Archive for Miscellany

ENERGY & MINERALS

by Roger Nellist

Ministry split, new Ministers appointed
In October 2017 following the mineral sands export saga, enactment of the controversial new mining and petroleum legislation and the dismissal of the former Minister for Energy and Minerals, President Magufuli divided the Ministry of Energy and Minerals into two portfo­lios and appointed new top teams.

Tanzania’s new Minister for Energy is Dr Medard Kalemani, supported by Ms Subira Mgalu as Deputy Minister and by Mr Khamis Mwinyi Mvua as Permanent Secretary. Tanzania’s new Minister for Mining is Ms Angellah Kairuki, supported by Deputy Minister Stanislaus Nyongo and by Mr Simon Samuel Msanjika as Permanent Secretary.

Statoil renamed as Equinor
Meanwhile in May the large Norwegian State oil and gas company Statoil – which has discovered large gas reserves offshore Tanzania and is a key partner in the potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) project – announced it had formally changed its name to Equinor. The new name reflects the company’s values (of equality and equity) as well as its continuing Norwegian presence. The move comes at a time when it is increasing its efforts to develop new and renewable forms of energy.

LNG project in the doldrums
In recent years, large gas discoveries (estimated at about 57 tcf) have been made offshore southern Tanzania and during the last two or three years the government and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) have been in discussions with the principal discov­erers – Shell, Exxon Mobil, Ophir Energy and Equinor (Statoil) – with a view to building a large LNG export terminal onshore at Lindi. It will be a huge investment, costing an estimated US$30 billion. However, progress on realising the project has slowed recently and various factors are being cited for this.

The investors are blaming government for the bureaucratic procedures they face in acquiring land to build the plant on as well as the uncer­tainty introduced into the overall energy regulatory environment by the tough new legislative provisions. (See articles in earlier TA bulle­tins). Crucially, the Host Government Agreement terms have yet to be agreed, without which the LNG project cannot proceed. Further uncer­tainty arose this summer when Exxon Mobil indicated it was seeking a buyer for its 35% interest in the big gas reserves in Tanzania’s offshore deep water Block 2 (where Equinor, the operator, holds 65%). There have also been worries about the substantial fall (by about one third) in world gas prices since 2015.

Observers suggest that relations between the gas developers and the government are strained and that a final investment decision on the Tanzanian LNG project seems unlikely before the early 2020s. To help move matters along, in April TPDC announced it was recruiting inter­national advisers to assist it to formulate an appropriate commercial framework for the project.

Three critical parliamentary committee reports
In Dodoma in May the Parliamentary Energy and Minerals Committee criticised the Ministry of Energy for its slow progress in implementing the LNG project, and called on the government to fast-track its negotia­tions with the investors – so as not to lose crucial overseas gas markets to competition from other major gas producers. They pointed to neigh­bouring Mozambique, which has gas reserves three times larger than those so far discovered in Tanzania and is also more advanced with its gas commercialisation plans.

In response, Minister Kalemani told Parliament that government was still in discussions with the multinational investors and that conceptual design work and initial project evaluation had been completed. He said government had already budgeted TSh 6 billion to fund pre-front end engineering design of the LNG plant as well as to compensate people affected by the project.

Then on 25 June Dr Kalemani told Parliament that “everything is pro­gressing well” and that actual construction of the LNG plant would start in 2022. He said the multinational investors were currently com­peting among themselves to determine which of them will lead the project execution.

On a related gas matter the same Committee also criticised his Ministry for the slow speed at which it was connecting homes in Dar to the gas supply. Minister Kalemani responded saying that 70 homes were already connected, another 1,000 would be served in the near future and that TPDC would be spending about TSh 21 billion next year putting in place the necessary infrastructure to supply a further 2,000 homes.

Also in June the Parliamentary Budget Committee asked government for an analysis of the reasons for the fall in exploration activity in Tanzania in the last year. No new wells have been drilled and con­cerns were heightened by the unsettling reports in June that Exxon Mobil was seeking to leave Tanzania in favour of a bigger LNG project in Mozambique. Minister Kalemani told Parliament: “It is true that Mozambique is doing well but Tanzanians should also understand that we are not very far from that stage”. TPDC sought to reassure stake­holders and the public about the Exxon Mobil sell-out too, commenting that such a move was normal business practise for the big multination­als, adding: “when it comes to energy investment never be in a hurry. This might just be a change of strategy or change of management”. An Equinor (Statoil) spokesman confirmed that they were proceeding with business as usual, having already invested a very large sum of money in Tanzania drilling 15 wells (and making nine discoveries).

In June too a special Parliamentary Committee that was established at the end of last year to investigate the 11 Production Sharing Agreements so far signed with government reported that gas is being produced under only three of them. Naming the five former Energy Ministers who signed all the agreements with TPDC and various international oil companies, the Committee asserted that what it viewed as shortcomings and loopholes in the terms were resulting in financial losses to govern­ment amounting to hundreds of billions of shillings. In particular, the Committee pointed to the supposed lopsided nature of the provisions in the various agreements with Songas and advised government not to renew the power production and gas drilling contracts with Songas when they expire in 2024. It highlighted the various assets of TANESCO and TPDC that were effectively given free to Songas in return for which the Committee believes those two parastatals were not awarded adequate shareholdings in the project.

The Attorney General responded, telling Parliament that government was now reviewing all the contracts with Songas. But Pan Africa Energy Tanzania – the developer and operator of the producing Songo Songo gas field and Songas – expressed concern at the “inaccurate findings and allegations” made by the special Committee, stating it had com­plied with the terms of its agreements with government and pointed to its impeccable operational record and the significant economic benefit its operations had already brought to Tanzania.

Other petroleum and mining sector problems
In April, Swala Oil and Gas declared ‘force majeure’ under the terms of its Kilosa-Kilombero Production Sharing Agreement with government and TPDC, saying it was “disappointed and frustrated” by the demand for it to undertake a special environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the likely implications for the proposed Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower dam of the company’s use of water during the drilling of its first explo­ration well (Kito-1) next year. The government has already approved an EIA that Swala undertook in 2017 and the amount of water to be con­sumed in the drilling of the well will be a tiny fraction of that pertaining to the dam. Swala has so far spent more than $20 million exploring for oil and gas in Tanzania.

Given the continuing ban on the export of gold and copper concentrates, Acacia Mining Tanzania announced in April that during 2018 it will be producing 40% less gold than it did in 2016 and, with no end then in sight to the ongoing discussions between its parent – Barrick Gold – and the government, the company was being forced to cut costs and unfor­tunately would have to lay off an unspecified number of workers at its Tanzanian mines. Acacia employs about 2,800 workers in the country, 96% of whom are Tanzanian.

In June the Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, told Parliament during the debate on the Ministry of Minerals’ budget that the ongoing discussions between government and Barrick “are in the final stages and things are in good order”; however, the US$300 million good faith payment to Tanzania promised earlier by Barrick/Acacia will only be paid once the discussions are concluded.

In a Canadian (Fraser Institute) global mining survey of 2,700 mining companies operating around the world, Tanzania’s perceived ‘mining investment attractiveness’ dropped 19 places on the world listing, fall­ing from 59th position in 2016 to 78th position last year. The substantial deterioration is blamed on the adverse legislative changes in 2017 (especially their retrospective application) and on what some inves­tors in Tanzania see as excessive and random taxation of their mineral operations. Of the 91 countries surveyed 15 were African and Tanzania ranked only 12th out of the 15 – behind Ghana, Mali, Botswana, South Africa, DRC, Namibia, Zambia, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, and only a little ahead of Ethiopia, Mozambique and Kenya (the worst).

Some good news: Miombo Hewani Wind Farm
In June, Windlab Limited announced that its Tanzanian subsidiary will be constructing a large wind turbine farm with associated electri­cal infrastructure at a location in Southern Central Tanzania close to Makambako (where it will connect with the national grid). The Miombo Hewani wind project will be built in phases and now has approval for a total generating capacity of 300 MW. The first phase (costing US$300 million) will involve the construction of 34 wind turbines that will deliver about 100 MW of electricity, also creating jobs and extra income in Njombe Region. This wind project will therefore add significantly to Tanzania’s current power generation capacity of just over 1,300 MW (comprising 560 MW of hydropower and 750 MW of thermal gas and diesel), importantly also diversifying the generating source.

In making the announcement the CEO of Windlab Limited, said: “We are very pleased to receive the first Environmental and Social Impact Assessment certificate for a wind farm in Tanzania. In developing Miombo Hewani, Windlab has applied the industry best practices and experience it has gained from developing more than 50 wind energy projects across North America, Australia and Southern Africa”. He added that Miombo Hewani enjoys an excellent wind resource, one of the best in the world. Moreover, the wind pattern there is biased towards night time generation and generation during Tanzania’s dry season, making it an ideal addition to Tanzania’s current and planned electricity generation mix. Windlab Tanzania said that the wind farm is expected to operate for at least 25 years and should generate enough power to supply nearly 1 million average Tanzanian homes.

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

by Ben Taylor

Controversy over new Tanzania Embassy in Israel
On May 9, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, commissioned Tanzania’s new Embassy in Israel. The event took place in Tel Aviv, attended by various dignitaries includ­ing Israel’s Minister for Justice, Ms Ayelet Shaked, ambassadors and Tanzanians living in Israel.

In his speech, Dr Mahiga named Israel as a role model country, which, he said, despite facing multiple challenges with some of its neighbour­ing countries, has made major development strides in various sectors. He also urged the government of Israel to follow Tanzania’s lead by opening its embassy in Tanzania.

Dr Mahiga thanked Israel for its two ministers paying recent state visits to Tanzania, namely Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, who visited Tanzania in March, and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who visited in April.

For her part, Ms Shaked reassured Tanzania that her country was ready to cooperate with Tanzania in various sectors particularly in agriculture, technology and health.

However, the commissioning of the embassy did attract some critical commentary, with some analysts arguing that the move did not fit well with Tanzania’s long-standing support for the Palestinian cause.
Prof Bakari Mohamed of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said he strongly opposes the government’s move. “I totally disagree with the decision because I believe in the need for Tanzania to uphold principles of human dignity and self-determination. I don’t see any reason to sup­port diplomatic relations with a country violating the two,” he told The Citizen in an interview. He said he was disappointed with the country’s decision to re-establish diplomatic relationship with Israel because the country’s behaviour has changed since the last time Tanzania broke the relations in 1972.

Prof Gaudens Mpangala of Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU) con­curred, suggesting that Tanzania should continue upholding foreign policy sympathizing with the weak and the oppressed. He said Tanzania, under the first president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was right to break relations with Israel because of its treatment of Palestinians. “It is difficult to see why the government should make a U-turn and re-establish relations not only with Israel but also with Morocco before the issues that led to the break up in relations were addressed,” he said.

The government, however, argues that its solidarity with Palestine will not be affected by closer ties with Israel. President John Magufuli has said previously that Tanzania did a good job in supporting liberation movements in Africa and elsewhere and that it was time to focus on the country’s economic development

New Centre for Chinese Studies opened in Dar
Dr Mahiga also spoke at the launch of a new Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) at the University of Dar es Salaam, describing the centre as an opportunity “for Tanzanians to learn how China advanced from a poor country to an economic powerhouse.”

The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Wang Ke, said the centre will play an important role in introducing Tanzanians to the Chinese way of life,” she said. “To better understand China, you need to be objective and independent in thinking. Only in this way you can present the real China to the people of Tanzania and other African countries.”
Wang further explained that the centre will enable Tanzanians to con­duct in-depth research on the relevance of China’s development experi­ence to Tanzania and Africa in general. “Development is the biggest challenge facing the world, and China’s experience in development may be helpful to African countries,” she said.

The CCS in Tanzania is the third such institute in Africa specialising in Chinese studies.

Dr Mahiga used the event to re-state Tanzania’s stance of “non-align­ment” in foreign affairs and “non-interference” in domestic affairs, explaining that this meant Tanzania “shall not forget the Palestinians,” and “shall not drop the issue of the Saharawians,” even while strength­ening ties with both Israel (see previous article) and Morocco (see earlier editions of TA).

Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa visits Tanzania
The new President of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa visited Tanzania in June, his first such visit since taking over from President Mugabe late in 2017.

He was welcomed at the airport by President Magufuli, accompa­nied by other senior government officials including the Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Suzan Kolimba, and the heads of defence and security forces.

The two heads of state also discussed further cooperation in health, security, tradition, education, and sports.

According to President Magufuli, boosting ties especially in trade between the two countries would be a good way of encouraging and stimulating more development pacts. “Last year, trade between our two countries was at TSh 21.1 billion, up from TSh 18.3 bn in 2016. This is not enough… we need to make more efforts on this front,” said President Magufuli.

President Mnangagwa acknowledged the role that Tanzania played in his country’s independence struggle, including by visiting the Kaole Arts College in Bagamoyo, Coast region. The college had previously been a training college for liberation fighters from the southern part of Africa which Mnangagwa himself once attended.

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HEALTH

by Ben Taylor

Ebola border alert
The government has established health screening of travellers entering the country from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as the spread of Ebola continues through parts of the DRC. By late August, a total of 90 people in the DRC had been diagnosed with Ebola with 50 people pronounced dead since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elders Ummy Mwalimu, told a press conference in Dar es Salaam that although the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently in its report placed Tanzania at a higher risk, there was not even a single case reported in the country.

The minister added that the government has deployed 35 medics along with thermal body scanners to key entry points. “Thermal Scanners are devices meant to detect high body temperature as a clue for Ebola dis­ease,” explained the Minister. Ms Mwalimu noted that the government has enhanced its integrated disease surveillance and response system in the country’s border posts that are frequently used by DRC nationals to cross into the country.

Ms Mwalimu noted further that the government will closely work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international organi­sations responsible for health as per the law to prevent the Ebola preva­lence. “We have also convened an emergence meeting for our National Task Force responsible for the disease,” she said.

Ms Mwalimu assured the public that there was so far no any case of person with Ebola in the country, urging the people to remain watchful against the disease. (Daily News)

New HIV/AIDS Strategy launched
The Minister also launched the fourth national multi-sectoral strategic framework for HIV and AIDS plan, saying the new plan aims to reach out to the entire population in the country.

We want everyone to understand their HIV status. This is the only option that will help end the fight against AIDs,” she said.

The global target set for 2030 is to end HIV and AIDs, while the UN aims by 2020 to have 90% of people living with HIV diagnosed, 90% of diagnosed people on antiretroviral treatment and 90% of people in treatment with fully suppressed viral load. However, Tanzania remains some distance off these targets. The minister said 48% of the population of people living with HIV and AIDs do not know their status.

A key element of the new strategy is to reach out to every place where people gather in large numbers, including football matches and popular music concerts. “We will not force people to test for HIV, but we will make sure there are facilities everywhere for people to understand their status,” said the Minister.

“We’re also looking at the possibility that the law should allow indi­viduals to get HIV test kits and test on their own,” she said, explaining that this will encourage a lot more to seek medical help after knowing their status.

The plan will increase the number of health centres providing Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services to 2,800. It will also focus on cultural barriers that hinder the fight against Aids, including ending stigma and discrimination which experts say kills and discourages peo­ple especially men seeking medical help.

United Nations agency for HIV and AIDs (UNAIDs) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representatives praised the government initiatives for fighting HIV/AIDS but called for action to be stepped up in order to meet the global targets. (Daily News)

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GOVERNMENT DEFENDS STIEGLER’S GORGE DAM PROJECT

by Ben Taylor

Map showing the proposed Stiegler’s Gorge project -background map from www.openstreetmap.org

The government remain undeterred in its plans to construct a large dam in the Rufiji River, at Stiegler’s Gorge in the Selous Game Reserve, [see also TA 120] despite concerns expressed by conservationists and MPs.

Conservation groups including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have raised concerns since the project was mooted in 2009 and have consistently called for the project to be abandoned. The IUCN called the project “fatally flawed.”

The Selous Game Reserve is one of the last major expanses of wilder­ness in Africa. It’s a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site the size of Switzerland. Since 2014, it has been on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger, primarily because of elephant poaching. In less than 40 years, the park lost 90% of its elephants.

However, the planned hydropower dam could have an even more devastating impact. At 130 meters (427 feet) in height and stretching 700 meters across the canyon, the dam will create a lake of 1,500 square kilometres and will generate up to 2,100 MW of power.

“The dam would destroy one of the most important habitats for wildlife and the heart of the game reserve, where most of the animals roam, especially in the dry season. It would open up that whole area for indus­trialization, infrastructure and settlements,” said Johannes Kirchgatter of the Africa Program for WWF Germany. “If you’re standing in the middle of Selous now, it’s a fantastic wilderness, there is wildlife all over, and all of that would be gone… It would be a great loss for us and the generations to come.”

The dam would also have a significant impact on livelihoods further downstream. A WWF report found the dam would trap most of an estimated 16 million tons of sediment and nutrients carried by the river every year, leading to soil erosion and cutting off lakes and farmland downstream. The Rufiji delta, home to fish, shrimp and prawn fisher­ies, as well as the largest mangrove forest in East Africa, would also be starved of water. In all, the construction of the dam could damage the livelihoods of over 200,000 farmers and fishermen, according to the WWF.

The IUCN said that the project is ‘fatally flawed’ because of its ecologi­cal impact. It called on Tanzania to ‘permanently abandon’ it.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, wrote a letter in January expressing her concern about the irreversible damage the pro­ject could have on the Selous. The World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO, which lists the Selous as a World Heritage Site, expressed its “utmost concern,” saying the dam project has a “high likelihood of [causing] serious and irreversible damage.” The WHC added the Stiegler’s Gorge project as a new factor that endangers the Selous eco­system.

The government rejects this criticism. When WWF published its report in 2017, tourism minister Jumanne Maghembe insisted the hydropower was needed to transform Tanzania’s economy.

President John Magufuli has said the dam and resulting reservoir would cover only 3% of the Reserve, adding that he would not listen to detractors who spoke “without facts.”

The government is pushing ahead to fell more than 2.6 million trees from the area that would be flooded by the dam.

Now Tanzania has taken its defence of the project to UNESCO. At the 42nd meeting of the World Heritage Committee, held in June in Bahrain, Tanzania cited sustainable development to push for the project.

Major General (rtd) Gaudence Milanzi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said Tanzania has main­tained its position to continue with the project as stated during a meet­ing of the committee in Poland last year. He explained that the dam was primed to play a critical role in the vision of the government to industrialise the economy.

In a separate development, the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office for Union Matters and the Environment, January Makamba, stated on Twitter that a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been completed, such that the previous EIA published in 2009 will no longer be used. The new EIA has been conducted by the Institute of Resource Assessment of the University of Dar es Salaam, he explained. “Its report was submitted last week by Tanesco,” he posted. “A team from [the National Environmental Management Committee] (NEMC) will visit the project this week to verify and talk to the community and stakeholders.”

MPs have also questioned the order of developments, asking why the decision to fell so many trees had been taken before the EIA had been completed. “I wonder why the government wants to move on with the project and yet we know well there will be an impact, especially due to felling of trees. Let us get the EIA n the project,” said Peter Msigwa (Chadema, Iringa Urban). Similar points were made by Zitto Kabwe (ACT Wazalendo, Kigoma Urban) and Nape Nnauye (CCM, Mtama).

Other MPs disagreed. “The tone here is as if all trees around the country will be cleared. Some people are just not patriotic; and I think patriotism should be taught starting from nursery school,” said Mr Omary Mgumba (CCM, Morogoro Rural). “The environment exists to serve human beings and not the opposite.” Dr Raphael Chegeni (CCM, Busega) asked MPs to reduce complaints as projects such as Stiegler’s Gorge were a result of their demand to ensure reliable power genera­tion.”

The Deputy Minister in the Vice President’s Office for Union Affairs and the Environment, Mr Kangi Lugola, told parliament the government would go on with implementation of the project “whether you like it or not.” He added that “those who are resisting the project will be jailed.” Mr Lugola has since been promoted to Home Affairs Minister.

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FAKE NEWS

by Ben Taylor

Who is Dr Herman Louise Verhofstadt?
The Economist rarely pays much attention to Tanzania – once or twice a year at best. So when they published not just one but two articles on President Magufuli in a single issue earlier this year, heads turned. The headlines are striking – “Tanzania’s rogue president – Democracy under assault” and “How to save Tanzania” – and the contents even more so. Tanzania is undergoing “a sickening lurch to despotism,” the paper writes, where “opposition politicians are being shot; activists and journalists are disappearing.” This is happening under “an authoritar­ian and erratic” President Magufuli, who is “fast transforming Tanzania … into one of Africa’s more brutal dictatorships”.

Criticism of President Magufuli’s government has been growing in Tanzania, but nobody on the international stage has previously gone nearly so far as the Economist articles. Given the number of people who have been arrested and charged with sedition or various cybercrime offences for expressing criticism of the government, it’s hardly surpris­ing that people are growing more careful what they say. Twaweza’s lat­est Sauti za Wananchi poll found that while 80% say citizens should be allowed to criticise the President, only 36% feel free to do so in practice. So these articles ruffled some feathers.

Including, apparently, the feathers of a Belgian health expert / social worker living and working in Tanzania, by the name of Dr Herman Louise Verhofstadt. He was so upset by the Economist’s writing that he published a response, the beautifully titled: “Facts The Economist Got Them Wrong on Magufuli”:

“Contrary to the fact deprived article, it is my candid observation that to objectively critique Magufuli’s presidency in the circumstances of the transformation he is doing for his people in Tanzania, requires the level of conscious that is unfortunately lacking in the current editorial team at the Economist.”

“In my stay here before and after his presidency, I have witnessed real transformation, his work is exemplary and fascinating one. Everybody here—may be just like what Theresa May is doing in London and what Trump is focusing in Washington, is aware that Tanzania is on the move towards pro-people development; something the Economist is unhappy for.”
It is possible that a Belgian social worker / health expert would feel support for Donald Trump, that his English would be so broken, and that he would express his support both for banning political rallies and preventing pregnant schoolgirls from returning to school after giving birth. But it seems unlikely.

It also seems unlikely that he would choose to do so on a blog that did not exist until that day, published by “a Senegalese journalist”, Sammi Addo, who has apparently no other online presence. Indeed, other that Dr Verhoftsadt’s article, everything else on the site has been copied and pasted from somewhere else – Bloomberg (US), Daily Nation (Kenya), ABC (Australia), etc.

It also seems very unlikely that Dr Herman Louise Verhofstadt would have no previous online presence at all himself, either.

However, despite such strong reasons for doubt, the blogpost was widely promoted and cited, including by the government-owned Daily News and HabariLeo newspapers. The latter translated and published almost the entire blogpost. And the official government spokesperson posted his support for the blog on an official twitter account.

But then, who should appear, from nowhere, but Dr Herman Louise Verhoftstadt himself, with a series of tweets, the first of which made his point clear:

“Greetings @TheEconomist, please ignore this fake news. I have never been to Africa, let alone Tanzania. In my 37 years of medical practice, my work has been around Europe and South East Asia. You need to have a very poorly performing government to come up with a lie like this.”

But something here doesn’t seem quite right either. The new Dr Herman Louise Verhofstadt has no more online presence than the previous one. And more particularly, his profile pic on twitter is a stock image from Getty, freely available to anyone with access to Google. There is no more reason to believe this to be genuine than the original blogpost.

Fake news vs fake news is the new reality, it seems, even in Tanzania.

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AGRICULTURE

by David Brewin

Cattle straying
Strains in the relationship between Tanzania and Kenya are being exac­erbated by Maasai-owned cattle from Kenya straying over the border between the two countries in search of pasture. Tanzania has now taken drastic action and recently auctioned off 2,410 Kenyan cattle it had rounded up. A further 1,125 Kenyan cattle belonging to the Maasai were also seized because of a fear of the spread of bird flu. Tanzania estimates that some 30% of livestock pastures in Tanzania are consumed by cattle from neighbouring countries.

Controversy continues on GM crops
The controversy about the use of genetically modified (GM) products is widening. GM crops are banned in most of Africa and Europe but are grown in vast quantities in the Americas. Many farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi are in favour of the use of genetically modified cotton seeds even though they are more expensive, as they provide stronger resistance against pests.

The whole dispute between users of GM crops is matched by disputes within the British Royal family according to the London Times. Princess Anne, who farms in Gloucestershire, believes that if we are going to be better at producing full value then we have to accept that genetic technology is going to be part of that. The Prince of Wales who also has several farms, is a vigorous campaigner against GM technology. Britain’s Minister of Agriculture George Eustace has stated that the British government is considering relaxing present restrictions on GM crops after Brexit, the subject which is dominating political discourse in Britain.

Poultry
Poultry breeders in Tanzania are asking the government to block imports of poultry and its products to protect their businesses. Manase Mrindwa, the Secretary General of the Tanzania Poultry Breeders Society, has stated that they have the capacity to supply about 85% of the needs of the local market and that an 18% waiver on Value Added Tax had attracted more investment in production, but that the illegal trade in eggs and newly hatched chicks from neighbouring countries was threatening the growth of the business. In October last year govern­ment authorities in Arusha destroyed 6,400 chicks imported from Kenya through the Namanga border point.

The Uluguru Grasshopper
The Uluguru Mountain Range Reserve near Morogoro has become a tourist attraction due to the presence of the Uluguru Grasshopper. The grasshopper has become known as ‘December Ninth,’ as it shares the colours of Tanzania’s national flag. Some residents are said to believe that the creators of the flag chose the colours from this grasshopper. The mountainside has been attracting visitors from across the world because of its unique flora and fauna including flying frogs, chameleons, various species of songbirds and the steppingstone used in freshwater springs.

Lake Natron
Long-standing plans to construct a Soda Ash plant on the shores of Lake Natron have been abandoned following pressure from the international community and environmentalists. The proposed $500 million plant was expected to create 500 jobs but research has shown that building a factory on the shores of Lake Natron could result in the lake drying up in about 10 years.

Support for wheat farmers
In order to end the trade war between Tanzania and Kenya, the two countries have agreed to fund part of the production costs for wheat farmers and create a commercial bank to enable wheat farmers to access loans at a 5 -6% rate of interest. These measures are being taken to improve wheat farming, improve competitiveness of the locally produced grain and curb imports of the commodity from outside East Africa.

Tea and coffee
Tea production went down in Tanzania (and also in Kenya and Uganda) last year largely because of uneven distribution of the lower amount of rainfall received in most tea growing areas.

Threat from dams
Kenya’s plan to build dams on the Mara River and its tributaries is caus­ing growing concern in Tanzania. It believes that they pose a threat to the rich animal and plant life of the Serengeti ecosystem. The area has the river Mara as the only permanent source of water for the herds of wildebeest and other wildlife which migrate between the two countries.

Map of the seven dams in Kenya and one in Tanzania currently at planningstage. Background from www.openstreetmap.org, with information from TheSerengeti will die if Kenya dams the Mara River – Volume 51 Issue 4 – BakariMnaya, Mtango G.G. Mtahiko, Eric Wolansk

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HEALTH

by Ben Taylor

Calls for local production of medicine
President Magufuli has argued that the country must build its capacity for local drug factories. “Only 6% of the medicine is produced here… why? We must do something,’’ he said during an event hosted by the Medical Stores Department (MSD) in Dar es Salaam. According to data from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Tanzania spends over TSh 800 billion every year on importing medicine and medical supplies.

In response, researchers, investors and government leaders are now trying to answer the question: Can the local pharmaceutical industry recover its former glories?

Industrial players and researchers largely concur that current policy is unfavourable. Mr Jayesh Shah, Group Managing Director of Sumaria Group and former owner of Shelys, one of Tanzania’s largest pharma­ceutical firms, urged the government to “come up with a policy that makes local manufacturing of drugs mandatory, unlike the current one which favours importation.’’

“The cost of production was higher than the profit I was making, that’s one of the reasons I had to move out of the business,” he added. A report published by REPOA, a research institution, in 2014 found that pharmaceutical production had been a Tanzanian industrial success in the mid-90s, but that such former success is now history. By 2014, the industry was in decline, said the report. “There is a lack of active public sector support for local firms as compared to other competing coun­tries,’’ says the report. “It requires a change of mind-set for policy mak­ers in Tanzania to turn to prioritising and actively engaging in selective support of the sector,’’ suggested an academic study published in 2016, Making Medicines in Africa.

Some investors sense an opportunity. Mr Ramadhan Madabida, Managing Director of Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (TPIL), says the pharmaceutical demand is USD $550 million per annum, but added that “locally active pharmaceutical industries in Tanzania which produce medicine are still not enough to curb the shortage.”

A report by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment shows that there are 13 pharmaceutical factories in the country, but that only five are currently active and only four are fully licensed.

Mr Madabida says the government needs to work in collaboration with local investors in filling the gap. But, he emphasises that “the govern­ment should formulate policies that enable investors to access funding from financial institutions to encourage more investment.”

“It is important now to think of motivating the local investors through tax incentives and opportunities for borrowing. There is no letter of credit being given to the local investors to enable them access funding from local financial institutions, as compared to foreigners,” he added.

Following the President’s intervention, calling for local manufacturing of drugs, over 10 local investors have expressed an intention to put up local drug factories, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. The Ministry added that the government is now laying groundwork for a National Pharmaceutical Sector Strategy, intended to ease operations for local investors.

According to the Ministry, this strategy will create a 15% price advan­tage for locally manufactured medicines compared to imported medi­cines, develop a list of medicines to be manufactured locally, create a pharmaceutical industrial park and cut taxes on imported raw materi­als.

Activists protest expansion of cigarette production for local market
Executive Director of Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF), Lutgard Kagaruki, argued that the opening of Mansoor Industries Limited – an affiliate of Philip Morris International – in Tanzania, is bad news for the country’s health sector as smoking youths will likely fall victim to killer diseases such as cancer.

The company has started rolling out its products under the Chesterfield brand, according to a statement issued by Mrs Kagaruki.

She claimed that more than 2.4 million adults (15+ years) in Tanzania and 17,000 children aged 10-14 years smoke tobacco. “Research at Ocean Road Cancer Institute indicated that 32% of all cancers at the institute were tobacco-related, costing government more than $40m annually,” she added.

Expansion of health service facilities
The government has spent a total of TSh 162 billion (USD $72 million) in recent months on improving 170 health centres, President John Magufuli has said. He was speaking at a function to unveil 181 vehicles – worth TSh 20 billion – belonging to the Medical Stores Department.

Upon completion of the improvement exercise, he explained, the 170 health centres will be capable of performing emergency operations on pregnant women and children as the country seeks to further reduce maternal death and child mortality.

Apart from upgrading the 170 health centres, said Dr Magufuli, the government has also built a 268 more health centres, bringing the total number of such facilities across the country to 7,284.

“This includes construction of regional hospitals in the new regions of Njombe, Geita, Katavi and Simiyu. We are also introducing and improv­ing specialized services in various hospitals in the country,” he said.

Reports of Dengue fever outbreak
The Ministry of Health has confirmed several cases of Dengue fever in Dar es Salaam in early 2018. “11 patients have been diagnosed with the disease,” said the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Prof Mpoki Ulisubisya, adding that outbreak control measures are being imple­mented.

He said the ministry in collaboration with the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and local clinics will continue to make diag­nosis to uncover more cases of the disease if any. Surveillance activities will be conducted in the coastal cities of Dar es Salaam and Tanga, according to the Ministry.

The worst dengue fever outbreak in Tanzania occurred in 2014 when more than 400 patients in Dar es Salaam were diagnosed with the disease and at least three died. Dengue fever is said to affect about 390 million people in the world every year, and is particularly prevalent along the East African coast.

There is no medicine or vaccine for dengue, so health experts recom­mend prevention by preventing mosquito bites. Mosquitoes that spread dengue are not the same as those that spread malaria, and bite both during the day and night.

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ENERGY & MINERALS

by Roger Nellist

Good news in the electricity sector

Dkt. Tito E. Mwinuka and other Tanesco officials view progress on the Kinyerezi II power plant in Dar-es-Salaam.

In early April President Magufuli inaugurated a major new electricity generating plant known as Kinyerezi II in Dar es Salaam. Deploying six turbines, the plant will eventually add an additional 240 MW (mega­watts) of electricity to the national grid. The President said that 1,513 MW is currently being produced in Tanzania, which falls well short of the country’s needs. Noting that about 60% of Tanzanians still do not have any electricity and that hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests are being cut down for firewood and charcoal instead, the President called for a tripling of the country’s present electricity gener­ating capacity so that the government’s goal of attaining middle-income status by 2025 can be fulfilled. “A reliable power supply is crucial for the country’s economic growth since it enables manufacturers to produce continuously, hence creating more employment,” he explained. He also called on TANESCO to find ways to reduce power tariffs, to benefit consumers and industries.

Kinyerezi II was constructed by the Japanese company Sumitomo and cost just over $350 million to build. Japanese soft loans financed 85% of that cost whilst Tanzania funded the remaining 15%. The project was completed more than a month ahead of schedule and employed some 2,000 workers during its construction, 80% of whom were Tanzanian.

The recently appointed Minister for Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani, who joined the President at the inauguration, gave details of the other big power projects that will be implemented over the next five years. Together, they will help fulfil the President’s goal of tripling Tanzania’s electricity generating capacity. Those projects are: Kinyerezi III, which will add a further 600 MW, and Kinyerezi IV at least another 330 MW.

Map showing the proposed Stiegler’s Gorge project -background map from www.openstreetmap.org

Moreover, work on the controversial hydropower generating project at Stiegler’s Gorge is set to begin in July this year and will take 36 months to complete. The huge project – which has been on the cards since the 1970s when ambitious plans were first drawn up – involves the con­struction of a dam on the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve, set to be the largest dam in Tanzania. The Stiegler’s Gorge plant is designed to generate 2,100 MW – sufficient to put an end to the electricity out­ages and shortages that have beset the country for so long and possibly provide some surplus for export to neighbouring countries.

The Minister said that the government is currently providing the essen­tial infrastructure to service the Stiegler’s Gorge project’s construction: “We are now connecting the area with electricity from Morogoro … We are also building roads to connect the area … It is our hope that the project will be completed by early 2021”. The project itself awaits final approvals.

Acacia Mining
Following last year’s mega dispute with the government over the exports of gold concentrates and the amount of tax underpaid, Acacia Mining (Tanzania’s largest gold producer) released a financial state­ment in mid-April announcing that its gold production fell 45% in the first quarter of 2018 compared with a year earlier. Its production of 121,000 ounces was due to lower output at its main Bulyanhulu mine (which has faced reduced operations since last autumn) and because of lower grade ore at its Buzwagi mine. Its first quarter revenues were down accordingly by 33%.

The company said it is currently studying the best ways to restore full-scale operations at its Bulyanhulu gold mine, which it expects to do by 2020. It also clarified that although gold mining will cease at Buzwagi later this year the mine will not be closed but for the next two or three years will process stockpiles of its gold ores.

Also in mid-April, Acacia Mining’s human rights record in Tanzania came under renewed scrutiny and criticism when five Tanzanian and international human rights groups issued a press release and sent an open letter to Acacia’s Board of Directors urging them to step in to improve the company’s human rights record at its North Mara Gold Mine. They expressed alarm that Acacia’s new community griev­ance mechanism to address long-standing human rights and other complaints at the mine fell well short of the company’s human rights obligations.

Since 2014 numerous reports have drawn attention to serious viola­tions at the North Mara Mine, including killings, beatings and sexual violence. Last September the International Commission of Jurists said it was “deeply concerned about the gravity of many of [the] allegations and the difficulties [victims] experienced in accessing any adequate remedy and reparation”. Subsequently, Acacia revamped its commu­nity grievance mechanism at North Mara, providing a process whereby victims can bring human rights and other complaints to mine officials for investigation, compensation and remedy. However, although some progress has been made in addressing some victims’ claims, the rights group consider the revised mechanism to fall well short of what is required. They maintain it is not compliant with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and “lacks human rights benchmarks, lacks transparency, lacks independence, provides very limited legal assistance for an overly legalistic process, and creates confusion about whether it will accept complaints about police abuse at the mine site, among other problems”. Tanzania’s Legal and Human Rights Centre recently stated that “Tanzanians deserve to have their rights respected by multinational companies conducting business in our country … . Acacia Mining and [its parent company] Barrick Gold should … ensure the North Mara community grievance mechanism is independent, fair and transparent”.

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TRANSPORT

by Ben Taylor

New Air Tanzania plane arrives, finally!
A new Bombardier Q400 aircraft has arrived in Tanzania, after extensive legal delays in Canada, from where the 76-seater aircraft was purchased for USD $32 million. The aircraft is the third such plane to arrive in Tanzania under the efforts of President Magufuli to revive the national flag-carrier airline, Air Tanzania. Three further deliveries are scheduled for later this year, including two Bombardier CS300 planes and one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

The new aircraft was initially scheduled to arrive in the country last year, but was seized by a court order requested by the construction firm Stirling Civil Engineering Ltd. Stirling’s claim stems from a 2010 com­pensation ruling by the International Court of Arbitration over a road construction contract that was terminated a number of years back, and which had not been paid by the Tanzanian government.

In August 2017, when the seizure of the plane was first reported by opposition politician Tundu Lissu, this was initially denied by the gov­ernment. A spokesperson later told reporters that the delays resulted from a conflict masterminded by a few unpatriotic Tanzanians, arguing that lawyers who filed a case before seizing the government property had no legal locus standi to do so, but were pushed by a few local politi­cians who wished the country ill.

The government has made no statement on why the situation has now changed and the plane has been released, or whether the money demanded by Stirling Civil Engineering has been paid.

On its arrival, President John Magufuli called for unity and patriotism among Tanzanians. “Elsewhere, people are always united when advanc­ing their countries’ development agenda. We need to put national inter­ests first. We should not get divided because this plane which arrived today is for our own benefit,” he said.

Air Tanzania currently operates between Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Kigoma, Kagera, Dodoma, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Mtwara, Zanzibar and the Comoros. (The Citizen, Daily News)

President Magufuli urges rapid delivery of rail project
President Magufuli has called on the contractor to ensure timely com­pletion of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, saying it will benefit the country and its people a lot, as well as help increase govern­ment revenues. He urged the Turkish firm responsible for this section of the project, Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi, to do all it can to complete work ahead of schedule, stating that upon completion it will create at least 30,000 direct and about 60,000 indirect employment opportunities.

The President was speaking in Ihumwa, Dodoma Region, at the launch of the second phase of the project to upgrade the Central Railway – build over 100 years ago – to standard gauge, and to electrify the line. This phase will connect Morogoro to Makutupora in Dodoma Region, covering 426 kilometres, part of the overall 1,219km route from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza. The total project is expected to cost TSh 15 trillion.

Further connections are anticipated to Kigali, in neighbouring Rwanda, through a project partly financed by the government of Tanzania from its own sources. This will connect to the Dar-Mwanza line in the town of Isaka, to the south of Mwanza. Attracting Rwandan business to the SGR is thought to be key to the project’s viability, against competition from road freight and the rail route through Kenya and Uganda. Speed – and thus electrification – is seen as a key factor in this regard: Rwanda and Tanzania are targeting passenger speeds of 160kmph and cargo train speeds of 120kmph, compared to 80-110kmph on the diesel-powered Kenya route.
Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Makame Mbarawa, said the Ministry will cooperate with the contractors in trying to complete the project on time.

The Turkish ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Ali Davutoglu, assured President Magufuli of the Turkish government’s commitment to continued cooperation with Tanzania in implementing this and other development projects. He said the SGR project would act as a catalyst to Tanzania’s efforts to transform itself into a middle-income economy by 2025.

Uber establishes firm foothold in Dar es Salaam
The disruptive taxi firm, Uber, has established a firm presence in Dar es Salaam since its launch in the city in 2016. According to a statement released by the company, there are 53,000 active Uber users in Dar es Salaam, and 1,000 active drivers.

The figures show Tanzania well behind continental leaders, South Africa (around 1 million users), and indeed behind neighbouring Kenya (360,000 users). Nevertheless, the number of users in Dar has rapidly achieved the critical mass that means users can generally rely on the service to find a vehicle for them when needed, and that drivers can depend on a steady stream of income from passengers.

Uber has now innovated further in Tanzania, introducing a new part­nership with the mobile phone company, Tigo. Under the new arrange­ments, Tigo users will be able to use the Uber app on their phones with­out incurring any data charges, and to make payments to Uber drivers using the Tigo Pesa mobile money service. (Daily News)

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ARCHIVING RESEARCH ON MAFIA

Archiving material from nearly half a century of anthropological research on Mafia Island, Tanzania – Pat Caplan, Goldsmiths College London

I first went to Mafia Island as a Ph.D. student of social anthropology in 1965, and continued to visit it regularly for the next 45 years. During this time, I kept my own diaries and asked local people to keep diaries for me, filled many notebooks, made recordings, took photos, shot a film using a camcorder, and of course collected a great deal of secondary material, especially when in the country. In between visits I wrote and received many letters (later emails) and set up a website about Mafia in both Swahili and English (www.mafia-island-tanzania.gold.ac.uk).

My research covered kinship and descent, gender relations, health, food, relations between village and state, development and globalisa­tion, spirit possession and personal narratives/historical biography.

I used a wide variety of methods, including participant observation, interviewing, population surveys, and photography, recording and film. Although the focus of my work was the northern village of Kanga, I also lived and/or visited other parts of the island, including the villages of Bweni, Banja, Baleni, Chole Mjini and the district capital Kilindoni. Time was also spent in Dar es Salaam, including at the University, and in Zanzibar, as many Mafia migrants lived in these places.

Last year I decided to archive all of this material, and SOAS Library said they would be happy to take it. This meant a lot of sorting, labelling, weeding and finally listing everything in a way which would make sense for other users, including the archivists. This took quite a long time, but was an opportunity to-revisit, indeed re-live, some memorable times. In addition to the listings of folders and files, I also prepared a background document detailing the work done on each of my visits, and the publications which resulted.

The bulk of the collection was delivered just before Christmas 2017 and the last remnants of photos just after. The archivist with whom I had been working told me that it might be 2019 before the archive could be open to interested readers, as cataloguing takes a long time and there are of course never enough resources.

Archiving also raises ethical issues, as an archived document is placed in the public domain. For this reason, some files are embargoed for peri­ods of time to protect informants. Nonetheless, archives not only enable the viewing of historical documents but also of the attempts to make sense of information gathered and the creation of knowledge.

What is in the archive?
a. Field notes from research trips to Mafia Island and elsewhere in the coastal region: 1962, 1965-7, 1976, 1985, 1994, 2002, 2004, 2010.
b. Genealogies for 1965-7 Kanga village, Mafia Island
c. Notebooks for 1965-7, 1976, 2002, 2010
d. Sea charts of Mafia and Kilwa channels, showing Mafia Island
e. Photos
f. Copies of film (2003) Life on Mafia Island (English), Maisha ya Watu Kisiwani Mafia (Swahili)
g. Secondary and grey material about Mafia Island
h. Listing of field notes

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