Africans and Asians and this was often encouraged by the popular Rev. Christopher Mtikila, leader of the unregistered Democratic Party.
The article went on to say that politicians had been blocking Asians from acquiring the many parastatals earmarked for privatisation. A World Bank report was said to have noted that the government prefers to wait for international companies to bid for them. But, the article concluded, while Asians take the flak from all sides they do give the drive to the business engine in Tanzania. Asians claim that their business acumen lifted Tanzania out of the depths into which former President Nyerere had led it and a select core, respected by international agencies, give invaluable advice to government ministries on financial and social matters.
BIRDS AND WILDLIFE
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST) to save Tanzania’s coastal forests which have several birds found nowhere else in the world and which are severely threatened. The RSPB’s AUTUMN NEWSLETTER also states that the Society is collaborating on another project in the Uluguru mountains and is helping in the production of the magazine ‘Miombo’.
‘I TALKED TO THE RUSSIANS’
The GUARDIAN’S literary editor Richard Gott, who describes himself as an incorrigible leftist, resigned on December 8th after admitting that he had been in contact with Soviet KGB officers for many years (but he claimed he was not a spy) and had accepted free trips to Vienna, Athens and Nicosia. He was foreign editor of the Tanganyika Standard in the 1970’s and, in a letter to the editor of the Guardian said ‘I had many contacts with both Soviet and eastern bloc diplomats, and, of course, with the leaders of the revolutionary movements of the time, all based in Dar es Salaam’.
TROPHY HUNTING IN THE MKOMAZI GAME RESERVE
A recent decision reported in BBC WILDLIFE (December) that the government is to allow trophy hunting by professional hunters in the 3,234 sq.km Mkomazi Game Reserve (which is a natural extension of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park) has caused consternation amongst ecologists. They complain that a project led by Tony Fitzjohn (who formerly worked with George Adamson in Kenya) for the rehabilitation of the park, which has resulted in a miraculous improvement in conditions there and a gradual build up of animal numbers, will be nullified if hunting is allowed (Thank you Christine Lawrence for this item).
TOO MANY PROJECTS?
In a review of the UNCTAD publication ‘The Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) 1993-1994 Report’ the New York-based AFRICA RECOVERY (April-September 1994) stated that donors could play a crucial role in reconciling adjustment with long-term growth. It urged donor cooperation in making aid more effective by focusing on building LDC capacities in planning and economic management. ‘However’, it went on, ‘donor preference for project over programme aid nearly overwhelms the weak administrative capacity of LDC’s forced to navigate between different donor procedures for numerous projects. Uganda and Tanzania, for example, had some 600 and 1,200 donor-financed projects, respectively, in 1993.
‘GARBAGE GAS’ PLANT
In a pilot project described as unique in Africa, AFRICAN BUSINESS (December) stated that Biogas is to be produced from Dar es Salaam’s garbage and will be used in making fertilisers, fuel for cars and electricity. The plant, to be built at Vingunguti on the southern outskirts of Dar es Salaam will treat waste from households, hotels, markets, breweries and abattoirs at up to 200 tons per day which should produce some 9.9 MW of electricity for sale each day. The project will be partly funded – to the tune of US$4 million – by the Danish Trust Fund of the UNDP.
The GUARDIAN (November 25) reported that former High Commissioner in London Anthony Nyakyi is to be appointed by UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali as UN Special Representative in Liberia.
GERMAN AID QUESTIONED
The French publication INDIAN OCEAN NEWSLETTER (September 24) quoted a pessimistic in-depth study by the German Development Institute (GDI) about Germany’s programme of technical cooperation with several countries. The study revealed the ‘absence of a viable and explicitly formulated development strategy’ in Tanzania and stated that the government and donors had been ‘unable to generate any major development impulses’. Development was said to be ‘very largely blocked and aimless’. The study recommended two priorities for reform – training, leading to the setting up of management systems and the promotion of appropriate technology.
MILITARY TRAINING IN NGARA
More than 2,000 Rwandan youths, equipped with 100 guns, and believed to be Hutu extremists are receiving military training at night at the Kasulu refugee camp in Ngara according to a report in the BANGKOK POST (November 19). Ngara District Commissioner Brig. Sylvester Hemed was quoted as saying that there was little that Tanzanian authorities could do about it. The only solution would be to cut back the population at the camps but this would be far too expensive.
Tanzania Serengeti Balloon Safaris Limited, a joint Tanzanian British company, has started business flying two balloons (with a total capacity of 20 people) according to the September issue of AFRICAN BUSINESS. The advantage of flying by balloon, Managing Director Jimmy Mkwawa explained, was that tourists were able to see many animals in a short period of time. It took two days to visit the whole Serengeti Park by car but it took only one hour by balloon.
ANGRY CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Tanzania’s Roman Catholic bishops had stopped, with immediate effect, all cooperation with the Ministry of Health on the issue of provision of condoms to schoolchildren reported NEW AFRICAN in its November issue. The furore had broken out over a National Aids Control Programme Calendar which contained pictures urging people to use condoms. A man is shown in the calendar distributing books on AIDS education to teenagers in school uniforms and a woman is shown dishing out packets of condoms to young men.
A GOLD LINED FUTURE
This was the heading of an article in the November issue of AFRICAN BUSINESS which described how Tanzania’s young Water, Energy and Minerals Minister Lt Col Jakaya Kikwete (since promoted to Minister of Finance) was about to revive Tanzania’s moribund minerals sector. Mining once accounted for 10% of Tanzania’s GDP before plummeting during the socialist years to 0.4% It is currently around 1.5% of GDP. He said that some 20 companies had already begun exploring for nickel gold and diamonds and some 260 prospecting licences have been issued. With the support of the World Bank the government has set up a US$12 million scheme to make some of the country’s 100,000 artisanal miners more efficient. Currently artisanal miners produce around eight tons of gold and US$ 4 million worth of gemstones.
REACTIONS TO LIFE IN BRITAIN
A paper entitled KARIBU TANZANIA, KARIBU SANA, the final report of a visit to Tanzania in September/October 1994 by Julian Marcus of ‘Education Partners Overseas’ contained the reactions of a group of students from the Moshi Technical High School when they visited their link institution in Huddersfield, England. The students were impressed by the technology, surprised by the rudeness of MP’s at Westminster, found the English at work and on public transport very reserved but hospitable at home, did not experience any racism but felt that there was tension between whites and Asians, were disturbed by a visit to Toxteth and didn’t feel comfortable about the attitude of black English people to them. They were initially embarrassed by the perceived equal roles of the sexes and critical of indiscipline witnessed in schools (not acceptable in Tanzania they said.) A teacher from another school also commented on lack of discipline but, nevertheless, when he returned to Tanzania, he tried to abolish caning in his school. He reversed this policy change after very adverse reaction from parents and teachers.
SEEING THE BUSH ON FOOT
In an article in the FINANCIAL TIMES (September 24), Michael J Woods referred to a sound he had heard sitting on a high river bank above the River Ruaha – ‘the deep rumble made by one elephant talking to another, a sound which, once heard, is impossible to forget1. Describing new possibilities for walking safaris in various African countries, he mentioned that Richard Bonham (booked through Worldwide Journeys and Expeditions) guides walks in the Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania and that it is possible that this opportunity will be extended to other parks in the country now that a regular air charter service has been established.
HISTORIC FOOTPRINTS AT RISK
Under this heading the SWAZILAND OBSERVER (September 21) quoting Gemini News Service reported that human footprints which have lain undisturbed for 3.5 million years in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli are being endangered by tourists. Dr. Fidelis Masao, senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Dar es Salaam said that the establishment of a camp on the edge of the gorge might induce erosion and any shortcomings in security could result in the smuggling out of fossils. Although the two sites are on the United Nations Heritage List they are said to be covered by soil and vegetation because of lack of maintenance by the government.
SOCIETY AND TOURISM IN ZANZIBAR
Under this heading Steve Shelley writing in the September issue of KUMEKUCHA (of the Denmark-Tanzania Society DANTAN) wrote that Zanzibar was and is an enigma. Italians and Germans were vying for beach plots and charter-flight concessions with a government unconvinced it wants either. The history of Zanzibar was nothing without colonialism – Persian, Portuguese, Omani, British, American, German, French – ….years of neglect had destroyed much of what must have been beautiful …. an almost satirical reflection of a clearly less than glittering past was the most endearing trait of Zanzibar today. You almost expected to see tourist brochures describing where Livingstone had his Range Rover serviced, Speke bought batteries for his cellular phone and Burton chartered his helicopter …
Dan Suther described it as one of the safest places he had been to … top government officials were really on the ball, knowledgeable and helpful, trying to make their country work..
TEN TONNES OF CANNABIS
Customs Officers at Felixstowe found 10 tonnes of Cannabis resin worth £35 million on November 25th – 20% of all the Cannabis intercepted in 1993-94 in Britain – hidden in a container loaded with Christmas candles (The GUARDIAN November 26). The find was made during a routine search of a ship from Rotterdam. The candles had originated in Zambia and had been shipped from Dar es Salaam.
In an interview in the TIMES (October 22) the well-known Kenyan writer Professor Ali Mazrui, discussing the collapse of Liberia, Somalia and Rwanda and impending disasters in Sudan, Zaire and Angola, recommended the setting up of a Pan-African Security Council of elder statesmen backed by the major powers on the continent and that Rwanda and Burundi should become part of a federation with Tanzania. The Tanzanian army should disarm all Hutus and Tutsis. In the same article Mauritanian diplomat Ahmedu Ould Abdallah, angered by the abuse of foreign aid workers the previous month by Hutu refugees in Tanzania, suggested a form of recolonisation. Many former colonial regimes he said should be sued by their former colonies for forcing independence on them without first having a referendum. The colonial powers ran away, he said, before they had left any of the benefits of their influence (Thank you John Sankey for this item – Editor).
Prominent Tanzanian businessman Reginald Mengi, whose Industrial Productivity Promotions (IPP) now comprises 25 companies manufacturing products from household plastics to bricks and furniture, began in a very small way according to AFRICAN BUSINESS (September). He and his wife started by making ball point pens but IPP is now the biggest producer of such pens in the country. Next they went into plastics and then into soap. Their toilet soap ‘Rivola’ now sells better than any other make in Tanzania.
TAPES AND VIDEOS
TEAR TIMES, the magazine of the Anglican aid agency the Tear Fund, announced in its Autumn issue that it had for sale a 40 minute music tape of 10 Swahili tracks from the Nuru Choir in the Ruaha Diocese (£5), a video entitled ‘Ikengeza: A Year in the Life of an African Village’ (£6.95) and a 13- minute cartoon for children called ‘Trouble Brewing in Tanzania’ (f6.50) all obtainable from The Tear Fund, 100 Church Road, Teddington TWll 8QE (Thank you Ann Burgess for this item – Ed)
MUSIC IN ZANZIBAR
In a travel article in the July-September issue of SAFARA Stephen Williams wrote that ‘only a stroll from the Zanzibar Hotel is the Zanzibar Culture Musical Club. Nearby, every night, after evening prayers at the mosque, musicians come together to play informally and celebrate their Taarab music, a haunting, melodic mix of Arabic and African sounds. Visitors are always made extremely welcome and there is no charge.
MARCUS GARVEY FOUNDATION
GLOBAL AFRICA POCKET NEWS (Vol. 1 No 7) announced that the Pan-American organisation the Marcus Garvey Foundation (MGF) had launched a Rwanda Rescue Appeal Fund to help alleviate the pain and despair of the hundreds of thousands of African children in the refugee camps in neighbouring countries. The Foundation has opened an office in London and is in the process of setting up a permanent office in Dar es Salaam. The article stated that unlike Oxfam and Save the Children, MGF was not funded by government money, multinational companies nor was it supported by royal family endorsements or the self-indulgent racist European media. It believed in self-help and its appeal was directed to the African community.
Under this heading OPPORTUNITY AFRICA (October) which began by praising the untapped potential of Tanzanian tourism went on to quote the words of a number of businessmen:
‘Dar es Salaam changes physically every time you go there. The big change is the Japanese resurfacing of all the principal roads. There is now a dual carriageway north out of the city through the prime residential areas…. Dar is an expensive city; a good house in a good location costs $20,000 a year; good quality offices cost $18 per sq.metre a month. Beer costs $1 a glass in a bar. But there are compensations though; staff are not expensive and Tanzanians are very nice people – an architect.
‘It’s tough to do business here but it can be done. You just have to keep at it.. . Dar es Salaam is like a village; within two days of your arrival everyone knows you are there’ – a consultant.
‘I like being there. While the town is run down, I never feel threatened and I walk about undisturbed’ – an export manager.
‘I know it is an ill-used word in Africa but Tanzania has a lot of potential. There is a lot going on and, as Africa develops, Tanzania could be up there with the best of them’ – an export promoter (Thank you John Sankey for this item – Ed.)
No, not the Britain-Tanzania Society but ‘Bretagne Tanzanie Solidarite’ an ‘association humanitaire’ created by the Bretagne Regional Trade Union (CFDT) in Rennes, France. According to OUEST-FRANCE (August 29) this BTS is helping Tanzania to deal with the influx of Rwandan refugees by sending medical supplies. The article was appealing for more assistance from readers (Thank you Gerald Marchant for sending this item from Normandy – Editor).
QUIET TEACHING METHODS
Teaching methods have to be much quieter at the Kidongo Chekundu School in Zanzibar than in British schools according to Vyners School (Ickenham) English exchange teacher Nicky Stone. Quoted in the September 14 issue of the UXBRIDGE GAZETTE she said that group discussions could not be held as none of the classrooms had doors or glass windows and other classes would be disturbed. Nicky Stone had been appalled by the lack of resources – some children were without desks and books were scarce. Vyners school is engaged in fund raising to help the Zanzibar schooi.
‘THE GARDEN OF EDEN IS A GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION NOT MYTHOLOGY’ So wrote Simon Barnes (THE TIMES, November 26) describing the Ngorongoro Crater – ‘the last soft touch left on earth for the earthls most prodigious megafauna … nowhere on earth has so high a density of large mammals …. I felt one of those sensations, when you know the place reminds you of somewhere else … eventually I had it. Venice. Yes. Unique. The Crater has the same spooky, utterly Venetian feeling of having somehow slipped trough the fingers of time…. …
In a thrilling finish Tanzania beat Zambia by six wickets on October 31 (THE EAST AFRICAN) and thus won the 26th quadrangular East and Central African cricket tournament. In reply to Zambia’s 146 for nine Tanzania made 150 for three with four overs to spare. Hassan Matumla who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Canada returned home to learn that he would be awarded TShs 500,000 to mark his achievement. (Thank you John Sankey for this item and the previous one – Editor).