by Donovan McGrath

Twickenham veteran runs ultra-marathon across Tanzania
(BBC News online – UK) A British veteran is spending her 37th birthday running an ultra-marathon across Tanzania. Extract continues: Tricia Sinclair, from Twickenham, is raising money to help fellow veterans tackle the “petrifying” obstacle of reintegrating into civilian life… Ultra X Tanzania [is] a five-day race which traverses Mount Kilimanjaro … “I want to inspire others to really challenge their mental resilience,” she said. Ms Sinclair was in the army for 14 years between 2008 and 2022 and served five operational tours. She now works as the director of fitness for charity REORG, which helps rehabilitate veterans, military and emergency services personnel through functional fitness and jiu­jitsu. She hopes to raise £30,000 from the ultra-marathon to allow 100 people to go through the charity’s fitness programme. Ms Sinclair is to run 155 miles (250km) during the challenge including the 3,700m climb up Kilimanjaro… (12 June 2023)

Tanzania aims to connect 8 million citizens to broadband alongside mobile network operators
(Fintech Times online – UK) Extract: With an aim to achieve 80 per cent broadband penetration by 2025, the Tanzanian government, supported by the World Bank, has partnered with a number of mobile network operators to begin project ‘Digital Tanzania’. The government aims to see the extensions of broadband services to 1,407 villages – benefiting over eight million Tanzanians across the country. H.E. President Suluhu of Tanzania said: “This project will see all 26 regions across Tanzania’s mainland reached with quality and reliable telecommunication services compared to Zanzibar which was wholly covered in November 2022. “The presence of services is of great significance not only in rural areas but also in town areas as it accelerates development and inclusion politically, socially, and economically as well as for the safety and security of the nation. The implementation of this project is in line with the government’s commitment to improve telecommunication services and facilitate youth with opportunities in the ICT sector”… Suluhu has … commended the excellent implementation of the ‘m-mama’ program in partnership with the Vodacom Tanzania Foundation which has remarkably decreased the maternal mortality rate across Tanzania… (16 May 2023)

Interview: Gains of USAID Administrator Samantha Power’s visit to Tanzania
(Time Africa Magazine online – USA) Extract: On her first day in Tanzania, Administrator Samantha Power travelled to Arusha, where she visited a community farm. She met with cooperative farmers and representatives of the Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) to learn how TAHA, supported by USAID, has successfully driven economic growth and generated jobs for thousands of women and men by partnering with farming communities, the private sector, and the Government of Tanzania. While at TAHA, the Administrator announced an additional $260 million in U.S. funding to address the global food crisis that has been exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the severe drought in the Horn of Africa region. This new funding includes support for programs in Tanzania, as well as other countries and regional initiatives. Administrator Power then met with a group of women conservation leaders who work in partnership with USAID in Tanzania. The conservation leaders shared how they are helping local communities benefit from conservation efforts, including sustainable fisheries, carbon credits for forest preservation, and wildlife tourism. The Administrator commended their leadership in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in conservation and development… [Tanzania] Vice President [Philip] Mpango and the Administrator then joined a celebration of the national expansion of the m-mama public-private partnership between USAID, Vodacom Foundation, and the Government of Tanzania. The m-mama program provides emergency referral and transportation to newborns and expectant mothers… (24 June 2023)

United States and Tanzania Announce a $24 Million Food Security Project
(African Business Magazine online – UK) Extract: During this year’s Nane Nane event in Mbeya, the United States government and the United Republic of Tanzania announced USAID’s new food security activity Tuhifadhi Chakula (“Let’s Save Food”), a five-year, $24 million initiative to be implemented by the Tanzania Horticulture Association in partnership with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Centre. By targeting and reducing food loss and waste, the USAID Tuhifadhi Chakula project will increase food security, improve livelihoods, increase employment, and generate export opportunities for Tanzania – especially among women and youth. In Tanzania, 40-50 percent of crops are lost between the field and the end market. USAID’s Tuhifadhi Chakula project will work with farmers, traders, processors, and other actors in the value chain to cut food loss and waste in half. The project was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and aligns with its National Post-Harvest Management Strategy. The project will initially operate in the Arusha, Mbeya, Morogoro, Njombe, Pwani, Tanga, and Zanzibar regions of Tanzania… (9 August 2023)

A stunning gem, to honour a slain geologist, unveiled at Smithsonian
(Washington Post online – USA) Extract: The jewel rested on a cushion in a small black box covered with cloth in a vault at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection, put on a pair of white cotton gloves, pulled off the cloth and opened the box. “So, this is the stone,” he said, holding it under the fluorescent lights—a lustrous, green 116­carat gem called a tsavorite. With 177 facets, it glittered as he held it. “It’s truly a beautiful stone,” he said. “When you look at the colour of it, it just doesn’t look like anything else that we have.” Technically a garnet, it is named the Lion of Merelani. And, as with many a precious gem, it comes with a story. . . [N]amed in part for the Merelani region of Tanzania where it was found. it was put on display along with the Hope Diamond, the Carmen Lúcia ruby and other spectacular jewels in its hall of geology, gems and minerals. It is the largest precision-cut tsavorite in the world … The museum said the stone, which was found in 2017 and cut over three months by renowned gem cutter Victor Tuzlukov, was donated by Somewhere in the Rainbow, a private gem and jewellery collection, and by tsavorite mining executive Bruce Bridges, in honour of his late father… Bridges’s father, geologist Campbell Bridges, discovered tsavorite in East Africa in the 1960s—reportedly while fleeing from an angry buffalo—and brought it to prominence. He had lived most of his life in Africa, often in a treehouse near his mines, and was known as the old lion. But in 2009, he was murdered in Kenya by a gang of illegal prospectors who had been threatening him and trying to drive him away from his mines, his son said in an interview. On Aug. 11, they ambushed him, his son and four of their employees, and stabbed the elder Bridges to death. “Losing my father is the worst tragedy in the history of our family,” Bruce Bridges said. “And the driving forces in our lives have been to see justice … and then on top of that to ensure that my father’s dream and legacy for tsavorite lives on.” “What better way than to have all of this come full circle and have this particular, one-of-a-kind tsavorite in the National Gem Collection,” he said… (20 April 2023)

UK students pledge ‘career boycott’ of insurers over fossil fuels
(The Guardian online – UK) Extract: Hundreds of students and recent graduates of top UK universities are pledging a “career boycott” of major insurers, saying they will not work for firms including Lloyd’s of London if they support controversial fossil fuel projects. More than 500 current and recent students from the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Edinburgh and others have warned they will keep a close eye on firms that fail to shift to climate-friendly policies. “We refuse to put our professional careers at the service of climate wreckers that insure those responsible for the climate crisis,” the letter – sent to insurance market Lloyd’s of London, as well as individual firms including Beazley, Hiscox, Chaucer and Tokio Marine Kiln – said. “Insurers’ lack of action on climate change will cost them talented workers.” A Deloitte survey recently found that more than half of Gen Z recruits tended to research a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job, while one in six have already changed jobs or sectors over climate concerns. A further 25% say they plan to move roles because of their employers’ climate impact in the future… The students’ letter explained signatories would pay particular attention to insurers that decide to work with TotalEnergies and Equinor, which they said were currently seeking insurance for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) – scheduled to transport oil from Uganda to Tanzania – and the Rosebank oilfield – which is the largest undeveloped oilfield in the North Sea. The students noted that nearly two dozen insurers had already ruled out supporting the African pipeline, including several that worked within the Lloyd’s of London market. “Since 2017, at least 41 insurers have adopted restrictions on underwriting coal, 22 on tar sands and 13 on conventional oil and gas. But Lloyd’s of London and many Lloyd’s managing agents are lagging behind and putting our lives at risk by continuing to insure oil and gas,”
38 Tanzania in the International Media the letter said… (24 May 2023)

Scientists warn Africa is splitting in TWO: 2,000-mile crack that appeared along south-east of the continent is widening by one inch every year
(Daily Mail online – UK) Extract: A massive crack ripping through Africa is set to split the continent in two and form Earth’s sixth ocean, scientists have warned. Countries along the southeastern coast would become a giant island, creating an entirely new sea from Ethiopia to Mozambique. The so-called Eastern African Rift formed at least 22 million years ago but has shown activity over the last few decades – a crack appeared along the deserts of Ethiopia in 2005 and is widening at a rate of one inch per year. It is a result of two tectonic plates moving away from each other, but the exact mechanism was not fully understood at the time. Now, a study published in June found that a massive ejection of super-heated rock coming up from our planet’s core is driving the rift. While Africa is not expected to tear for at least another five million years, Somalia and half of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania will form a new continent when it does… A 35-mile crack that appeared in 2005 already shows signs of a new sea near Ethiopia. And another tore through Kenya in 2018 following heavy rainfall, forcing people to leave their homes and shut down roadways… (6 July 2023)

‘Gut-churning’: anger as Hungarian president addresses major women’s rights conference
(The Guardian online – UK) Extract: Some leading delegates at a women’s rights conference in Rwanda have expressed shock at the appearance there of the Hungarian president, an anti-abortionist criticised for an anti-equality stance. Katalin Novák, an important player in the international “anti-gender movement”, was invited by the Rwandan government to speak at the Women Deliver conference in Kigali … where reproductive rights is one of the areas under discussion. “We were taken aback,” said conference attendee Bruna Martinez, an activist from Brazil and member of Young Feminist Europe. “We don’t understand why a woman like this would be invited.” Before becoming president in 2022, Novák served as family minister in Viktor Orbán’s government and was key in implementing the government’s pro-natalist policies. She has said Hungarian women “shouldn’t compete with men” or expect to earn the same amount of money… Novák, former leader of the Political Network for Values, an international organisation that works to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, was on a state visit to Rwanda and Tanzania. To applause, she told the conference’s opening ceremony … “I’m the first woman president of my country.” She said that increasing the fertility rate is Hungary’s goal for gender equality and expressed hope that her teenage daughter will feel empowered to have “even 10 children if she chooses to”. Delphine O, a French special envoy for the global Generation Equality initiative, tweeted that Novák’s “so-called ‘pro-family’ values are at odds with what feminists in the room stand for”. . . Maliha Khan, the president and CEO of Women Deliver, said that she had agreed to platform Novák at the behest of the Rwandan government. “If we want to achieve what we want to achieve, we have to partner with and talk to people who we don’t agree with on many, many things,” she said… (19 July 2023)

‘Green colonialism’: Indigenous world leaders warn over west’s climate strategy
(The Guardian online – UK) UN summit in New York hears how resources needed for sustainable energy threaten Indigenous land and people. Extract continues: World Indigenous leaders meeting … at an annual UN summit have warned that the west’s climate strategy risks exploitation of Indigenous territories, resources and people. New and emerging threats about the transition to a greener economy, including mineral mining, were at the forefront of debate as hundreds of Indigenous chiefs, presidents, chairmen and delegates gathered at the 22nd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. “It is common to hear the expression to ‘leave no one behind’. But perhaps those who are leading are not on the right path,” the forum’s chairman, Dario Mejía Montalvo, told delegates … as the 12-day summit opened in New York in the first convening since the pandemic outbreak. The longtime advocacy group, Cultural Survival, in partnership with other organizations, highlighted how mining for minerals such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and copper – the resources needed to support products like electric car batteries – are presenting conflicts in tribal communities in the United States and around the world. As countries scramble to uphold pledges to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre­industrial levels by 2030, big business and government are latching on to environmentally driven projects such as mineral needs or wind power that are usurping the rights of Indigenous peoples – from the American south-west to the Arctic and the Serengeti in Africa… During a special panel discussion, Edward Parokwa, executive director of the Pastoralists Indigenous Non-Governmental Organization (Pingo’s Forum), said a mass migration has ensued of thousands of Maasai violently displaced from their Tanzania homelands to make way for a luxury game reserve … A UAE-based company is believed to be behind the big game hunting operation. “And it’s happening in the name of conservation,” Parokwa said… (23 April 2023)

Tanzanian killed in Ukraine: We told him not to go
(BBC News online – UK) Nemes Tarimo’s family in Tanzania warned him against agreeing to fight with Russian forces in Ukraine, but the 37-year-old had a big incentive to sign up. Extract continues: … [His] relatives learnt of the news that confirmed their worst fears. He had died in combat… One [relative] says they last heard from him in October when he had said he had agreed to sign up with the Russian mercenary group Wagner. “Nemes informed me and some other family members about joining Wagner, and we advised him not to,” the family member … tells the BBC. But for the young man, whose relatives describe as polite, God-fearing and supportive, there was an offer that was hard to resist. The family says that Tarimo, who had ambitions to be an MP with the opposition Chadema party, had been in Moscow as an ICT master’s student at the Russian Technological University. But he was then imprisoned some time after January 2021 for what was described as drugs-related offences. Last year, he was enticed with a deal: sign up and be pardoned or stay in prison. “He said he would join to free himself,” the relative says. This case echoes that of 23-year-old Zambian student Lemekhani Nyirenda, who has also been in prison in Russia and died last year fighting with Wagner. . . Last September, Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin was seen in leaked footage outlining the rules of fighting, such as no deserting or sexual contact with Ukrainian women, and then giving the prisoners five minutes to decide if they want to sign up. . . Russian state-owned domestic news agency, Ria Novosti, interviewed someone who said he had fought alongside Tarimo. He said the Tanzanian had died while trying to help a wounded soldier. The Federal News Agency says that Tarimo was awarded a posthumous medal “for courage” by the Wagner Group… (20 January 2023)

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