NARRATIONS OF SHEIKH THABIT KOMBO JECHA . (MASIMULIZI YA SHEIKH THABIT KOMBO JECHA) with a preface by Mwalimu Nyerere. Author: Minael H 0 Mdundu.
Editor Paul Sozigwa. Dar es Salaam University Press. 270pp.
In 13 chapters, several appendixes and bibliography based on recorded cassettes, the author captures Sheikh Thabit in his own words narrating his 82 years of life which covered both world wars. He died in 1986. His formal education finished at Form IV but he worked in a variety of jobs from seaman to weighing scale mechanic. The author traces Thabit’s history of the six political parties that arose in Zanzibar on what he calls racially based grounds and details the setting up of the Mro-Shirazi party and the later assassination of President Karume at which he was present Extract from a review in the Dar es Salaam Guardian by Edwin Semzaba.
AGRARIAN ECONOMY, STATE AND SOCIETY IN CONTEMPORARY TANZANIA. Ed: P G Foster and Sam Maglrimbi. Ashgate. 1999. 282 pages. £42.50. Key areas covered in this book include credit, land refonn, agricultural extension, environmental issues, population, migration and social control.
GENDER, FAMILY AND WORK IN TANZANIA. Eds: Colin Creighton and C K Omari. Ashgate. December 2000. 31Opp. £42.50. The social construction of marriage, the interplay of family life and gender relations with economic processes and forms of work.
DAR ES SALAAM WATER DEMAND. AN END-USE PERSPECTIVE. Tanzania Centre for Energy, Environment. 1999. £9.95 from the Africa Book Centre. 138 pages.
THE BIG C. A BBC Radio 4 programme on the 9th August.
Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald. In this programme Geoff Watts met the doctors and nurses of Tanzania’s only Cancer Institute. The Cancer Institute is in Dar es Salaam’s old Ocean Road Hospital. All five of the country’s oncologists are based there. Geoff Watt’s interview was conducted mainly with the doctor in charge who explained that there were about 20,000 new patients each year, many more women than men. It used to be thought that there was not much cancer in Africa but this is not so nowadays. There are even children with the disease. But not many cancer cases enter the health system in Tanzania. Sufferers often come too late because they are ignorant of the disease. Others do not come because they have to pay for all the drugs which are very expensive. Radiotherapy treatment is free but not chemotherapy. The National Health budget is about one dollar per person per year. The Institute relies on donations to keep going.
A lot of sick people go to traditional healers for help. These healers are thriving because they understand the needs of the people, cultural and spiritual, better than professional doctors. Rather like our own holistic practitioners, I thought. Sometimes cancer is HIV related. HIV is really taking over medical resources. There are no funds for preventive measures for cancer so the emphasis on is on curing patients, but because of drug and equipment shortages, an innovative approach has to be adopted. The doctor in charge was trained in Glasgow and at first found trying to apply what he had learnt very difficult to apply in Dar es Salaam. Later he was able to return to Glasgow for a year, bearing in mind the conditions in Tanzania, and now he is able to approach his work in a more appropriate way. He said very definitely that he would rather work in Tanzania than for the NHS in the UK. There is no despondency at Ocean Road, he said. He added that lung cancer is not a problem yet but he is not happy with the commercialisation of tobacco firms. More people are smoking now in Tanzania.
This was an informative and very interesting programme. When one considers all the medical facilities at our disposal in the UK, one can only admire the struggle in Tanzania to meet the needs of sick people.
THE ASSESSMENT OF VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS IN TANZANIA. M J Mwandosya, B S Nyenzi and M L Luhanga. Tanzania Center for Energy, Environment. 1999. 235pp. £11.95 from
African Book Centre.
KARIAKOR. THE CARRIER CORPS. THE STORY OF THE MILITARY LABOUR FORCES IN THE CONQUEST OF GERMAN EAST AFRICA. Nairobi
University Press. 2000. 247pp. £12.95.
TANZANIANS ARISE AND GET RICH. H N Kida. Kai. Dar es Salaam. 1999. 205pp.
ASIAN COMMUNITIES IN TANZANIA: A JOURNEY THROUGH PAST AND PRESENT TIMES. Institut fur Afrikakunde, Hamburg. 1999. 211pp. Maps.
ALMASI. Peter Wilson. Pentland Press. 109pp/ £7.50. In his retirement Peter Wilson has departed from Swahili grammar (‘Simplified Swahili’ and related books) and written an intriguing detective novel. When a Cessna plane crashes on Kilimanjaro in suspicious circumstances, diamond smuggling is suspected and a detective from UK is requested to assist the Tanzanian police. Some of the action takes place on the mountain and some at the diamond mine Buibui (spider) near the village of Sisimisi (very small ant) not far from Arusha. The whole tale moves along swiftly. I much enjoyed the humour throughout and the good descriptions of familiar places. Finally all the villains come to a sticky end and ‘la femme fatal’ who wins the heart of the British detective until he has second thoughts -retreats to her comfortable villa in Hounslow. Might there be a sequel? I wonder.
CIVIL SERVICE REFORM IN TANZANIA: ORGANISATION AND EFFICIENCY THROUGH PROCESS CONSULTANCY. Ronald McGill. International Journal of Public Sector Management. 12 (5).1999. 9pp.
Behind the tortuous jargon that perhaps an article in the learned IJPSM requires, lies a very interesting and heartening account of recent efforts in civil service reform in Tanzania. One real question is whether the management concepts and terminology really help us in any way. This article is apparently about ‘institutional development’ and ‘process consultancy’; it could equally be about ‘organisational development’ and ‘change management’ -all these are in practice fairly common sense approaches to capacity building in administrative reform.
Tanzania like nearly all Sub-Saharan African countries had seen drastic declines in civil service efficiency and effectiveness. Demoralised officials could not and did not deliver and were increasingly being drawn into corruption; resources were far outrun by responsibilities, moving public administration onto an almost symbolic level; and service provision to citizens was increasingly non-existent.
The reform programme recognised that external consultant driven reforms had proved completely ineffective. In an approach that has been paralleled, in for example, Zambia and Ghana, the alternative was to rely upon the knowledge and eventual commitment of middle level civil servants themselves. Once an overall framework for the reorganised ministries, departments and attendant functions had been established, officials were brought together in diagnostic and planning workshops where, after intensive rudimentary training, they were able to define problems and resulting solutions -and make plans for implementation. The commitment and motivation developed by this diagnostic/planning exercise also helped in implementation. Very impressive results are claimed in streamlining and efficiency improvement -though it is not clear whether these were actually achieved or merely declared targets.
Experience in reform programmes of this type does show that this is an effective approach. Two of the essential requirements are recognised by McGill: some overall framework and guidance in terms of functions, ministerial portfolios etc; and skilful facilitation and guidance in workshops to ensure movement in the right direction. What is not made so clear is: the need for politicians to be involved in the process and share in the ownership and motivation; and the need for resources to be made available to implement reforms and new directions. The latter are not impossible though harder to provide in contemporary African conditions. Nonetheless, this is an encouraging account of an approach to CSR that is more productive than most.
TRADING ON INEQUALITY: GENDER AND THE DRINKS TRADE IN SOUTHERN TANZANIA. Maia Green. Africa. 69 (3) 1999.
Maia Green’s article offers a carefully researched and detailed study of one of the most important, and most neglected, areas of the informal economy. The sale of locally-made liquor is a vast business in Tanzania. The bulk of the alcohol consumed in Tanzania is made and sold in the informal sector -though always on a very small scale, so that this economy is vast in the aggregate, but also minute and ubiquitous. Yet we know very little about it, and the 1980s has somehow never come to embrace this most active and informal sector of the economy_ This article provides precise details of the costs and returns of brewing for small-scale women producers. Green shows how women’s involvement in brewing beer for this trade is a sign of political and economic exclusion -since they are denied access to other sources of income -but is also a potentially empowering economic strategy. In doing so, she makes a very significant contribution to overcoming the extraordinary lack of interest in or knowledge of this economy what Mike McCall has called the phenomenon of the ‘invisible brewer’. She argues that many women in the Mahenge highlands, her study area, rely on income from brewing, and that in doing so they are in effect buying their way out of involvement in grain farming, for they are unable to mobilize the labour needed for effective accumulation through agriculture. She distinguishes between investment brewers -a group of women who brew for sale only occasionally, to meet specific cash needs -and a smaller body of livelihood brewers. The latter are often female household heads, and rely almost entirely on brewing for a cash income. Interestingly, Green’s findings suggest a slightly different pattern of brewing here to that which I found in research in Rungwe/Kyela, and in other parts of East Africa. There it seemed that the most regular brewers were those who did have some other source of income, though generally a slight one. These women were, apparently, the most regular brewers because they could call on these other resources when their brewing activities ran into problems: when brews went wrong (as they do), when drinkers failed to pay (as they do), or when there was some unexpected demand for cash from some local official. Regrettably, Green does not deal with this last issue in this otherwise very valuable piece of research. There is a further story here -which Beidelman touched on, many years ago -of how the dynamics of sale and debt, and the rents extracted by local officials and ‘club’ owners, have an important effect upon the distribution of the cash income from the sale of local liquor, bringing benefits to men and to minor functionaries of the state, rather than to women.
THE CULTURAL CONTEXT OF CHILDHOOD DIARRHOEA AMONG GOGO INFANTS. Mara Mabilia. Anthropology and Medicine 7 (2). 16pp.
This article records the findings of Mabilia’s research into two types of childhood diarrhoea, attributed by the Gogo to states of breast-feeding and influenced by sexual behaviour. The Gogo interpretation and treatment was found by Mabilia, an Italian anthropologist, to differ markedly from the more clinical diagnosis and treatment which would be provided by a health centre. Herein lie considerable dangers for young Gogo children’s health and survival.
Through her in-depth research Mabilia has identified cultural reasons why prescriptions of health clinics so often fail in the prevention of diarrhoea and malnutrition in Gogo infants, and by extrapolation in infant’s of other African countries (and Brazil). The importance of finding reasons is highlighted by the UNICEF report of 1998 which states that up to 2.2 million infant and child deaths (a year) are the result of dehydration due to persistent diarrhoea often accompanied by malnutrition. In Tanzania these diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five.
Using a variety of methods for her research in the Dodoma District Mabilia included a survey at the Cicongwe village dispensary in which a baby’s health was shown to be at risk after the first six months. Since Gogo explanation of diarrhoea seemed to be closely related to beliefs about sexual taboos and practices, the most rewarding results came from information obtained from friendships and intensive discussions with women and healers in the area. For this a deep knowledge of ‘cigogo’, the Gogo language, was essential to follow the use of double meaning, metaphor and mithonymics used by the women to explain the different situations involved in a child’s health.
As Mabilia says “the utilisation of information concerning the mothers’ understanding of the nature and causes of diarrhoea can be very important for paediatricians in the treatment of diarrhoea”. It opens the way to new forms of communication with the users of medical services. A new (different) doctor patient relationship, more sensitive to the local meanings of disease effects, causes and practices, needs to be part of the multi-variable causes of diarrhoea and malnutrition. Thereafter successful health intervention is better assured. This article is recommended reading for all interested in the welfare of children and communities but especially for health specialists and biological anthropologists who work in Africa.
PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM IN A POOR, AID DEPENDENT COUNTRY -TANZANIA. O. Therkildsen. Public Administration Development 20 61-71. 2000. This article describes how the multiple changes in the public sector during recent years have been pursued despite fragile political support and few service delivery improvements on the ground. The paper argues that this has been because of substantial external influences, fragmented domestic policy making, weak links between policy making and implementation and questionable assumptions about some of the reform measures -DRB.
BURNING WITH ENTHUSIASM: FUELWOOD SCARCITY IN TERMS OF SEVERITY, IMPACTS AND REMEDIES. F H Johnsen. Forum for Development Studies. 1999 (1)
BUILDING ON YOUR OWN DOORSTEP. Aida Kisanga. Courier. 182. August/September 2000. 3 pages. This paper points out that 40% of Tanzania’s annual development budget goes on construction but that foreign contractors (less than 3% of all contractors) are still dominating the building trade. There is now a policy to increase the share of indigenous firms to between 20% and 30% of the value of foreignfunded projects in the medium term. The paper goes on to discuss the problems -underestimation of overheads, scheduling of hired equipment use, management and marketing and makes recommendations on ways to improve the situation by technology transfer and targeting -DRB
CULTURAL TRANSFER IN ADULT EDUCATION: THE CASE OF THE FOLK DEVELOPMENT COLLEGES IN TANZANIA. Alan Rogers. International Review of Education. 46 (1/2) 25 pages.
This paper, about the Swedish financed Folk Colleges in Tanzania between 1975 and suggests that, for success to be achieved, there needs to be a match between the ideologies, discourse and functions of the educational institutions within both societies and that the transfer of more than one element of any educational system would assist take-up.
EFFICACY OF VOLUNTARY HIV 1 COUNSELLING AND TESTING IN KENYA, TANZANIA AND TRINIDAD. Voluntary Counselling and Testing Efficacy Study Group. Lancet. 356
(9224). July 2000. 9pp.
FROM SOCIAL NEGOTIATION TO CONTRACT: SHIFTING STRATEGIES OF FARM LABOUR RECRUITMENT IN TANZANIA UNDER MARKET LIBERALISATION. S Ponte. World Development. 28 2000. 13 pages.
WHY DO FARMERS EXPAND THEIR LAND INTO FORESTS? THEORIES AND EVIDENCE FROM TANZANIA (A Angelsen et al) and TANZANIA’S SOIL WEALTH (K A Brekke). Environment and Development Economics. 4 (3) July 1999. lSpp and 23pp respectively.
EXPORTING, OWNERSHIP AND CONFIDENCE IN TANZANIAN ENTERPRISES. World Economy. 22 1999. 16pp.
TANZANIA – EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT SERVICES FOR SME’S
L Tomesen and A Gibson. Small Enterprise Development 10(4)December 1999. 9pp
THE SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE OF THE NILE: CORRESPONDANCE BETWEEN BURTON, SPEKE AND OTHERS FROM BURTON’S UNPUBLISHED EAST AFRICAN LETTER BOOK… Ed Donald Young Roxburghe Club 1999 207pp, maps
When Michael Wise, Reviews Editor of Tanzanian Affairs, passed away in November 1998 he left behind a big gap. We are now looking for a volunteer to take over the job he used to do. This involves collecting new books and articles about Tanzania, selecting those worthy of a full review, requesting help with such reviews or merely mentioning or briefly summarising the others. Just three times a year about 8 pages of Tanzanian Affairs are given over to these reviews and mentions. We will supply full details of all new publications and also a list of possible reviewers. Qualifications for the job? An interest in Tanzania and in books and word processing capacity. Please give me a phone call, or send a letter or an email (the addresses are at the back) if you are interested in helping. Many thanks -Editor.