by Roger Nellist

Tanzania’s Gas Master Plan – and the big challenges for LNG
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals unveiled in December 2016 the Government’s Natural Gas Utilisation Master Plan (2016-2045). With about 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas so far discovered in the southern coastal and offshore areas of Tanzania, this is the strategic plan intended to transform Tanzania into a major global gas producer and exporter, which in turn will boost economic and social development in the country.

TA115 summarised recent efforts to establish a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Lindi. Now, the Master Plan identifies Japan, China, South Korea and India as the major potential export markets for Tanzanian LNG. These are the countries where most of the growth in demand for gas is expected over coming decades. Yet, the plan acknowledges a real danger: “Despite expected growth in demand, it is likely that there will be market volatility for LNG worldwide due to current developments in the US, Australia and Mozambique. Hence, the market may be very challenging for new upcoming projects like Tanzania”.

Mozambique, for example, has discovered reserves of gas three times larger than Tanzania’s and also is considered to be more advanced with its gas utilisation plans. Moreover, international energy experts forecast that the global LNG market will remain over-supplied and plagued by low gas prices at least until the start of the next decade.

The Tanzanian LNG project faces other challenges too. The Minister of Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, recently indicated that the Government would invest some US$30 billion in the project, including for the construction of up to 200 kms of gas pipelines from the offshore discoveries to the LNG plant. He cautioned though that funding such a huge investment would not be easy (commentators point to Tanzania’s deteriorating external debt position and narrow domestic tax base as particular sources of concern) and that the project could take many years to materialise. Moreover, the commercial partners in the project have yet to make a final investment decision.

Accordingly, Tanzania’s Natural Gas Utilisation Master Plan acknowledges that piping some of the gas to neighbouring countries may be a more realistic way of commercialising the country’s natural gas reserves, as well as ensuring that the domestic Tanzanian market is well served. Even these options will not be easy. The Plan states: “Considering that the market for natural gas is scattered throughout the country and beyond, investments into local and regional transmission pipelines are proposed arbitrarily to be done in phases of five year periods”. Depending on their economic viability, pipelines would be built initially from Dar to Mwanza, Dar to Arusha and Mtwara to Njombe. This could be followed in a second phase by a pipeline from Morogoro to Mbeya and, eventually in a third phase, Sumbawanga, Tabora, Kigoma, Kagera and Mara would be supplied.

The Master Plan estimates that Tanzania’s domestic demand for gas over the next 30 years will amount to 32.5 tcf, with 8.8 tcf being used to generate electricity. It signals that over the same three decades 3.1 tcf or even more could be exported by pipeline to neighbouring countries.

Tanzanian stake in Ugandan oil refinery
Arrangements are being finalised for the construction of the pipeline to carry Ugandan crude oil through northern Tanzania to the Indian Ocean export terminal that will be built at Tanga. Construction work is expected to commence in mid-2017 and be completed in 2020.

In a complementary move, Minister Muhongu announced recently that Tanzania will invest in the new oil refinery that is to be built at Hoima in Uganda. Tanzania will take an 8% equity stake, which will cost it about US$150 million. The refinery is to be built in two stages and will reach a processing capacity of 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The Ugandan Government invited all EAC member States to participate in the venture, up to 8% each, and Muhongu said that Tanzania is determined to take its full share. Tanzania’s own refinery – the Italian joint venture TIPER, at Kigamboni – closed down in the early 1990s when, in the absence of any Tanzanian crude oil production, it became more economic to import directly the petroleum products needed by the country.

Government acts on two mineral issues
Last Autumn, during a visit to mines in Kahama, President Magufuli announced a ban on the export of mineral sands from gold mining operations. Mining companies have been sending the sands abroad for smelting, in order to recover quantities of silver, copper and tin contained in the sands. As a result, Tanzania loses revenue. The President said that gold miners must now establish suitable smelter plants in Tanzania so that the economy will benefit more.

Tanzania has huge reserves of coal (estimated at 10 billion tonnes) and abundant supplies of gypsum (estimated at 300,000 tonnes). These are two of the commodities used in the manufacture of cement. Yet, some Tanzanian cement factories have reportedly been importing coal and gypsum to service their plants, citing local supply problems, prices and quality as reasons. As a result, in August the Ministry of Energy and Minerals banned the import of coal and gypsum, in a move designed to foster greater local investment to boost production of Tanzania’s own coal and gypsum reserves. (See also the Economics and Business section in this issue.)


by Mark Gillies

In the final weeks of the year, the wise and the experienced book their summer safaris to East Africa, knowing that when January arrives and the masses do the same, availability in the best camps will disappear quickly. This makes the period a good time to judge the health of the region’s tourism industry for the year ahead.

The cost of travelling from the UK to Tanzania is now about 20% more expensive than it was this time last year. The increase is due to the removal of the VAT on certain tourism goods and services in Tanzania in July, plus the weakening of Sterling against both the US dollar and the Euro following the unexpected political events in the UK and the US this year.

The Tanzanian government cannot therefore be blamed solely for the price rises, but the tax increases certainly haven’t helped the Tanzanian tourism industry. While it would take a catastrophe to stop the congregation of large numbers of vehicle in the Ngorongoro Crater, talking to camp owners and operators over the last few weeks does suggest a drop in booking numbers in the smaller, high-end camps.

At the same time, over the border in Kenya, owners and operators, sensing their neighbour’s weakness, have introduced a range of special offers and are reporting a distinct rise in booking numbers. Even the now traditional fear of violent disruption that comes with an election year seems not to be affecting business.

This is the current reality against which news stories concerning Tanzanian tourism and conservation must be considered. Tanzania will always be a fantastic place to visit, but if the ambitious growth targets of 20% year on year identified by the Tanzania Tourism Task Force in 2013 are to be met, then stakeholders and the Tanzanian government must not forget the ‘challenges’ that could prevent the desired growth – or even, in the worst case, cause a contraction of the industry.

Mr Richard Rugimbana, Executive Secretary of the Tanzanian Confederation of Tourism, listed these challenges in The Citizen on 14 July as ‘multiplicity of taxes, levies and fees… …and wanton destruction of natural assets.’

With this last challenge in mind, it is concerning to receive an update from Serengeti Watch reporting that funds have been set aside for the construction on a bitumen (sealed) road between the towns of Natta, Mugumu, and Loliondo, the first phase of the proposed road across the northern Serengeti. The report refers to an unspecified online government document, but if it proves to be accurate then the Serengeti as a complete ecosystem remains under threat.

In August, The Citizen published a timely reminder that Europe and the US is not the only target market for the Tanzanian tourism industry. The newspaper reported Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Director General Allan Kijazi describing a recent push to market Tanzania’s natural resources to the Chinese market by hosting 16 senior Chinese journalists from various media houses on a familiarisation trip to Mikumi National Park.

With China previously being more closely associated to the plague of the poaching of Tanzanian’s natural resources, it is interesting to see a more positive connection and to ponder how a growth in the number of Chinese tourists could affect the very make-up of the Tanzanian tourist industry, from the style of accommodation offered to the language skills of field guides. (The Citizen, Serengeti Watch)

In December, just as TA was going to press, the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, took a personal interest in the fate of “Faru John,” a rare white rhino imported to Ngorongoro from South Africa some years ago. Faru John is reported to have personally sired 70% of the crater’s total white rhino population. “I know that the rhino was taken to Grumeti Reserve in Serengeti under the pretext of having the rare and endangered animal breed in the location,” said the Prime Minister. “But in reality, it is under ownership of a private lodge.” Later, a different story emerged: that the rhino had died after an illness and been buried. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Jumanne Maghembe presented the Prime Minister with two horns said to be from John. Details of what exactly took place, including when and why John had been relocated and whether the dead rhino is indeed John, remain unclear and the Prime Minister has formed a probe team to investigate. Rhino horn is gram-for-gram more valuable than either gold or heroin. (Daily News, The Citizen)


Are the rivers in Tanzania at risk of drying up? The contested causes of environmental change

This is a summary of a presentation by Professor Bruce Lankford of the University of East Anglia at a seminar on 10 October 2016.

The facts are startling. In 2004 Bruce Fox, whose family run a safari and hotel company in the Ruaha National Park, pointed out that in 1993 the Great Ruaha River dried up in the dry season, with dire consequences for fish in the river, plants and animals in the game park, and the belief that it would affect electricity generation at the Mtera and Kidatu dams downstream (see below), which supply hydro-electricity to Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and many other parts of Tanzania. In more recent years, it has dried up every dry season. The Great Ruaha river drains an area the size of Wales and feeds into the Usangu or Ihefu wetland. Fox asserted that it was not a coincidence that the drying up had started after the World Bank and other donors paid for projects that increased the amount of abstraction of water for irrigation and domestic provision via so-called modernised concrete weirs which could divert much or all of the flow onto large areas of irrigated land in the Usangu plains – large state farms (now privatised) at Mbarali and Kapunga and many other smaller schemes. Other environmental concerns included the very large numbers of cattle in the Usangu plains, and one of the Government’s responses was to move them all out, in the erroneous belief it would ‘save water’.

Prof Lankford had already done work on the hydrology of the river, and was involved in two major research projects. With numerous other research projects taking place in the plains, Usangu has become one of the most researched areas in Africa. There were some important conclusions. One was that the amounts of water cattle could drink was not so much that it would make a significant difference to the flows, even in the dry season. Another was that the drying up had only marginal impact on the generation of electricity, because by far the greater part of the water flowed into the dams during the rainy seasons, and was stored in the two dams – only a little got through in the dry seasons anyway. Several minor causes of flow reductions were identified, including deforestation upstream, greater diversion of streams for small-scale irrigation upstream, and greater evaporation due to climate change, but none sufficient to make a big overall difference.

The accumulation, however, of water abstractions, including from small diesel pumps and the construction of the concrete weirs has had, over time, an impact. They allow large amounts of water, in some cases the whole flow, of tributaries to be diverted for irrigation. They were associated with water rights which gave irrigators rights to an absolute amount of water, even when there was little in a river. They were often not well managed, so that water taken out of rivers ran to waste, or was used in excess.

The conclusions, some of which are expressed in The Great Ruaha Restoration Campaign, involve rewriting water rights, prohibiting extraction when flows are low, and using weirs that divide the water proportionally, leaving some flowing downstream. Some progress is being made, but so far not sufficient to restore the flows through the Ruaha game park.


by Ben Taylor

Ongoing revival of Air Tanzania
President Magufuli rapidly carried through on his promise, made in early 2016, to purchase two new aircraft for the troubled national airline, Air Tanzania. The airline took delivery of two 76-seater Bombardier Q400 planes in September, at a cost of $62m to the taxpayer. The aircraft immediately entered service, expanding the fleet from one to three planes, and providing routes between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, Bukoba, Kigoma, Mbeya, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Zanzibar and the Comoros.

In December, the president placed orders for three new aircraft for national and regional routes, including a third Q400 and two 150-seat Bombardier CS300 craft, at a total cost of $203m. But the shopping spree did not stop there, with one further plane ordered: a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for use on long-haul routes with space for around 250 passengers. With an estimated price tag of $225-265m, this brings the total taxpayer spend on the airline to around $500m in a single year.

The new planes purchased by the government are owned by the state-run Tanzania Government Flight Agency (TGFA), but will be operated by ATCL. The choice of planes was said to have been influenced by President Kagame of Rwanda.

ATCL’s local competitors, Precision Air and the budget airline FastJet, have both faced difficulties in recent months. FastJet, having grown rapidly since its entry into Tanzania around four years ago, recently sold one aircraft and returned three leased craft in an effort to cut costs. Precision Air has been posting losses, and is said to be seeking funds to recapitalise. Both airlines have struggled to fill planes to full capacity.

According to a statement from the president’s office, the government plans for ATCL to add non-stop direct flights between Tanzania and Asian and European tourism markets in a bid to boost annual foreign visitor arrivals beyond current levels of around 1 million.

“Tourists have to use several connecting flights to come to Tanzania… this is because we don’t have our own (strong) airlines,” Magufuli was quoted as saying in the statement. “We haven’t even reached 2 million tourist arrivals a year, while a country like Morocco gets more than 12 million tourists each year,” the president remarked. (The Guardian, Daily News)

Progress on Dar es Salaam airport Terminal III, regional airports

Construction at Terminal 3 in Sept 2016

While on an inspection visit to Julius Nyerere International Airport, Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, outlined the potential of the new, modern terminal building. It is set to accommodate over six million passengers each year, more than triple the airport’s current capacity, and will include shopping malls and several other business outlets offering an estimated 5,000 job opportunities.

The opening of the new terminal building, which was originally scheduled for mid-2016, has been pushed back to December 2017. The construction cost is now estimated at TSh 650bn, up from the original estimate of TSh 570bn.
Further afield, Songwe airport in Mbeya is currently under construction, expansion is underway at Mwanza airport and work is planned in Kigoma. The runway at Dodoma has recently been extended, allowing larger aircraft to serve the nation’s capital city.

Meanwhile, minister Mbarawa directed the Immigration Department, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and National Microfinance Bank (NMB) to facilitate a smoother issuance of visas to foreign passengers arriving at JNIA’s Terminal II. He gave the instruction after observing what to many will be a familiar sight of long queues of passengers waiting for visas at the terminal. (The Guardian)

Funds secured from China for rail expansion work
Export Import Bank China will lend Tanzania $7.6 billion for a railway connecting Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda to Dar es Salaam, a government official said. The work will upgrade the existing central line railway to standard gauge and extend the line to the neighbouring counties. Two additional lines will connect Dar es Salaam to the coal, iron ore and soda ash mining areas in the south and northern parts of the country.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Professor Makame Mbarawa, said completion of the project is expected to take three years. (Bloomberg, The Guardian)


by Ben Taylor

Zika rumours and denials
The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, held a hastily-arranged news conference in mid-December to reassure the public that there was no outbreak of the Zika virus in the country. “Tanzania has no Zika patient,” she said.

The statement came just a day after the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) released study findings showing that 87 of the 533 people whose blood samples were tested had Zika virus.

“NIMR just reported findings of a [pilot] study on efficiency of a new research device for Zika and Chikungunya viruses,” explained the Minister.

Dr Malecela, the Director General of NIMR, who had earlier issued the report that caused anxiety, accused the media of reporting the matter “inaccurately”. “The findings only showed that there were strains of Zika virus in samples drawn from people in eight regions. There is no Zika patient,” she said. This explanation was deemed insufficient to save her position, however, as she was fired hours later.

Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Kigwangalla, directed NIMR to follow proper channels whenever making sensitive findings to public. “The government has the mandate of announcing the occurrence of any infectious disease. We are aware of the efforts made by the research institutions that focus on complimenting the government commitment to end communicable diseases,” he noted.

An outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil and elsewhere in South America attracted widespread public attention earlier in 2016. Most cases have no symptoms, but when present they are usually mild and can resemble dengue fever. However, mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other brain malformations in some babies. The virus is spread by mosquitoes, making mosquito avoidance an important element to disease control. There is no vaccine or treatment currently available. (The Citizen, Daily News)

Drug shortages and debts
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare took steps to reassure the public that the government would ensure supplies of essential medicines would be maintained, after Sikika, a health-focussed NGO, revealed spending on drugs was well below the budgeted amount.

“These reports (of a medicine crisis) are false and they are aimed as causing members of the public to panic,” Minister Ummy Mwalimu told a news conference. “I would like to assure you that the fifth phase government places utmost priority on health.”

The minister said MSD has the drugs for all the top 10 common diseases in the country, citing malaria, tuberculosis, cough infections, leprosy, polio and antiretrovirals (ARVs). However, she said the government would reform several aspects of the drug supply chain to address supply problems.

The health budget for the current financial year is substantially higher than in previous years, primarily in order to clear a large outstanding debt with the Medical Stores Department (MSD). MSD revealed earlier in the year that the government owed them a total of TSh 145bn, and the Ministry has budgeted to clear the bulk of this debt during 2016/17.
(Daily News, The Citizen)


by Ben Taylor

Anti-fraud drive in higher education reaches back in time
The government’s efforts to put a stop to corruption and fake certificates in the higher education sector has moved in a new direction, after the government started asking all civil servants to provide proof of their identity and qualifications. The exercise seeks to identify those who gained entry into higher education without meeting the full requirements, or those who used a certificate belonging to someone else, so they can be stripped of their qualifications and potentially also their jobs.

“We won’t spare anyone…we will go through all the names from freshers to finalists currently in universities, and graduates. Entry qualifications are very clear so there will be no room for manoeuvring,” said Minister of Education, Prof Joyce Ndalichako.

The National Examination Council (NECTA) issued a statement issued asking Tanzanians with information about people who were using other people’s academic credentials to send details to the council.

It is reported that forgery is a widespread problem especially among civil servants. Such documents are used for admissions in schools, colleges and universities as well as for securing employment. (The Guardian, Daily News)

Beating recorded on smartphone prompts national debate on corporal punishment
A video of several trainee-teachers violently punishing a secondary school pupil in Mbeya has ignited a new debate on the use of such punishments in Tanzanian schools. The video, shot on the mobile phone of another teacher, shows some male teachers throwing the boy to the floor and beating him with sticks or with their fists while others held him down. A female voice can be heard pleading for the teachers to stop. The video was posted on social media, where it circulated widely.

Reports suggest the “punishment” stemmed from unfinished homework that had been issued by one of the trainee teachers.

The footage drew outrage online, with many demanding that the government take action against the culprits. In response, the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba and the Mbeya Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Amos Makalla, issued separate statements condemning the act and directing the police to arrest the culprits.

Mr Makalla later reported that the police in Mbeya Region were holding several teachers, including the school’s headmaster, for interrogation, and getting a statement from the student. “I want to assure the public that the police will find the trainee teachers involved in the matter so that they face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, condemned the corporal punishment, explaining that her ministry did not condone such violent acts against defenceless children.

“We are not saying that children shouldn’t be punished. But what those teachers did amounted to an act of violence against a child and not punishment as such,” she said. “There are regulations on caning students and on particular parts of the body,” she explained, adding that she could not herself bear to watch the entire clip because of the cruelty involved.

A later government statement said the head teacher had been suspended for “not taking action even after being aware of the incident”. (BBC, Daily News, The Guardian, YouTube)


by Donovan McGrath

Decline of fishing in Lake Tanganyika ‘due to warming’ BBC News online published an article by the environment correspondent Matt McGrath on the ‘new research [that] blames rising temperatures … as the key cause of decline in one of the world’s most important fisheries.’ Extract continues: ‘Lake Tanganyika is Africa’s oldest lake and its fish are a critical part of the diet of neighbouring countries. But catches have declined markedly in recent decades as commercial fleets have expanded. However, this new study says that climate warming and not overfishing is the real cause of the problem… The chemical analysis of the cores and the fossils found there indicate that fish numbers have been dropping in parallel with the rise in global temperatures. The scientists say that in tropical lakes a warming of the waters reduce the mixing between oxygenated top layer and the nutrient-rich layer at the bottom. This increasing stratification of the waters means fewer nutrients get to [the] top, meaning less algae which means less food for fish. “Our idea was to look at the fish fossil and record and see when that decline actually started,” said Prof Andrew Cohen from the University of Arizona, “If it happened before the start of industrial fishing in the 1950s, you’d have strong evidence that the decline is not simply driven by this fishing activity and that’s exactly what we found.” The scientists don’t discount the impact of fishing over the past six decades… “Fishing in the lake is a Wild West activity, there are nominal controls but no teeth,” said Prof Cohen…’ (8 August 2016)

Rwanda, Tanzania ban sale of Samsung Note 7, Kenya holds back The East African (Kenya). Extract: ‘Kenya will not join Rwanda and Tanzania in effecting a ban on the importation and distribution of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which has been dogged by battery issues that has seen its production terminated… Rwanda and Tanzania effected a ban … citing safety concerns. Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority communication manager Innocent Mungy urged citizens who had bought the Samsung Note 7 to switch it off and return the device where they had purchased it, and sellers to follow the safety instructions provided by Samsung…’ (15-21 October 2016)

‘Seeds of hate’ sown as Tanzania starts LGBT crackdown The (UK) Guardian correspondent Sophie Tremblay says the ‘situation for the gay community deteriorates as ministers partially ban lubricants and restrict pro-gay charities …’ Extract continues: ‘Tanzania’s justice minister has announced controversial new plans to suspend the registration of any charity or non-governmental organisation that supports homosexuality. Claiming that he was protecting the “culture of Tanzanians”, Harrison Mwakyembe’s announcement comes days after the country’s health minister imposed a partial ban on the import and sale of lubricants to discourage gay men from having sex and “curb the spread of HIV”… The sudden crackdown has come as a surprise in a country that has until recently been tolerant of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Unlike in neighbouring Uganda … Kenya and Zimbabwe, gay Tanzanians have not experienced the same levels of violence and discrimination, and politicians have until now generally ignored the topic. James Wandera Ouma, the founder and executive director of LGBT Voice Tanzania … has said the plans are proof that “the environment for the LGBT community is very bad right now and it’s getting worse.” Ouma said the political mood shifted in early July, when Paul Makonda, the regional commissioner for Dar es Salaam … told citizens during a religious rally that he had started to crackdown against gay people. Makonda said he would use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to identify and arrest people suspected of being gay. Ouma said since Makonda’s speech he knew of at least 20 men who had been arrested by police outside bars and clubs popular with the gay community… Though sodomy is a criminal offence punishable by life imprisonment, there is no law prohibiting homosexuality in Tanzania…’ (8 August 2016)

Tanzania suspends U.S.-funded AIDS programs in a new crackdown on gays The Washington Post online. Extract: ‘… Tanzania is turning its antihomosexual fury in a new direction – targeting HIV/AIDS programs that have helped tame a disease that once ravaged the region… [T] he minister of health announced that Tanzania will ban HIV/AIDS outreach projects aimed at gay men, pending a review… Tanzania’s actions appear to mark the first time that a country has suspended parts of the United States’ hugely successful foreign HIV/AIDS initiative in an attempt to crackdown on the gay community… The ban comes after months of bitter speeches and threats from Tanzanian officials aimed at the gay community and at organizations treating its HIV/AIDS patients. This year, police raided two U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS organizations and seized confidential patient information and supplies, officials said. In September, the deputy minister of health, Hamisi Kigwangalla, accused HIV treatment organizations of “promoting homosexuality.” “Any attempt to commit unnatural offenses is illegal and severely punished by law,” Kigwangalla said in the statement. People convicted of same-sex liaisons in Tanzania can be jailed for up to 30 years… But even as assistance programs have sharply reduced the death toll from AIDS, some countries in eastern Africa have been escalating their campaigns against homosexuality… Even though Tanzania’s penal code refers to homosexuality as “gross indecency,” the government had long permitted organizations to help gay men who had AIDS or who were at risk of contracting it. But since John Magufuli was elected president last year, the government’s tolerance on the issue has disintegrated. Although Magufuli has not said anything publicly about homosexuality, a number of his appointees have made harsh remarks… The government also banned the distribution of lubricants that help ensure that condoms do not tear…’ (23 November 2016)

The octopus hunters of Zanzibar BBC News online (UK). Extract: ‘The powdery white beaches of Zanzibar’s east coast are best known as a holiday destination. But each day, as the tide begins to ebb and the beachgoers return to their hotels, a small army of men and women armed with sticks and spears wade out across the coastal flats in search of one of the Tanzanian island’s finest delicacies – octopus. During a single low tide a skilled octopus hunter can spear more than 10 of the slimy invertebrates, which thrive amid the maze of rocks, corals and sea grass that lie beyond the beaches. The catch is highly prized by the island’s tourist hotels and provides an important source of protein for coastal communities. Tanzania is the largest producer of octopus in the western Indian Ocean… Traditionally a female-dominated activity, more men are now turning to octopus for a source of income. “The octopus has helped me to drive my life forward,” said Ali, who makes about £1.90 ($2.30) per kg (2Ib 3oz) for his octopuses. According to data from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, catches in Tanzania have increased from 482 tonnes in 1990 to more than 1,250 in 2012…’ (19 October 2016)

Tanzania reiterates total ban on use of plastic bags by next January The East African (Kenya). Extract: ‘The government … will not back down on its decision to ban the use of plastic bags in January [2017]. Owners of plastic bag manufacturing factories have been advised to take the necessary steps to stop production before the deadline, and invest in the production of alternative bags and plastic waste recycling facilities. The instruction was contained in an advertisement posted in various media outlets … by the Vice President’s Office… [T]he Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office, January Makamba … said that by instituting the ban, the government had revisited the 2006 regulation on the production, importation, sale and use of plastic bags …’ (20-26 August 2016)

On Resilience: How Ninon Marapachi Went From Poverty In Tanzania To Wall Street Domination Forbes online (USA) published Ally Bogard and Allie Hoffman’s interview of the 38-year-old Tanzanian woman who works for one of the biggest banks on Wall Street. The following is a summarised extract of the interview beginning with what Ninon Marapachi says about herself when the interviewers posed the question “What would be the most surprising thing about your professional journey that even the people that were closest with you wouldn’t know?”: Ninon answered by saying that the thing she had learned, more than anything throughout her career, was to ask for things, which she always got. Originally from Tanzania, the hardship of her family situation caused her to push herself so hard that to literally think of failure was not an option. She always knew she really needed to make it, because she needed to change her family’s situation. Ninon received a scholarship through the Norwegian government and spent her last two years of high school in Norway. Later, Ninon talks about her early beginnings in Wall Street: “My sophomore year, I started as an intern at Merrill Lynch in NYC. In 2001, 50 of us interns met with a very senior leader. After he presented, I emailed him, thanking him and asking him if he’d be available to talk to me one-to-one. He said yes. I got in front of this senior leader, I told him my story and my background – I told him I’m not American, I don’t have a visa, my family are very poor and I love working in finance. I told him I’d love to be hired, but if they wanted to hire me, then they should hire me as soon as possible, and I gave a very clear deadline for reclassifying and opting to graduate early. It was kind of crazy ask; it just came to me to be that bold. Literally on July 1st, 2001, I got called to his office and he said, ‘You asked for this,’ and there was an offer in front of me. I’ve been there ever since.” Towards the end of her interview Ninon said: “I have a story to tell and I want to impact a lot of people … who might not believe that a black woman can be in finance, an African woman can be on Wall Street…” (16 November 2016)

Taarab maestro’s last lovesong New African magazine. ‘Mohammed Juma Bhalo’s passing robbed the East African coast of one of its brightest lights. Paul Goldsmith celebrates a departed rock star, and traces the history of his art.’ Extract continues: ‘On the night of 5 April 2014, the Taarab music star, Mohammed Juma Bhalo … passed away. He died in his home in the heart of Mombasa’s old town holding his wife’s hand… The singer of traditional Swahili ballads and love songs was born in Malindi, Kenya and went to Tanzania as a young lad, where he worked as a fisherman and at other manual jobs. He returned to Mombasa, where he began to concentrate on his career as a musician… During his heyday … beginning in the late 1960s, Bhalo achieved rock star status across Kenya’s coast and beyond. Taarab is a modern offshoot of a much longer literary tradition. It achieved popularity during the pre-World War II period through the music of the Zanzibari diva, Siti binti Saad. Another legendary member of this cultural tradition, Bi Kidude, will be forever associated with the drums she still beat with vigour as a centenarian… [T]he people of Mombasa accorded Mohammed Juma Bhalo a sending-off worthy of a true Sheikh. Massive crowds formed in the streets around his home to escort the jeneza to the overcrowded mosque …’ (November 2016)

Private schools seek tax waiver The East African (Kenya). Extract: ‘… “The government should equate schools to business institutions and waive taxes to allow the smooth delivery of quality education,” said Peter Nayar, director of Eden Garden Education Trust, which runs a chain of schools. The chairman, of the Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-government Schools and Colleges Mrinde Mnzava, said that the government should find a way to waive taxes charged on private schools to make them affordable for more Tanzanians…’ (15-21 October 2016)


by Ben Taylor

Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi, former President of Zanzibar, died in Dar es Salaam in August, aged 96. Jumbe is remembered for his major role in bringing stability to Zanzibar after the assassination of his predecessor, the late Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, in April 1972, and for his controversial stance on the relationship between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. Zanzibaris from all sides of the political divide mourned his passing.

A graduate of Makerere University in Uganda, Jumbe joined the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government in January 1964. Prior to Karume’s assassination, he had been the minister of state responsible for Union Affairs, which brought him into close contact with the Union government. It is rumoured that Union President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, played a decisive role in Jumbe’s rise to succeed Karume.

Mzee Jumbe began to represent Mwalimu on the world stage when Mwalimu himself could not attend. He later agreed quickly to Nyerere’s proposal to merge TANU, the independence party of mainland Tanzania, with the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) that ruled Zanzibar, and became vice chair of the new party, CCM.

Jumbe saw a need for change in the politics of Zanzibar as its relations with the Union government became increasingly strained. After the war with Idi Amin, he engineered small changes towards greater democracy. Among other things, this led to a new constitution for Zanzibar and the establishment of the House of Representatives.

But growing calls for either separation from mainland Tanzania or a changed format of the Union could not be silenced forever. With the help of a Ghananian lawyer, Jumbe secretly produced a document in defence of a three-government (Zanzibar, Tanganyika and the Union) structure. But his secret document was stolen from his office and landed in the hands of president Julius Nyerere. On January 29, 1984, he lost four leadership positions: Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council, Vice Chair of CCM, Zanzibar President and Vice President of the Union government. Ali Hassan Mwinyi took over as Zanzibar leader, and Jumbe stepped back from political leadership.

President John Magufuli called Jumbe “an important person who devoted himself in the fight for freedom, unity, justice and development of Zanzibaris and Tanzanians in general at a time when the country was passing through difficult times.”

Roland Brown played a significant role in the development of Tanzania and of its international relations throughout most of the first two decades after Independence. During that long period he was one of three British expatriate advisers who worked very closely with President Nyerere and his government. (The others were Joan Wicken, Mwalimu’s personal assistant, and Professor Reginald Green who advised on financial and economic affairs).

Roland had met Nyerere in the UK when Mwalimu was studying there in the 1950s, and thereafter served as a constitutional adviser to him. At Independence, Roland became Tanzania’s first Attorney General (AG), serving between 1961 and 1965. Probably his biggest assignment as AG was to get involved in the top-level discussions following the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, when Mwalimu asked him to prepare the agreement that was to govern the union of Zanzibar and the Mainland. Reportedly, this was drafted in complete secrecy, even without the knowledge of key Zanzibaris.

After Roland was succeeded as AG by Mark Bomani in 1965, he stayed on in Tanzania as Mwalimu’s adviser on international and commercial legal affairs. Among many other things, he worked on the extensive nationalisations after the 1967 Arusha Declaration – devising, for instance, the legislative framework for the nationalisation of the private commercial banks (which he was given just three days to do).

Mwalimu also ‘loaned out’ Roland for important external assignments. Following the mass riots in the Zambian Copper Belt in the 1960s Roland was asked by Kaunda to head a Commission of Inquiry. Then, in the 1970s, as Rhodesia headed uncertainly to independence, Nyerere nominated Roland to represent Joshua Nkomo in the all-party discussions. He recalled how he sat for several days in the hot train stationed midway across the Victoria Falls Bridge that was the venue for those acrimonious talks, as Mugabe, Nkomo and other nationalist leaders argued out a possible independence scenario with Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and the South African Prime Minister Vorster.

Roland had left Tanzania in the late-1970s to become Special Adviser (Legal) at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London – in which capacity he continued to advise Tanzania, especially on energy and mineral sector matters. Working closely with Hon. Al Noor Kassum (the Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals) and Andrew Chenge (then an Attorney in the AG’s Chambers), Roland was instrumental in framing Tanzania’s Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Act 1980 – an Act that served the country well for the next 35 years.

In the mid-1980s, Roland moved to New York to become Chief Legal Counsel at the UN Centre for Transnational Corporations (UNCTC), from which position he retired in the 1990s to establish in Sussex a private consultancy, Transborder Investment Advisory Services.

At different points in his career Roland had also been a part time lecturer at Cambridge University and later a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex. He also advised the Labour Cabinet minister Peter Shore for a number of years.

Following the death of his wife, Irene, Roland left the UK more than a decade ago to live with his son in Denmark. He commenced the preparation of a light memoir about the decolonisation period in East Africa, based on his first-hand experience there with Mwalimu and his many meetings with Presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Seretse Khama and other leading politicians of the time. In preparing that memoir he was given special access to the FCO files pertaining to that momentous period. It is not known if he finished his thesis before falling ill. He died aged 92 in a Copenhagen nursing home on 14 May 2016.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Samwel Sitta, passed away in Germany in November, aged 74.

Mr Sitta entered parliament in 1975, representing Urambo constituency for CCM. He served as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the early 1990s, supervising the transition to multiparty democracy, and Minister for East African Cooperation and Minister for Transport during President Kikwete’s second term. At various times he also held posts as Director General of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and as a Regional Commissioner. Having failed to win the CCM nomination for president in 2015, he stepped down from active politics.

Sitta will be remembered most for his five-year term steering parliament as Speaker from 2005 to 2010, a period that many see as the time when parliament found its role. He earned a reputation for “speed and standards.” His leadership was instrumental in ensuing the Richmond energy scandal was debated in full in parliament, leading to the downfall of Edward Lowassa as Prime Minister. And he made no secret of his desire to weaken party control – including in his own party CCM – of MPs and parliamentary processes. This approach and his co-authorship of a book, “A parliament with teeth,” lost him support within CCM and the party ensured he did not continue as Speaker after the 2010 elections.

Mr Sitta’s time as chair of the 2014 Constituent Assembly, reviewing the draft national constitution prepared by Justice Warioba, is remembered less fondly by some. Many of his previous supporters in the opposition – who had applauded his appointment as chair of the assembly – were disappointed when Sitta appeared to play a more partisan role than he had done as Speaker.

Nevertheless, Sitta is personally credited by many for the transforming parliament into a respected national institution – and his time as Speaker will be remembered for fruitful, non-partisan debates. Some of the warmest tributes came from leaders of opposition parties. Chadema chairman, Freeman Mbowe, praised Mr Sitta “for freeing Parliament from the shackles of the executive”, and transforming it into an independent organ with powers to fearlessly scrutinise the government. “There’s no other Speaker who came after him who has managed to command the House respect as he did,” said Halima Mdee, also of Chadema.

Former Prime Minister John Malecela described him as the “unsung hero of pluralism” who engineered the transition to multiparty democracy. He ensured that country’s legal framework accommodated changes. President Magufuli praised Mr Sitta for “his hardworking attitude, nationalism and culture of defending truth at various levels of his leadership as a civil servant or politician.

Long-serving cabinet minister, Joseph Mungai, has died in Dar es Salaam after a short illness, aged 73. Mungai had served for 35 years as MP for Mufindi, and held three major ministerial roles. In 1972, under President Nyerere, he became Minister for Agriculture at the age of 28. Later presidents also put their trust in him, appointing him to sensitive dockets as Minister of Education under President Mkapa and Home Affairs under President Kikwete.

In February 2008, Mungai retired, taking the opportunity of Kikwete’s decision to dissolve cabinet following the resignation of Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. He did not leave politics entirely, however. He remained as an MP until 2010, and in 2015 he surprised many when he joined the exodus of many of Lowassa’s supporters from CCM to Chadema when the former Prime Minister became the opposition UKAWA coalition’s presidential candidate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Corporation, Augustine Mahiga, described Mr Mungai as an “icon and true leader”.

Former Mayor of Dar es Salaam, Didas Masaburi, died in October at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam, where he had been receiving treatment. He was 56 years old.

During his life, Mr Masburi served in various positions which include Dar es Salam mayor – from 2010 to 2015 – a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) as well as the Dar es Salaam Regional chairman of CCM youth wing. He had contested the seat of Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, in the 2015 parliamentary election, losing out to Saed Kubenea of Chadema.

President John Magufuli led mourners paying their last respects. He prompted chuckles at the funeral by acknowledging that Masaburi had five wives and more than 20 children, adding that it was not shameful to have many wives and children. “It is normal in African culture to have many wives and children, so I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to all the widows regardless of their legitimacy,” he said.


by Martin Walsh

REMEMBERING JULIUS NYERERE IN TANZANIA: HISTORY, MEMORY, LEGACY. Marie-Aude Fouéré (editor). Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2015. xiv + 337 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-9987-753-26-0. £25.00.

I enjoy edited volumes on a particular theme or topic for three reasons: first, they sometimes include excellent work by previously unpublished researchers, edited by scholars with specialised knowledge of the theme or topic; second, they are a useful forum for established authors to account for this emerging scholarship in their own treatments; and third, read together, the bibliographies attached to each essay serve as an excellent cross-referencing tool to guide further research.

This collection is a good example of such a publication, gathering together a good deal of new research from emerging scholars on the topic of remembering Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first president. Keen to develop a new perspective on this topic, the contributors’ essays explain their collective determination to break from an enduring scholarly tradition of valorising Nyerere, his political works and his significance in the history of African democracy. As Marie-Aude Fouéré points out, the essays she has edited in this volume focus instead on the production of a usable past for a contemporary (re)imagination of nationhood, in which ‘Nyerere’ becomes a ‘floating signifier’, that is, an unfixed political metaphor that is deployed in different ways in the course of debating and acting upon the present.

Many of the chapters in the book document and discuss this issue as it applies to Nyerere and his works. For example, Emma Hunter’s chapter suggests how the Arusha Declaration and Ujamaa were Nyerere’s way of winning back political power for himself and his party by formalising a pervasive anticapitalist and anti-corruption discourse in post-colonial Tanzania. Despite the failure of Ujamaa as a socioeconomic model for prosperity and equality, the policy allowed Nyerere to cement his reputation as an incorruptible figure of righteousness and social justice and, following his death, allowed others to transform him into a contemporary symbol of a more moral time in the past.

The essays by Kelly Askew, James Brennan and Mary Ann Mhina are all to some degree concerned with what might have been or might still be concealed or occluded by Nyerere’s shadow as it figures in literary, academic and poetic engagements with him in his guise as the hardworking, modest, self-effacing schoolteacher and as the august and preeminent torch-bearer of Tanzanian – and African – political self-determination and independence. After all, we must wonder about the reasoning behind Nyerere’s decision to establish a foundation named for himself that, according to Olivier Provini’s chapter, pays him a permanent tribute by disseminating his political thought through various media and the publication of his speeches.

In her chapter, Mhina points out that our view of discourse – and the signifiers and symbols it deploys – must not neglect the ability people have to perpetrate, penetrate, transcend or ignore it, depending on context and their own particular needs. Fouéré extends this point, explaining that whoever and whatever Nyerere the man might have been during his lifetime, the signifier/symbol called ‘Nyerere’ has become a polyvalent means of both operating upon the past in the present and of deploying the past in operations upon the present. Individual and corporate efforts to claim Nyerere in this fashion are also telling: those who vie for power over Nyerere’s meaning do so in the knowledge that their particular signifier can, through the power of the symbol, become a mirror that reflects the virtues they ascribe to it back upon them. If the signifier/symbol they have created is powerful and widely accepted, they may, by associating or affiliating with their symbol, draw upon its power to legitimate their own authority and projects.

The chapters by Aikande Kwayu and Kristin Phillips, for example, each present research data to explain how political legitimacy is appropriated by those who can present themselves as lineal descendants of whatever politically expedient version of Nyerere they successfully posit, while Provini and Sonia Languille consider how Nyerere’s educational legacy is honoured or ignored in the administraton of contemporary university and secondary education.

The essays in this book all touch on what I see as a particularly Tanzanian syllogism: Nyerere was all that was best about Tanzania in the past, while Tanzania remains all that its greatest son made it. Whether the conclusion of this logical expression is true or not, I expect that this volume is only the beginning of a much deeper study of the symbolic power of Nyerere-as­metonym-for-Tanzania, as well as a more wide-ranging consideration of his significance(s) in East Africa and further afield.
Gavin Macarthur

Gavin Macarthur graduated with a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester in 2009. His doctoral research suggests that the islands of Zanzibar are imagined in multiple cultured modes, continuously resituating the Isles in differential historical, geographical and socio-political relations with the Tanzanian mainland and other places around the globe. He is currently developing a health-focused eco-adventure tourism project to implement certain of the UN’s sustainable development goals in Jeju island, South Korea.

A MONUMENT TO CHINA-AFRICA FRIENDSHIP: FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT OF THE BUILDING OF TAZARA. Compiled by the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China. English translation by Chen Feng and Jarrod Williams. World Affairs Press, 2015. 256 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-7-5012-5084-4. (No price given.)

A detailed report on the planning and construction of the TAZARA railway, from a Chinese perspective, is very welcome. For this was one of the largest and most complex infrastructure project constructed in Africa in the 1970s, and by far the largest turnkey project undertaken abroad by China at that time. As this book, compiled from interviews with the key people involved, shows, it was an eye-opener and learning experience for all involved.

The speed of construction was incredible. The project was discussed by President Nyerere during his visit to China in 1965, only a few months after Ian Smith had declared UDI in Zimbabwe and prevented Zambia exporting its copper by the quickest route to Beira. Construction started in 1970 and was completed in October 1975. 50,000 Chinese and even more Tanzanians and Zambians worked on the project. The challenges were unbelievable. There were no recent engineering studies, no usable maps for parts of the route, the alignment had to be decided, there were problems causes by geology (including the risk of earthquakes, the difficult climb up into the Southern Highlands at Makambako, and the difficulties of construction in swampy land along the Kilombero Valley and elsewhere), sickness and especially malaria, wildlife in and near the Selous Game Reserve (the Tanzanian army arranged for the construction teams to be issued with guns), and the provision of supplies and
materials for such a large project.

This book shows how these challenges were overcome. It will interest students of the relationships between China and countries in Africa, and anyone interested in railways. But because it is based on reminiscences, it is also a fascinating study of relationships, and the meetings of cultures both in some of the most isolated places in the world and in the palaces and offices of world leaders.
Andrew Coulson

Andrew Coulson is the author of Tanzania: A Political Economy (second edition, 2013), and Chairman of the Britain-Tanzania Society.

PAINTED DEVILS AND THE LIVES OF ORDINARY PEOPLE. Tuan Marais. Storyline Studio, Western Cape, South Africa, 2016 (paperback). ISBN 978-6-620-60019-4. R185 (and various prices online)

This memoir is prefaced by Shakespeare’s ‘tis the eye of childhood / That fears a painted devil’ (Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2). Memoirs are precious stories, carrying the words of ordinary people living through historically interesting times. Young Tuan Marais went to live in Zanzibar with his mother and her new husband. This was Zanzibar of 1956, when the popular Sultan Seyyid bin Khalifa still ruled a diverse population before the rush to independence had taken hold. Painted Devils is Tuan’s profoundly sensitive story of his childhood and young adulthood.

Tuan became immersed in the island’s exotic life. His halcyon days were spent learning the life of the seas. Local Zanzibaris befriended him and guided him in the traditional ways of fishing and negotiating the coral reefs. Soon he was a natural, weaving fishing traps and speaking Swahili. The family home was next to the Sultan’s Kibweni country palace and one of his memories is of rescuing the Sultan’s yacht during a storm. He recalled seeing the great dhow fleets arriving with the monsoon.

The English culture of Tuan’s family prescribed formal education and religious passage as necessary steps to adulthood. Most colonial children suffered the wrench that was boarding school. It was profoundly formative. It would be interesting to know what reflections those children would later have if, instead, they had been enrolled into local schools. Zanzibar before the Revolution had excellent primary and secondary schools based on the British system of O- and A-levels, and a rich and diverse cultural milieu. Tuan’s parents were not part of the British colonial administration and had no sense of the pull of ‘back home’ that characterised those families regarding their sojourn in Zanzibar as temporary. Tuan became conscious of racism, both in Zanzibar and at his Kenyan boarding school. Racism was taught to him through shame and ridicule. This was also the time that emerging political parties in Zanzibar, and across Africa, were demanding independence – Uhuru! The Cold War intensified this struggle. Tuan was hardly aware of the political wrangling, the escalating violent rhetoric as opposing sides grappled for the popular vote. The presence of Swahili, Shirazi, Manga Arabs, Goans, Indians and mainland Africans was taken as natural by his young self. Meanwhile the British were slipping away, having lost the will to invest in a troubled island. Tuan planned his future in Zanzibar: to offer diving and deep-sea fishing tours from a traditional fishing dhow. This was not to be. The Revolution of 1964 intervened. His parents were attacked on the day of the revolt when the infamous John Okello directed brutal mobs. They were taken to Okello’s headquarters and bound. Around them were the bodies of murdered Arab Zanzibaris. It is likely that they were saved by Okello’s order that no whites were to be killed – for fear of British intervention. Instead Okello whipped up his supporters into a genocide of Zanzibari Arab people. This is the dark history that the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has never acknowledged.

The last section of the memoir is the story of Tuan’s life in South Africa. He was conscripted into the army and for a brief while groomed to be a South African spy. The Apartheid secret police wanted information on the Frelimo camps supposedly located in Zanzibar. He turned down this offer but did visit Zanzibar in 1966, finding the island miserable under the grip of its own brand of oppression.

In 1997, in his late middle-age, Tuan returned to Zanzibar but his Eden had disappeared and he struggled to find acceptance and resolution. Tuan’s memoir is poetically written, filled with the sense of those magic years when anything seemed possible. His years of youth were in Zanzibar and his depiction of life in the pre-revolutionary Sultanate is a charming tale of self-discovery. And perhaps it is with nostalgia that we might imagine how Zanzibar might have been had it not suffered the violence and despotism of those years.
Anne M. Chappel

Anne M. Chappel was born in Mwanza, Tanganyika, in 1947 and moved to Zanzibar in 1956 when her father worked for the British colonial administration, finally occupying the position of Permanent Secretary to Mohammed Shamte, the Prime Minister for the brief period of Zanzibar’s independence. Anne has written a novel, Zanzibar Uhuru, covering the last 50 plus years of Zanzibar’s history, as well as a biography of her father, Time Past in Africa. Anne lives in Adelaide, Australia.

Also noticed:
MIKIDADI WA MAFIA: MAISHA YA MWANAHARAKATI NA FAMILIA YAKE NCHINI TANZANIA. Pat Caplan. Translated into Swahili by Ahmad Kipacha. Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2014. xxi + 162 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-9987-08-295-7. £17.95.

Anthropologist Pat Caplan’s fascinating account of the life and times of a villager on Mafia and their friendship over nearly four decades from 1965 until his untimely death in 2002. Describing her book as a cross between biographical history and historical biography, the author must be lauded for making it available to a wider readership. The longer and more scholarly English version has now been published under the title Mikidadi: Individual Biography and National History in Tanzania (Sean Kingston Publishing, 2016), and will be reviewed in a future issue of Tanzanian Affairs.

ON CALL IN AFRICA: IN WAR AND PEACE, 1910-1932. Norman Parsons Jewell. Gillyflower Publishing, Hove, 2016. 416 pp., with 145 photographs and 16 line drawings (hardback). ISBN 978-0-9931382-0-1. £35.00.
Described by William Boyd as “An absolutely fascinating memoir of a doctor’s life in Africa and an evocative and wholly authentic account of the East African campaign, 1914-18, a forgotten corner of the Great War”, this book comes highly recommended. It is based in part on Jewell’s personal diary and extensive photographic collection, and covers his wartime experiences in German East Africa as well as his colonial service in the Seychelles and Kenya (some readers will be familiar with his son John’s Dhows at Mombasa, 1969, revised edition 1976). The book’s website provides much more information (see


by Hugh Wenban-Smith
This compilation of articles, culled from journals in the LSE library, covers January to June 2016. The abstracts are based on those published by the author(s), although sometimes shortened a bit.

“Development and progress as historical phenomena in Tanzania – Maendeleo? We had that in the past” Ahearne RM. African Studies Review 59(1).
Academic discussions of development continue to grow, yet critical engagement with communities affected by development interventions remain limited. Drawing from life history interviews conducted in Southern Tanzania, this article details the varied experiences of development interventions among older people and how these affect broader understandings of progress. Many juxtapose their negative views of ujamaa villagisation with more positive recollections of previous interventions (esp. the Groundnut Scheme), which are infused with what is described here as ‘development nostalgia’. Perceptions of the past clearly inform the social, political and economic aspirations of today, with the richness of the constructed narratives adding further nuance to existing depictions of Tanzanian historiography.

“Artisanal frontier mining of gold in Africa: Labour transformation Tanzania and the DRC” Bryceson DF & S Geenen. African Affairs Vol 115(459). This article studies the transformative nature of ‘artisanal frontier mining’ in view of SSA’s mining history. Artisanal gold production has generated livelihood earnings for millions of people in SSA. Yet we must go beyond a study of artisanal mining as an individual livelihood choice and considers the sector’s internal dynamics. In this sense, the concept of ‘labour transformation’ is helpful. It refers to a process in which individuals’ skill acquisition, economic exchange, psychological reorientation, and social positioning evolve towards a shared occupational identity, and collective professional norms, leaving considerable scope for self-governance amongst artisanal miners.

“The scramble for textbooks in Tanzania” Languille S. African Affairs Vol 115(458). In 2014, the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) government in Tanzania decided to discontinue the market-based systems for textbook provision that was established in the early 1990s and revert to full state control. Drawing on the theory of political settlements and the literature on Tanzania’s industrial politics, the article examines the political economy of textbook provision in this country in order to generate new insights into the relations between the educational, political and economic spheres. It shows how donor ideology and practices, while subjecting textbooks to generic market principles, also promoted the interests of western publishing corporations. It then argues that the distribution of power within the state, and the ambiguous relations between the CCM ruling elites, bureaucrats and the capitalist class, prevented the consolidation of a textbook industrial policy geared towards supporting the local publishing industry. Finally, the article explains the elite’s diverse corrupt practices to capture public funding for textbooks at the national and local levels.

“We are not farmers: Dilemmas and prospects of residential suburban cultivators in contemporary Dar es Salaam, Tanzania” Owens GR. Journal of Modern African Studies Vol 54(3).
Today a majority of citizens of Dar es Salaam participate in suburban and ex-urban growth and development much like urbanites throughout the world. Unlike the garden suburbs of North America or Europe, Dar es Salaam’s suburban residents often engage in multiple income-generating activities, the most common and conspicuous of which are cultivation and animal husbandry. The presence of urban farming has suggested that Dar es Salaam’s residents represent peasants incrementally transitioning to urban life. This article however contends that everything from the varieties of cultivation, access to land and work, to the definition of what it means to be a farmer is shaped by decentralised private interests controlling access to land and resources in suburban neighbourhoods. The varieties of cultivation and animal husbandry instead reflect socio-economic class distinctions emerging from a new suburban political economy, enabling a clearer perspective on the prospects of cultivators as these suburban districts transform.

“Turbulent times: Fighting history today in Tanzania’s trophy hunting spaces” Wright VC. Journal of Contemporary African Studies Vol 34(1).
The paper discusses the turbulent times facing trophy hunting in Tanzania. It reviews the industry’s contentious history, and illustrates the ominous politics that are emerging out of the country’s recent neo-liberal schemes, Wildlife Management Areas. Through the decentralisation that accompanies WMAs, the rural communities who co-inhabit trophy hunting spaces are finding new ways to limit, resist and, sometimes, eliminate it.

“The formal divide: Customary rights and the allocation of credit to agriculture in Tanzania” Stein H et al. Journal of Development Studies Vol 52(9).
It is generally held that one mechanism to enable inclusive growth in Tanzania is enabling farmers to access credit to raise productivity and incomes. The formalisation of property rights in Tanzania is being undertaken by a multiplicity of actors at great expense to donors, individuals and the government. While there have been a variety of different justifications for allocating Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) to farmers in Tanzania, perhaps the most prominent argument is that it will enable farmers to finally overcome the divide between ‘informal’ customary rights and the banking sector. CCROs would provide the collateral that would induce banks to lend money to small scale farmers. As part of a 6 year investigation in Manyara, Mbeya and Dodoma regions, our research team evaluated the impact of formalisation on farmers’ access to credit. The paper will present the results while pointing to the continuing institutional and market imperfections that perpetuate the formal divide.

“Water availability and reliability in Dar es Salaam” Smiley SL. Journal of Development Studies Vol 52(9).
Dar es Salaam’s water landscape is unjust, inequitable and uneven. Water rationing and electricity outages affect water availability alongside an overall shortfall in water supply. Using household surveys and interviews, this paper shows that a majority of respondents lack a consistently reliable source of water. To cope with poor access, households alter their daily routines, consume less water, and identify and use back-up sources of water. It is crucial to understand the problems of water availability in the city in order to make more informed policy decisions and more justly provide water access.

“Weather shocks, agricultural production and migration: Evidence from Tanzania” Kubik Z & M Maurel. Journal of Development Studies Vol 52(5).
We analyse whether Tanzanian rural households engage in migration as a response to weather-related shocks. We hypothesize that, when exposed to such shocks and a consecutive crop yield reduction, rural households use migration as a risk management strategy. Our findings confirm that for an average household, a 1 per cent reduction in agricultural income induced by weather shock increases the probability of migration by 13 percentage points on average within the year. Hoever the effect is significant only for households in the middle of the wealth distribution, suggesting that the choice of migration as an adaptation strategy depends on initial endowment. What is more, the proposed mechanism applies to households whose income is highly dependent on agriculture, but is not important for diversified livelihoods.

“Food culture and child-feeding practices in Njombe and Mvomero districts, Tanzania” Mwaseba DJB, R Kaarhus & ZS Mvena. Journal of Eastern African Studies Vol 10(2).
This article explores food culture and child-feeding practices, focusing on children below five years, among the Bena and Luguru ethnic groups located in Njombe and Mvomero rural districts in Tanzania. This article is part of a larger research project whose overall purpose was to investigate the outcome of milk-based nutrition interventions involving dairy goat and cattle-keeping with the aim among others to improve health and nutritional status of family members. Methods used included participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. Findings show that early pre-lacteal feeds are commonly introduced in both societies and the most common complementary food includes plain maize porridge. On the other hand, milk consumption among children was rather limited. Existing food habits and feeding practices do not always meet the current international recommendations on child feeding. Besides, recommendations and nutritional information on child feeding have largely not been used as suggested and this paper argues that, for the successful introduction and implementation of nutrition-based interventions targeting children, it is important to identify and improve upon the indigenous child-feeding practices, reflecting existing food habits, food-related beliefs, and their meanings.