Archive for Issue 111


by Ben Taylor

Road safety hits the headlines
The number of deaths on Tanzania’s roads has risen up the national agenda, following a series of horrific bus crashes. The worst took place in early March, when a bus travelling through Iringa region was involved in a collision with a lorry. The lorry’s container fell on top of the fully-loaded bus, claiming 50 lives.

Meanwhile, a strike by bus drivers on both national and commuter routes in early April left passengers stranded and brought many parts of the country to a standstill. The strikers were pressing the government to change an allegedly oppressive by-law that required them to undertake two-week driving training and pay a TSh 560,000 fee to renew their driving licence every three years. They were also protesting against the allegedly unfounded penalties. At one point the police had to use tear gas to disburse the crowds gathered at hotspots, including Ubungu bus terminal.

The measures opposed by the strikers were part of the government’s efforts to reduce road traffic deaths. Nevertheless, the government was forced to back down, shelving the new measures that had angered the drivers. In the days after bus transport was resumed, another series of crashes occurred, including two in Mbeya region that claimed 18 and 20 lives.



by Ben Taylor

President Kikwete to chair global health panel
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has appointed President Jakaya Kikwete to be chairman of a new global panel to recommend ways to prevent and manage future health crises, taking into account lessons learned from the outbreak of Ebola virus.

The panel will hold its first meeting in early May and is expected to submit its final report by the end of the year to the UN Secretary General for further action as appropriate.

WHO and UNAIDS recommendations emphasise that male circumci­sion should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV/Aids prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV/Aids and low male circumcision prevalence.

HPIEGO, a non-profit health organisation affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, recently completed a five-year voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) project in three regions of Tanzania – Iringa, Njombe and Tabora, targeting those aged between 10 and 49 years.

Conducted in collaboration with National Aids Control Program (NACP), the programme managed to reach out to more than 210,000 adolescent and adult males in Iringa and Njombe Regions, and 220,000 people in Tabora Region.

Dr Wanga noted that the project was a success story of change, innovation and evolution on how the three regions went from being traditionally non-circumcising regions to the majority circumcised in just a few years.

Commenting on the achievements, the Iringa regional medical officer, Dr Robert Mahimbo, said he was grateful to JHPIEGO and to the US for their support. “We hope the US will continue supporting efforts of bringing down HIV/Aids transmission in our region,” he said.

Experts say male circumcision provides only partial protection and, therefore, should be only one element of a comprehensive HIV/Aids prevention package, which includes: the provision of HIV/Aids testing and counselling, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, promotion of safer sex practices, provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use.



by Roger Nellist

Simbachawene replaces Muhongo as Minister
The Escrow account scandal finally claimed the head of Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo, who resigned on 24 January saying he was tired of the “false” allegations levelled against him. His Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Eliakim Maswi, has been suspended since December 2014 pending investigations into his role in the matter.

Muhongo, who is a respected geologist, denies any wrong-doing but was blamed for failing to exercise due diligence in the saga. He had also upset the Public Accounts Committee, which had been calling for his removal over other issues (see TA110). Muhongo remains politically ambitious and his supporters maintain that he was not personally involved in the Escrow scandal, even though it happened on his watch.

President Kikwete named George Simbachawene as the new Minister of Energy and Minerals, and appointed Charles Mwijage as the new Deputy Minister. Simbachawene was formerly the Deputy Minister of Lands and Housing. After being sworn in at State House, he acknowledged the crucial role that energy plays in the country’s development and said that boosting rural electrification is among his top priorities. He added: “While I am aware that the Ministry faces many challenges, I personally feel that these can be overcome by effectively partnering with the private sector”.

Slow progress with LNG…
Concerns are being expressed that the government’s pre-occupation with the constitution and the 2015 elections is damaging the prospects for Tanzania’s long-term gas commercialisation. It is believed that some key gas legislation, that the companies need to give them regulatory certainty before committing billions of dollars of investment, will not be enacted by the current Parliament. Moreover, the escrow account scandal has now resulted in a change of leadership in the Energy Ministry and the government has not settled on a site for the LNG project – whether in Mtwara or in Lindi – despite the project partners submitting a location proposal a year ago. The Ministry says there are some land acquisition policy issues that need settling first. There are worries that these delays and uncertainties may unsettle the investors, especially at a time of low oil prices, and that the potential overseas markets for Tanzanian LNG may get filled by other big gas producers.

The current Mtwara versus Lindi rivalry for servicing the gas industry mirrors the decision that had to be made by the British Government in 1947 as to which town would be the port for the ill-fated groundnuts scheme. Mtwara was chosen and, over subsequent years, Lindi’s facilities gradually declined. The Citizen on 1 February 2015 gave a potted history, citing Kathleen Stahl’s ‘Sail in the Wilderness’ (published in 1961 with a foreword by Mwalimu Nyerere). The article begins: “Mtwara is booming and buzzing. It was not like this seven years ago… Even the richest person in Africa, hailing from an oil producing country, is also frequently visiting Mtwara. He is constructing a cement plant named after him – Dangote Industries (Tanzania) Limited. No wonder roads are being paved and hotels upgraded”.

Singida wind farm project
In March, it was announced that the government is in talks with the China’s Export-Import Bank (EximBank) for a low-interest $132 million loan to fund Tanzania’s first wind power project. The wind farm will be built in Singida and is expected to start next year with a capacity for generating 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity, with plans to raise that to 300 MW in future. The project is a joint venture between the National Development Corporation (NDC), TANESCO and a privately owned company, Power Pool East Africa Limited. The initial aim had been to commission the wind farm in 2013 but construction was delayed because EximBank raised its interest rate from 1% to 2% and accelerated the loan repayment period from 25 to 20 years.

Tanzania presently relies heavily on hydro-electric power, natural gas and fuel oil for electricity generation, and the government wants to add wind and geothermal power to its energy mix.

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by Mark Gillies

In January, the Sixth Tanzania Economic Update was published by the World Bank. The tourism industry in Tanzania generated $1.9 billion by the end of November 2014, 22% of the value of all exports in that period. Although this is impressive, the number of tourists who visited Tanzania is just 11% of those that visited South Africa in 2013.

Considering the abundant natural resources in Tanzania, the World Bank believes that expansion of the tourism sector beyond northern Tanzania and Zanzibar to include southern destinations like Pangani, Ruaha and Katavi; plus stimulation of a domestic tourism market, could increase revenue to $16 billion a year in the next decade.

Echoing this need for expansion and investment, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, met representatives from the World Bank, the United States and Germany to explore ways to generate the $300 million that the Ministry have identified as being required to improve the infrastructure and tourism facilities in the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha and Katavi National Parks. (The Guardian 27 January)

The US and German Ambassadors, plus Minister Nyalandu, had previously visited the Selous Game Reserve. This visit heralded the transfer of a significant amount of field equipment to the Reserve, improvement of infrastructure and the provision of training for rangers, all designed to assist in the fight against the poaching that currently affects the Selous. It can only be hoped that this continued international focus on combatting poaching of all kinds also affects the criminal figures con­trolling the trade in Tanzania who have so far avoided prosecution. (The Citizen 24 January)

Sustainable conservation of Tanzania’s natural resource is dependent upon the tourism industry. But Tanzania is not South Africa and so it is to be hoped that policy makers will develop a Tanzanian strategy for growth that draws upon international examples, but does not seek to copy them in their entirety.



by Philip Richards

Cross Country
Five Tanzanian athletes took part in the world cross-country championships held in Beijing in late March. Hopes were raised that the lean spell since the last time the country won a medal – 1991 when Andrew Sambu triumphed at the Antwerp Championship in Belgium – could end. Whilst there were no medals, the team finished a respectable sixth position in a competition which attracted 410 athletes from 51 nations with Ismail Juma one of the better performing athletes. The post mortem will again focus on the need for more adequate preparation time. (The Guardian 30/3/15)

The drive to find and develop world class players of the future has been strengthened, thanks to a ground-breaking deal worth TSh 16bn between the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Spain’s football giants Real Madrid to construct an ultra-modern sports complex in Kigamboni, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. (The Citizen, 27/1/15)

NSSF director general, Ramadhan Dau revealed that the construction of the NSSF Sports Centre would get underway in the next four weeks. The NSSF-Real Madrid Sports Academy project is the second in the country after the Kidongo Chekundu academy being constructed by Symbion Power and English Premier League side, Sunderland FC.

Not so good news for the national side Taifa Stars who have fallen to 107th in the latest FIFA rankings (Daily News 10/4/15). The next goal is to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations which is a tough group with Nigeria and Egypt (45th and 51st respectively in the current rankings) included, along with Chad (151st).

The senior national cricket team’s delivered a lacklustre performance in this year’s ICC Africa Twenty20 Division 1 Qualifiers in South Africa, which brought together the top six associate members in the continent: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda.

Namibia and Kenya, who finished in the top two spots of the tournament, have secured qualification for the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland later this year, where the top six teams will qualify for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 finals in India. Tanzania finished last after suffering defeat in all matches to now face relegation to the ICC Africa Twenty20 Division 2 Qualifiers. An anonymous player is quoted as citing lack of competitive friendlies, financial backing, and throwing talented but inexperienced players into high profile tournaments too quickly, as some areas that needed to be addressed by management. (Guardian, 3/4/15)



by David Brewin

Improving banana production
According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Uganda and Tanzania produce over 50% of all bananas grown in Africa and the crop is valued at $4.3 billion.

However, banana production achieves only 9% of its potential yield. A new $3.8 billion project, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is planned to begin in June 2015 and is intended to support on-the-farm testing of newly developed banana hybrids and improve­ments in the technical capacity of the banana breeding programmes. The project will also support a number of students in PhD and MSc level studies to assist in the management of the project.

Pastoralists v. farmers issue moves to parliament
In the last edition of TA reference was made to the continuing clashes on land use between pastoralists and farmers. The issue came before parliament recently after the publication of a report.

MPs from livestock keeping areas sided with the herders while those coming from mainly agricultural areas blamed the herders for the land conflicts which have become common across the country. But there was a third groups of MPs who stood in the middle, blaming the government for not taking proper actions to implement laws and policies which should guide land management.

The debate soon became heated until Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda felt it necessary to warn that bias would create more problems and not help in finding solutions. He said that what was needed was friendly relation between the two groups to help them to live together peacefully.

Saving the Nile Perch
The population of Nile perch in Lake Victoria has been reduced from 1.2 million tonnes in the early 2000s to a mere 3,000 tonnes today.

It is a large fresh water fish introduced into Lake Victoria in 1954 to increase the fish population. Before the introduction of fish processing plants in the lake zone regions, Nile perch had little value and were favoured mainly by families that could not afford more expensive fish like Tilapia. But between 1992 and 2004 the status of the Nile perch rose dramatically due to demand from Europe following reports from scientists that the fish has omega-3 fatty acids which could help to check heart problems and high blood pressure. Now, 22 years later, over-fishing has drastically reduced Nile perch fish stocks.

Tanzania has been lobbying hard for Kenya and Uganda to support its own plan, called ‘Operation Save the Nile Perch’, to impose a six-month ban on fishing Nile perch over the next three years on its side of the Lake. This would replenish the stock, but leave its 200,000 fishermen without a livelihood for half the year and put $325 million in export earnings at risk. EU traders might look for alternative year-round sources of Nile perch. The plan would also affect hundreds of fish processing plants around the lake and threaten the nutrition of thousands of residents who depend on the Nile perch as a source of protein.

In Tanzania about 50% of the sugar consumed is imported of which a proportion is smuggled into the country. In 2013/14 130,000 tonnes were expecting to be sold, compared with 103,000 tonnes in 2012/13. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 60,000 tonnes were imported illegally in 2014. Illegal sugar is hurting Tanzanian factories so much that some are at risk of being closed down.

Minister for Finance Saada Mkuya has announced that government will investigate the amount of taxes which are being lost through illegal imports and the impact of this on the sugar industry. Duty remission schemes would be changed after the investigations are complete. This move came after complaints from sugar producers that they had 55,000 tonnes of sugar in stock by December 2014 but were unable to sell it because the market was flooded with cheap imports.

The Kilombero Sugar Company, Tanzania’s biggest sugar factory has had a good year and has grown rapidly since it was privatised in 1998 when its production was 38,000 tonnes. The most recent figures indicate that 1.2 million tonnes was produced last year of which 700,000 tonnes of cane came from its own operations and 500,000 tonnes from independent out-growers.

Sugar producers in East Africa are forming an association to raise funds to help the region become self-sufficient by 2030 according to Executive Chairman of Agro Eco Energy, Tanzania, a subsidiary of a Swedish-based firm that has invested $550 million in sugarcane farming in Bagamoyo.

Onions, Avocados and Rice
The chair of the Tanzania Women’s Chamber of Commerce Fatma Riyami, led a group of business women to the Gulf Food Exhibition in Dubai in February. They came back with smiling faces as they reported that they had received orders for 1,000 tonnes of onions from Dubai firms, two containers of avocados from Qatar and rice from Oman. “It is high time Tanzanian growers acted rapidly and got a firm grip on this opportunity” she said.

‘Taking the Spice out of Cloves’
In an article in its January 2015 issue, African Business has explored the clove industry in Zanzibar. It said that cloves have been a major foreign exchange earner in Zanzibar for the last 150 years and they continue to be an agricultural mainstay of the island as the major cash crop. However, production figures continue to register a steady decline from an average of 16,000 tonnes in the 1970s to between 1,500 and 3,500 tonnes in 2013.

Part of the problem is the government’s ‘chokehold’ on the sector, despite the relaxation of some protectionist policies. The Zanzibar Minister for Commerce, Industry and Marketing said: “We cannot let the farming of cloves go into private hands because the commodity is the symbol of Zanzibar”. He added that free market operations would spell the death of the sector by subjecting it to price fluctuations and profit motives. In April 2014 Zanzibar’s President in a “State of the Nation” report, spoke of how his government would annually distribute one million clove seedlings for the next three years as part of a plan to enhance production.

But the uncompetitive prices that the government offers farmers have seen some hoard their harvest, sell it on the black market, turn their trees into firewood or charcoal or start farming other products like coconuts which can be traded freely. The clamour for a liberalised market however continues to be ignored and in January 2015 the House of Representatives endorsed a new Cloves Act that discourages clove growers from making charcoal or otherwise consuming clove trees.

The decline in production may adversely affect the island’s booming tourism earnings since visits to clove farms have become a cornerstone of the island’s tour packages.



by Donovan McGrath
Editor’s Note: This section of Tanzanian Affairs, is very popular with readers, as it includes interesting and often moving stories that readers can relate to. It is reliant on the contributions by the TA readership, and it would be greatly appreciated if you could send in any news items you find concerning Tanzania. We would also like to hear your comments on any items published in TA.

The South China Post (Hong Kong) continues its news on the illegal ivory trade in East Africa (see TA107 and TA110 ). Many thanks to Ronald Blanche for these latest articles of interest – Editor

For man and beast
The main focus of this feature, written by Sarah Lazarus, is Richard Leakey’s involvement in wildlife conservation in Kenya, which is to be depicted in the forthcoming blockbuster movie Africa by Angelina Jolie. However, the following extract is edited to focus on Chinese interest in ivory.

[The movie] Africa is loosely based on Wildlife Wars, Leakey’s memoir of the late 1980s and early 90s, when he successfully combated ivory poaching in Kenya… “The threat to elephants is greater than it’s ever been,” says Leakey. “It’s partly because the human population in Kenya has increased and people need to make a livelihood, but particularly because the economies of Asian countries, especially China, has grown exponentially. Ivory is a part of Chinese culture and history — it’s a commodity that indicates a certain status.

If we’re serious about saving a species as important and symbolic as the elephant, then we’ve got to bite the bullet and say, ‘We don’t need ivory.’ It’s complete and utter nonsense to say, ‘We need it.’ What modern society needs is a healthy environment across the planet, and that includes elephants.” It is estimated that 33,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory every year… Last year a tipping point was reached; more elephants are now being killed than are being born. With only 350,000 left in the wild, they could be driven to extinctions within a decade. (South China Sunday Morning Post 1 March 2015)

China urged to end trade in ivory
British naturalist David Attenborough [writes Bryan Harris] has joined some 70 high-profile figures, including the comedian Ricky Gervais and the conservationist Richard Leakey, to urge China to help end the ivory trade. They have signed an open letter to President Xi Jinping, asking him to outlaw the trade and educate people about the true deadly cost of ivory. “The elephants of Africa are dying in their tens of thousands every year to provide ivory for misguided consumers in China and elsewhere. Without your help, they will continue to perish and be pushed towards extinction.” The signatories include 39 members of the British parliament… (South China Sunday Morning Post 1 March 2015 – Hong Kong)

E-commerce sites ‘advertising ivory sale’
China’s e-commerce websites are carrying thousands of adverts for illegal wildlife products, including ivory, rhino horn and tiger bone. (South China Morning Post 4 March 2015)

The elephant in the room
Every year, thousands of elephants are killed for their tusks in Tanzania, and the trade of their ivory is sophisticated, global and hugely lucrative. In March 2013, after China’s President Xi Jinping toured Tanzania on a state visit, he and his fellow officials left the country with plenty of good will, a pile of signed cooperation deals, and some warm memories. But according to allegations in an investigation conducted by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), the Chinese delegation also left with a large amount of illegal ivory… while President Xi was mingling with Tanzania’s elite, officials reportedly took advantage of the reduced checks for diplomatic visits to take bags full of ivory back to China…… [I]n some Chinese traditions, ivory as well as many other animal parts are thought to have medicinal qualities…. these beliefs are often compounded with ignorance about how the items are actually harvested. The Chinese word for ivory literally translates as “elephant teeth” and there is a widespread misperception that ivory can be taken without killing the animal… (New African January 2015 – UK)

The African Wildlife Foundation has contracted a Tanzanian-based group to train sniffer dogs and handlers for canine detection units at ports and border crossings. An aerial census in 2013 found that elephant numbers had declined to just over 13,000 from over 39,000 in 2009. Despite national efforts by Kenya and Tanzania, poaching is still ram­pant … (East African)

Families seek safe havens for albino children
Kizito Makoye writes: … Buhangija centre in Shinyanga, which shelters children with special needs, said the number of albino children seeking protection had almost doubled to 218 from 115 Witch doctors will pay as much as $75,000 for a full set of body parts from an albino, according to a Red Cross report.

Beatrice Lema, 16, an albino girl whose parents brought her to the Buhangija centre … from the neighbouring Simiyu region, said she feels much safer there than at home. “I don’t want to die, I want to stay safe. I have a lot of friends to play with and I believe no one will come to hurt me here,” There is growing outrage over the lack of protection for albinos —only five successful prosecutions to date … (Thomson Reuters Foundation 25 February 2015)

Warship that inspired ‘African Queen’ still going at 100
Once a feared gunship defending an African lake for Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, the legendary vessel — which inspired the 1951 classic “The African Queen” — has been sunk and refloated twice, renamed and repurposed as a ferry. The MV Liemba began its life in a shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, in 1913 where it was named the Graf von Götzen after German East Africa’s former governor… As it marks 100 years of service, the MV Liemba [see TA98], originally a symbol of colonial power, is now an essential lifeline for the people who live along the lakeshore…

The tale of the warship and the battle for Lake Tanganyika inspired British novelist C.S. Forester to write his 1935 novel “The African Queen”, later adapted by Hollywood in the movie of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn… The MV Liemba may not stay afloat much longer without a complete overhaul… But it may be cheaper to simply replace it with a new ferry, ending a century of fascinating history… ( 19 February 2015)

Cardiff hotel murder suspect found
A man suspected of murdering a woman in a Cardiff hotel room on New Year’s Eve has been arrested by police in Tanzania. Sammy Almahri, 44, from New York, was wanted following the discovery of 28-year-old Nadine Aburas’s body at the Future Inn, Cardiff Bay. An international search was launched and officers from South Wales Police major crime unit were sent to Tanzania to work with local police. They were able to trace Almahri’s movements over hundreds of kilometers across the country.” Extradition proceedings will now begin… ( 20 January 2015)

Illegal logging threatens tree species with extinction
Over 70% of wood harvested in forests is unaccounted for, causing huge losses of government revenue. Illegal loggers are slipping into forests at night and transferring their natural wealth to highly organised syndicates, seemingly with impunity… Indigenous tree species such as mninga and mpodo are facing local extinction due to high demand for their wood in the construction and furniture industries. ( 14 January 2015)

TPDF operating Seabird Seeker aircraft
Writes Gareth Jennings and Lindsay Peacock. The Tanzanian People’s Defence Force (TPDF) Air Wing has received into service the Seabird SB7L-360 Seeker surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. A video of local musicians singing in front of items of Tanzanian military hardware shows a Seeker aircraft with the serial number JW-9704. This suggests that at least four such aircraft may have been received.

Prior to this, Tanzania was not believed to have such reconnaissance aircraft, the TPDF inventory being made up almost entirely of Chinese-built fighter jets, trainers and transport aircraft. ( 7 January) Built by Seabird Australia and Seabird Jordan, the Seeker is a small single-engine aircraft with a crew of two, a cruising speed of 200 mph and a range of 500 miles.

Taarab music school in Zanzibar
In Zanzibar, taarab music is finding new patrons and audiences. Musician Mohammed Issa Matona has been the driving force in the music’s continued popularity… Taarab was born from a rich mosaic of Indian Ocean influences… In 2002, the desire to preserve this music led Matona and violinist Hildegard Kiel to create the Dhow Countries Music Academy, Zanzibar’s first music school… In just over a decade, more than a thousand students have passed through the school’s doors… (Africa Report April 2015)

Pay-as-you-go Solar

Mpower operative with solar cell

Mpower operative with solar cell

Despite their relative prosper­ity, until 2013 the Nosim Noah family had no electricity. “We waited 10 years for them to turn the power on – 10 years and nothing,” says Noah. Then, one afternoon, the Noahs had an unexpected knock on the door. An agent from a new electrical company M-POWER said that, for a sign-up fee of only $6 he could install a fully functioning solar system in their house – enough to power several LED lights and a radio. The payoff was immediate. While Noah’s wife used to spend $18 a month on kerosene, she now pays a monthly average of $11 for her solar lighting, and she no longer has to go into town to charge her cellphone…

The idea is not to electrify every appliance in a household. Instead, it is to install a small solar panel not much bigger than an iPad to power a few lights, a cellphone charger, and other basic necessities that can still significantly alter people’s lives. Going smaller better fits the budgets of the rural poor. People use the money they normally would spend on kerosene to finance their solar systems, allowing them to pay in small, affordable instalments and not rely on government help. (Christian Science Monitor Weekly 26 January – photo from article)



by Ben Taylor

Captain John Komba, band leader of Tanzania One Theatre (TOT) and Member of Parliament for Mbinga West, died on 28 February. He was a hugely popular musician and one of the foremost cheerleaders for CCM. He was most in his element when belting out songs in praise of the country’s leaders and the party. He and his team were a crowd puller and when he stood to sing, crowds literally sung along in hysteria.

Capt Komba was born in 1954 in Ruvuma region. He studied at Lituhi Primary School and Songea Boys’ Secondary School before earning a certificate in teaching from Kleruu Teacher Training College in Iringa. He served in the Tanzania People’s Defence Force from 1978 to 1992. He had been a CCM National Executive Committee member since 1987 and entered elective politics in 2005. He had already been highly active in CCM campaigns for many years, a close ally of Presidents Mkapa and Kikwete, and most recently of presidential aspirant Edward Lowassa. Up to his death, he was CCM’s Chief Cultural ambassador.

Many Tanzanians will remember Captain Komba most for his response to the death of Mwalimu Nyerere in 1999. With tears in their eyes like most of their compatriots, Captain Komba and his troupe led the nation in grief with songs based on choral traditions. They captured in a vivid and moving manner the challenge Tanzanians faced: living without Mwalimu.“CCM will always remember Komba for his contributions to the party and to issues that were of national interest; he was a friend, father, musician, politician and all in all a leader” said CCM General Secretary, Abdurahman Kinana.

Christopher Alex Massawe, a former midfield player with Simba Sports Club and the national football team Taifa Stars, died in Dodoma after a long illness.

An uncompromising defensive midfielder, Alex’s most memorable moment was being a member of Simba team that knocked out the then CAF Champions League champions Zamalek of Egypt to book a place in the last eight. He converted the last penalty to seal the historic win. Simba had previously disposed of South African champions Santos in the first round on their way to the group stage of the premium club competition on the continent.

Alhaj Abdul Sapi Mkwawa was chief of the Hehe tribe of Iringa. He was buried within Kalenga Museum premises, in a ceremony that also included the installation of his successor, 14-year old Chief Adam II, who is his first born son.

The late chief was born in 1949. He studied at Tosamaganga in Iringa and Iyunga Secondary in Mbeya, before joining the school named in honour of his famous ancestor, Mkwawa High School.

He studied for a degree in business administration before working with Tanzania Elimu Supplies between 1977 and 1993, Tanzania Southern Highlands Tobacco Growers in 1993. Most recently, he was an employee of the Iringa-based Maji Africa spring water company.

Geoffrey Delves Wilkinson who died on 7 June 2014 aged 87, was prominent in agricultural activities in Tanzania, off and on for almost fifty years. He started his career as the District Agricultural Officer in Zanzibar and later in Pemba (where he received the Queen’s Coronation Medal). Later he set up the agricultural education department of the British Overseas Development Ministry in London, his responsibilities covering all aspects of agricultural training, especially in Tanzania. He built on his strong ties with Tanzanian institutes of agriculture, particularly Tengeru, near Arusha, by setting up a link project and exchange programme with the Hereford diocese in the UK. He was a born story teller and a passionate naturalist and relished his role in training hun­dreds, if not thousands of students in agricultural skills in 29 countries.

Prof Terence Ranger, the first editor of Tanzanian Affairs, editing issues No 1 (Dec 1975) to 6 (July 1978), died on 3 January 2015. He spent most of his career researching and publishing on the history of Zimbabwe, though he is probably better known as co-editor (with Eric Hobsbawm) of the 1983 text, The Invention of Tradition.

Born in London in 1929, he was appointed as university lecturer in the then Southern Rhodesia in 1957. Deported from Rhodesia in 1963, Ranger joined the University of Dar es Salaam, to establish its history department. He joined a group of radical scholars, and talk of a ‘Dar es Salaam school’ of African nationalist history. This was defined by a commitment to African agency in its historical analysis and to the production of ‘useable’ history for the newly independent nations of Africa.

From Tanzania, Ranger went on to professorships at UCLA, Manchester and Oxford. In retirement, he returned to bolster the history department of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, where he again found himself aligned with the victims of the state. He returned to Britain in 2001.

Mr T O (Dale) Robson, who died recently, worked in Tanganyika from 1950 to 1961. He served at various agricultural research stations as a Pasture Research Officer. He advised the Commission on the establishment of the Serengeti National Park and whether it would be necessary to exclude the Maasai. It was finally decided to improve conditions by clearing the tsetse-infested bush, improving water supplies, increasing disease control measures for the cattle and introducing regular cattle markets. (Thank you Hilary Broad for this – Editor)

Dr Alec Smith (1927 -2014) was a graduate of Birmingham University (BSc. Zoology and Comparative Physiology (1948)) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Ph.D. Tropical Medicine 1950)). He joined the Colonial Medical Research Service and worked as a medical entomologist in Tanganyika from 1950-1973, including 13 years in Arusha at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute.

In 1973 Alec joined the World Health Organisation and, after leaving Arusha, worked on malaria control projects in South Africa (1973­1976) and West Africa (1973-1980). He was then assigned to Geneva headquarters, where he remained until 1986 when he retired. In 1982, he was awarded the Ademola Medal, jointly with Dr Robert Kaiser, by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for “Outstanding Achievements in Health in the Tropics”. In 1993, Alec published his memoirs entitled “Insect man – A Fight against Malaria in Africa”.

Alec enjoyed a happy 28 years retirement in Bexhill-On-Sea, Sussex. He is greatly missed by Irene, his wife of 60 years, his daughters Linda and Diana and his grandchildren, Allison, Elizabeth and Claire. (Thanks to Dr Linda Thomas for this information – Editor).



by Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh has taken over as editor of the TA reviews section from John Cooper-Poole. The editorial team would like to thank John again for the wonderful job he has done since 2002. Correspondence about past, pending and future reviews should now be addressed directly to Martin (kisutuvirginmediacom).

COTTON IN TANZANIA: BREAKING THE JINX. Joe C. B. Kabissa. Tanzania Educational Publishers, Bukoba, 2014. 338 pp. (paperback). ISBN 9789987070077. Available from African Books Collective, £24.95.

The right strategy for cotton in Tanzania has been a key issue for the agricultural sector both before and after independence. The question is complex and many observers and participants have contributed analyses which were specific to their time. Dr Joe Kabissa has now written a comprehensive account of the growth of the industry since German times up to the present day. Kabissa is uniquely qualified for this task, being an entomologist who has served both as head of cotton research at Ukiriguru and Ilonga and as Director of the Tanzania Cotton Board, retiring in 2012, He has a very broad knowledge of the global cotton sector and is also that rare ex-civil servant who is prepared to criticise in public his former political masters.

The challenges facing the industry have always been both scientific (pests, viruses and yields) and institutional. Alongside these has been the critical issue of farm-level cropping options: what are the relative margins of cotton, maize, and rice in an ever-changing world and domestic market? These issues have not prevented nearly half a million small farmers growing cotton in a ‘good’ year, such as 2005/6 when a record total of 376,000 tons of seed cotton was achieved.

The potential value of the crop to the national economy was first recognised by the German colonial government which saw the eastern belt (Moshi to Iringa) as the principal home of the industry, with plantations linked to compulsory labour. The British government pushed the industry into the Lake Zone, focusing research at Ukiriguru, managed by the British (later Empire) Cotton Growing Association. In the1950s, with high commodity prices, this policy was largely successful, with rising yields and an increasingly viable institutional structure in the Victoria Federation of Co-operative Unions (VFCU). This owned its own ginneries, exported most of the crop to the UK and was led by luminaries like Paul Bomani.

For the first decade after independence this format was preserved and production continued to rise. However, the big changes mandated by CCM in the structure of co-operatives in the 1970s proved immensely debilitating to the VFCU (now the Nyanza Co-operative Union, NCU). The donor-led ultra­liberal reforms of the late 80s and 90s reduced the NCU to a rump organisation and created destructive competition between about 30 ginners, eventually leading to a five per cent discount on the world price for Tanzanian cotton lint. A parallel history had taken place in textile manufacturing, with substantial investments in joint ventures by the National Development Corporation and seven foreign companies, nearly all of which were privatised in the 1990s with similarly disappointing results. However, at least two new private companies have emerged and perform impressively.

Kabissa deals with both the detail and the broader policy issues in an impressive way. He is very clear that high quality research in the 1950s and 60s facilitated the development of improved varieties with resistance to the critical pest and viral threats from bollworm and Fusarium wilt. This created a potentially powerful springboard for the sector. However, the national co-operative reforms of the 1970s were disastrous for the NCU and its members and underinvestment by government in research and development from the mid-1970s was grossly negligent. The lack of a policy on genetically modified cotton, embraced by Tanzania’s competitors, was an opportunity lost (for the time being). He shows how the cotton growing and textile manufacturing sectors have not been developed in recent years with any form of real interdependence in spite of a long-standing goal that 70 per cent of cotton should be spun and woven within Tanzania. In practice the low quality of lint supplied by the ginners and with its implications for yarn quality has locked the three or four weaving companies into production of kanga and kitenge cloth for a largely captive market.

Kabissa’s central point is that the huge potential of the cotton sector both from the point of view of farmers and the national economy has not been realised over more than a century of opportunity. With regard to the recent past he blames the lack of an effective strategy on government with its failure to build up the Tanzania Cotton Board as a regulator and driver of change. In particular he shows how repeated changes in the system for distributing inputs has created disillusionment among farmers who depend on an efficient system and for whom this a matter of economic survival. His conclusion, captured in the book’s subtitle, is that there seems to be a ‘jinx’ on real change, although he sees major possibilities in recent shifts to contract farming. Cotton in Tanzania is not only a courageous book, but sets an excellent precedent for seasoned professionals in Africa to take apart the failures of agricultural policy which continue to hold back output and rural security. This is a pioneering study, which deserves to be replicated in other sectors and countries.
Laurence Cockcroft

DISTRICT OFFICER IN TANGANYIKA: THE MEMOIRS OF DICK EBERLIE. PART 2: 1956-60. Dick Eberlie. Privately printed, 2014. 309 pp. (paperback). Available from the author (eberlie@vigomews.orangehome.

This book about Dick Eberlie’s colonial service in Tanganyika is the second volume of his memoirs (the first was about his early life). He attended the Oxford Devonshire Course in 1956 when there were eight of us on the course, and towards the end of the year we held a riotous dinner in Oriel College at which we gave ourselves the whimsical name Haidhuru, ‘it doesn’t matter’. What none of us knew then was that Eberlie was minutely recording his daily life, and from this he has skilfully put together a coherent and interesting narrative of the period up to 1960 and the work that he did as a young District Officer.

We sailed to Tanganyika in July 1957 before dispersing to our various districts. Eberlie spent some months in Handeni District, where he had an amusing encounter with Governor Twining. He describes the extraordinary responsibilities given to him as a new DO when he was left on his own at district HQ. He then moved to Nzega District, where his work included the development of local water supplies, trading centres and the development of local government.

Then his health began to fail and he was moved to Ocean Road Hospital in Dar, having been diagnosed with TB. From this point on his account reads more like pages from the Tatler than that of a recovering patient. He began to get involved with Government House, and describes his first meetings with Lady Turnbull and later the Governor. When pronounced reasonably fit, he was posted to Kisarawe District, 1,000 feet higher than Dar and healthier. Reading about his safaris there I particularly admire the thoroughness of his work, which makes me feel quite idle. At different times he and I were presiding officers in the national elections at Shungubweni. In 1958, I waited all day for the twelfth registered voter to turn up and read the whole of Robert Graves’ Good-Bye To All That; Eberlie had much more usefully employed himself dealing with the sub-chief and local people.

This book will have a much wider appeal than to those of us who served together (only five of our original group of eight Overseas Service Course students now survive). It has been printed privately, has an attractive wrapper depicting palm trees, and includes excellent maps and numerous photographs.
Simon Hardwick

CAPITALISM AND CLOVES: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF PLANTATION LIFE ON NINETEENTH-CENTURY ZANZIBAR. Sarah K. Croucher. Springer New York 2015. 256 pp (hardback) ISBN 978-1-4419-8470-8. £90.00.

Nineteenth-century European visitors to Zanzibar were wont to wax lyrical as they described the approach to Unguja (Zanzibar) by sea. First the scent of cloves, which had the explorer Richard Burton quoting from Milton’s Paradise Lost (“Sabaean odours from the spicy shore”); then the verdant island itself, which in the words of the second British Consul, Lieutenant-Colonel Rigby, “presented the appearance of an unbroken forest of cocoanut, mango and other trees, with the clove plantations on the hills forming the background”. Rigby continued to enthuse over the beauty of the rural landscape, though he left no doubt that this was a man-made scene in which the “country-houses of the Arab proprietors, and the huts of their slaves, are thickly dotted over the surface”. The larger part of his Report on the Zanzibar Dominions (1860) was about the iniquities of the slave trade and the need to suppress it. Happily, this was eventually achieved, though slavery has left an indelible mark on the society and politics of Zanzibar as well as the agricultural landscape of the islands. The smell of cloves still lingers around Zanzibar’s wharves.

As the Zanzibar government struggles to revive the fortunes of a crop that once dominated the economy, this is as good a time as any to begin digging into its past. Sarah Croucher’s Capitalism and Cloves is a brave book. It is based primarily on a surface survey of clove plantations in four areas of Unguja and Pemba islands, and the excavation of an Arab plantation owner’s house near Piki on Pemba. Chapters describe the regional context, Zanzibar’s plantation landscapes, the archaeology of slavery, plantation households, and the global trade and local ceramics associated with them. Croucher’s central argument is that the plantation economy of Zanzibar has to be understood on its own terms, not least because of the way in which slaves assimilated into Swahili society.

Croucher found that slavery is now relatively invisible in the archaeological record, while the presumed descendants of slaves have mostly forgotten the fact, and can only recite generalised narratives about the bad old days. As a result, she had far too little material to work with: the archaeology is thin, its interpretation often too speculative. The book is padded out with more information (and jargon) about the archaeology of the Atlantic world than many readers will be comfortable with. The author might have made much more use of recent anthropological and agricultural research on the islands. I was also surprised to find no reference to historical sources like Henry Stanley Newman’s Banani: The Transition from Slavery to Freedom in Zanzibar and Pemba (1898), or Robert Nunez Lyne’s Zanzibar in Contemporary Times (1905), which includes a nice description of the house of one of his Arab neighbours in Dunga. That said, Capitalism and Cloves is an original study that has much to recommend it. It raises important questions about Zanzibar’s past and its interpretation, is replete with interesting observations, and will no doubt be consulted by students and researchers for many years to come.
Martin Walsh



by Hugh Wenban-Smith

In the aftermath of the Holborn fire, the LSE library could not be accessed by your correspondent. However, Tanzania items in the African Studies Abstracts were provided by a kindly librarian.

An intensity analysis of land-use and land-cover change in Karatu District, Tanzania: John LR, H Hambati & FA Armah African Geographical Review, Vol 33 (2):

Land-use and Land-cover changes (LULCCs) are the result of complex interactions between the human (cultural, socio-economic and political) and the biophysical environment at different spatial scales. The present study assessed the spatial distribution of LULC (1976-2008) in the high and low altitude zones in the northern highlands of Karatu, using both qualitative (in-depth interviews and group discussions) and quantitative techniques (Intensity Analysis). The qualitative approach was used to elicit information on the coping strategies adopted by land users as transitions occurred with time and Intensity Analysis was used to assess the systematic land losses, gains and persistence of the various categories with time.

Iron Age agriculture, fishing and trade in the Mafia archipelago, Tanzania: New evidence from the Ukunju Cave: Crowther A & nine other authors Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa Vol 49 (1): Small-scale excavations were recently undertaken at the site of the Ukunju Cave in the Mafia archipelago to collect new bio-archaeological and material culture data relating to the site’s occupation and the nature of early subsistence and long-distance trade in the region. Our findings suggest that occupation of the cave began during the Middle Iron Age (seventh to tenth centuries AD), as indicated by the presence of Early Tana Tradition/Triangular Incised Ware pottery in the lowest layers above bedrock, as well as small quantities of imported ceramics and glass beads, also dating from the mid- to late first millennium AD. Small assemblages of faunal and botanical remains, including introduced African crops (pearl millet, sorghum, baobab and possibly cowpea) were found in association with these finds, indicating that these communities practised a mixed economy of fishing, domestic livestock keeping and agriculture. In addition, the presence of cotton suggests they may have also been producing fibres or textiles, most likely for local use, but possibly also for long distance trade.

A deposit of Kilwa-type coins from Songo Mnara, Tanzania: Perkins J, J Fleisher & S Wynne-Jones Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa Vol 49 (1): A deposit of coins was recovered during excavations at Songo Mnara, contain­ing over 300 copper Kilwa-type coins. This is the first deposit or hoard of these coins found in a well-defined archaeological context and it therefore offers a unique glimpse into both the typology of these coins and their contemporary uses. … In particular, the deposit is firmly attributable to the end of the fourteenth or very early fifteenth centuries, allowing for some chronological resolution. Coins of the late eleventh to early twelfth century Sultan Ali ibn al-Hasan show that these types remained in circulation for several hundred years. In addition, the common coin type of Nasir ad-Dunya can now be attributed firmly to the fifteenth and possibly fourteenth centuries by this find.

Can your child read and count? Measuring learning outcomes in East Africa: Jones S, Y Schipper & R Rajani Journal of African Economies Vol 23 (5): The last 15 years have seen major changes to education systems in East Africa. Superficially, there is much to commend. Net primary enrolment rates have risen to over 90% alongside significant improvements in gender equity. Nonetheless, there are growing concerns that better access is not adding up to more learning. This paper introduces unique test score data collected by Twaweza’s Uwezo initiative for over 600,000 children across East Africa, including children enrolled and not enrolled in school. Using these data we show that many children in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda remain functionally illiterate or innumerate, despite having completed multiple years of school.

Industrial transformation or business as usual? Information and com­munications technologies and Africa’s place in the global information economy: Murphy JT, P Carmody & B Surborg Review of African Political Economy Vol 41 (140):

Many view information and communications technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones, computers and the Internet as tools that can significantly strengthen the quality and depth of Africa’s engagement with the world economy. This paper interrogates the impacts of Africa’s burgeoning ICT ‘revolution’ through an examination of their use among small, medium and micro-scale enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa’s and Tanzania’s wood products and tourism sectors. The findings reveal that while new ICTs are being adopted rapidly, they are generally used for communication purposes, not deeper forms of information processing and management. While positive in many ways, this has done little to stop a trend towards the devaluation of the goods and services provided by the SMMEs surveyed here. Moreover, ICTs are enabling new forms of outside intervention and intermediation unto African markets, often further marginalis­ing local firms and industries

We also note here four recent reports by Tanzania’s think tank, REPOA (Policy Research for Development):

Rural non-farm activities and poverty alleviation in Tanzania: A case study of two villages in Chamwino and Bahi Districts of Dodoma region: Katega IB & CS Lifuliro (Research Report 14/7)

Socio-economic factors limiting smallholder groundnut production in Tabora region: Katundu MA & 3 other authors (Research Report 14/1)

The invisibility of wage employment in statistics on the informal economy in Africa: Causes and consequences: Rizzo M & M Wuyts (Working Paper

Integrating traditional and modern knowledge systems in improving pro­ductivity in Upper Kitete village, Tanzania: Nawe J & H Hambati (Research Report 14/3).