MISCELLANY

WOLFOWITZ COMMENDATION
Visiting World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz praised Tanzania when he paid a courtesy call on President Kikwete on July 14. “The purpose of my visit here is to see how aid from the World Bank is being utilised. In Tanzania I have learnt that aid has been utilised efficiently. Promises have been fulfilled.” He also commended Tanzania for maintaining peace and stability. He was particularly impressed with what he had observed in his tour of Manzese area, where, he said, people mingled freely irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds. He said he would tell this to delegates at the G8 meeting scheduled for St Petersburg the following week – i.e. the impressive story and all the other good things he had seen in Tanzania – Guardian.

ORGANIC AGRICULTURAL MOVEMENT

The Arusha Times reported that the ‘Tanzania Organic Agricultural Movement’ (TOAM) was among organisations taking part in the ‘Nane Nane Agricultural Show’ in Arusha in August.
Organic products in Tanzania can be identified by the symbol of a leaf that features the Swahili word ‘Hai’ or life. Chris Wimmer, marketing office of TOAM, says that currently organic products are only available to the wealthier expat neighbourhoods of Dar es Salaam. But he would like to see the situation change. “Organic foods should be available to those who produce them.” This means making the organic certification label more affordable to farmers. When farmers begin to make money they tend to switch to conventional Western style agricultural practices, Wimmer says. These may include using advanced technologies without taking into account other factors, like crop rotation, that promote sustainable practices. “We want farmers to realize that what they’re doing now isn’t archaic,” Wimmer says. “Many people practice organic farming here and don’t even know it.” TOAM is working to show farmers that there is a market out there for organic products, a market that has the potential to offer more money.

Most of the literature about organics in Tanzania is written in English so TOAM is offering seminars and information in Swahili to reach a wider audience. At the ‘Nane Nane show’ Wimmer was approached by many farmers who had heard there was an organic association in Tanzania but did not know how to find them.
Extracts from the article: ‘Created in May 2005, the NGO functions as a marketing and promotions body of the ‘Tanzania Organic Certification Association’ (TanCert), and works to coordinate and promote sustainable organic agricultural development in Tanzania.

“YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN”

Old soldiersOld soldiers (David Nickol in the centre) at the wreath laying ceremony on July 4th at the Askari Monument in Dar-es-Salaam

A one time Captain in the Kings African Rifles and, later, District Commissioner in Kisarawe, Handeni, Moshi, Geita and Njombe, 86-year old David Nickol has been revisiting Tanzania. He commended the country for sustaining its state of peace, harmony and good hospitality since independence. In his diary of the visit Nickol said that he was greatly honoured by the presence at the Askari Memorial in Dar (where he laid his home-made wreath) of a full Colonel, a Major, a Captain and six veterans. In the centre of the wreath he wrote: Kwa askari wa jeshi la ushujaa 6th KAR, na waliojeruhiwa na walio hai ambao walipigana Vita Kuu ya Pili, katika nchi za Somalia, Uhabeshi, Madagascar na Burma. Hamtasahauliwa (You will not be forgotten)

LEBANON PROTESTS

Tens of thousands of Muslims took to the streets in Dar es Salaam on August 4 to protest against Israeli military attacks on Lebanon and Palestine. Muslims carried placards that denounced Israel and its main allies, the US and UK. Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Dr Asha Rose Migiro, said Tanzania hoped for an immediate ceasefire to avert deaths and the suffering of vulnerable groups, women and children – Guardian.

NO MORE POOL
Police in Dar es Salaam have banned pool playing at pubs and other entertainment facilities during normal working hours. They later arrested scores of people who continued to play. Some residents, especially the young, said the game was a serious sport that needed to be nurtured just like football or athletics. But others strongly supported the police directive as the game was a threat to development, and too many able-bodied individuals spent hours and hours playing, instead of doing productive work – Guardian.

DOLPHIN DEATHS
Some 400 bottlenose dolphins were washed up along a three-kilometre stretch of Zanzibar beach recently. It was later found that they had not eaten for some time. The dolphins normally live in deep waters offshore, so experts were baffled when so many came ashore and died. But some marine biologists are pointing to the use of sonar by the US Navy as a factor in the deaths. Loud bursts of sonar may disorientate ocean animals and cause them to rise to the surface too quickly, an event which could give them the equivalent of the bends – Guardian.


BRITON CHARGED

Briton Stewart Middleton (53) appeared before the Kilimanjaro Regional Magistrate on June 27 charged with refusing to obey a court order requiring him to open the gate of his farm – Silverdale & Mbono Estate – denying police officers access to the farm. Middleton’s defence lawyer applied for bail which was opposed by the prosecution on grounds that the accused was arrogant and, if let out, might jump bail. His defence lawyer said bail could not be denied as it was a constitutional right of his client. The case was due to come up for a hearing on August 4 – Mtanzania.

PAM AWARDS

The ‘Pearl of Africa Music (PAM) Awards’ took place in Dar-es-Salaam in early August as reported by Uganda’s NEW VISION. This followed events in Nairobi and Kigali, in an effort to sell the PAM Awards idea to the entire East African region. The paper went on: To say the Dar launch was the best of the East African launches would not be exactly right, but it did have a magnanimous artistes’ response. Whereas Kigali’s finest had every reason to show up at the PAM Awards launch for an opportunity to be exposed to the world, Tanzania’s music glitterati, with their equally esteemed ‘Kili Music Awards’, did not. Yet they turned up in large numbers. That alone brought enough colour to this function to overshadow the other two tenfold. Dar-es-Salaam’s esteemed Movenpick Hotel was the centre of activity…. PAM chairman Isaac Mulindwa gave a powerful presentation and explained that the awards were designed to promote and enhance quality production, growth and development of African music. But the sponsors were not about to be outdone. The sales director of Celtel Tanzania (which partnered with Kilimanjaro Lager), Herbert Louis, reiterated Celtel’s support for social causes like this one. Professor Jay, Tanzania’s perceptibly biggest act, was all praises for the awards: “PAM is a big chance for us to spread further throughout East Africa and elsewhere internationally,” the burly Bongo Flava artiste noted. Celebrated hip-hop sensation AY welcomed the idea and said he would like the awards to be called The East African Awards. Mufunyo Mazika, a producer, and the popular Unique Sisters were in attendance together with Tanzanian artistes including Uyogaboga, Ukooflani, Black Rhino, K’GB, Dotto, Mkeloni and EATV’s Ben Kinyayiya.

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