TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

by Donovan McGrath

Climate Change
The December issue of New African magazine featured a climate change special report. The following is a summary of the part Tanzania is playing in the harnessing of wind power. Extract: Tanzania’s Singida Wind Farm, set to produce some 100MW, received a major boost from IFC Infradventures in December 2012 after the signing of a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Six Telecoms Ltd and Aldwych International to develop the $285 million wind farm. It will be owned and operated by Wind East Africa Ltd… Singida Wind Farm is expected to be Tanzania’s first-ever wind power project and when operational it will be a major complex producing 300MW-600MW of power… (New African, December 2015)

The Ruaha Carnivore Project: Oxford helps to save one of the world’s most significant lion populations

>>Dr Amy Dickman with Barabaig tribesmen. Photo Ruaha Carnivore Project http://ruahacarnivoreproject.com/

Dr Amy Dickman with Barabaig tribesmen. Photo Ruaha Carnivore Project http://ruahacarnivoreproject.com/


Research into the ecology of big cats helps resolve human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania. Extract continues: Southern Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape has at its heart Ruaha National Park, which at 20,000km is the largest in East Africa.. . In the dry season, wildlife – both predators and prey – congregate around the river. When it rains, however, prey move to safer water sources elsewhere, so predators – lions in particular – are drawn onto village lands, seeking food. To the Barabaig, therefore, lions have long been very bad news. For Dr Amy Dickman … this historic tension between humans and wildlife was the greatest obstacle to the work of her Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP)… ‘According to our data, about 18% of villagers’ cash income was being lost because of carnivore attack [on their cattle, explains Dr Dickman] … Young Barabaig men have traditionally tracked and killed lions… This has resulted in an extremely high rate of lion killings around Ruaha, so addressing it was a top conservation priority. It quickly became clear to Dr Dickman that, if the alarming rate of destruction was to be stopped, winning over the Barabaig would be vital. Reluctant to interact at first, the villagers proved suddenly amenable when Dr Dickman’s group put up a solar panel for electricity … Eventually the two sides were able to meet and discuss how preserving lions could become more materially worthwhile to locals than killing them… Attacks were countered by reinforcing bomas (livestock enclosures), and placing guarding dogs to alert herders when predators approach … (Campaign Report 2014/15) Thank you Roger Searle for this item – Editor


Jane Goodall’s ongoing campaign

At 81, travelling 360 days a year to champion the cause of chimps, Dr Jane Goodall is still lithe of limb and incredibly fresh-faced in her trademark ponytail. She was visiting Kenya recently on the 55th anniversary of her chimpanzee research in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. Her ground breaking discoveries -including the use of tools by chimpanzees and their social and cultural bonds – revolutionised wildlife research … Dr Goodall is currently promoting her latest book, Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall… Although the 50-year study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park remains central to her mission, she now speaks on issues such as illegal trade in wildlife, climate change and food security… “It’s ironic that humans are the most intelligent creatures that ever lived on earth are destroying it,” she said. She spoke … of how chimpanzees in the wild have disappeared from four African countries in recent times. Even Gombe, which half a century ago was a vast forest around Lake Victoria, is diminishing as it is being cleared for subsistence farming. These are the reasons why Dr Goodall has turned activist… She is happy though that through the Roots & Shoots programme started in 1991, there is now three times more forest in Gombe today, meaning there’s three times more forest for chimpanzees… (East African 25-31 July 2015)

Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)
The following is an extract of a recent advertisement in The East African newspaper: The Government of United Republic of Tanzania has set aside funds for the operation of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) during the Financial year 2015/2016 … The objective of this assignment is to prepare a Detailed Master/ Development Plan of the Technology Park that among other things will provide a state of-the-art facilities and infrastructures to meet the needs of high-tech companies (e.g. ICT, Life Sciences, Physical Science, etc) and investors… (East African 3-9 October 2015)

Tanzania’s shame: The country’s elephant population has plummeted under the watch of its outgoing President
[S]tatistics showing what a success [President Jakaya Kikwete] has been—2.7m jobs created, 5,000 more schools, households with electricity rising from 10 to 36 per cent, malaria cases down 60 per cent. The one figure they hardly ever mention, however, is the shocking and shameful number of elephants slaughtered on his watch—nearly 100,000. Under Julius Nyerere, the father and first President of postcolonial Tanzania, the country championed elephant conservation … Under Kikwete it has become an elephant slaughterhouse. Since he took office in 2005 … nearly 10,000 of those magnificent creatures shot, speared or poisoned for each year he has been in office. A third of all the elephants killed in Africa are in Tanzania. More than a third of all ivory seized in Asia emanates from Tanzania… Kikwete has no excuses… Tanzania’s problem is a deep, pervasive, endemic corruption that makes it not a victim of China’s lust for ivory but a willing and active accomplice… “Collusion between corrupt officials and criminal enterprises explains the unprecedented scale of poaching and ivory smuggling in the country…” Britain’s Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reported last year… Kikwete’s administration has responded with words rather than actions—not least to keep the donor dollars flowing… (Prospects July 2015)

Nine-year-old is youngest Briton to climb Kilimanjaro
Zain Ackrim … hiked to the top of Africa’s tallest peak in just over six days … His brother Rehan, 12, and ten other people including his father, Raheel, 49, joined him on the 5,895m climb to raise money for schools in Africa. The previous record for a British junior was held by Jack Rea, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, who was ten when he reached the top in July last year… (Times 26 August 2015)

Shock cancellation of music festival
Sauti za Busara, which means “Sounds of Wisdom” in Kiswahili, is held every year in February in Stone Town, Zanzibar… “Due to a shortage of funding, Busara Promotions has reluctantly announced their decision to cancel the 2016 edition of Sauti za Busara,” said Busara Promotions in a press statement, adding that it is the first time in 13 years that the international music festival will not be held… “… We set ourselves a target of raising $200,000 before July, which is when we hoped to announce dates for Sauti za Busara 2016. We extended our deadline to August 19 but we were only able to raise $42,000,” said Yusuf Mahmoud, the chief executive officer of Busara promotions, adding, “Selling tickets for Sauti za Busara was never a problem, but these only cover 30 per cent of the festival costs.” … Since 2004, we have not had any financial support from the government of Zanzibar, Tanzania or from the East African Community and support from donors, embassies and commercial sponsors has reached an all-time low,” said Mr Mahmoud. “The Busara Board and management will work hard to ensure the festival resumes in 2017. This could mean moving its location or making it a biennial event.” (East African 29 August-4 September 2015)

Behind the scenes challenges of the Swahili Fashion Week
This article written by Caroline Uliwa featured as the “Cover Story”. The Swahili Fashion Week (SFW) has built a reputation as the prime event on the region’s fashion calendar… At last year’s SWF, I realised I was not doing justice to the fashion story by reporting the obvious – the runway, the models, the fabrics and the organisation of the day’s event while overlooking the fact that key suppliers hardly featured or even got a mention… I’ve taken the time to dig for more information on the background players… There are no leatherworks machine manufacturers or even distributors that I know of in Tanzania. And to import one, a company has to pay three times – for buying the machine, for shipping it here and to the ‘powers that be,’ lamented Jared Jessup, the director of KAULI, a Moshi-based handbag manufacturer… Jessup made this observation: “As far as I can tell, there is excessive export of leather in its bluest [rawest] and cheapest form. I suppose it’s because there really isn’t anywhere else for it to go. A shame too, as some of the tanneries here really can do fantastic work at finishing. So, it would be nice if there was some types of institutional mechanism within the higher tax structure to support the growth of inter-linked industries such a leather production and end products of leather either through VAT relief or by welcoming international distributors of sewing and leatherwork equipment.” … What this tells me is that the government has not been doing its job in co-ordinating this industry, which can be a massive employer and also an export income earner for the country … (East African 31 October-6 November 2015)

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