by David Brewin
Becoming more friendly
There are signs that Tanzania is changing its rather distant relationship with other members of the East African Union. During recent months it has allowed its citizens to move money across its borders. However, on environmental and natural resources management, Tanzania is holding back. It appears to have been doing its ‘homework’ more thoroughly than the other partner states. Before the signing of binding agreements on the use of Lake Victorian waters and other scarce water and pasture resources, Tanzania argued that a protocol on such issues, already ratified by Kenya and Uganda, contradicted the provisions on trading in minerals. Tanzania stressed that access to and the use of land and premises should be governed by national policies and laws and that the protocol included provisions on marketing and trading in minerals which should have been restricted to protection of the environment.
Tanzania also noted that tourism should be removed from the protocols as it would be better covered under another accord now being negotiated. The EAC Secretariat was instructed to study the issues raised by Tanzania.
The border between Tanzania and Burundi was originally demarcated in 1924 during the colonial period. But, over the years, some natural border references such as rivers have changed their courses or dried out. Sometimes officials have demarcated part of the border by just marking trees. Although the African Union has declared that states wanting to make changes should do so by 2017, the presidents of the two countries are reported to have met to reaffirm the border between their countries.
Pressure on human rights in Tanzania
The European Union has begun to step up its pressure on Tanzania to change its laws on human rights. The Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Filibert Sebregondi, has advised the Tanzanian government to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls from 15 to 18 years, eliminate polygamy and abolish the death penalty and corporal punishment in schools.