This is how Sister Levina describes Moringa Oleifera, a medicinal tree being grown by the ‘Medical Missionaries of Mary’ at their training centre in the Maasai village of Ngaremtoni. Moringa is nutritionally rich, drought resistant and extremely fast-growing, and can be harvested as little as 5 months after being planted. Nutritionally, the plant is at its optimum when the leaves are dried into a powder, which can be added to food or drinks. Gram for gram, Moringa leaf powder contains 10 times the vitamin A content of carrots, 9 times the protein content of yoghurt, 17 times the calcium content of milk, and 25 times the iron content of spinach. Indeed, research in Senegal has found that using Moringa powder reduces levels of anaemia in pregnant women, improves birth weights and development in babies and produces better quality breastmilk. Continue reading


The ECONOMIST wrote at length about Tanzania in its September 28 issue. Brief extracts: ‘For the moment, Tanzania is one of East Africa’s few good-news stories. That isn’t saying much. The country remains wretchedly poor, inefficient, with little medical care in its remote areas, few roads and with frequent power cuts, even in Dar es Salaam. But donors, disillusioned by the corruption and/or brutality that goes on elsewhere, are happy to pour money into somewhere that is, at least, both peaceful and stable. And in Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania has found a president committed to doing his best to cut poverty. Continue reading


Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa has been elected chairman of the Board of the South Centre, based in Geneva. He takes over from Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali The South Centre which was established in 1996, plays the role of a ‘Think Tank’ for the South, with the task of defining and implementing analysis, research and consultation programmes; collection, systematising, analysing, and disseminating relevant information concerning South-South and North-South relations. Continue reading


Father Vincent Bailey (69) who was brought up in a council house in Glasgow and never forgot his roots, has died. He worked in Tanzania from 1976 to 1985 at Catholic missions in Kigoma, Mulera and Kabanga. He also taught at the seminary at Kahangala, Mwanza and served for a few years as Assistant Regional Superior for the western part of the country – Thank you John Sankey for this from ‘White Fathers – White Sisters’ – Editor


Edited by John Cooper-Poole (UK) and Marion Doro (USA)

edited by Felix Chami, Gilbert Pwiti and Chantal Radimilahy. Dar es Salaam University Press, 2004 (distributed in Britain by African Books Collective, Oxford); ix+187 pp. ISBN 9976-60-408(410)-4.

This is the fourth set of papers in the series, Studies in the African Past, produced in as many years by the University Press in Dar es Salaam. That in itself belies the common perception that effective scholarship, and serious publication too, are barely manageable locally. More than that, this series, reporting archaeological fieldwork in several countries of eastern and southern Africa – and in the present volume extending to West Africa – attests a range of recent endeavours directed from a number of universities, including Dar es Salaam, and should be setting an example to academics in certain other disciplines where the spirit of active research has become moribund. Continue reading