by Ben Taylor

Rwanda rail route in development
The government has set aside US$ 460m for the construction of the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza-Musongati (DIKKM) project. The standard gauge railway project is planned to be completed by March 2018 and is estimated to cost US$ 5.2 billion.

President Magufuli also announced that the government was to allocate space for an inland container depot (ICD) specifically for Rwandan cargo, to reduce bureaucracy. He explained that 70% of Rwanda’s goods pass through Dar es Salaam port, and assured his Rwandan counterpart that corruption problems at the port had been addressed. The plan involves opening a Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) office in Rwanda, so that cargo clearance can be done in Kigali.

The president also explained that Tanzania was committed to collabo­rating with the Burundian government, adding that Burundi had also expressed its willingness to send experts to Tanzania for sharing experi­ences with a view to strengthening mutual relations. (The Guardian)

New aircraft for Air Tanzania
President Magufuli has announced that his government will purchase new aircraft for the struggling national airline, Air Tanzania. Two Bombardier D8 Q400 planes are to be purchased to operate both domestic and regional routes, said the President.

Deputy Minister of Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba, told parliament in Dodoma that the government would put down US$ 3.34m as initial payment for purchase of the two airplanes, and that the market price of each of the aircraft was US$35m. He added that the balance of the sale price would be obtained from the planes’ operations and would be fully paid in a period of 10 years. (The Guardian)

BRT mass transit buses begin operations
The long awaited Dar es Salaam Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses began operations in the city in May 2016, with 105 buses operating along dedicated lanes along Morogoro Road and various connecting routes. Prices are set at TSh 200 for students and between Tsh 400 and TSh 800 for regular-price passengers.

The World Bank-financed project is designed to provide relief to 300,000 daily commuters, at a cost of $290m. Official estimates showed that traffic congestion has been costing the nation over TSh 400bn annually in lost working hours and extra fuel consumption.

The service’s first days of operation saw huge demand, resulting in long queues for ticket purchases and to board buses. However, as operators and passengers alike have become familiar with how the system works, the severity of these challenges has reduced. In particular, adoption of an electronic-ticketing system – several weeks after the launch of the buses – has reportedly reduced both confusion and waiting times considerably.

A second set of challenges emerged when drivers threatened strike action due to pay and conditions. Many claimed that they had not been issued contracts, or that the contract terms were not consistent with those previously announced. Much of the confusion appeared to relate to a series of performance-based bonus payments, depending on drivers’ punctuality and fuel efficiency, among other factors.

Finally, the buses were beset by an unfortunate series of accidents, with 34 of the buses reportedly involved in accidents within the first two weeks of operations. A spokesperson of UDART, the bus company, Deusdedith Bugwaya blamed the accidents on civilian drivers of cars and motorbikes crossing the dedicated bus lanes. The cost of the bus repairs was estimated at TSh 100m (£35,000).

Nevertheless, anecdotal reports suggest that the buses have already overcome these teething troubles and have made a positive impact on traffic congestion in the city. (The Citizen; The Guardian; Daily News).

Drivers’ doubts on Nyerere Bridge

Initial excitement at the official opening of Nyerere Bridge, linking Dar es Salaam city centre with Kigamboni, has been tempered by disappointment at higher-than-expected toll rates for bridge users. While it had previously been reported that the toll would be set at the same rate as the Kigamboni ferry crossing, this proved incorrect.

According to the newly announced toll rates, motor cycles are charged TSh 600, Bajajis and saloon cars TSh 1,500, pick-up vehicles below two tonnes and station wagons TSh 2,000, passenger vehicles TSh 3,000 (maximum 15 seats), TSh 5,000 (maximum 29 seats) and TSh 7,000 (above 29 seats). Cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to cross the bridge free of charge.

Daladala commuter buses’ operators are most upset by the prices, and baulked at having to pay up to TSh 70,000 per day (£25) for multiple crossings. Some such buses are reported to have started dropping passengers on one side of the bridge, forcing them to walk the 680m length of the bridge and find another bus on the other side. An average of 8,000-10,000 vehicles per day are using the bridge, according to Project Manager, Gerald Sondo, and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) reported takings reached TSh 1bn (£350,000) in the first month of operations.

The bridge, which opened on May 14, 2016, was jointed financed by NSSF and the government, at a total cost of $143m. (The Guardian)

Uber launches in Dar es Salaam
Uber, the taxi service that uses mobile phone technology and which has revolutionised urban travel around the world, launched in Dar es Salaam in June 2016. As is the case in many other countries, Uber charges customers a fare that is a fraction of the price charged by tradi­tional taxi operators.

In Dar es Salaam, Uber advertises a fare of TSh 13,000 (approximately £4.50) for a journey between the airport and the city centre, less than a third of the equivalent price (TSh 40-50,000) for a traditional taxi. Furthermore, Uber allows customers to pay either using mobile money (such as m-pesa) or credit card, in addition to payment by cash.

These fares are low even by regional standards. Equivalent prices for similar journeys using the Uber service in Nairobi and Mombasa, where the firm has faced strong resistance from taxi drivers, are around double the cost of Uber fares in Dar es Salaam.

Early days of the service’s operations in Tanzania were marked by uncertainty among Uber drivers, unfamiliar with new operating methods and doubts at the low prices, and fear among other taxi drivers that their prices would be undercut. Reports of Uber drivers requesting top-ups to the official price were widespread, and many customers cited problems with requested drivers not arriving for pick up as agreed.

Nevertheless, Uber has not increased its fares in Dar es Salaam in the two months since its launch. (The Citizen; The Guardian)


by Ben Taylor

Tanzania pull-outs of EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement, Brexit cited
Tanzania has decided not to sign the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which would have opened up trade between the European Union (EU) and the East African Community (EAC). Dr Aziz Mlima, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the announcement in early July.

“Our experts have analysed the pact and established that it will not be to our local industry’s benefit. Signing this pact at the moment would expose young EAC countries to harsh economic conditions in post-Brexit Europe,” explained Dr Mlima.

Minister for Trade, Industries and Investment Charles Mwijage said Britain was Tanzania’s key trade partner in Europe. “Internationally, we trade with Britain, China, India and South Africa. When you don’t have Britain in a deal with Europe, what do you have? We have to think it over and this can take any duration to decide,” he said.

The move appears to fit with President Magufuli’s economic policies, which include a greater focus on raising tax revenues and on protecting local industry. A few weeks before the decision on the EPA was announced, the President gave a speech in which he called for imported good to be subject to higher taxes in order to protect local producers.

“We have every reason to protect our industries,” he said. “They generate direct employment for our people and provide our farmers with reliable markets for their produce. The government collects revenue from them and they play a key role in spurring economic development. That is the direction I want to take, and I know the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment (Mr Charles Mwijage) is here…this is what I want him to do.”

Former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa, expanded on the decision in an essay published various Tanzanian and regional newspapers.

“If we sign the EPA, we would still get the same duty-free access, but in return, we would have to open up our markets also for EU exports,” he explained. “Tanzania would reduce to zero tariffs on 90% of all its industrial goods trade with the EU i.e. duty-free access on almost all EU’s non-agricultural products into the country. Such a high level of liberalisation vis-a-vis a very competitive partner is likely to put our existing local industries in jeopardy and discourage the development of new industries.”

“As a Least Developed Country (LDC), Tanzania already enjoys the Everything but Arms (EBA) preference scheme provided by the European Union i.e. we can already export duty-free and quota-free to the EU market without providing the EU with similar market access terms.”
Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi were ready to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU, but Uganda indicated that no agreement should be signed without full agreement of all EAC member states. World Trade Organisation rules do not allow countries aligned to a trade bloc to sign up individually.

In the short term at least, Kenya is seen as the biggest loser from Tanzania’s decision, as the country’s middle-income status means Kenya does not currently have the same tariff-free access to European markets that the other EAC members enjoy. Nevertheless, at current growth rates, Tanzania will itself achieve middle-income status within the next couple of years.

Austerity budget
Dr Philip Mpango, the aptly-named Minister of Finance and Planning presented an austerity budget to parliament in June. The budget scrapped a wide range of tax exemptions while increasing taxes on sugar, cement imports and beverages, and doubled down on President John Magufuli’s cost-cutting measures with tight restrictions on ministries’ and departments’ operating costs.

Tabling the TSh 29.54tn (US$14bn) budget for the 2016/17 financial year in Parliament, Dr Mpango introduced income tax on the gratuity that MPs earn after every five years and offered relief to small-scale farmers and other low-income earners by scrapping various “nuisance taxes”.
The budget also aims to support the president’s industrialisation strategy, by increasing import taxes on various manufactured goods, including cement, sugar, corrugated iron sheets, and second-hand clothes and shoes.

Dr Mpango, a former World Bank economist, told the house that in the 2016/17 Budget, TSh 17.8tn (60% of the total) would come from domestic sources, TSh 5.37tn (18% of the total) from domestic loans and the sale of Treasury papers, TSh 3.6tn (12%) from foreign aid and development grants, and TSh 665bn (2%) from local government authorities’ sources. Finally, the government plans to borrow TSh 2.1tn (7%) from foreign commercial sources for infrastructure projects.

Some business leaders and economists reacted to the budget with a note of caution, recognising the value of the budget as a bold attempt speed up industrialisation, but arguing that “too much focus” on the private sector in revenue collection could hit investment.

The decision to target key and fast growing sectors of the economy, particularly telecommunications, banking and tourism, will adversely affect the economy, they argued. Further, they also warned that strong enforcement of cost-cutting measures in the budget could hurt businesses and narrow the tax base.

“The newly introduced taxes will hit the banking and tourism sectors hard. These are key sectors of the economy that have yet to reach their full potential. Imposing 18% VAT on tourism services will only succeed in benefiting our closest competitor, Kenya,” said Ernst & Young Executive Director for Tax, Laurian Justinian [see also Tourism & Conservation section].

Elsewhere in the budget, Dr Mpango said that Tanzania’s economy will grow by 7.2% in 2016, and the inflation rate, at 5.1% in April this year, will remain between 5% and 8%. Domestic revenue will reach 16.9% of GDP in the 2016/2017 financial year, up from 14.8% in 2015/2016.

However, President Magufuli took issue with official inflation figures, arguing that they appear to be at odds with the economic reality on the ground as many Tanzanians complain about the rising cost of living. “[We’re told] Tanzania’s inflation rate has fallen from around 30% in the 1990s to 5%. But is this really reflected in the lives of Tanzanians?” he queried. “We can just celebrate these statistical data, but in reality people might feel that the inflation rate has actually increased to 70%,” the president added.

Volumes down at Dar port, but revenues rise
The Commissioner General of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Alphayo Kidata, said revenue from the Port of Dar es Salaam has increased in the last two months despite the burdens of a reduction in trade volumes. He said this after the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) reported a decline by more than 50% in the freight transported to neighbouring DR Congo and Zambia.

Kidata cited global economic problems, in particular in China, as the main reason for the reduction in volume, adding that a similar effect could also be seen in Mombasa, Beira and Durban.

However, he stressed that despite the decrease in cargo, revenue at the port has increased because they have closed loopholes for importers, ensuring that all appropriate duties are now paid.

The Commissioner said TRA were previously collecting TSh 200-300bn per month from the port but after controlling loopholes, TRA collected TSh 458bn in April of this year, and TSh 517bn (US$250m) in June.
Dr Philip Mpango, the aptly-named Minister of Finance and Planning, told parliament in April that from October 2015 to March of this year cargo had declined at the port, with the number containers from Congo dropping from 5,529 to 4,092. He added that freight to Malawi fell from 337 to 265 containers, while the number heading to Zambia declined from 6,859 to 4,448.

Later, analysts noted that the Dar es Salaam port risks handling the lowest number of vessels in its history this year. Several logistics firms opted to bypass the city after Value Added Tax (VAT) was imposed on transit goods.

Cargo firms took issue with the imposition of VAT, which came even after the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, agreed that it was standard practice worldwide not to charge VAT on transit goods. A meeting between TRA and the Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) was postponed when TAFFA representatives were not satisfied with TRA sending a junior representative to the meeting.

Tanzania Economic Update (TEU) published
The World Bank published the latest in their bi-annual series of economic updates, with a mix of praise and criticism for Tanzania’s economy.

The report commended the new government’s measures to strengthen fiscal management and curb corruption, saying they have started to yield results with tax revenue collection exceeding targets.

Nevertheless, the report called for a greater focus on strengthening the private sector, calling for adoption of Public-Private Partnerships as a new source of finance for development projects. “Tanzania needs to improve overall business environment, including through improved access to finance and electricity, for private sector development,” said Emmanuel Mungunasi, WB Senior Economist and co-author of the report. “Further development of the private sector will be key to accessing the needed resources including financing and creating more employment opportunities which are critical for poverty reduction.”

The Bank’s Country Representative, Bella Bird, also noted that Tanzania had been very generous in recent years with tax exemptions, and praised President Magufuli’s commitment to limiting such exemptions.

Critics took issue with some aspects of the report, notably a warning that over-dependence on China as an economic partner could leave Tanzania vulnerable to faltering growth in the East Asian giant.

“The saviour of industrial policy is China and other developed nations of the East. We stand to gain from China’s relocation plans. It is the right time to grab the opportunities,” said Prof Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam.

Standard Bank compensation payment
The outgoing British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms Diana Melrose, announced on Twitter that the UK has transferred US$ 7m to the Tanzanian government, paid by Standard Bank as a compensation payment as a result of its failure to prevent bribery in Tanzania. In November 2015, a UK court ordered the bank to pay a fine of US$ 25m, plus this compensation payment to the Tanzanian government. [See TA114 for details of the case].


by Donovan McGrath

Bamboo: Africa’s untapped potential taking root in Africa April 2016 edition of New York-based United Nations’ Africa Renewal magazine published a feature, with individual subheadings for the handful of African countries involved in the cultivation of bamboo for the growing global market. Tanzania is one of the countries featured under the subhead­ing Tanzania: New income for 5,000 rural women. Extract: Bamboo has been increasing in importance as a non-timber forest product in Tanzania over the last two decades, according to INBAR [International Network of Bamboo and Rattan]. Locally bamboo is sought for handicrafts, residential fencing, flower farming, farm props for banana plantations, furniture and other minor cottage industry products like basketry and toothpicks… INBAR, in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, helped to establish 100 bamboo nurseries and set up micro-enterprises, and trained 1,000 locals in a specially created Bamboo Training Centre. Today some 5,000 women in these rural communities produce handicrafts and desks for local schools and sell charcoal briquettes.

Tanzania featured in a number of articles published in the Financial Times (UK), which included comments on mobile phone technology and President Magufuli’s handling of the economy and the political situation in the country. The following are extracts of these articles. Thanks to Carol Wilcox and Jeremy Jones for sending these items – Editor

Tanzania’s new president shakes up east Africa’s ‘sleeping giant’:
Extract: Mr Magufuli, 56, embarking on his first five-year term, is creating a buzz of expectation that at last Tanzania has found a leader capable of awakening the “sleeping giant” of east Africa, one with huge, largely unexploited, gas and mineral resources. “He walks the talk,” says Samuel Wangwe, principal research associate at the Economic and Social Research Foundation in Dar es Salaam. “When he says something, he follows through. He’s not a liar.” The presidency commands huge constitutional power – and Mr Magufuli has not been afraid to use it… He pressed ahead with a highly flawed electoral process in Zanzibar, semi-autonomous island, which deprived the Zanzibari opposition of what looked like victory. Nor has he been shy of using sweeping cyber crime legislation to silence critics. This month, a court sentenced a man to three years in jail for insulting the president on Facebook… He scrapped normally lavish independence day celebrations and, borrowing a stunt from Narenda Modi, India’s prime minister; took to the streets with a broom, declaring he would spend the money saved on sanitation. He has clamped down on foreign travel for officials, personally vetting all trips. His predecessor, Jakaya Kikwete, was so fond of foreign tours he was christened Vasco da Gama, after the Portugese explorer… Mr Magufuli’s supporters argue that he must first use his authority to take on a system corroded by corruption and complacency before he can rebuild institutions. But even advocates worry about his tendencies to run government by fiat and take snap decisions without, they say, thinking through the consequences. A crackdown on illicit sugar imports has led to shortages. Last week, his government demanded, with no consultation, that foreign-owned telecoms companies list on the local stock exchange within six months [see following item]. One Lawyer accused the president of hypocrisy, saying he talked about fighting corruption while encouraging the police to steal tyres of illegally parked vehicles… (FT 27 June 2016)

Tanzania wants foreign-backed telecos to list: Dar es Salaam aims to keep tabs on revenues and widen share ownership
Extract: An amendment to a new finance bill will require the eight operators in Tanzania, one of Africa’s fastest-growing telecoms markets, to float 25 per cent of their shares on Dar es Salaam’s thinly traded stock exchange. Johannesburg-listed Vodacom, a subsidiary of Vodafone, Stockholm-based Millicom and India’s Bharti Airtel will need to list part of their business alongside five local operators. The mandatory listing, which appears to reverse an informal agreement with the main operators, is part of a government strategy to squeeze more revenue from the private sector. An executive at one of the foreign operators, who did not want to be named, described the move as a complete surprise given it had been made without any consultation. Phillip Mpango, finance and planning minister, has told the national assembly that the measure would “help the government trace the exact revenue generated by these companies”, as well as allow Tanzanians to hold shares in telecom companies. He denied that the bill was a reversal of policy, saying it merely enforced a stipulation in the Electronic and Postal Communication Act of 2010 for foreign telecoms companies to list locally… John Magufuli, Tanzania’s new president, has accused some foreign companies, particularly in the mining sector, of seeking to avoid local taxes by declaring losses in the country and repatriating profits and dividends overseas. (FT 30 June 2016)

Tanzania’s fintech and mobile money transform business practice
Extract: Ramadhani Saidi Gereza is a barometer for the way the mobile phone technology is changing Tanzania. The engine oil seller in Dar es Salaam’s Kariakoo market says mobile money has transformed his business. “People from upcountry used to send cash by bus and I had to go further to collect their money,” he says. “Now I don’t have to. It’s much more efficient.” Yet it is not all good news. The country’s eight mobile operators offer various incentives to attract customers, but they do not always deliver, Mr Gereza says. “Bonus payments [for custom­ers] are delayed or we don’t get them so I tell my city customers to go and get cash and pay with that [instead].” These glitches are a result of the continuous innovation the operators feel compelled to adopt as they compete in one of the most promising markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Johannesburg-listed Vodacom, which is majority owned by Vodafone, is the largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers. Its main rivals are Tigo, a brand name of Stockholm-listed Millicom, and India’s Bharti Airtel. Together, the three operators control some 90 per cent of the market of 34m active mobile contracts out of a population of 55m. The GSMA, a global body representing operators, predicts Tanzania will be among the top seven subscriber markets in sub-Saharan Africa in the next five years. Mobile money is the main battleground. While Kenya’s M-pesa has won international plaudits for its groundbreaking mobile money system, Tanzania has arguably overtaken its northern neighbour in the depth of its mobile money market… The World Bank reported last year there were more mobile money accounts per 1,000 adults in Tanzania than anywhere else in Africa… “Mobile money is so successful because the competition is cash, not the banks,” says Diego Gutierrez, Tigo’s general manager for Tanzania. Some 60 per cent of adults have mobile money wallets in the country, while only 15 per cent have bank accounts, Tigo says… (FT 13 July 2016)

Tanzanian president’s tough tactics alienate political opponents
Extract: When John Magufuli became Tanzanian president in November it was widely expected that he would shake up government. He campaigned under the slogan “It’s all about work” and had garnered a reputation for action in his previous role as works minister. Less clear was how he would handle the nation’s politics… Western diplomats argue he failed his first political test soon after being inaugurated. He backed the decision by the Zanzibar electoral commission chairman to annul the semi-autonomous region’s October election results based on unproven claims of irregularities. The opposition boycotted the re-run in March and US and EU diplomats boycotted the inauguration of the islands’ president… Of more concern, according to Ms Anyimadu, is the opposition MP’s decision to boycott parliamentary sessions overseen by deputy speaker Tulia Ackson. The action was prompted by their belief that she was mistreating them and stifling democracy at the behest of Mr Magufuli, who appointed her. Opposition MPs were further incensed by a speech Mr Magufuli gave last month in which he ordered opposition parties, for the sake of developing the nation, to confine their political activities to parliament and not engage in campaigns that could obstruct the government until the 2020 election. Freeman Mbowe, chairman of Chadema, called the move “regrettable”. “[The president] should know that he can’t and won’t silence us,” he said after the speech. Elsewhere, the new government also appears to have curtailed Tanzanians’ democratic rights. The police have banned opposition rallies … (FT 13 July 2016)

Zanzibar – where ‘politics is like religion’
In Stone Town, the historic centre of Zanzibar City, people are still talking about politics months after the elections were supposedly set­tled… Zanzibar, which joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form the union of Tanzania, has been seething with political tension for years… In 2000, some 35 people were killed after police shot into a crowd following a contested poll. There were further fatal clashes in 2005. Tensions bubbled to the surface again last year when the electoral commission annulled October’s election on the grounds of alleged irregularities. The main opposition candidate for president, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic Unite Front, declared himself the winner… Internationally, the election is regarded as a serious blot on Tanzania’s copybook. Most foreign diplomats refuse to interact with Zanzibar’s new government… The stand-off has raised fears of radicalisation of Zanzibar’s Muslim majority population… Fatma Karume, granddaughter of Zanzibar’s first president, says the situation is explosive. “Zanzibar has never wanted to lose its identity. Now we are being swallowed up.” (FT 13 July 2016)

Superstition is fuelling a grisly trade in human body parts. Tanzania
shows how it can be curbed This article, published in The Economist (London), is a fairly recent addition to the publications concerned with the treatment of people with albinism in Tanzania.
Extract: To be born with albinism is hard luck. This genetic condition, in which people lack pigments in their skin, hair and eyes, affects on in 20,000 worldwide and is more common in Africa… For centuries people have believed that albinos are cursed. In parts of Africa babies born with albinism were once routinely killed. That ghastly tradition has died out, but others persist. In Swahili many people call albinos zeru (ghost) or nguruwe (pig). Children with the condition are often bullied at school and forced to eat separately from their peers… Women are at higher risk of rape because of a myth that sex with an albino can cure HIV. Worst of all, many albinos are murdered by people who think that their bones contain gold or have magical powers … Some witchdoctors claim that amulets made from albino bones can cure disease or bring great wealth to those who wear them. A gruesome trade in their body parts has spurred killings in Tanzania, Burundi, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa. Sometimes family members sell their albino nephews or cousins for cash… Superstitions die hard, in any part of the world. Yet the senseless killing of albinos can be curbed. Tanzania, once one of the most dangerous countries in Africa for people with albinism, has sharply reduced the number of murders by clamping down on demand. It has banned unlicensed witchdoctors and increased penalties for those caught trading in body parts. It investigates albino murders energeti­cally: in recent years it has arrested and convicted several “albino hunt­ers”. The police have issued mobile phones to many albinos so that they can call an emergency number if they feel unsafe. The recent appoint­ment of an albino lawyer to the cabinet may also have helped reduce the stigma attached to the condition… (11 June 2016)

Tanzania Breweries now partners with traditional liquor outlet owners

Published by The East African (Kenya). Extract: Tanzania Breweries Ltd (TBL) plans to expand the market for its traditional liquors Chibuku, and Nzagamba, by using existing “drinking dens” as outlets and the owners as agents. TBL managing director Roberto Jarrin said integrating tradi­tional beer makers in the business would save the brewers some of the costs of making the liquor… But not all traditional brewers are excited about the programme. “I once bought Chibuku from agents for sale, but it was not profitable because the people are not used to it,” said Aurelia John, a traditional liquor brewer. “I don’t mind the hard work it takes to make my own product, which people are used to.” … Aisha Khalid, who used to brew skadi from sorghum, sugar and yeast, says she used to make a profit of Tsh10,000 ($4.6) in four days after investing Tsh15,000 ($7). When she started selling Chibuku, her profit dropped to Tsh7,000 ($3.2). However, she says being an agent is not as tedious as brewing, and the liquor is guaranteed to be safe for consumption… According to a study by CanBack, traditional beer accounts for 50 per cent of the alcohol consumed in Tanzania. Homemade brews from more than 120 tribes make up almost 92 per cent of that segment. Mr Jarrin said that in order to ease replacement of traditional beer with TBL brands, they are considering making it in traditional flavours taking the cue from popular local brews like banana beer (mbege) from Kilimanjaro, palm wine (mnazi) from the coastal areas, bamboo wine (ulanzi) from the southern highlands, and maize beer (komoni) from the central zone… (11-17 June 2016)

Success of Mkuki na Nyota

Walter Bgoya

Walter Bgoya

This is a very interesting profile, by the Ugandan writer A.K. Kazia, of the Tanzanian publisher Walter Bgoya, published with the heading A luta continua! in the July 2016 edition of the New African (UK). Extract: [Walter Bgoya was born in 1942] in the placid northwestern Tanzanian district of Ngara, on the border of Rwanda and Burundi … Leaving Ngara extruded him, as with so many of his generation, into the wider world of black struggle… The years he was a civil servant, from 1965 to 1972, would be the most intense years of his life… In his 20s, Walter would meet and become friends with founding Angolan president, Agostinho Neto, get on first-name basis with Samora Machel, and beyond expectations, find himself, as Tanzania’s Charge d’Affaires in Addis Ababa, playing host to the warring parties of the Biafran war … [H]ow does one characterise a publisher, in East Africa of all places, that issues Tax Dispute Resolutions under the same logo as War and Peace in Contemporary Eritrean Poetry? Add to these a war-chest of titles covering topics from anthropology, law, children’s books, culture and arts, health, political economics, biography, history. The common thread that connects all these, is the idea of Africa. There are the titles that overtly say so: New Imperialism by Wole Soyinka, and The Long Road to Socialism by Samir Amin (both based on the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere lectures) … Straight up, Mkuki na Nyota is a refuge for liberation-era thinkers in East Africa scarcely able to find a publisher in Kampala or Nairobi. The subject matter of these books is what the University of Nairobi’s Dr. Tom Odhiambo calls “local knowledge.” “Even when [Bgoya] was at the [Tanzanian Publishing House], the idea was that whatever you publish has to be the local in conversation with the global.” The white hair, the stately bearing, and the crackly, charismatic voice punctuated with French and Kiswahili expressions and inflected with Nyerere aphorisms, a Tanzanian pastime, do not conceal the youthful energy of Bgoya, now 73. For the 18 years that he ran the Tanzania Publishing House, books became an extension of the struggle, the years in which the dives of Dar es Salaam jumped to the sounds of liberation: these were the acronym-days of FRETLIMO, FRELIMO, SWAPO, MPLA, FRITLIN, POLISARIO, ZANU, ZAPU, ANC… Mkuki na Nyota was conceived in crisis. Structural Adjustment Policies, the austerity programme to which indebted African governments signed up under duress, gutted the Tanzania Publishing House (TPH) … Out of a job and still not fifty, Walter decided to go it alone. Employing his daughters as secretaries, he issued a children’s book, Karibu Tusome (Let Us Read). As luck would have it, a new literacy project in Tanzania, promised to buy two-thirds of the titles produced to promote reading. They took 2000 copies of the book, and hence launched Mkuki na Nyota… Tanzania offered more opportunities for a publisher than many African countries. Its language policy favouring Kiswahili, was perhaps its greatest strength… Tanzania made Mkuki na Nyota; Tanzania needs Mkuki na Nyota. To remain the Swahili nation, it needs publishers like Walter…


by Philip Richards

Rio Olympics 2016

Tanzania’s delegation to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in August will comprise of seven athletes, reports Daily News (July 2016). The country will be represented by 4 track-and-field athletes who will compete in the marathon, two swimmers and a Judoka. TOC Secretary General Filbert Bayi named the marathon athletes as Fabiano Joseph (men), Said Makula (men), Alphonce Felix Simbu (men) and Sara Ramadhan (women). The other three athletes who have booked their tickets to Rio are swimmers Hilal Hilal Hemed and Magdalena Moshi, both to compete in the 50m freestyle category and Andrew Mlugu in judo.

Although seven is a small number, it is an improvement on the numbers sent to London 2012. However, it continues to be disappointing that so relatively few athletes are competing given the obvious potential, especially when neighbouring Kenya is sending around 100 athletes. Furthermore, boxing is not represented as it was in 2012 due to financial difficulties experienced in sending boxers to qualifying events.
Tanzania has failed to win Olympic medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, where the country won 2 silvers – Bayi himself in the steeplechase as well as long-distance runner Suleiman Nyambui.

Despite the challenges, let us wish Team Tanzania well!

STOP PRESS: The stand-out performance among Tanzania’s Olympic team was undoubtedly Alphonce Felix Simbu in the men’s marathon. His time of two hours and eleven minutes earned him fifth place, two and a half minutes behind the race winner, Eliud Kichoge of Kenya.

Alphonce Felix Simbu (extreme left) in the Rio marathon

Alphonce Felix Simbu (extreme left) in the Rio marathon

Even if Tanzanian swimmers do not return home from Rio, the sport is poised for brighter future following efforts by some schools and stake­holders to groom talent and find quality coaches. A good example is the ongoing swimming summer camp run by Dar es Salaam Swimming Club, and conducted by experts from Dubai-based Hamilton Aquatics. (Daily News)

Whilst the eyes of the world have inevitably been on Euro 2016 in France, congratulations must go to Young Africans who sealed a 26th domestic title with two matches to go, after beating Mbeya City 2-0 at the Sokoine Memorial Stadium in Mbeya in July. (The Citizen)


by Ben Taylor

Beatrice Shellukindo, former Member of Parliament and Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), passed away in Arusha on July 2, 2016.

She served in the First EALA from November 2001 to October 2005, then resigned from the Assembly after winning the Parliamentary seat in Kilindi Constituency in Tanga, representing CCM. She served as an MP for ten years, then declined to stand again in 2015, citing ill health.
“The late Hon Shelukindo was a great leader, mentor and a courageous legislator who spoke her mind in both Houses (EALA and Parliament of Tanzania). It is a big loss to the United Republic of Tanzania and the EAC region. I proffer my condolences and that of the EALA Members to the family, friends and to her Parliamentary colleagues,” said the EALA Speaker, Rt Hon Daniel Fred Kidega.

“In Parliament she will be remembered for uncovering the misuse of public funds and the way ministries were lobbying MPs to have their budgets endorsed in the House,” said Said Yakub, an officer of parlia­ment. “Such malpractice no longer exists, thanks to Beatrice.”

In a statement, President Magufuli paid tribute to Mrs Shellukindo. “The nation has lost one of its bravest leaders, who tirelessly fought for the people’s interests irrespective of the circumstances,” he said.


by Martin Walsh

CRACKS IN THE DOME: FRACTURED HISTORIES OF EMPIRE IN THE ZANZIBAR MUSEUM, 1897-1964. Sarah Longair. Ashgate, Farnham, 2015. xvi + 322 pp. (hardback). ISBN 9781472437877. £75.

Beit-el-Amani in 2010 - photo Jonathan Stonehouse (wikimedia)

Beit-el-Amani in 2010 – photo Jonathan Stonehouse (wikimedia)

Museums are extraordinary institutions, and it is not surprising that they are sometimes likened to places of worship. The Zanzibar Museum is no exception. It was opened in 1925 as the Peace Memorial Museum, named in commemoration of those who had lost their lives in the First World War. Its faux Arabic name, Beit el-Amani, was clearly intended to echo those of Zanzibar’s royal palaces, most notably the Beit el-Ajaib or House of Wonders. It was built in hybrid Saracenic and Byzantine style with a large dome, leading locals to dub it ‘Msikiti wa Bwana Sinclair’, ‘Mr Sinclair’s Mosque’, after its British architect. In the early days it was also referred to as ‘Nyumba ya Mizimu’, ‘the House of Spirits’, a fair rationalisation of its apparent purposes. It is now generally known as ‘Makumbusho’ (sometimes ‘Makumbusho ya kale’), the contemporary Swahili term for museums as sites of historical memory.

Sarah Longair’s Cracks in the Dome is a compelling account of the Zanzibar Museum’s rise and fall, weaving together critical history and biography to show how its functions were contested and ultimately undermined by officialdom in the colonial period. Following an introduction that provides historical and interpretive context, the first two chapters examine the prehistory and construction of the museum in detail. Three central chapters describe the museum in its heyday, when it was curated by Dr Alfred Henry Spurrier (1925­35) and Ailsa Nicol Smith (1935-42), both of whom were driven, in their different ways, to innovate and make the museum into an educational resource that was of value to the whole community. Smith in particular was frustrated by the lack of funds and colleagues who shared her vision, and eventually resigned her post. A final chapter outlines the resulting decline of interest in the development of the museum, and its replacement by a decolonisation-inspired focus on the selection and collection of the materials that were to be housed in the Zanzibar National Archives – and have made the writing of this history possible.

Although the archives survived, the museum did not fare well after the Zanzibar Revolution. The building and displays fell into disrepair, with the natural history specimens in the museum annexe looking particularly worse for wear. More recently, though, funds have been found to repair and restore the museum, and it was re-inaugurated under its original names on the 18th of May this year, International Museum Day. The Peace Memorial Museum is not quite what it was in its first two decades – some its contents, including the library, are now in the House of Wonders, itself closed for repair – but it is encouraging to see that its educational potential is being recognised once again. Let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself, at least not in all of the ways that this fascinating study reveals.

Martin Walsh

Lucian A. Msambichaka, John K. Mduma, Onesmo Selejio and Oswald .J. Mashindano (editors). Dar es Salaam University Press, Dar es Salaam, 2015. xxiv + 436 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978 9976 60 586 0. (no price given).

It is most welcome to find no fewer than 22 Tanzanians, mainly economists from the University of Dar es Salaam, engaging seriously with the challenges Tanzania faces in seeking to move towards middle income status. The broad approach is to frame the problem as a need to achieve structural transformation by moving away from relatively low productivity activities (notably agriculture, which currently occupies some 70% of the labour force) towards higher productivity activities (particularly manufacturing industry, currently about 10%).

Following an Introduction, the book is arranged in four parts: I. ‘Why Industrial Transformation Has Failed in the Past’ (Chapters 2-5); II. ‘Lessons from Other Countries’ (Chapters 6-12); ‘Utilising Natural Resources for Socio-economic Transformation’ (Chapters 13-15); IV. ‘Synthesis’ (Chapters. 16-20), leading to the final Chapter 21 ‘The Way Forward: Lessons and Recommendations’. In this review I will briefly summarise the key points emerging from the various contributions and then consider how far the final chapter offers a coherent blueprint for Tanzania to indeed progress from poverty to prosperity.

In Part I, the editors kick off (in Chapter 2) with a rather critical review of previous industrialisation efforts. There follows a substantial contribution (Chapter 3) by Joseph Simbakalia, an engineer and Director General of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA). Flora Kessy (Chapter 4) reviews poverty reduction strategies, concluding that there was a set-back during the low growth period during the 1980s and 1990s, while subsequent better economic performance has been accompanied by rising inequalities. David Nyange (Chapter 5) then considers the contribution agriculture might make to economic transformation and job creation. He notes in particular the negative impact of rapid population growth but also potential positives if agriculture can respond to rising demand from urban areas and if more agro-processing can be developed. Overall this part of the book provides a useful overview. However, I missed any reference to John Sutton’s An Enterprise Map of Tanzania (2012), which documents major elements of the industrial development that has been achieved despite the difficulties.

In Part II we find a search for lessons from the experience of other countries: Vietnam (Blandina Kilama, Chapter 6); South Korea (the Editors, Chapter 7); Japan (Faustine Bee, Chapter 8); Brazil, India & South Africa (Jehovaness Aikaeli, Chapter 9); China (Suleiman Serera, Chapter 10); Malaysia, Singapore & Dubai (Abu Mvungi and Riziki Nyello, Chapter 11). The emphasis here is on how these countries have achieved industrialisation starting from a low base. While the disappointing results of some countries’ socialist industrial policies are noted, there is a divergence of opinion as to whether market liberalisation, central planning, strong leadership or other factors are what drives success, possibly because the range of countries considered is perhaps too diverse and not all appear immediately relevant to Tanzania’s own predicament. Also in this section is Chapter 12 by Damian Gabagambi and Andrew Coulson who argue persuasively for a more positive view of small farms in the Tanzanian context.

Part III addresses the potential of natural resources to drive economic transformation, with Tanzania’s recent natural gas discoveries in mind. Joseph Simbakalia (Chapter 13) considers how to avoid the ‘resource curse’, pointing to opportunities to develop upstream and downstream linkages, if Tanzania can address skill shortages and other constraints. Aloyce Hepelwa (Chapter 14) reaches similar conclusions, viewing Tanzania in a world energy market context. However, neither of them comments on the still considerable problems to be overcome in converting discoveries to viable production, not least the current weakening in world energy markets, with the risk of counting chickens not yet hatched. Nor do they give consideration to possible lessons to be learned from Tanzania’s own experience with gold and gemstone mining. Also in this section, Kenneth Mdadila (Chapter 15) reviews world industrialisation from a historical perspective, perhaps better read in conjunction with Part II.

Part IV explores a wider range of factors which may have a bearing on Tanzania’s economic transformation. Raphael Chibunda (Chapter 16) makes the case for a National Science, Technology and Innovation System for Tanzania. Jehovaness Aikaeli and Barney Laseko (Chapter 17) suggest that tackling informality in its various forms is hampered by lack of systems for registering people, land and businesses, although they may underestimate the size of the task. Reinforcing this point, Bashiru Ally (Chapter 18) documents the rise in land conflicts in Tanzania despite government reform efforts. Ally sees this as primarily a rural issue but equally important may be how to manage the acquisition of land to meet the needs of expanding urban areas. In a thoughtful contribution, Joel Silas (Chapter 19) takes up the theme of the impact of population growth on socio-economic development, concluding that policies to reduce fertility are needed if Tanzania is to reap any demographic dividend. Finally, Christian Gama (Chapter 20) argues that economic diplomacy also has a contribution to make.

Which brings us to the final chapter, ‘The Way Forward’. This is difficult to summarise. Nine ‘Key Observations’ lead to 15 ‘Key Messages’ and then 29 ‘Recommendations’, covering ‘Strategic Thinking’ (4), ‘Policy’ (13), ‘Good Governance’ (2) and ‘Human Capital and Infrastructure’ (10). Most of the points have some validity but many of the recommendations are pitched at a rather high general level and so need further fleshing out to become operational. The rather large number of observations, key messages and recommendations also suggest that prioritisation has proved difficult – indeed, in the Introduction, the editors state that “they are all of equal weight and importance”! Given that resources and government capacity are limited, the government may need to focus, as far as industrial policy is concerned, on those things that only government can do – macro-economic stability, good governance (including appropriate decentralisation), law and order and infrastructure provision, thereby creating a framework within which domestic as well as foreign enterprise can prosper. Related to this, it is only intermittently that one glimpses ‘the real Tanzania’ beneath the generalities, and what should be the proper balance between industry and agriculture remains unclear. To make an even greater impact, the authors perhaps need in future work to grapple more directly with the current situation in Tanzania so that their recommendations can be more precisely targeted.

Nevertheless, the volume provides much food for thought and it is to be hoped that Tanzania’s policy makers will take notice of it.
Hugh Wenban-Smith

Hugh Wenban-Smith was born in Chunya and went to Mbeya School. His career was as a government economist (mainly in Britain, but with periods in Zambia and India). He is now an independent research economist, with particular interests in infrastructure, urbanisation and transport.

THE WINDS AND WOUNDS OF CHANGE: THE MEMOIRS OF DICK EBERLIE. PART 3: 1961-65. Dick Eberlie. Privately printed, 2016. viii + 266 pp. (paperback). Available from the author.

This is the third volume of Dick Eberlie’s memoirs and the second dealing with Tanganyika, subsequently mainland Tanzania (Part 2, dealing with the period 1950-60, was reviewed in TA 111). Returning from UK leave in January 1961, Eberlie had hoped to be posted as a District officer to a rural district, instead of which he found himself pen-pushing in Dar es Salaam. This was a time when government and politics were moving rapidly. Sir Richard Turnbull, having been appointed Governor, was negotiating with both Julius Nyerere and the Colonial Office. It emerged in the end that Nyerere was pushing against an open door to achieve independence for the country.

With all the changes in government, many European civil servants were departing. So Eberlie, served in different ministries – Commerce and Industry, and Legal Affairs. During this time, he volunteered to help young District Officers pass their law exams; indeed references to his voluntary work occur throughout these memoirs, as, for example, when helping the Society for the Blind to raise funds, and later on, as editorial member of the Tanzania Society.
At last he got away from the enclosed atmosphere of Dar es Salaam and was posted as Staff Officer in Morogoro, effectively acting as Deputy to the Provincial Commissioner and being closely involved in the organisation of famine relief and local government developments. Pleased to be posted to Kisarawe again, he put much energy into applying government policies to ensure that famine relief was regulated and basic funds or food-in-kind paid out, as well as carrying out court and administrative duties.

Amidst all this vital work Eberlie was quite suddenly called to Dar is Salaam to be Aide de Camp (ADC) to the Governor, who, together with Lady Turnbull, he had already had contact with. Events crowded in as Tanzania became a Republic, Turnbull’s office closed, Eberlie’s parents came on a memorable visit, and Eberlie himself left the country when his job ended. There is some account of the Zanzibar Revolution and then the Tanganyika army mutiny in 1964. Characteristically, Eberlie offered himself as acting ADC to the British Army commander who had just landed to restore order in Dar.

Eberlie, however, had been invited by the Tea Growers Association to be its Assistant Secretary and completed a first contract with them. Despite being hospitalised in London mid-term, he was offered a new contract, which he reluctantly declined. Later he accepted an invitation to be Private Secretary to his old boss, Turnbull, who was then Governor of Aden. In an Appendix there is a detailed and interesting description of the tea growers scattered about the Usambara Mountains, Mufindi, Njombe, Tukuyu and Mount Rungwe. Being the third largest employer of labour in Tanzania, the tea producers were up against many difficulties including the changing political climate and Union pressures.

The book ends with a gloomy epilogue assessing the Tanzanian government at that time. But there is a good selection of maps and illustrations, all attractively wrapped in a panorama of Dar es Salaam harbour and redolent of his sailing and social days there.
Simon Hardwick

Simon Hardwick was an Administrative Officer in Tanzania, 1957-68, and Chairman of the Britain-Tanzania Society, 1995-2000.