Archive for Issue 103

PIRACY DOWN

According to the Guardian, military action taken on the Somalia coast aimed at curbing piracy has done just that, reducing the incidents tremendously this year as compared to 2010. The Minister of Defence and National Service said there was only one incident this year where a ship was hijacked and three incidents where pirates tried to seize ships but failed. In the previous year, four ships were seized and ten hijacking attempts were made. He said that Tanzania’s border with Kenya to the North was reported to be peaceful apart from the rare but none the less serious incidents where beacons had been brought down to make room for agriculture. The borders with Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo were cited as being in a constant state of alert. The Minister explained that the shores of the lake region had been terrorized by armed robbers suspected to be from the said countries. The bandits attacked fishermen and robbed them of their fishing gear.

Comments

THE GREAT WAR IN EAST AFRICA

Possibly for the first time since 1929, a gathering took place in London recently to commemorate and remember the Great War in East Africa. Just over thirty specialists on the campaign came together at The National Archives in Kew, London to share their knowledge of the little side-show which involved over twenty-eight countries, lasted longer than any fighting in Europe (5 August 1914 – 25 November 1918) and saw action on water, air and on land. In addition to the 250,000 odd troops, around one million carriers are estimated to have been involved as well as untold draught animals.

Talks covered most aspects of the campaign – Indian, Belgian and Danish involvement as well as Nyasaland, the Rhodesias, German mobilisation and prisoners of war/internees. Aspects of researching the campaign were also addressed – what The National Archives holds, Belgian archival sources at the Royal Military Museum and how to use medal citations. The map and document exhibition by The National Archives, enhanced with memorabilia from the Northern Rhodesia Police Association, and salvaged Pegasus and Konigsberg items stimulated much discussion over lunch and tea. Information on the talks and campaign can be found at http://gweaa.com. Thank you Dr Anne Samson (Co-ordinator, Great War in East Africa Association) for sending this – Editor.

Comments

AWARD FOR SISTER CORRIGAN

Sister Corrigan receives her MBE from Prince Charles

Sister Brigid Corrigan, a member of the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM), was awarded the MBE in the UK New Year’s Honours List for ser­vices to international health. After qualifying as a doctor in Dublin, Sister Brigid’s first appointment was as medical officer in charge of Makiungu Hospital, Singida from 1964 to 1971. She returned to Tanzania as medical officer in charge of Kabanga Hospital, Kigoma (1973-75) and then worked as specialist physician at Bugando Hospital, Mwanza for 11 years (1974-85). She made a particular study of diabetes while at Mwanza, and in association with colleagues published four papers on the prevalence and treatment of diabetes in NW Tanzania.

She returned to Tanzania in 1994 as health coordinator for the Catholic archdiocese of Dar-es-Salaam and Medical Director of PASADA (Pastoral Activities and Services for people with HIV/AIDS.) She quickly became an expert on the treatment of HIV/AIDS, particularly home-based, hospice and palliative care, counselling and the role of dispensaries. From 2000 to 2006 she delivered papers on these subjects to international conferences in Canada, Thailand, Ethiopia and Nigeria. At the Tanzanian National AIDS Conference at Arusha in December 2004 she co-authored a paper on AIDS entitled AKINA MAMA KWANZA! (Ladies First!). She was Vice-President of the Association of Physicians in Tanzania (2000-6). In 2008 she moved to Uganda.

Sister Brigid said she considered the award was not so much for her personally as for all the people she had been privileged to work with, and to care for, in many parts of Tanzania through all those years.

Comments

BUSINESS & THE ECONOMY

by Valerie Leach

The economy continues to grow at an encouraging rate, recovering quite well from the downturns in 2007 and 2009. Gold and diamond production rose sharply in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011; and because of much better rainfall, the rate of growth in agriculture has improved.


GDP, First Quarter, 2012. Source: National Bureau of Statistics, Press Release, Summary Report of Quarterly Gross Domestic Product, First Quarter (January–March) 2012, www.nbs.go.tz

Consumer price inflation, while still high, continues to fall from its peak of 19.8% in December 2011 to 17.4% in June 2012. The increase in prices of food and energy remains at over 20% annually, though the rate of increase has slowed in recent months. The IMF has commended the government’s tightened monetary policy for 2012/13, aimed at supporting disinflation towards a single-digit inflation target. (www.nbs.go.tz and www.imf.org)

Trade
The balance of trade has worsened in the year to June 2012 compared with the previous year. The increase in the value of exports, led by increases in the volume and value of minerals exports, was offset by an increase in the value of imports, largely driven by a rise in oil prices, coupled with an increased demand for oil for thermal power generation. There was also a substantial increase in imports of machinery and equipment for gas and oil exploration. (Bank of Tanzania, Monthly Economic Bulletin, July 2012, www.bot-tz.org)

Government Budget 2012/13 and Long-Term Perspective Plan

The new Minister for Finance & Economic Affairs, Hon. Dr. William Mgimwa

This time of year is budget time in East Africa, and the Tanzanian government budget was presented to the Bunge in mid-June. It proposed a budget of TShs. 15.1trillion, TShs. 3.2 billion of which is expected to be received as grants and concessional loans for development (TShs. 842 million in general support loans and grants, and TShs. 2.3 trillion in project grants and loans).

Among the tax measures to support local industries and create jobs were the abolition of VAT for textile mills, increased tax on imported edible oil and a review of the skills development levy. The budget also included the usual increases in excise duty on drinks and tobacco, as well as an increase in excise duty on mobile phone calls.

Some tax exemptions are to be removed, with a 10% VAT introduced for those previously exempt. Included in the abolition of tax exemptions was tax relief for non-governmental organisations, except that equipment donated to orphanages and schools remain exempt. (Daily News 14 June and Minister of Finance, June 2012).

In the course of the budget debate, Kondoa MP Juma Nkamia reported that 27,000 tonnes of edible sunflower oil was stalled in godowns in the district because of lack of reliable market. (Daily News 28 June).The budget includes an allocation of TShs. 1 trillion in 2012/13 to decongest roads in Dar es Salaam. (Daily News 6 July).

Thirty per cent of the total budget is intended for development projects (TShs. 4.5 trillion). The development plan puts priority on infrastructural improvements, including the Kurasini logistical and trade hub, rehabilitation of the central railway line and construction of a natural gas pipeline between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam, which will be funded through a loan from Exim Bank of China. Funds have also been allocated for power generation plants at Kinyerezi and for upgrading the north-west grid from Iringa to Shinyanga and from Makambako to Songea. (budget speech of the Minister of Finance www.mof. go.tz)

Minister Wasira, Minister of State in the President’s Office, said that large investment in gas exploration in Mtwara and other coastal areas meant that foreign direct investment increased substantially in 2011 to $854 million, from $434 million in 2010. (Daily News 15 June).

The main opposition CHADEMA Party proposed an alternative budget which put more emphasis on development funding and a reduction in recurrent spending, particularly on allowances, seminars, foreign travel and procurement of large luxury vehicles for government officials. (Daily News).

The Minister of Finance reported improvements in financial management, cit­ing the latest report of the Controller and Auditor General for the year 2010/11, in which unqualified audit reports for ministries, independent departments and regional secretariats improved from 71% to 85% in 2009/10. Unqualified reports in local authorities increased from 49% to 54%.

One important element of the budget of the Prime Minister’s Office was an allocation of TShs. 73.2 billion for the purchase of books for all primary schools, reducing the ratio of books to pupils from 1:10 to 1:2/3. This is 75% of the money returned from the radar deal. The remainder will be used to pur­chase 400,000 desks. The World Bank will fund access to telecommunications in areas not now served.

Long-Term Development Plan

A “Roadmap to a Middle Income Country” has been published by the Planning Commission. This long-term perspective plan (to 2025/26) is intended to set specific direction to meet the objectives of Tanzania’s Vision 2025 (published in 1999). The long-term plan provides the link between the Vision and the country’s medium- and short-term development plans. A series of three five-year plans aim to unleash growth potential, nurture an industrial economy and promote competitive export growth.

The plan’s targets for 2015 are to raise GDP growth to 8% and agricultural growth to 6%, reduce inflation to 4-5% and reduce the poverty rate to 19.3%, a particularly ambitious target since the latest data indicated that the population living under the poverty line was 33.6% in 2007.

By 2025, the plan projects that the percentage of people employed in agricul­ture will have fallen to 41%, compared to the current 75%. Similarly ambitious targets are set for export growth, from 28% of GDP in 2010 to 40% in 2025. Sharp reductions in pupil:teacher ratios are planned both at primary and secondary levels. (Tanzania Long-Term Perspective Plan, Roadmap to a Middle Income Country, President’s Office, Planning Commission, June 2012 www.tanzania.go.tz/pdf/mpango%20Elekezi.pdf)

Comments

EDUCATION

by Anne Samson

Not achieving
The past few months have seen concerns raised about education in Tanzania and announcements by government and others on what is being done to improve the situation.

Anthony Tambwe (Daily News 8 July) was concerned about the state of education and the impact this will have on Tanzania’s involvement in the East African Federation. His concern reiterated those raised by Haki-Elimu during May, in particular about the number of young people not achieving. The underlying issue is felt to be the curriculum, which is ‘not effective enough to producing competent graduates in various capacities’.

Two days later, the UK Guardian reported the finding of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact that DfID’s aid programme in Tanzania was too focused on enrolment numbers and not enough on quality of learning. Other comments by Haki-Elimu on Youtube http://goo.gl/X4S9t. Taweza too, has put out a short video on the importance of teachers http://goo.gl/D3mvE.

Banned
The World Bank has banned deals with two wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Oxford University Press (OUP) – OUP East Africa Limited and OUP Tanzania. The three years’ ban follows OUP’s acknowledgement of ‘misconduct’ by its two subsidiaries in relation to two World Bank-financed education projects in East Africa. Various groups, including the Tanzania Teachers Union, have called for an investigation to identify who was involved.

The European Union and education
The EU signed agreements with Tanzania in July covering six areas of development work. Significantly, education does not feature. The one statement concerning education was that ‘Notable results in 2011 included the delivery of annual capitation grants of Tshs 25,000 per student to all government secondary schools’. (http://world.einnews.com/article/106205564, 20/7)

The importance of education continues to be recognised through various initiatives. National Microfinance Bank has announced a Financial Fitness Programme to encourage savings for education as part of their corporate social responsibility agenda (Daily News 21/5)

Briefly mentioned in the previous TA was somatanzania.org, an online portal to support education in Tanzania. This site has continued as a central contact for information on schools for Tanzanians and for people wanting to volunteer, including links to English support.

Foreign Assistance
A South Korean NGO, Good Neighbours Tanzania, has spent $60,000 on constructing a state-of-the-art community centre at Kijitonyama Kisiwani Primary School, in Dar es Salaam. It will be open to the general public as well as pupils of the school with the aim of re-invigorating a reading culture to improve learning – The Citizen.

The Koreans are also involved in opening a new university, the United African University of Tanzania. Its first 120 students start in January 2013 and will study Computer Engineering and Business Administration. The university has been founded by a church in Korea and expects the curriculum to broaden in 2015 – Daily News.

Germany is also involved in developing two existing universities with a focus on health care – The Citizen.

Taweza has proposed three ‘experiments’to improve learning outcomes, deliver capitation grants better and ‘testing local cash on delivery.’ The basic idea is to pay a set amount for every child achieving proficiency in early grade literacy and numeracy, in contrast with an input- based incentive such as the capitation grant. The idea has been developed in consultation with the Center for Global Development, the Jameel Poverty Action Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Tanzania government, local MPs and the Teachers’ Trade Union – Daily News.

Vice President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal launched the ‘Tanzania 21st Century Basic Education Structure in Mtwara’. The purpose of the USAID project is to develop primary education in Mtwara Region, using information and technology. Dr Bilal noted that statistics collated by the Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) indicate that ‘Tanzania’s education structure was the best compared to other countries’ structures’ and is among the top 15 countries performing well in mathematics. Tanzania was also the best in terms of education research. Dr Bilal asked edu­cation stakeholders to consider improving primary education tests ‘as most of the tests still posed setbacks towards better development of primary education.’ Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa said the project would help in the implementation of phase III (2012-2016) MMEM based on the development of primary education.’

In July, Mtwara was again the focus of a new initiative, this one launched by Mrs Diane Corner, British High Commissioner to Tanzania. The project aims at providing employment opportunities for young people. Assisted by seven VSO professional volunteers, it will focus on raising standards in eight areas: English, food preparation, plumbing, welding, carpentry, motor vehicle main­tenance and electrical installation and maintenance. – The Citizen

People with money
The Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Education, Khassim Majaliwa, announced that President Kikwete, in allowing ‘people with money’ to invest in education, will ensure that ‘education graduates are assured of employment’. About 13,000 teachers have been deployed in various secondary schools across the country and it is anticipated that about 85 per cent of the over 37,000 shortfall of teachers would be solved. The Government plans to ensure 1:1 ratio text book availability by 2013, science teaching is to be emphasised and accommodation for girls will be given priority – Daily News.

Comments

TOURISM & ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

by Mark Gillies

Just as in the natural world, when the months of April bring rain, growth and much activity in Tanzania, the three months since the last edition of TA have been full of incident in the fields of tourism and environmental conservation.

New Minister
On 4 May, the BBC reported that following the highly critical report by the Controller & Auditor General’s Office which described extensive misuse of funds, President Kikwete sacked the Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism. He was replaced by Ambassador Kagasheki, a man of whom much is expected, and who has reportedly taken to his new post with vigour. In his opening address to the civil servants of the Ministry, Ambassador Kagasheki was quoted as saying, “This is a sensitive ministry, which deals with foreigners, and there­fore there is an urgent need to cleanse its tarnished corporate image.” This was taken by many as a clear condemnation of his predecessor. Tourism generates more income than mining, agriculture, or any other sector of the economy. (Dr Wolfgang Thome, ETN Uganda).

Crime
In June, the circumstantial stories of an increase in the reported incidents of violent crime in Tanzania gained a human face when a Dutch tourist and a local camp manager were killed during a robbery on the borders of the Serengeti National Park. Conscious of the potential impact of such events, police searched the area in force and made a number of arrests. Three men have subsequently been charged and await trial for murder.

On the rebound
However, despite these negative news stories, and the western economic malaise that has hit the long-haul travel industry hard, the new Minister has asserted that Tanzania’s tourism industry is ‘on the rebound’, using the increase in international airlines flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) as his example of vibrancy in the tourism market. (Marc Nkwame, Daily News) Speaking at the reception for the inaugural Qatar Airways service, the Minister said the increase in traffic would benefit both the Tanzanian tourism industry and the airlines.

Kenya Airways recently started a six times a week service into KIA, while Emirates and Turkish Airways have expressed an interest in using the airport. To handle the increase in traffic, KIA has embarked on major terminal renovation and expansion that will cost over 25 million Euros. The airport handles nearly 700,000 travellers per year, and with the introduction of more interna­tional flights the number may reach the one million figure this year.

Sculptures recently installed in down-town Dar es Salaam by Karakana ya Wonder (Wonder Workshop) wonderwelders.org – photo Michuzi

Controversial projects
Several large projects championed by the Tanzanian government continue to generate headlines and vociferous argument – both for and against.

The development of Lake Natron Soda Ash Extraction Plant remains dependent upon meeting environmental impact criteria. Although the validity of these crite­ria is doubted by crit­ics, recently released budget estimates of the Ministry of Industry & Trade for 2012/13 reveal that funding has been allocated for chemical, hydrological, ecological and hydrodynamic testing (Alvar Mwakyusa ­Daily News), so expect more on this story soon.

The Serengeti Road saga also continues. At the World Heritage Committee meeting in June 2011 the Tanzanian government confirmed that the 53km stretch of road through the Serengeti National Park would not be paved and would continue to be managed by the Tanzanian National Park Authority (TANAPA). It would be used mainly for tourism and administrative purposes, which should result in a low level of traffic. The Tanzanian government was also said to be seriously considering construction of an alternative road running south of the Serengeti. (Birdlife International, 22 June).

Down in the Selous a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 5 July for the Stiegler’s Gorge Power Project between the Rufiji Basin Development Authority and Odebrecht International. At an anticipated cost of $2 billion, depending on the design chosen, the project is projected to generate a 2100 MW capacity and to provide Dar es Salaam with a stable, long-term water source. The project will be funded through a combination of the Tanzanian Government and Brazilian credit lines. (Daily News Online Edition).

While it is accepted that Tanzania needs a greatly improved electricity network and that the burgeoning metropolis of Dar es Salaam has outgrown its current clean water provision, opponents of the scheme are concerned by the environmental impact of the project, which will see a large area of the most photogenic section of the Selous Game Reserve flooded, the unlikelihood of completing the project to budget and the ongoing cost of maintenance.

Perhaps what all these large-scale projects boil down to when balancing need with impact is trust. Trust in knowledge, trust in capability, trust in capacity and trust in intention. But trust is what seems to be lacking. And now for the uranium processing project in the Selous….

And finally….
On 24 May Apolinari Tairo reported on ETN Tanzania that despite recent predictions that Kilimanjaro’s glaciers may disappear between 2018 and 2020, recent aerial surveys had in fact revealed an increase in snow accumulation on the mountain. Predictably this provoked an online storm, with global warming advocates lining up to shake their keyboards at the nay sayers. Kilimanjaro Area Governor Gama seemed to get it right when he warned that whatever the case with the white and cold stuff, it was still of the utmost importance to check environmental degradation, such as the illegal timber felling and extraction being inflicted on the lower slopes of the mountain.

Anyway, I’ll be balancing on the top of Uhuru come October, so I’ll let you know.

Comments

TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

by Donovan McGrath

Ethiopian, Tanzanian bag top honours at Addis fashion event – East African (7-13 May 2012)

Items by designer Doreen Mashika www.doreenmashika.com

Extract: ‘Ethiopia’s Mafi and Tanzania’s Doreen Mashika are the winners of this year’s Origin of Africa Designer Showcase in partnership with the Hub of Africa Fashion Week… Mashika took home the Ethical Fashion Award and the US Retailer Award – the two awards introduced this year. The US Retailers Award, from OneStopPlus.com, the online fashion mall, includes a supply contract while the Ethical Fashion Award includes the chance to participate in the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris… This year’s event, held at the African Union Conference Centre in Addis Ababa , featured established and upcoming fashion designers from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania.’

Tanzania: Popular herbal cure-all “ineffective” – IRN News
Extract: Dar es Salaam, 2 August 2012 (PlusNews) – A widely used concoction administered by Tanzanian herbalist Ambilikile Mwasapile (see TA 99) is ineffective, the country’s Health Minister, Hussein Mwinyi, has said. Mwasapile, a former Lutheran pastor who claims God revealed the treatment to him in a dream, has drawn hundreds of thousands to his home in Samunge village, Loliondo, in northern Tanzania’s Ngorongoro district, over the past 18 months. Believers claim it can cure a variety of diseases, including diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis and HIV. At the peak of his popularity, he was seeing up to 2,000 patients per day, each paying 500 Tanzanian shillings (about US$0.32) for one cup of the liquid. Mwinyi told parliament in Dodoma, the administrative capital, on 31 July that studies conducted over the past year found no discernible difference between people who used it and those who did not… Despite the warnings, many HIV-positive people abandoned their life-prolonging antiretroviral treatment after taking Mwasapile’s herbs.’

Tanzania’s hospitals hit hard by brain drain as sacked doctors seek jobs abroad – East African (16-22 July 2012)

Extract: ‘Investigations by The East African reveal that numerous doctors, nurses and midwives are leaving for Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. The move to leave the country follows the Medical Council of Tanganyika decision to cancel the provisional registration of more than 360 internship doctors who were involved in the recent strike… Namala Mkopi, president of the Medical Association of Tanzania, said they had pleaded with the doctors not to leave due to the invaluable services they offered. But the doctors said it was the only alternative given the government was in no hurry to resolve the situation… The government has already set aside Tsh200 billion ($100 million) to employ foreign doctors. The amount is way above the cost of training a doctor in country – Tsh100 m ($64,034) over five years.’

Flare-up – BBC Focus On Africa

‘Against a backdrop of soaring prices and growing demand, recent discoveries of oil and gas in East Africa seem too good to be true …’

Extract continues: ‘… Speaking on national television, [Kenyan] President Mwai Kibaki announced that oil had been struck in the East African Rift System in the northern county of Turkana. A further drill in May by the Anglo-Irish Tullow Oil and its Canadian partner Africa Oil, proved successful in the same Ngamia-1 concession which borders Ethiopia… Land-locked Uganda is only one example, amongst others, of a growing trend to prospect for oil in uncharted territories in East Africa. Global companies have been drilling or buying up exploration blocks off the coast of Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. But smaller exploration firms such as Ophir, Afren, Africa Oil and Premier Oil have been also scouting less conventional grounds for “black gold”

… However many fear that states have much more to do if they want to secure a fair share of revenues, and more importantly ensure that these revenues benefit the people and not only a small clique of politicians and business elites… Tanzania is drafting a new strategy to accommodate its future status as a “gas economy” and the expected inflow of billions of dollars in foreign investment. A gas and petroleum revenue management bill is expected to be drafted by the end of the year… The scale of gas discoveries in and off East Africa is unprecedented and has led many to believe that there must be more… [T]he fact that the region seems under explored naturally fuels more hope and even a sense of anticipation … where natural gas is found there is a good chance that oil will be found too.’

Dar gets wind energy plant – East African (16-22 April 2012)

Extract: ‘The managing director of state-run National Development Corporation (NDC), Gideon Nasari, confirmed the parastatal has secured a $123 million non-concessional loan from Exim Bank of Beijing China… The Singida wind park is expected to have an installed capacity of 1,800 MW when fully operational in the next five years… The demand for power in Tanzania is growing by more than 50 MW a year, fuelled partly by an expansion of mining undertak­ings in parts of the country. Currently, hydro is the major source of electricity in Tanzania… Wind power on a commercial scale is unknown in sub-Saharan Africa despite the existence of consistently strong winds …’

Brewers launch battle for African market – Sunday Telegraph (3 June 2012)
Extract: ‘A marketing war has erupted among drinks giants as they vie for a bigger slice of the continent’s growing wealth’

Extract continues: ‘An advertising war has broken out on the streets of Dar es Salaam between TBL, the country’s biggest brewer, and its arch rival Serengeti … Industry veterans such a SABMiller executive chairman Graham Mackay are now referring to Africa as the most important growth story of the next decade… Over the next two decades consumer companies are forecasting Africa will be hit by a positive “perfect storm” of a booming population, above aver­age GDP growth and riches generated by rapidly expanding mining and energy industries… Twelve out of the 25 fastest-growing economies in the world are on the African continent… But it is also estimated that 75pc of the drinks mar­ket on the continent is still dominated by cheap home brews or illicit spirits.’

Barclays to redeploy staff and close 10 branches in Tanzania – East African (28 May- 3 June 2012)

Extract: ‘Barclays Bank managing director Kihara Maina said the decision was geared towards ensuring they delivered services according to expectations… The bank said interests of the affected employees would be looked after in accordance with the country’s laws and Barclays policies.’

Man who lost legs as a child scales Kilimanjaro – Telegraph (21 June 2012)

Spencer West on the summit of Kilimanjaro

‘A man who lost both his legs as a child has become the first to scale Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands.’ Extract continues: ‘Spencer West, 31, from Toronto, Canada, reached the summit of the 19,342 ft mountain … after trekking for seven days. He climbed most of the journey on his hands, spending only 20 per cent of the trek in a custom-made wheelchair when the terrain wasn’t as steep or rocky. Mr West had his legs amputated below the knee when he was three-years old due to a genetic disorder – sacral agenesis. When he was five he had to have the rest of his legs removed below the pelvis… Mr West, who spent one year training for the expedition, scaled Africa’s highest peak with his two best friends David Johnson and Alex Meers… Only 50 per cent of those who attempt the mountain usually make it to the top.’

$1m fibre-optic network for cities – East African (14-20 May 2012)
Extract: ‘The project will be implemented in three phases. The first phase, which has already commenced in Dar es Salaam, will take six to eight months to complete.’

Extract continues: ‘[The fibre-optic] network is being set up in Tanzania to link the country’s major towns and improve connectivity between urban and rural areas… The second phase will involve connecting capital cities to the fibre network, while the third phase will focus on connecting remote towns still using satellite technology. Low Internet connectivity and high costs have been major hindrances to the government’s efforts to attract investments to the country… Six Telecoms along with its venture partners have already laid 15,000 kilometres of fibre in the region covering all major cities and towns in the East African Community. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the most digitally isolated region in the world …’

City lawyer “lost her £200,000 job after exposing corruption” – Telegraph (6 June 12)

‘A lawyer was sacked from her £200,000 a year job with a City law firm after she blew the whistle on corruption in the firm’s African section, a tribunal heard.’

Extract continues: ‘Krista Bates van Winkelhof says she was fired shortly after revealing bribes were being paid to gain clients and ensure results in Tanzania… Ms van Winkelhof, who was educated at UCL … was rated the number one lawyer in Tanzania by PLC Which Lawyer? and was also praised for “bringing a new energy and experience to the Tanzanian market”. In December 2009 she accepted a contract from Clydes making her an equity member and offering her future promotion… But the following year she had become alarmed at the behaviour of Ako Law’s managing partner, Kibuta Ongwamuhana, and worried he was paying bribes, the tribunal heard… Kibuta had admitted to her that he paid bribes to secure work and to secure the outcome of cases. “This allegation is denied by Clyde and forms the basis of the claimant’s whistleblowing complaint.” She was sacked by Ako Law … and returned to London … to discuss allegations made against her with bosses at Clyde …

[S]he was sacked from Clyde [and] now works for Anjarwalla and Khanna in Nairobi. Judge [Peter] Clerk [presiding over the hearing in London] said: “It is her case that her expulsion was a detriment on the grounds that she had made protected disclosures in respect of Kibuta, and/or amounted to unlawful sex discrimination on the grounds that a male partner would not have been treated in that way or it was pregnancy related. “She had recently informed Clyde that she was pregnant.” Clyde denies her allegations and also argued that the London tribunal did not have jurisdiction over the matter. The allegations were to do with the African firm, they said. But Judge Clerk rejected this claim and said the case could proceed.’

How climate change has got Worldwide Fund for Nature bamboozled – Telegraph (5 May 2012)

‘WWF has travelled too far from its original aim, to protect endangered species.’

Extract continues: ‘What a strange body the WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund, now the Worldwide Fund for Nature) has become these days. It is the largest, richest and most influential environmental lobbying organisation in the world. Originally set up in 1961 by Julian Huxley, Prince Philip, Prince Bernhard and others, for the admirable purpose of campaigning to save species endangered by human activity, it has morphed in the last 20 years into some­thing very different, more akin to a multinational corporation…

The chief reason why it has so greatly increased its wealth and influence is that it has joined other lobby groups, such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, in pushing to the top of its agenda that most fashionable and lucrative of environmental causes, the “battle to halt climate change”. But this has led WWF into some rather odd little tangles, such as those which have recently emerged over its activities in Tanzania. Much of its work there is carried out under a UN climate change policy known as REDD+ (“Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”)…

Last November, Prince Charles, as president of WWF UK, flew to Tanzania to hand out “Living Planet” awards to five “community leaders” involved in WWF projects around the delta of the Rufiji River, which holds the world’s largest mangrove forest. Part of their intention has been to halt further damage to the forest by local farmers, who have been clearing it to grow rice and coconuts. This is because the mangroves store unusual amounts of “carbon” (CO2), viewed as the major contributor to global warming. (Another WWF project in the delta is to find a way of measuring just how great a threat release of that CO2 might be.)

Shortly before the Prince’s arrival, it was revealed that thousands of villagers had been evicted from the forest, their huts in the paddy fields torched and their coconut palms felled. This was carried out by the Tanzanian government’s Forestry and Beekeeping Division, with which WWF has been working. But Stephen Makiri, the head of WWF Tanzania, was quick to insist that WWF had never advocated expelling communities from the delta, and that “the evictions were carried out by government agencies”. At this point, however, two American professors intervened. They had just published a study of the delta in an environmental journal, entitled “The REDD menace: resurgent protec­tionism in mangrove forests”. It was highly critical of the so-called “forest conservation” policy advocated by WWF under REDD+, claiming that it was seriously damaging the traditional life of those local communities which had been sustainably farming and fishing in the area for centuries…

Just how far WWF has travelled from the noble purpose for which it was set up was perfectly symbolised by the way it chose as its chief marketing tool the slogan “Adopt a polar bear”. If this organisation still had concern for endangered species closest to its heart, it would know that the idea that polar bears are dying out due to global warming is no more than sentimental propaganda. But then that is the main business that WWF now seems to be in – very much at the expense of the rest of us and, of course, those communities in the Rufiji delta.’

Tanzanian children with HIV to wear red ribbons on uniforms – Telegraph (18 March 2012)

‘Schoolchildren in Tanzania are being made to wear a red ribbon on their uniforms to show that they are HIV positive.’

Extract continues: ‘… Mohammed Lukema, head of Kibaha Primary School, said parents had asked for their children to wear ribbons if they were infected so they could be excused from strenuous duties at the rural school, such as sweeping the compound and fetching and carrying water… Msafiri Thomas was leading an HIV/Aids community awareness scheme in the area when practice of putting ribbons on pupils emerged in a focus group.

“It was raised by parents, teachers and school leavers and seems to have been happening for some time,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “The general feeling was that it wasn’t a good thing because life is hard enough for students living with HIV without making life harder for them at school. Students wearing these ribbons are sometimes shunned by other pupils who don’t want to share or be near them because they fear they will be infected. There must be another [way] to help these children.” Rebecca Mshumbusi, chairperson of the Kibaha Association of People Living with HIV/Aids, said that forcing children to reveal their status was not only unethical but illegal.’

Tanzanian police foil $30m “Great Plane Robbery” gold heist – Telegraph (6 January 2012)

‘Tanzanian police have foiled a $30.6m (£19.8m) bullion robbery, which would have rivalled the £25m Brinks Mat gold heist from Heathrow in 1983 if it had succeeded.’

Extract continues: ‘In the latest security incident to hit the country’s miners, five masked men raided an airstrip owned by AngloGold Ashanti. The heavily-armed men emerged from a nearby forest and attempted to steal 587 kilogrammes of gold bars from an aeroplane at the group’s Geita mine, Reuters reported. The attack was thwarted by police from Mwanza … Raids on gold mines are not uncommon in Tanzania. In May last year seven “criminal intruders” were killed at one of African Barrick Gold’s mines in the north of the country. It was estimated that 1,500 people took part in this raid, attacking local police with machetes, rocks and hammers. As a result, FTSE 100-listed African Barrick said … that it planned to build a 14 kilometre long wall around its North Mara mine to prevent future incursions… The Geita mine is the largest producing mine in Tanzania. The country’s economy is mostly based on agriculture, but it has vast quantities of unexploited natural resources.’

Comments

SPORT

by Philip Richards

Olympics London 2012
Tanzania were represented by seven athletes in the London Olympics which started on 27 July – three marathon runners, a long distance track runner (5000m), a boxer (welterweight) and two swimmers (100m freestyle). Their training base was Bradford College.

Success for Tanzania was long overdue, with the last medal being won 32 years ago at the Moscow Olympics of 1980. The Daily News reported that, in responding to a claim that Tanzania’s poor showing on the global sporting stage should be a cue to not participating at all and thus avoiding embarrassment, Deputy Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Amos Makala, said that the key to future medal success was rather to invest in longer term youth development programmes.

On the other hand, lack of funding and administrative wrangling still appears to hamper sporting success. The former was singled out by ex-Olympic champion Filbert Bayi, who suggested that until more investment was made, the nation should temper their exaggerated expectations of returns in the form of medals (Daily News 5 July). However, The Guardian reported a great deal of excitement around a reward of Tsh 3m, courtesy of a retired army general, to any athlete who brought home a medal – and this in addition to a reported Tsh10m offered by the Tanzania Olympic Committee!

In the event, Tanzania unfortunately failed to secure any medals in London. The marathon runners finished 33rd and 66th respectively – the winner being Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich. None of the other Tanzanian athletes reached their respective finals.

Paralympics – London 2012
The Guardian reported that Zaharani Mwenemti was awarded the sole place offered to Tanzania and will compete in the discus and shot-put.

Football
In seeking to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Taifa Stars (the Tanzanian national side) are currently in second place in Group C (Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco and Gambia) with three points.. The Stars lost 2-0 to Ivory Coast in Abijan, but won 2-1 at home against Gambia. The next assignment will be a challenging one against one of Africa’s strongest nations, Morocco, in March 2013. The Daily News (21 July) reported Kim Poulsen, the Danish-born head coach, as saying that he would be looking for plenty of friendly matches to be organised in advance of that key game to prepare the players.

Unfortunately, in the other high profile football tournament in Africa, the 2013 African Nations Cup, Tanzania were knocked out by Mozambique in a penalty shoot out.

On a more positive note, Tanzania has been moving back up the FIFA rankings in the last few months, though they still rank at a position of 127 (out of 205) and have some way to go to surpass their highest ever ranking of 70 achieved in 1995 (FIFA.com).
Thanks to Erick Lihuluku of PwC in Dar es Salaam for his contribution to the above.

Other sports
We hope to cover a variety of sports in future issues. We know that rugby union and cricket are popular, in addition to athletics and soccer. If you would like to hear about a specific sport or have anything to contribute, please let us know.

Comments

OBITUARIES

Jennifer Longford, née Stevenson, has died at the age of 82. After graduating in English at St Andrew’s University she trained as a teacher and was posted to Tabora Girls’ School in 1955. She fell deeply in love with the country and made lifelong friendships, notably with fellow teacher Peggy Fowler (later Elwell-Sutton) who recently died at the age of 98. On Christmas Eve 1955 Jennifer was invited to dinner at the Governor’s Lodge in Lushoto. Sir Edward Twining’s private secretary, Michael Longford, opened the door to her and, he later wrote in his book The Flags Changed at Midnight, “as soon as I saw Jennifer I knew at once that this was the girl I was going to marry.” He proposed in a rainstorm ten days later, and on their marriage in June 1956, he took up a post as District Officer in Tabora to enable her to go on teaching. They later moved to Mahenge and then to Lindi, where Michael was District Commissioner, finally returning to England with their three children in 1962.

Jennifer continued to teach at her local secondary school in Surrey, but she and Michael never lost their love for and interest in Tanzania.Later Jennifer returned for a visit, the highlight of which was being reunited with some of her former pupils. She was delighted to be asked to teach her eldest grandson Swahili before he went to work at an orphanage in Arusha, and last year her silver wedding present to her elder daughter, Ruth, was an unforgettable trip, with her husband, to the country where Ruth was born. Michael died in 2005, after 49 years of very happy marriage. Jennifer continued to live in their Surrey cottage, with friends and family nearby, until her own death in March 2012.

Comments

REVIEWS

by John Cooper-Poole

COLLOQUIAL SWAHILI, THE COMPLETE COURSE FOR BEGINNERS by Donovan Mcgrath and Lutz Marten. Routledge ISBN 9780415580687. p/b £24.99. Pack of book + CD £39.27. CD £24.29.

COMPREHENSIVE SWAHILI-ENGLISH DICTIONARY by Mohamed A. Mohamed. East African Educational Publishers Ltd. SLP 32737, Kijito-Nyama, Dar es Salaam. ISBN 9789966258120

There are several different kinds of foreign Swahili students. Some are the Perennial Beginners, for whom a spritely ‘jambo?’ or badly pronounced ‘habari gani?’ is about as far as interest and investment in the language ever goes. Others are the Swahili Tourists, for whom Swahili learning revolves around a holiday or short visit to East Africa, and focuses on tourist-friendly phrases such as, ‘What time is the next ferry to Zanzibar?’, or, ‘Excuse me, do you know the way to Uhuru Peak?’

Then there are the Swahili Long-Termers – the volunteers, missionaries, NGO workers and private business reps – who take the language on with varying degrees of gusto and success. In the weeks before first travelling to East Africa, the Long-Termer invariably does online research, investing in a beginner course in Swahili, and embarking on the long journey towards the ultimate goal of language fluency. On arrival in-country, the Long-Termer joins one of the many Swahili language schools, brim-full of other newly arrived long-termers, all eagerly beavering away at their verb tense markers and noun classes.

As the months go by, the Long-Termers enthusiasm begins to diminish, and they start dropping off and fading away from their fluency dream. The majority end up wistfully remembering their eager-beaver days, when they still had a language lust, now long since extinguished and excused by ‘not having enough time’, or ‘everyone at work speaks English anyway’. The few who last the course are now to be found in bars and cafés reading the Swahili newspapers whilst chatting with their Tanzanian friends. The language lust is alive and well with these trusty few.

And then there are the Kiswahili Scholars. These are the university students, who read and write Swahili poetry for pleasure, and can expound ad infinitum on subjects like the locative copulas of -ko, -po and –mo. These serious exponents of all-things-Swahili worship at the altar of the greatest Kiswahili dictionary of them all: the 1981 ‘Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu’ by the Institute of Kiswahili Research at the University of Dar-es-Salaam. No Kiswahili Scholar’s satchel is complete without their battered and dog-eared copy inside.

Well, now there are two new(ish) books out there, vying to earn their own place in the hearts of the Swahili language learner, whether Perennial Beginner, Swahili Tourist, Long Termer, or Kiswahili Scholar (you know which one you are).

First up is ‘Colloquial Swahili: The Complete Course for Beginners’ by Donovan McGrath and Lutz Marten, a step-by-step language course designed for self-study or classroom use. The course is built around 14 units, each based on three dialogues on the accompanying CDs. The dialogues are designed to describe situations from everyday Swahili life (introducing yourself, telling the time, going to a wedding, buying food from the window of a bus, and the like), whilst introducing the vocabulary and structures needed to talk about them.

It is a very well thought-out and structured book, and smoothly guides the learner through a lot of otherwise complex and unwieldy grammatical constructs. This is high praise indeed, especially considering the number of less logical and non-user­friendly Swahili language courses on the market. This makes ‘Colloquial Swahili’ a great choice of language course, whether you are a Perennial Beginner, Swahili Tourist, Long-Termer, or Scholar. ‘Colloquial Swahili’ is currently the standard textbook for First Year Swahili students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) , the pantheon of Swahili learning in the UK. If it works for them, then it can surely work for you.

‘Colloquial Swahili’ is better suited as a classroom course than for self-study. The secret of the success of any beginner’s course is hooking the student early enough. If the learner can get past the first few units or chapters, then they are far more likely to last the course. ‘Colloquial Swahili’ jumps headlong into the deep-end of business in Unit One, with roughly 50 words of vocabulary and instructions on how to use the possessive pronoun. There is a danger that many readers are going to drop out too early. In the hands of a good teacher, however, the book comes alive for the Swahili learner. Don’t fall by the wayside like those poor Long-Termers, not lasting the course.

The ‘Comprehensive Swahili-English Dictionary’ by Professor Mohamed A. Mohamed is published by East African Educational Publishers. With over 60,000 entries (it is indeed a weighty tome), Professor Mohamed’s dictionary describes itself as offering ‘the most current use of the language among Swahili speakers today’ and that it mainly targets a bilingual audience. I can vouch for this last point, for when I looked up the word ‘panda’ (whose many meanings include: climb, grow, fork, increase in number and bet), the first word that came back at me was ‘bifurcation’. I then had to reach for an English dictionary to find out what ‘bifurcation’ meant (hint: it’s to do with the fork).

The problem with any Swahili-English dictionary is that it will always be compared with the great ‘Standard Swahili-English Dictionary’ by Johnson, the Grand-Daddy of Swahili dictionaries and now more than 70 years old. One of the great things for me about Johnson’s dictionary is the way it lists multi­ple words according to their root verb. Hence the entry for the verb –chunga (meaning ‘to herd’, or ‘take care of’) includes other verbs derived from the root verb such as –chunguza (‘to investigate’), and –chungulia (‘to watch closely’). In Professor Mohamed’s dictionary, though, these words take separate entries, and I can’t help feeling that I preferred it in the old Johnson way.

Another minor niggle is that despite being a modern dictionary (published in 2011), it doesn’t contain enough modern Swahili words. Sure, plenty of new words appear, especially relating to science and technology. But there is a distinct lack of the enormous number of words entering the Kiswahili lexicon via slang and popular culture. A modern dictionary needs to capture the vibrancy of modern street Swahili if it is to be truly modern.

But I think I am just bifurcating hairs here. Professor Mohamed’s comprehensive dictionary adds much value to the study of Kiswahili language, and will be a welcome addition and trusty friend to all Swahili students. It is the best Swahili-English dictionary I have seen apart from Johnson’s classic.

So, whether you are a Perennial Beginner, Swahili Tourist, Long-Termer or Kiswahili Scholar, there is plenty for all of you in ‘Colloquial Swahili’ and the ‘Comprehensive Swahili-English Dictionary’. To keep that dream of Kiswahili fluency alive, you could do much worse than get yourselves copies of both of these valuable books, and jump right on in. As the Waswahili say, ‘Mwenye macho haambiwi tazama’ -‘someone with eyes does not need to be told to look’.

Jimmy Innes

THIRD MAN IN HAVANA, by Tom Rodwell. Corinthian Books, London, 2012. xvii + 286 pages. Hardback £14.99.

With the sub-title ‘Finding the heart of cricket in the world’s most unlikely places’, the current chairman, of The Lord’s Taverners has written an uplifting series of tales of bringing cricket to many of the world’s disadvantaged people. It started, almost by accident, in India and then progressed through Cuba, USA, Panama, Sri Lanka and Israel before taking on challenges across Africa.

Tom Rodwell and his small coaching team developed contacts at the highest levels and thus received meaningful sponsorship and the authority to help blind (either totally or partially) and otherwise disabled children in Tanzania. As part of their East African Disability Cricket Programme, the team carried out their work at the University of Dar es Salaam, where they were ably supported by the Tanzanian national side. There were two noteworthy postscripts to that work: the great progress of the disabled children at Morogoro, thanks to a member of the Morogoro Teachers College who attended the sessions at the University; and the introduction by the author of the Tanzanian national cricketers to the club scene in England. An entertaining and heartening book, with chapters on Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone as well. If only there were more people like Tom Rodwell in the world ….
David Kelly

MY LIFE by Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck: translated from the German by James Pierce, published by Rilling Enterprises, 5307 Loves Park, Illinois USA 2012. ISBN-13:978-0-615547-28-2

Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck famously commanded the Schutztruppe (roughly equivalent to the King’s African Rifles) in German East Africa throughout the 1914-18 War. His definitive account of that war was published as Memories of East Africa in 1919. This autobiography, written when he was 87, sets the African campaign in the broader context of his long life.

Von Lettow begins with a detailed account of his family history, Prussia’s ruthless expansion in the nineteenth century and his early military career. A spell of duty in German Southwest Africa (now Namibia) during the Herero revolt was a useful preparation for his posting to East Africa. He defied the Governor (Schnee), who wanted to declare the colony neutral, and won a surprise victory over a larger British force at Tanga. He continued fighting against heavy odds until a fortnight after the 1918 Armistice. His summary of the campaign is more selective than his 1919 account, but he adds details from his post-war conversations with Field Marshal Smuts and other British commanders.

He returned to Germany as an undefeated general and was given a hero’s welcome. However, things did not run smoothly for him. Germany in 1919 was in turmoil and he was dismissed from the army. Inflation eroded his pension and he had to work as a sales manager to make ends meet. In 1928 he was elected to the Reichstag for the German National People’s Party (DNVP), but his party supported Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor and the Nazis took control.

To his credit, von Lettow chose to leave public life rather than join the Nazi party, but he was impressed with the ‘Prussian spirit’ of the Nazis and writes: ‘conditions in the concentration camps were not known to the public and the attacks on the Jews were, at least in part, believed to be justified.’ Even though he was unimpressed by Hitler at their one meeting, he admits that ’Hitler did tremendous things for Germany.’ When invited to join a plot against Hitler in 1944, he declined – partly because he believed that Hitler had a secret weapon which would win the war.

The 1939-45 War was disastrous for von Lettow –his two sons were killed in action and his home in Bremen was destroyed by bombing. But he retained his Prussian spirit and complains about the ‘English’ military occupation force for not allowing him to retain his car and his hunting rifles. In the chapter on his farewell tour of Africa in 1956,his comments on the prospects for African independence reflect contemporary right-wing opinion but now seem very dated, if not racist.

Von Lettow was not the only German officer to be initially sympathetic to the Nazis, nor was he the only writer in the 1950s who believed colonial rule would continue for many years. Whatever errors of judgement are revealed in this autobiography, he will always be remembered for his exploits in the 1914-18 war, and above all for his ability to win the respect and loyalty of his African troops.
John Sankey

Comments