Archive for January, 2003

NEW ROAD TO BAGAMOYO

The Guardian (1st October) reported that with the completion of the 85km highway linking Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam there had been a rush by speculators and other wealthy Dar es Salaam people to buy plots of land close to the road. Local farmers had sold most of their plots and picked instead more remote farming land in the interior. Bagamoyo has a population of 30,000 which is now likely to increase quite rapidly. Several historic buildings in Bagamoyo have been renovated with the help of a Shs 80 million grant from the Swedish Government. Included were the fort-like house where slaves from up-country were kept before being shipped overseas, the old Boma, now used as the District Commissioner’s office, the Customs House, the Old Post Office and the market. Bagamoyo served briefly as the first capital of the country during the early-years of German colonial rule until it shifted to Dar es Salaam in 1892.

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A NEW CHIEF MUFTI

Muslim agitation against what many believers consider to be government bias against Muslims has been relatively subdued in recent months as politically active believers concentrated on the election of a new Chief Mufti (Chief Sheikh) of Tanzania on October 13. Eventually, at a National Conference of the Muslim Council (BAKWATA), Sheikh Issa Shabaan Simba, who was Deputy Mufti, was elected Chief Mufti. Of the 150 ballots cast he got 71, defeating 11 rivals. The atmosphere was tense and the conference hall surrounded by security officials and riot police on the day of the election which was marred by accusations and counter accusations. There was an anonymous document alleging that Simba was not qualified because he had mismanaged BAKWATA funds. The election of the Mufti had been unsuccessfully challenged in the High Court by the Islamic Club, the Mosque Council (BAMITA) and the Muslim Associations who all said that he had no constitutional right to represent Muslims.

The Muslim activist Sheikh Ponda, Chairman of the ‘Committee of Imams’ and seven of his colleagues who were facing murder charges were released on 19th August according to Nipashe. The Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the charges. The Sheikh had been arrested a day after riots that took place in Dar es Salaam on February 13, 2002, leaving a civilian and a constable dead. Sheikh Ponda later stated that he was going to sue the Government for the pain he had suffered while in detention for more than six months. Seven Muslim organisations promised to support his case -Mwananchi

HARMONY
British High Commissioner Richard Clarke has commended the religious harmony that prevails among Muslim and Christian communities in both Britain and Tanzania. He was speaking after handing over a newly constructed laboratory, library and computer rooms donated by ‘Muslim Aid of the UK’ to the Twayibat Islamiya Secondary school in Temeke District. The school was described in the Guardian as a co-educational Muslim seminary. It was inaugurated in 1995 by former President Mwinyi as a Madrasa.

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BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY

NEW SOFT LOAN
The East African (November 25) reported that Tanzania was to receive a $27 million soft loan from the IMF following the successful completion of the fifth review of its economic performance under the ‘Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility’ (PRGF). Such loans carry a concessional interest rate of 0.5% repayable over 10 years with a five-and-a-half year grace period on the principal payment. This will be another drawing from Tanzania’s three-year PRGF arrangement for a total soft loan of $169 million, approved by the IMF in April 2000. So far, Tanzania has drawn $l34 million under the arrangement.

SOUND ECONOMIC POLICIES
The statement quoted IMF Deputy Managing Director Shigemitsu Sugisaki as saying: “Tanzanian authorities are to be commended for their steady pursuit of sound economic policies which, notwithstanding serious capacity constraints and an often adverse external environment, has resulted in strong economic performance…. Economic activity remains buoyant, inflation is low, and international reserves are at a comfortable level owing to steady flows of foreign assistance and direct investments…. “Good progress has been made in the implementation of the ‘Poverty Reduction Strategy’”.

DEBT CANCELLATIONS
Norway has cancelled all Tanzania’s remaining debt amounting to Shs
7.4 billion; Italy (Shs 128 billion) and Belgium (Shs 21 billion) have done the same. These countries signed the Protocol of Amendment to agreements under the ‘Paris Club’ and ‘Heavily Indebted Poor Countries’ (HIPC) debt alleviation programme on November 22nd. The USA and Austria had cancelled their debts earlier.

AID DEPENDENCE
In a frank criticism of Tanzania’s aid dependence, Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania Jorma Paukku, interviewed in the Business Times (November 2nd) said that the main reasons for this dependence were the Government’s misguided policies – supported and funded by donor agencies – that were not supportive of sustainable economic growth and did not encourage private initiative and entrepreneurship. Asked what Tanzania was still doing wrong, the Ambassador said that the Government and especially the President were giving out many correct signals -‘work harder to get rid of the dependence; create a conducive environment for investment; improve education; decentralise; strengthen democratic decision-making at the local level.

But at the level of implementation, the role of the private sector was not well understood. Big, mainly foreign, investors received favourable treatment but Tanzania’s own private sector was not given opportunities. The government was still constraining and controlling production and marketing chains that should be left to the private sector (coffee, tea, cloves). It was not helping small farmers to cope with monopolistic buyers (cashew nuts, pyrethrum). The incentive system in general gave the wrong signal to investors, civil servants and users of services. Few investors outside mining and tourism were to be found because of perceived high risks. Result-oriented performance was not rewarded but participation in seminars and workshops was. A lack of transparency and deficiencies in accountability left room for corruption and unfair practices.

The Ambassador gave a long list of policies and practices which should be changed; more initiatives at the grass roots level; new systems for transparency and accountability; civil service reform; better understanding between the public and private sectors; creation of public-private partnerships; private sector participation in service provision (for example water supply and sanitation, waste management and recycling, energy, health and education); treatment of farms as private enterprises; and, reform of the legal sector because both the quality of legislation (for example the 1999 Land Act) and the time it takes to have court cases resolved left much to be desired.

STOCK EXCHANGE LIBERALISING

As part of ongoing financial sector reforms the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange is expected to allow foreign portfolio investment towards the end of 2002 -Guardian.

BIG INCREASE IN AID
Describing a new US ‘Millennium Challenge Account’, an American spokesman in Dar es Salaam said that, if fully implemented by the US Congress, this would represent one of the biggest increases in US foreign aid spending in half-a-century, with assistance rising about 32% in real terms.

NEW GOLD MINE
President Mkapa opened, on September 13, the new North Mara Gold Mine of the Afrika Mashariki Gold Mines Ltd. Four hundred people are being employed at the mine and Tanzania can expect to earn an extra $50 million per annum plus other taxes. The mine is expected to last for eight and a half years.

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PRIVATISATION

Of 326 state-owned firms privatized in Tanzania so far, 122 have been sold to local investors. The Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC) has announced that of those enterprises sold to foreign investors only 14 were 100% foreign owned. The rest were in joint ventures with local partners or the Government -Majira.

AIR TANZANIA
The Guardian reported on October 10 that the government had picked South African Airways (SAA) to buy 49% of the shares in a new jointly owned ‘Air Tanzania Company Ltd’ (ATCL). The deal was signed on December 2. SAA paid $10 million, largely for the airline’s flying rights (Air Tanzania had few assets) and agreed to inject a further $10 million into a capital and training account to finance the business plan it has proposed for turning round the ailing airline. The PSRC said in a statement: ‘SAA, as the strategic partner, intends to make Dar es Salaam its ‘East African Hub’ as part of its strategy to form a golden triangle between southern, eastern and western Africa’. SAA is to bring technical, commercial and managerial expertise and will also provide extensive training and skills transfer to local staff including retraining of pilots and air crews. SAA intends to replace the fleet with Boeing 737-800’s, 737-200’s and wide-bodied 767-300’s. It is planned to extend the route structure to the Middle East and West Africa and consideration is being given to introducing international routes to London and Bombay. 243 personnel out of the airline’s workforce of 493 would be retrenched to pave the way for this privatisation. In addition to the money to be realised from the sale of one of Air Tanzania’s planes, the Government is to release an additional Shs 4 billion to help to solve administrative problems.

Kenya airways, one of eight airlines which had shown an interest in buying ATC (six others dropped out earlier) finally pulled out because the proposed development of an alternative hub in Dar es Salaam would not be viable for Kenya Airways as it is only an hour away from Nairobi. Kenya Airways would have preferred the formation of a joint regional East African carrier. Kenya Airways Director for Legal affairs praised the PSRC for conducting the bidding in a transparent way, fair to all bidders.

TANZANIA HARBOURS AUTHORITY
The Director-General of the Tanzania Harbours Authority (THA) has complained to President Mkapa about the effects of the privatisation of the container terminal at the port of Dar es Salaam. Midst allegations of bribery, which have been made under several privatisations, the DG noted that the profits of the THA had fallen from Shillings 10 billion the year before divestment to only Shs 40 million for the fiscal year ending June 2002. The THA admitted however that waiting times in the port had been brought down from eleven days to just two days.

TANZANIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY
An agreement was signed on 23 February 2001 between the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd. (TTCL) and a Netherlands/German consortium –MSI/Detecon under which the latter would buy 35% of the shares. The consortium paid $60 million for its shareholding in February 2001 but has still not paid the remaining sum due of $60 million. TTCL workers began to allege in August 2002 that there had been serious financial irregularities. They were reported in the Guardian to have appealed to President Mkapa to remove Minister for Communication and Transport Prof. Mark Mwandosya and to terminate the contract.

In September the Tanzania Revenue Authority intervened in the case as it suspected that there had been tax default. Also in September, officers from the Prevention of Corruption Bureau (PCB) started looking into the finances of the company. The Company then employed Ambassador Paul Rupia and Mr Gideon Kaunda to ‘deal with a lot of misunderstandings in the press and in parliament about TTCL’. In October the government contracted a London-based international firm to handle the dispute after Messrs MSI/Detecon had served the government with notice of arbitration. At the end of October, 58 representatives of the workers in Arusha walked out while TTCL Chief Executive Officer Fred van der Voort tried to address them. On 31st October the workers said that they would stage a peaceful march on State House to see President Mkapa to complain about the alleged irregularities and the company’s failure to make the second payment. (Further details of this are given under TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA below -Editor).

THE DAR ES SALAAM WATER AND SANITATION AUTHORITY (DAWASA)
According to The Express (September 24) DAWASA has been trying to enter into a ten-year lease contract with a private company for the provision of water supply and sewerage services. Pre-qualified bidders were said to include Biwater of the UK, Gauff of Germany, and, General des Eaux and Sauer International of France. But, according to the paper, the bidding process was being sabotaged by photographs circulating on the internet showing a crocodile and snakes purportedly taken from DAWASA water transmission pipes. DAWASA Director Boniphace Kasiga said that the photographs were not from the water utility nor taken along neither its transmission pipes from the Ruvu River, neither from the Lower nor the Upper Ruvu.

NATIONAL INSURANCE CORPORATION
The Deputy Minister of Finance said on October 4 that the Government had instituted plans to ensure that mistakes made during privatisation of certain firms did not resurface. He was explaining to workers at the National Insurance Corporation that they had no need to worry about the possible privatisation of the corporation ­Guardian.

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TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

(In order to make this section as interesting and representative as possible we welcome contributions from readers. If you see a mention of Tanzania in the journal, magazine or newspaper you read, especially if you live or travel outside the UK, please send us the relevant item, together with the name and date of the publication to the address on the back page. If you do not wish your name be published please say so -Editor).

‘Even a tiny health budget, if spent well, can make a difference.’ So wrote the ECONOMIST (August 17) in describing in detail a joint venture of the Tanzanian Health Ministry and the Canadian International Development Research Centre in Morogoro and Rufuji. The first task was to find out which diseases caused the most trouble. Researchers traveled on bicycles to carry out a door-to-door survey. The results were surprising. The amount that health authorities spent on each disease bore no relation whatsoever to the harm which the disease inflicted on the people. Some diseases were horribly neglected. Malaria accounted for 30% of the years of life lost in Morogoro but only 5% of the 1996 health budget was devoted to it. A cluster of childhood problems including pneumonia, diarrhoea, malnutrition, measles and malaria, constituted 28% of the disease burden but received only 13% of the budget. Other conditions attracted more than their fair share of cash. Tuberculosis, which accounted for less than 4% of years of life lost, received 22% of the budget. Vaccine preventable diseases accounted for 4% of the total burden, but immunisation swallowed up 30% of the budget. The next step in the project was to give the health workers a simple algorithm to show how to treat common symptoms and to change some treatments. The results were described as stunning. In Rufiji infant mortality fell by 28% in one year and the proportion of children dying before their fifth birthday dropped by 14% (Thank you David Birmingham/or sending this item -Editor).

The SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (17th October) reported the launching by Oxfam in Hong Kong of a campaign promoting fair trade in coffee. Oxfam Director for Hong Kong, Chong Chanyau said the campaign, which would involve exhibitions, concerts and coffee tasting activities, would help exploited farmers in poor countries such as Tanzania to earn a decent livelihood. He noted that the price of coffee beans had fallen nearly 50% in the past three years and complained that the big coffee roasters such as Sarah Lee, Nestle, Kraft and Procter and Gamble were making huge profits. With the fair trade coffee however, one third ofthe price would reach the farmers in Tanzania. (Thank you Ronald Blanche for sending this item from Hong Kong -Editor).

The BBC’s FOCUS ON AFRICA (October/December) featured a story sent in by Tanzanian listener Leocardia Simbi: ‘I had been happily married to the lively, loving and lovable Kaisuke for three years. My life was so bound up with his; he had become everything to me…. Up until that point we were childless and I became worried that my husband would divorce me…. I decided to do something about it. “Take this stuff’, said Dr Kanyororo, a traditional healer, as he handed my husband and I some green leaves to chew. The witch doctor later took me to a grove. He said he and I should undress so that he could apply some special traditional ointment to my genitals. He undressed himself in the twinkling of an eye. Hesitantly, I followed suit. At that moment a torch-light flashed on us. It was my husband. When he realised it was a witch doctor with me, he made a U-turn without uttering a word…. Now, two years later, not only am I still childless, but I am also a divorcee.’

NEWS AND VIEWS, the staff magazine of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (October-November) said, in an article headed ‘Four Euro Partners under One Roof’ that ground-breaking arrangements to re-house the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam had been welcomed by staff. Not only had the British High Commission co-located with Germany, the Netherlands and the EC but the brand new accommodation -Umoja House -was also jointly owned by the four European partners. The new arrangements were said to have raised a few smiles. “The UK leads on security; the Dutch are responsible for the phones and TV; and, the Germans run the cleaning contract”, said Louise Taylor, the Relocations Manager. (Thank you John Sankey for sending this -Editor).

The American publication AFRICA NEWS REPORT (2nd December) reported that Tanzania was among 18 developing countries about to benefit from a World Bank/UN/Unesco/other international donors programme to provide primary education for all its children by 2015. Research indicated that children who learnt to read, write and count earned roughly ten times as much in their working lives as children unable to attend school. A sum of $400 million was being made available over the next three years for the programme.

‘Musicians are singing and performing in their local languages and styles, ignoring even the predominant Kiswahili’ according to an article by Herald Tagama in NEW AFRICAN (October). Those who ignored the trend risked being swept away by the powerful wind of change. Those singing in Swahili often did so with the heavy accents of their tribal languages …. The 26 year-old Loshilaa Mokitalush, whose Maasai intonation, accoutrement and lyrics thrilled people, now had a hit song describing his bemusement after a teacher had told his pupils that Europeans discovered Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria ….. Amongst older musicians Hamza Kalala had directed a sharply pointed jab at proponents of economic liberalization -“Where I come from, strings of beads (brought by the first Europeans) are only for tying cattle/where I come from women put them round their waists to tantalise their husbands …. and then he slams privatisation and liberalisation -both ideas coming from the West …. Saidi Karoli, from Bukoba, who sings in Kihaya and Kiswahili, has become a major star.

South Africa’s BUSINESS DAY (September 30) wrote about what it described as a ‘valuation and payment’ dispute between the Tanzanian Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) and one of the leading cellular operators in Africa, Mobile Systems International (MSI). (More details have been given above). The Government was said to have indicated that it was bent on reviewing the agreement under which MSI took over a 35% stake. MSI was a Dutch-based cellular operator founded by Sudanese entrepreneur Mohammed Ibrahim; it had some of the leading private equity funds from Europe and America amongst its shareholders. MSI had reportedly sought a court injunction in London to restrain the Tanzanian Government from taking any further steps in order to ‘protect its shareholders’. MSI was said to have paid the first instalment of its equity of $60 million last year but had delayed or found it difficult to pay the second $60 million. MSI was said to be claiming that some individuals on the Government’s side had not been acting in good faith. (Thank you David Leishman for this item -Editor)

AFRICA ANALYSIS (September) reported that the three member countries of the East African Community were at loggerheads over a Tanzanian proposal to enforce a six-month ban on fishing in Lake Victoria. The Mwanza-based ‘Victoria Fish Processors Association’ had volunteered to stop fishing for four months every year from June to allow the fish to breed. But Uganda was asking for evidence to support the move in view of the 50,000 people employed in its fishing industry who would be affected. In Kenya only four out of ten fish processors in Kisumu were said to be operational because of the acute fish shortage. Scientists were in agreement that something drastic had to be done as, in the last three decades, fish species in the Lake had declined from about 300 to three dominant species while the number of fishermen had increased 300%. Close to 60% of the fish caught in Lake Victoria were said to be immature.

Following the death in September on Mount Kilimanjaro of three porters, who were forced to sleep outside on the mountain, the pressure group ‘Tourism Concern’ said that British trekking firms should do more to safeguard the rights of porters they employed. Reporting this, THE TIMES (November 30), said that porters wages could be as little as £2 a day while loads of up to 60 kilograms were not uncommon. Boots and jackets were often not provided. Only half of the 80 British trekking operators were offering well defined porter­friendly policies according to ‘Tourism Concern’ which advocated limiting how much weight could be carried, improving wages and ensuring the provision of protective clothing (Thank you John Sankey for this item -Editor).

Several British newspapers gave considerable publicity to the news that Rod Liddle of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme had been forced to resign after refusing to give up a newspaper column in which he had expressed some very strong views. It will be recalled that his attack on President Mkapa in the Guardian on 24th July (which was referred to in TA No. 73) had also attracted considerable criticism ­Editor.

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MISCELLANY

The widow of Mwalimu Nyerere has appealed to President Mkapa to solve a water problem that is facing her village of Butiama. She said that mining investors, who were prospecting for gold, were taking away all the water used by Butiama and other villages. “They have money”, she said, angrily “Why can’t they get water from elsewhere instead of punishing the poor villagers?” -Mtanzania

Some 1,600 out of 2,000 hectares of Water Hyacinth have been destroyed in part of Lake Victoria where 20 million Hyacinth-feeding weevils have been introduced -The Express.

East African Breweries Ltd announced on 5th November the launch of a new whisky brand named ‘Hakuna Matata’. With 40% alcohol content, the whisky was designed to avoid hangover pain. “No problem can result from this whisky -it’s cool and enjoyable” said the Marketing Manager -Guardian.

Twenty prisoners in police custody died on November 17 at Rujewa police station. Some 120 suspects had been crammed into a cell designed to hold just 30. An investigation is under way. Five police officers have been sacked and charged with murder.

In an ILO survey conducted in the year 2000 on promoting linkages between women’s employment and the reduction of child labour, it was found that only 4% of respondents said they received all the family income from their husbands to operate the household; 60% said that their husbands gave them none of their income. Of the women who were interviewed, 40 % were married and 35 % were widowed, separated or divorced or married but currently not living with their husbands. This indicated that there were a significant number of female headed households in Tanzania. The report revealed that 30% of married respondents said that they were in polygamous marriages. Women in Tanzania spent about 30 years of reproductive life in the physical stress of child-bearing and rearing. The large number of children they had and the risk of maternal mortality greatly impaired their health and life expectancy. About 70% of women were married between the ages of 16 and 21; the majority of men married between the ages of 21 and 40. The survey showed encouraging results on the number of marriages that resulted from love compared with arranged marriages. 79% of marriages surveyed were love matches -Guardian.

The EU has provided funding for a $14.5 million project to finance a new radar and air traffic service project for the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority at Dar es Salaam International Airport. This project aims at replacing over-aged equipment and is funded from a Euros 4.6 million soft loan from the European Investment Bank. The new equipment, which includes air navigation systems, radio communication systems, aeronautical fixed telecommunication network, aeronautical information systems, data distribution systems, an automatic weather station and working tools for technicians. It is expected to be operational in January 2003.

The number of vehicles imported into Tanzania during 1999 -2000 has more than doubled -from 8,779 to 18,919 compared with the previous year. Already the five-digit letter numerals TZ ‘X’ reserved for the City of Dar es Salaam are almost exhausting the 26 letters in the alphabet. The first TZA registration was in 1987 but in 2002 TZT has been reached. Road congestion is now reaching serious proportions -The Express.

Under the ‘Education (Corporal Punishment) Regulations of 2002’ Minister of Education and Culture Joseph Mungai has reduced the number of strokes which can be inflicted on pupils who are seriously misbehaving from six to four -Guardian.

The Express (13th October) has been praising the attractiveness of the Kipepeo (Butterfly) Holiday Camp at Mwinjimwema, a small fishing village on the southern coast ofDar Salaam and, nine kilometres from the Kigamboni Creek. A taxi ride from the Kigamboni ferry was said to cost just Shs 2,000 and accommodation at the beach camps was from Shs 5,000 in dormitories to Shs 12,000 in beach bandas. There are facilities for beach sports and camel and horse rides.

The Guardian reported on 5th November that two earth tremors had struck Dodoma the day before at 11.25 am. Leaders in parliament including Prime Minister Sumaye and Speaker Pius Msekwa, other ministers and MPs, were reported to have taken to their heels in panic. The main tremor lasted 60 seconds and caused cracks on the second and third floors of the Assembly building but MPs were soon able to resume business. The account in the newspaper went on: ‘When the PM and Speaker came out from their ‘hiding place’ the whole house burst into laughter. The Speaker added further to the laughter when he stated that the reason why he did what he did, was that when he saw the Prime Minister taking to his heels, he decided to follow him. He commended MPs for their efficient use of the emergency exits.

VSO is arranging a fund-raising trek in February/March 2003 to Kilimanjaro. Details from Lisa Russell: E-mail: lisa.russell_AT_vso_DOT_org.uk

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SENIOR CITIZENS ON SAFARI

Way back in the summer we had the opportunity to revisit Tanzania to meet old friends we had known 20 years ago. We didn’t want to impose ourselves on them, to stay in tourist accommodation or to travel in hired vehicles. So the alternative, at least as far as travel was concerned, was the bus! Friends had told us about the Scandinavian Express Bus Company which had as its logo “In God We Trust”. And we did -as well as in their buses.

The first leg of our safari was Dar es Salaam to Iringa. We were impressed by the efficiency of the Dar booking office, then by the punctuality of departure, but most of all by the care given to passengers. Where in Britain would passengers be handed a blue plastic bag for their rubbish, next a paper serviette, then a straw and a choice of cold drinks, and finally a small packet of tasty locally produced biscuits? Then, after reaching Morogoro and changing buses, we received a bottle of water and some sweets. Our only complaints on that journey were the somewhat unhygienic ‘comfort stop’ and the fact that when we did reach Iringa we had no one to meet us. That was because our hostess had been given the wrong arrival time. Nothing to do with the bus company, of course, but it was extremely difficult to persuade the many taxi-drivers who bombarded us: we did NOT want to “go to Don Bosco”, but to the area where Bishop Mtetela lived. But once that was sorted out with the use of our best Swahili -no problem!

Every journey in a Scandinavian bus went well -maybe because the drivers seemed to have an understanding with the police who manned the several checkpoints placed at strategic points along the road. It was not so however on our final journey when we had to travel from Morogoro by Aboud’s ‘Red and Blue’ bus. As we approached Kibaha, some 20 miles out of Dar, the driver was flagged down by a police officer who then boarded the bus and insisted he proceed to the court, a mile or so off the road. “Because he had been speeding” we learnt later. We were all mystified as to what was happening, and at first passed the time by chatting with the vendors of cashew nuts who suddenly appeared. We were concerned -and others were too -as to how long we would be delayed; we had a friend meeting us in Dar. How would she know? Fortunately there was a very friendly Muslim lady in front with a mobile phone and she kindly allowed us to contact Pru Eliapenda and let her know what was happening. Pru said she would come and get us. Meanwhile the driver was given permission to drive, with a police officer, back to the main road and proceed to the Kibaha bus stand. As this had happened, we needed to stop Pru driving on to the police court, so Betty stood out in the midday sun by the roadside while I tried, with other passengers, to get the driver to unlock the luggage compartment and remove our suitcases, which then had to be guarded. By that time, of course, the driver was allowed to proceed to Dar, but that permission came too late for those passengers who were already climbing aboard ‘daladalas’ and too late for us to stop Pru from coming to rescue us.

Just as Betty and I changed ‘guard duty’ I saw Pru driving past, eyes fixed on the road ahead. So we needed the use of another mobile­phone! Problem solved when a kind Tanzanian offered to make a phone call for us.

We did have two or three journeys on rough hill roads, by Land Rover, but they were no near nowhere near as interesting as that last journey down to Dar es Salaam.

Mary Punt

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OBITUARIES

A ceremony was held to celebrate the-life of EMERITUS PROFESSOR ARTHUR HUGH BUNTING, CMG (who died on May 8) at Reading University on September 6. Speaker’s referred inter alia to the four years he spent as Head of the Scientific Department of the Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme from 1947 to 1951 when it was closed down.
Extracts from the book ‘The Groundnut Affair’ by Alan Wood ­
Bunting arrived to test the soil while bulldozers were already clearing the ground …. He had a portable soil testing kit in a wooden box; he used a tea-strainer as sieve and he tested for acidity with dyes which changed colour. … But with this box Bunting obtained results which were to prove remarkably accurate, although he did not detect the unusually high proportion of clay in the soil as he had no means of mechanical analysis. The decision to start the Groundnut Scheme at Kongwa had been taken before he was able to carry out his tests …. In view of subsequent events it was what Bunting had to say on rain which was the most important. With scientific caution he noted: ‘Actual rainfall figures for the area are entirely lacking and the subject needs further investigation’. He strongly opposed the opening of a new area for groundnut cultivation in the Southern Province in 1948 but was overruled.’ Summarising the experience gained, the author of the book wrote ‘It was impossible not to be impressed by the vigour with which the multitudinous problems the scheme faced were being tackled by Hugh Bunting and two other leaders and their helpers’ A speaker at the ceremony said that Bunting’s outspokenness when talking to the British cabinet minister responsible for the Groundnut Scheme resulted in him being sacked and told that he would never be employed in the Colonial Service again. The Foreign Office then offered him a job in the Sudan and he continued to be involved in development projects all over Africa for the next forty years. He was working until a few days before his death.

GORDON CHITTELBOROUGH (86), once described as ‘the ten­talent man’, who died on July 28, spent 39 years in Tanganyika/Tanzania from 1938. He was a pharmacist, teacher, builder and fluent Swahili speaker. He began as a missionary of CMS Australia. He became Provincial Secretary of the Province of East Africa and later worked on the creation of a new Province.

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE CLAUS (76), husband of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, died from pneumonia on October 26. He was particularly active in development co-operation and visited Tanzania regularly. The Tanzania Government was represented at his funeral.

RH R (DICK) CLIFFORD who was born in 1920 in India and grew up in Kenya started his service in Tanzania as D. O. Moshi in 1953. His final position was Personal Secretary to the then Governor of Tanganyika, Sir Richard Tumbull.

High Court JUDGE LUHEKELO KYANDO (59) who died from a severe attack of asthma on 13th October had given his last major judgment only a few days earlier. He had rejected a request from four Muslim Sheikhs to stop the BAKWATA elections (see above).

MAJOR GENERAL ROWLAND MANS served with 1I6th King’s African Rifles (initially trained in Moshi) during the advance into Italian Somaliland during the Second World War. At the battle of Colito they took 489 Italian and 31 African prisoners. In 1942 Mans led Tanganyikan soldiers in occupying Mayotte in the Comores and then conquering Madagascar from the Vichy French regime. Later, he represented former Tanganyika soldiers on the British and Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen’s League and launched the ‘Askari Appeal’ in 1998 which raised £250,000 to provide gratuities to former Tanganyikan askaris. The oldest of these had served in German East Africa in the First World War and was aged 110 in 2002, having lived in the same house, except for his war service, for 100 years. Mans was President of the East African Forces Association from 1997 to 2002 (Thank you John Sankey for sending this -Editor).

ROBERT SHARP (86) FRTPI (Rtd), MIMunE., died on 27th August. He joined the recently formed government Department of Town Planning in Tanganyika in 1954. At independence he became Commissioner for Town Planning (later renamed Director), a position he held until he returned to England in 1969. (Thank you John Rollinson for sending this -Editor).

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REVIEWS

Editors: JOHN COOPER-POOLE (UK) AND MARION E DORO (USA)

THE NYERERE LEGACY AND ECONOMIC POLICY MAKING IN TANZANIA. Edited by Ammon Mbelle, G D Mjema and A A L Kilindo. Dar es Salaam University Press, 2002. pp.362. ISBN 9976 60 3657. Available from African Books Collective, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford. Price £23.95.

Julius Nyerere was a towering figure -whose personal philosophy had a unique influence on Tanzania. So it was fitting that the National Economic Policy Workshop in March 2000, a few months after his death, should be devoted to an assessment of his legacy.

The 17 papers by Tanzanian economists, geographers and social scientists cover a wide range of public policy in Tanzania. The first paper concludes that targets to reduce poverty will not be met unless the economy grows -and unless specific steps are taken to favour the poor. The second argues for a strategy to promote entrepreneurship. There are three papers on agriculture, showing that government support for agriculture has declined, a lack of initiative from the community level, and a need to improve the infrastructure, especially feeder roads, if agriculture is to prosper. The paper on industry argues for more local investment in small-scale production. The paper on social services shows that it is all but impossible for Tanzania to meet its objectives with the present level of external debt. The papers on education and health show how the disparities between urban and rural children got worse during the years of structural adjustment.

Two papers argue for better communications with Tanzania’s neighbours, and economic co-operation, and above all for peace and stability. A paper on tax argues that fiscal discipline, lost after Nyerere stood down, is gradually being restored. A paper on settlement patterns argues that Nyerere was fundamentally correct to persuade people to live in villages -while being clear about what went wrong and can still go wrong today. The final study is a very frank discussion of corruption.

All the papers reference Nyerere’s writing, of more than 30 years ago. The frontiers of debate have changed, and thinking is more complex ­for example there is no simple choice between industry or agriculture, but there are choices about what sort of industry and how best to support agriculture. But the legacy of Nyerere’s policy papers still influences discourse today.

Tanzanians have much to be proud of. Their country broadly manages to feed itself with three times the population at Independence, and a capital city now exceeding three million people. Some form of structural adjustment (not necessarily the IMF’s version) was inevitable when the oil price rose and the seemingly limitless aid flows came to an end. But out of the hard years has come the possibility to develop local resources and skills, using competition within the private sector to keep the excesses of monopoly in check, and the state to provide the infrastructure and to clamp down hard on corruption. Socialism and Self Reliance -reinterpreted for the new millennium -still have much to offer as the economists, geographers and politicians develop new strategies for today.
Andrew Coulson

WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN THE PANGANI RIVER BASIN: Challenges and Opportunities. Ed. J.O.Ngana, Dar es Salaam University Press, 2001, 150 pp. ISBN 997660356 8.

The Pangani is one of Tanzania’s largest rivers. Headwaters from Meru and Kilimanjaro are collected by the Kikuletwa and Ruvu and from their confluence in Nyumba Ya Mungu Reservoir south of Moshi, the Pangani flows south-eastwards to the Indian Ocean with additions from the Pare and Usumbara Mountains. The basin occupies over 40,000 km 2 and ranges from alpine heathland and forests to wooded grassland and thicket. Fertile uplands are densely populated and cultivated, whilst on lower slopes large estates for sisal were developed with diversification into sugar and paddy rice in the north. The agricultural, domestic and commercial demand for water is heavy but must leave sufficient for hydropower generation given a present installed capacity in excess of 100 MW.

This volume introduces a collaborative project involving the University of Dar es Salaam and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which aims to access and analyse the data bases needed to promote guidelines for sustainable water management and to enhance the research capacity of staff and postgraduates. Twelve project papers are then presented which use archival and new information for investigations centred in the northern sub-basin where water demand is greatest. They vary in length and depth and several would have benefited from a more rigorous editorial scrutiny. Under ‘Water Resources’, descriptions are given of a modest rainfall shift, patterns of low stream flows, and the formation and discharge variations in mountainside springs. The end point of data acquisition is the construction of hydrological models since, given simulations of the past and present, it should be possible to predict future impacts of changes in land use and water management. Modelling needs reliable data; early results from modem gauging stations in three sub catchments are described, as are approaches to model construction.

Irrigation has a long history in the Pangani basin and in a section on ‘Land Use’, farmers considered increased demand, greed and prolonged droughts as principal causes of the water shortages which had brought about changes in the crops grown and lifestyles. Little evidence was found of negative effects from irrigation on soil fertility and salinity. Recognising the importance of land cover to water budgets, a comparison of albeit rather old Kilimanjaro land use maps (1952 & 1982), revealed significant losses of forests and dense bush with increases in cultivated areas -trends which presumably continue into the present. The value of vegetation conservation in water management is touched upon again in a final section on “Social­Economic Aspects”, which also includes a concise overview of water availability and water use conflicts and unexpectedly, an account of the high population growth potential in rural areas. Many authors comment on a shortfall both in the quality and quantity of relevant up­to-date data sets such that the reader is left in no doubt as to the challenges and opportunities which confront those responsible for managing the increasing and competing demands for the water resources of the Pangani.
Roland Bailey

SERVING CLASS: MASCULINITY AND THE FEMINISATION OF DOMESTIC SERVICE IN TANZANIA.
Janet Bujra. ISBN 0 7486 1484 2. Edinburgh University Press Ltd, Edinburgh. £18.00

European authors who choose to write on African affairs sometimes give themselves problems. The great danger is that they borrow western ideas, and so present incomplete reality about Africa. In this book, the author forces comparisons between working classes in Europe and Africa, domestic service in Tanzania in particular. Domestic service in Tanzania does not fit into a western serving class model.

A study of the nature of domestic service in Tanzania needs to contain some account of its historical status. It would have been interesting to have the author’s views on whether modem domestic service is a continuation of indigenous practice, or a product of foreign attitudes inherited through slavery and colonialism.

Traditional life, before foreigners arrived, was responsible for the establishment of domestic services and the feminisation of domestic work. In traditional society, grandparents requested their grandchildren to stay with them in order to help in domestic work, girls in particular. In some circles in Tanzania, the use of grandchildren to perform domestic chores (unpaid) had become common among traditional leaders.

Nor does the author discuss early visitors to the African continent. There is a school of thought that claims that missionaries, especially priests, preferred to employ men in order to distance themselves from women in a bid to avoid temptation, or allegations of sexual misconduct, from female servants. Hence missionaries employed men and trained them to perform domestic work, even though in some tribes, men did not do household work (including cooking), except in pastoral and agricultural societies where men learnt to cook (but not wash up pots and plates), especially when women of the family were out doing farm work.

The author makes no critique of the common practice of using child domestic servants to sell ice cream, bread or cake for the household they work in; nor of those made pregnant by their employer or by relatives in the employer’s family. We don’t see much about how the parents ofthese girls reacted, nor how much this possibility influenced or changed their decision to send males to work rather than girls. The author should be commended for her use of Swahili, which contrasts favourably with many other European authors who do not integrate African languages into their writings. However, while the author expands some descriptions of things unfamiliar to readers of English writings, she drops from the English version some details which appear in Swahili, losing certain areas of meaning in the process. As there is no parallel Swahili version, we cannot gauge the reactions of post and current domestic servants in Tanzania who cannot speak English.

This book has its good points, but the picture of domestic services in Tanzania is incomplete. The author needs to reassess and recommend what should be done in the light of her research ideas.
Frederick Longino.

FARMERS AND MARKETS IN AFRICA: POLICY REFORMS AND CHANGING RURAL LIVELIHOODS. Stefano Ponte. Oxford, James Currey, 2002. ISBN 0-85255-169-X £40 (cloth). 0­85255-169-X £17.95 (paper).

It is very clear from the outset of this book that the author aspires to more than a detailed case study. He has used the Tanzanian case studies to illustrate a general argument about continental policy reform and marketing structures. Ponte’s empirical evidence clearly shows that International Financial Institutions’ (IFI) policy goals to enhance smallholder export agriculture through economic liberalisation have backfired, largely undermining rather than bolstering the sector. Instead, ‘fast crops’, like tomatoes that generate much needed quick cash, and non-agricultural diversification have proliferated ­developments that were never foreseen, let alone intended in the original IFI policies.

Ponte’s argument is empirically well-supported. My main criticism is that in trying to broaden his audience he sometimes juggles with an eclectic hotch-potch of political economy and post-modernist-inspired theories as well as sliding between levels of analysis to bridge the global-local gap. This ambitious all-encompassing approach makes the book somewhat uneven in places and occasionally detracts from the strength of the research findings. Very briefly I will make a few observations about each chapter.

Chapter 1 is efficient in setting out the scope of the book and the research methodology. The macro-level bias of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) impact literature is criticised with emphasis placed on the need for more local analysis and more attention to non-economic phenomena of the ‘local context’. The promise is made to observe farmers’ agency within larger systems and to “‘fill” the macro-level dynamics with a basic level of generalisation coming from specific local-level experiences in their diversity, without, at the same time, losing important shades of contextualisation’. Contextual analysis, therefore, is used in terms of collecting local interpretations, divergent accounts, and constructions from below.

Chapter 2 is a good overview of trends in international and continental agricultural marketing systems. The author has managed a very lucid account that will be of interest to economists and non-economists alike.

Chapter 3 and the first part of Chapter 4 provide basic background on Tanzanian post-independence policies and the switch from African socialism to World Bank-led structural adjustment. Covering material that is already well-known to many readers, the author nonetheless has provided a succinct historical background needed for understanding the analysis which follows. The latter part of Chapter 4 is an exceptionally insightful account of the tenuous statistical base upon which the World Bank has proclaimed Tanzania an economic success story.

Chapter 5 is probably the most important empirical chapter of the book, clearly documenting the author’s field findings regarding the declining input supply availed farmers by private traders in the wake of liberalisation.

Chapter 6 is a middle-level institutional analysis of the objectives and effectiveness of public vs. private-leaning marketing systems. Interestingly, all four case studies seem to be largely over-determined by the impact of IFI policies, world market forces and physical locations vis-a-vis markets. The reported findings suggest that local­level agents’ manoeuvrings were hemmed in by these factors, and that on balance, agricultural marketing services of whatever institutional nature, were generally declining and acting as a deterrent to farming.

Chapters 7 and 8 are both very empirically strong chapters with a more relevant analytical focus, that of livelihoods. Chapter 7 concentrates on the significance of fast crops and significance of the increasing incidence of hired labour. Chapter 8 turns to rural households which resort to non-agricultural activities and the impact this has on wealth differentiation, and incidence of poverty. Chapter 9 summarizes the author’s argument very forcefully and convincingly, and helpfully points to the policy implications.

This book provides an engrossing read. Clearly written, well-structured and empirically strong, the author provides a careful review of the impact of structural adjustment and economic liberalization policies on rural smallholder farming villages. His two Tanzanian case study districts offer interesting contrasts as regards transport/market accessibility and crop mixes, demonstrating some of the variation, as well as many of the striking commonalities that have surfaced in rural Africa in the wake of the continental-wide implementation of SAP by international financial institutions. This is a book for those interested in the politics and economics of Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa more generally.
Deborah Bryceson

DAR DAYS: THE EARLY YEARS IN TANZANIA. Charles R. Swift. University Press of America. ISBN 0-7618-2331-X paperback). 211 pp. Two maps. $38.

Readers familiar with Tanzania during 1966-1974 will easily identify with the environment, attitudes, and assumptions that Swift records in this edited version of his daily diary during his years of service as a psychiatric consultant with the Ministry of Health. His recollections are based on an annual, episodic rather than thematic basis, reflecting his medical schedule and availability of facilities, his daily routine and life style, and family responses. Central to these memories are his connections with medical professionals in Tanzania and Zanzibar, some of which record personal as well as professional differences. These experiences reflect the politics (petty and otherwise) played out by Tanzania’s medical administrators as they vied for positions of control over their bailiwicks, or alternatively co-operated with one another, either for their own benefit or that of their patients. With few exceptions Swift makes minimal reference to major political events; clearly he was deeply affected by the assassination of Eduardo Mondlane and very impressed with the leadership of Julius Nyerere. While he took note of major events, e.g., Idi Amin’s coup in Uganda, or his occasional association with notables such as Jane Goodall and Nathan Shamuyarira, these are descriptive rather than analytical accounts. The use of parenthetical remarks to explain local circumstances interrupts the literary flow; the two maps are somewhat confusing, even to those familiar with the area. But, these minor failings detract only minimally from the overall value of this book which will likely set readers to reminiscing about their own experiences.
Marion Doro

A HOST OF DEVILS: THE HISTORY AND THE CONTEXT OF THE MAKING OF MAKONDE SPIRIT SCULPTURE.
Zachary Kingdon. ISBN 0-415-27727-2. Routledge, 2002, £55.00

Makonde Blackwood carving is rarely included in serious reviews of African arts and is routinely derided as of interest only as Tourist art. In this book Kingdon, in elegant and accessible prose, provides the corrective. He supplies an in-depth examination of the art making, and insight into the relationship between expressive form and social relations within Makonde society.

In the main the book is concerned with the form of carving known as Shetani. For most spectators these carvings are anomalous anthropomorphic forms that within primitivising discourses on African art have even been ascribed a surrealist root. This book, through careful documentation and through research, debunks such ideas and demonstrates the history of how this particular form emerged into the Makonde carver’s corpus. The insights provided are key to an art history of Makonde carving and the development of the shetani form. Without denying the constant tension between tradition and modernity Kingdon places carving within the social history of the Makonde in Tanzania. The book carefully documents the relations between carvers and patrons in Tanzania, the life histories of predominant carvers and, in a passage rich in detail that draws upon the author’s own apprenticeship, the process of carving.

Valuable as this work is to a general history of art in Africa; its aims are more ambitious. The interpretative strategy used here depends upon the location of the artefact (the shetani carving) within the social context of Makonde culture to the extent that the work carries with it agency akin to a Makonde sense of being (if that is what is meant by ontology). In this investigation a loosely phenomenological analysis is presented in which concepts such as embodiment, personhood, play, insecurity and mediation are used alongside ethnographic details of women’s affliction, spirit possession, masquerade performances, tattooing and body art. From time to time there is a tendency to work from the highly particular to the theoretically general that then appears overstated, but the theoretical nexus works well and is convincing, backed up with comparative material from other East African ethnographies.

In an intriguing passage in the introduction Kingdon writes of learning the embodied dispositions of the Makonde carver during his apprenticeship, a metaphor for describing anthropological fieldwork, yet also reminiscent of passages in Merleau Ponty. Talking of the analysis of understanding through perception Ponty criticises the reading of artworks for their visual resemblance as disembodied reading. Rather he writes;

“Things have an internal equivalence in me; they arouse in me a carnal formula of presence. These correspondences in turn give rise to some tracing rendered visible again in which the eyes of others could find an underlying motif to sustain their inspection of the world.” In embodying Makonde carving the author of this book has clearly found a motif, a practice, allowing this rich and worthy inspection of a Makonde world.
(Maurice Merlau Ponty (1961) Eye and Mind (L’oeil et l’esprit) Art de France
(1) p125-126)
William Rea

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Urban development waterfront revitalisation in developing countries: The example of Zanzibar’s Stonetown. B. Hoyle, Geographical Journal, Vo1168, No. 2, June 2002. (141-162)

This paper includes a good deal of background history, and a map of the coastal strip showing interesting buildings and open spaces between the present day port and State House. It discusses their successive changes of use, the characters involved, Stone Town Conservation Plan, and the contributions of several research projects and aid-funded activities.
Dick Waller

Placing the Shameless: approaching poetry and the politics of Pemban-ness in Zanzibar, 1995-2001, Nathalie Arnold. Research in African Literatures. Fall, 2002. v.33, i3, 140-68.
An analysis of the political implications of the song: “The Shameless Have a Town of their Own”, especially as the lyrics reflect political interpretations of Pemba responses in Zanzibar following the 1995 Tanzanian elections. The emphasis is on the concept of “belonging” and the variations of appropriate behaviour as well as modes of action that reveal violence, especially at the local level of ethnically-based political activity.

International Discourse and Local Politics: anti-female-genital­ cutting laws in Egypt, Tanzania, and the United States.” Elizabeth­Heger Boyle, Fortunata Songora, and Gail Foss.” Social Problems, 48, 4 November 2001. pp 524-544.
A comparative analysis of anti-FGC policies that explores how different local political situations interact with international aid policies.


Medical Syncretism with Reference to Malaria in a Tanzanian Community
.” Susanna Hausmann Muela, Joan Muela Riberia, Adiel K. Mushi, and Marcel Tanner. Social Science and Medicine. 55, 3, August 2002 pp 403-413.
Explores local responses to new health information in a semi-rural community of south eastern Tanzania, with specific reference to malaria. Emphasis is on how recipients receive and respond to new approaches to this health problem.

‘Kunyenga’, ‘Real Sex,’ and Survival: Assessing the Risk of HIV Infection among Urban Street Boys in Tanzania. Chris Lockhart. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 16,3, September 2002. pp294-311.
Examines sexual networks and practices of “street boys” as they move from homosexual to heterosexual behaviour and the ultimate consequences for HIV IAIDS infection for the general population.

Networks, Trust, and Innovation in Tanzania’s Manufacturing Sector. James T. Murphy. World Development, 30, 4, April 2002, pp 591-619. Assesses the extent to which “trust” affects exchange of information and promotes innovation as revealed in study of a group of manufacturers in Mwanza. Indicates, among other things, that “openness to social relations enhances innovation”.

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LETTERS

WHY IS IT SO SUCCESSFUL?
(Abbreviated) Professor Cooke’s review of my book Fortress Conservation, in the last issue of TA raised some important questions about conservation and rural livelihoods and made criticisms which would be interesting to debate. The review did not deal with the book’s main arguments concerning the Mkomazi Game Reserve, which rose to prominence first, since several thousand people were evicted from it in the late 1980 and, second, because black rhino were introduced to a sanctuary there in the late 1990’s. The book examines the accuracy and veracity of fund­raising literature used to promote Mkomazi’s conservation. This literature stated that the Reserve’s environment was under threat from people, that the evicted people were ‘not indigenous’ to the area and it emphasised the good work planned to provide for peoples’ needs around Mkomazi.

Fortress Conservation explores the history of environmental change and finds that people have been there for decades. It raises questions about the severity and extent of degradation. It then examines the economic consequences of eviction and finds that they have been severe. A more interesting question then arises. If the content of the literature is questionable, why is it so successful? A great deal of money has been raised for Mkomazi from this literature and the Reserve now has a considerable international reputation. What are the implications of these successes for African conservation elsewhere? At a time when community conservation is reported to be in ascendance, here is an example ofcoercive conservation flourishing. When therefore Professor Cooke complains that the picture of a fund­raising event on the front cover suggests that Mkomazi is just a playground for foreign tourists, he may not have realised that the book is about the consequences of fund-raising. It describes the power of Western ideas about Africa and their consequences for rural Africans. The front cover is integral to the thesis.

The complaint also overlooks the fact that one of Mkomazi’s problems is that too few visitors enjoy its benefits …. Professor Cooke calls for the raising of funds on a large scale, to provide help for the burgeoning population of the Mkomazi area …. but it is unlikely that tourism could ever rival the returns from the cattle rearing economies which were dominant in the 1970s and early ’80s

Professor Cooke justified the eviction of people by asserting, on the basis of decades of experience, that a traditional pastoralism, diverse environments and their wildlife cannot co-exist …. but here is an issue where experts are divided. I feel detailed examination of the data is required and would therefore like to know what Professor Cook makes of the arguments in the book which considered what forms of biodiversity may be compatible with pastoralism at Mkomazi. I would like him to consider the national context of conservation in the country (more than 30% of the land mass is forbidden to human use and habitation) and I would like him to explain why the impacts of exclusion on livelihoods and the local economy are necessary.

Conservation is about compromise, about finding the balance between people’s needs and ecological priorities. I believe there is more room for compromise at Mkomazi. Policies of exclusion will cause impoverishment. If therefore alternatives are possible then they deserve thorough investigation and discussion. This will require an engagement with the data.
Daniel Brockington

EDUCATION – A TOP PRIORITY
(Abbreviated) The speech by his Excellency Hassan 0 G Kibelloh, Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Britain, to members of the Britain­Tanzania Society (BTS) on 12th October was enlightening and attention captivating.

His Excellency opened his speech by praising the Society which for decades, and with very limited resources, has helped Tanzania in several development projects, particularly in education, health and the supply of clean drinking water in rural areas, because the members love our country and her people.

He then went on to present a broader picture depicting significant economic political and social developments taking place in Tanzania today. As an educationist, the theme of debt cancellation by the British government and its impact on the phenomenal expansion of education starting at primary school level, gripped me. We must remember that for years, the Tanzania government, churches, religious institutions and voluntary organizations, including BTS, campaigned day and night to have this curse of foreign debt, which kept Tanzania in perpetual poverty, removed. Ultimately, their cries have been heard, their efforts rewarded and the debt has been cancelled by the British government whose example should be followed by other filthy rich Western governments.

Of all post-independence achievements Tanzania can be proud of, her achievements in education stand out. In pre-independence Tanganyika we had just a few schools, a handful of technical colleges and not one university. Four decades after independence Tanzania has built many primary and secondary schools; we have many technical and vocational colleges and, to crown it all, we now have eleven universities!

Education is the mother of all professions and therefore the foundation stone of the nation’s development Our education institutions have produced hundreds of professionals: teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, military officers, political leaders, senior managers and many others. Adult education, initiated by Father of the Nation, the late President Julius Nyerere, who appealed to every educated Tanzanian to share his/her education with those who did not have this privilege, raised the national literacy and sanitation levels to unprecedented heights.

However, Tanzania’s development, particularly regarding the economy, has met with phenomenal obstacles. Constant poor rainfall or destructive floods devastated the agricultural sector upon which the country heavily depended. This problem, combined with derisory prices for Tanzania’s agricultural produce and minerals fetched in world markets controlled by rich Western nations hell-bent on keeping poor nations living in perpetual squalor, was a big blow to the economy. The government had to constantly borrow more and more money and had to pay it back with high levels of interest. It was mission impossible and the cycle of poverty became endless.

I must admit that other factors such as maladministration and corruption contributed to this sad state of affairs. This is why fighting these monsters has been President Ben Mkapa’s personal crusade. Recent cases of senior government officials being spectacularly dragged to court to answer charges of corruption indicate the serious nature of the leader’s determination to clean his government. Simultaneously, efforts are being made to strengthen the economy, create a suitable environment for foreign investors and to maintain peace, Tanzania’s unique blessing.

Now that the chains of economic slavery have been broken, with foreign debt cancellation, Tanzania must make education a top priority once again. We must double or even treble the number of our home­grown experts for all aspects of the nation’s development. Crucially, there is a need for a serious revolution in the nature of the education provided. We need the kind of education which goes hand in hand with trained practical skills and which ignites the intellect and triggers off intense research. The new kind of education must give Tanzanians high skills to process all our agricultural produce and minerals in the country and export top quality finished products at high prices. The new type of education would replace our current one which, in many areas, appears to be sterile; foreign textbook based and often not practical skills orientated.

Consequently, with small loans from the government and the private sector, even hundreds of our unemployed youths would be able to set up small businesses relevant to local needs, earn a living, reduce crime, restore their dignity and contribute to the development of our great nation.
Dr Frederick T Kassulamemba

A HIDDEN POLITICAL AGENDA?
(Abbreviated) During the ill-fated groundnut scheme after World War 2, a railway (the Southern provinces Railway) was constructed by the British colonial administration from Lindi and later Mtwara to Nachingwea and Masasi. Opened in 1953 it had a period of service of barely 10 years, before being closed and dismantled. During Redditch One World Link party visits to our twin town of Mtwara, we have noticed surviving features of the railway including earthworks, the station building at Mtwara Port and some godowns in the old Arab town area of Mikindani.

One of the Tanzanian friends, during our visit in 2000, recalled that he had seen the laying of an oil pipeline beside the railway, when he was young. It was not completed. Was there a ‘hidden political agenda’ in the building of a railway and developing a deep water port at Mtwara? It is claimed that Mtwara lies on the finest natural deep-water harbour along the East African coast.

As a railway enthusiast, I would welcome contact from any reader who may have information, memories or photographs of the erstwhile Southern Provinces Railway. I wonder whether Mr. Carrington-Buck whose letter appeared in TA No 72 drew any response and whether he has visited the Mtwara area.
David R Morgan, Karibuni, Chamberlain Lane, Cookhill, Alcester B49 5LD. E-Mail: dmorgan_AT_fish_DOT_co.uk

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