FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

President Magufuli spent his first very active few months in charge after his election dealing with major matters at home. Now the tireless president has begun taking time to deal with foreign relations, particularly foreign financial relations. The results are already beginning to be seen.

China
He has begun by ‘looking East’ for trade especially to China and Turkey. Major issues of interest to Tanzania have been centred on the standard gauge railway, the proposed new port in Bagamoyo and the establishment of up to 700 factories in Tanzania in three years. China has risen from the sixth largest foreign investor in 2011 to second place after the UK more recently.

Mozambique
Mozambique recently expelled about 200 Tanzanians who are alleged to have been living in the country illegally. The Ministry of Home Affairs was said to be verifying claims of abuse against these people including allegations of beatings and rape. The passports of some deportees were seized. The crackdown was conducted in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado where some 3,000 Tanzanians are said to be living.

Morocco
Following the King of Morocco’s recent tour of Africa, including Tanzania, Morocco has continued its efforts to be re-admitted to the African Union. The country already has the backing of a simple majority of African states following its mobilisation of 28 countries – 52% of the of the AU membership. Morocco withdrew from the Organisation of African unity (OAU) – the precursor to the African Union (AU) – in 1984 when the OAU admitted Western Sahara, a disputed region on the Atlantic coastline between Morocco to the north, Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south. Morocco’s claim to this phosphate-rich territory in 1975 followed the withdrawal of Spain which had colonised the Western Sahara for many years. Conflict between the different parties was apparently settled in 1990 when it was said that the people of the former Spanish colony would have a referendum over their right to self-determination. But Morocco argued that the Western Sahara is an integral part of its kingdom while the Polisario Front had been campaigning for the territory’s independence. Morocco has repeatedly failed to hold the proposed referendum.

In a recent letter from the King to the current Chairman of the AU, Chadian President Idriss Deby he wrote: “We need to take the path of lucidity and courage, which our elders, the first pan Africans, had privileged. … That is why, on the question of the Sahara, institutional Africa can no longer endure the burdens of a historical error and a cumbersome legacy. Since this so-called state is not a member of the UN, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the League of Arab States nor any other sub-regional, regional or international institution, is not the present situation in clear contradiction with international legality?”

Rwanda and the Swahili language
Rwanda is planning to introduce the Swahili language in its school curriculum by next year as part of plans to adopt it as an official language. At present Swahili is taught as an optional subject at primary and high school levels but French is declining in importance.

Turkey and Portugal
A joint venture between a Turkish and a Portuguese company has won the tender for construction of 205km of the proposed new Standard gauge railway. This is part of the 1,200km stretch that will eventually link Dar es Salaam with the rest of the country as well as with Rwanda and Burundi, is to be constructed at a total cost of US $1.2 billion. Tanzania is hoping to secure soft loans from development partners and financial institutions for implementation of the plan. The Turkish/Portuguese firms which were selected beat 39 other bidders for this project which will take 2½ years to build. It had been widely expected that Chinese firms would obtain the contract, but Turkey’s forceful President Erdogan visited Tanzania recently and things changed. According to The East African, the Turkish president used the opportunity of his visit to Tanzania to ask for a loan from Turkey’s state-owned Export Credit Bank to help finance part of the new rail line.

Israel
Tanzania’s long-standing support for the people of Palestine and coolness towards Israel is changing. President Magufuli, following the opening last year in Israel of a visa processing centre to boost tourism from Tanzania, has now stated his intention to open an embassy in Tel Aviv. Israeli tourist charters are already landing regularly at Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar airports.

Uganda
The latest VIP to come to Dar es Salaam on a state visit has been President Museveni of Uganda. In an official statement in Kampala following the visit, President Museveni confirmed that the major oil pipeline for Uganda oil would be constructed in Tanzania rather than Kenya and that agreement had been reached on the route (Hoima to Tanga) – and costs ($3.5 billion). People in Kampala were talking about the ‘Museveni magic.’ It is hoped that Ugandan oil will be produced by about 2020.

Comments

BUSINESS & THE ECONOMY

by Ben Taylor

Jim Kim in Tanzania: World Bank to lend $2.4bn
The World Bank President, Dr Jim Yong Kim, visited Tanzania in March, promising $2.4bn worth of loans for infrastructure projects in Tanzania over the next three years. As part of a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for a new “flyover” interchange at Ubungo in Dar es Salaam, Dr Kim and President Magufuli witnessed the signing of three contracts worth a total of $780m – for improvements in transport infrastructure, water supplies in Dar es Salaam and urban development projects elsewhere in the country.

Further projects at various stages of planning include finance for upgrading port services and rail infrastructure in and around Dar es Salaam, and for projects in the health, education, agriculture and energy sectors.

“The World Bank has been a true friend in pushing our development agenda; they issue long term loans with an affordable interest rate of just 0.5 per cent,” said President Magufuli.

Dr Kim praised President Magufuli for the purge on corruption and his vision of development towards the Tanzania Vision 2025 which seek to transform the country into a middle-income economy. He added that the $2.4bn figure represented an increase of half a billion dollars over the previous three-year period. (Reuters, Daily News)

Uncertainty in cement
President Magufuli took steps to resolve the energy problems facing the Dangote cement works in Mtwara, though many questions remain unanswered and uncertainty around energy supplies for the sector looks set to continue for some time.

The dispute arose last year after the government proved unable to fulfil the promises it had made to Dangote Group with regard to supplies of gas to the factory, and then took issue with Dangote’s decision to import coal from South Africa – banning coal imports in response. The factory later suspended operations, citing “operational issues”, putting several thousand jobs at risk.

In March, the President directed that Dangote Group should be allowed to carry out its own mining activities to source coal locally, and instructed the National Development Corporation (NDC) to allocate the firm a section of Ngaka coal mine at Mbinga, in Ruvuma region. “You should therefore give Dangote a piece of land at the mine so that he can produce coal for his factory,” said President Magufuli, referring to Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, who was in attendance. A week later, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals yesterday handed a 10-square-kilometre plot in Ngaka to Dangote.

Dr Magufuli also directed the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, to make sure that natural gas was directly delivered to Dangote Cement Company as soon as possible. It doesn’t make sense that natural gas is transported to Dar es Salaam, some 500 kilometres away, and not to Dangote Cement, which is only about 10 kilometres from where the gas is produced,” he added.

However, a number of other cement companies have similar issues with supplies of energy, and the ban on imports of coal. ARM Cement Ltd, operating in the country as Maweni Limestone Limited (MLL) was reporting as saying it could well be forced to shut down its two plants in Dar es Salaam and Tanga after failing to obtain enough coal locally. According to MLL Chairman, the firm had entered into an understanding with Tancoal Energy Ltd to be supplied with 350 tons of coal per day without fail, up to February this year, but Tancoal was able to supply only 5,000 tons of coal in three months, against MLL’s total requirement of 17,000 tons per month.

Further, these other cement companies point out that giving Dangote the opportunity to mine coal was at best a temporary solution: “Dangote has targeted natural gas and that is why he constructed the plant in Mtwara. Once he’s connected with gas he will no longer be interested in heavy coal mining,” argued a senior manager of a large local cement company. They called for the import ban to be lifted until local sources had the capacity to meet demand.

President Magufuli agreed that Tancoal appeared unable to meet the demand. “Under the current arrangement, it is very difficult to ensure that the investor gets enough coal for cement production because of poor production capacity,” he said, and called for an investigation into the relationship between Tancoal and NDC.

Earlier, in January, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) promised to provide the Dangote works with a connection to the natural gas pipeline by the end of the year. A ceramics factory, a food processing plant and the Coca Cola plant in Dar es Salaam were also promised connections this year, which would bring the number of connected factories to 41. (The Guardian, The Citizen)

Competing interpretations of IMF review
The release of a report by the IMF on the state of Tanzania’s economy noted both strengths and weaknesses in the economy.

“Tanzania’s macroeconomic performance remains strong. Economic growth was robust during the first half of 2016 and is projected to remain at about 7% this fiscal year. Inflation came down below the authorities’ target of 5% and is expected to remain close to the target, while the external current account deficit was revised down on account of lower imports of capital goods,” said an IMF statement. The statement also welcomed President Magufuli’s anti-corruption drive and tax revenue collection measures. “If sustained, [this] will provide a good foundation for the envisaged scaling up of infrastructure investment, starting with the 2016/17 budget.”

However, the statement also noted that President Magufuli’s approach to the management of the economy faces four key challenges that risk undermining the country’s macroeconomic stability. It listed these as a tight stance on macroeconomic policies, the slow pace of credit growth, slow implementation of public investment, and private sector uncertainty about the government’s new economic strategies.

This mixed report led to varied headlines. “IMF hails Dar over economic feat,” said the state-owned Daily News. In contrast, The Citizen went with a very different line: “JPM’s policies may hurt economy: IMF.”

Vodacom IPO
Vodacom Tanzania began an initial public offering (IPO) in March, the first in a series of mobile network listings expected on the Dar es Salaam stock exchange. The company plans to raise TSh 476 billion ($213 million) in an offering of 560 million shares at TSh 850 each, according to a prospectus issued to brokers, expects to list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in May.

This follows a law passed in 2016 requiring phone companies to sell at least 25% of their businesses to the public to boost local ownership.
“Vodacom Tanzania’s IPO valuation looks rich at a first glance,” said London-based investment firm, Exotics Partners. Nevertheless, analysts predict high demand for the shares. CEO of Zan Securities, Raphael Masumbuko said would-be investors were waiting for the IPO since the telecom Act was passed. “People from all walks of life are waiting for this IPO. We have been in constant pressure as to when Vodacom IPO will come out. The firm self-sales since it’s a household name,” he said.
With 31% of the telecoms market and 12.4 million active subscribers, Vodacom is the market leader in Tanzania. The country had over 40 million tele-subscribers by the end of 2016.

2,400 dollar millionaires in Tanzania Tanzania added an estimated 200 new dollar millionaires in 2016, according to a report by Knight Frank, bringing to the total number to around 2,400. The report is based on responses from 900 of the world’s private bankers and wealth advisors who manage over 10,000 clients with a combined wealth of around $2 trillion. The report also stated that Tanzania currently has two dollar billionaires, and predicted that this number would double in the next ten years.

Comments

ENERGY & MINERALS

by Roger Nellist

Controversial Presidential actions on mining
In the last few months President Magufuli has issued decrees on a range of mineral matters, which are unsettling some mining investors and causing a big local stir.

Last year he ordered the revocation of a large-scale mining licence in Shinyanga in favour of the award of mineral rights to small-scale miners. In January this year, Magufuli directed the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, to cancel a nickel mining licence at Dutwa in Simiyu region in favour of a water supply project in the area. The company that holds the Dutwa nickel mining rights (in which the World Bank through its International Finance Corporation is a 10% shareholder) has been prospecting in the area for almost a decade and is at the point of establishing a large open pit nickel mining operation. Referring to water problems in the area, the President said: “There is no way over one million people should be suffering just because one investor is extracting minerals – that does not make sense”. However, the President’s action has been strongly criticised by opposition MP Zitto Kabwe, who highlighted the considerable economic potential of the mine and said “the government is sending all negative messages to investors. These statements will cost the nation dearly in future”. The Tanzanian Chamber of Minerals and Energy called the Presidential decrees “alarming”; another body has called them an extension of violation of the law.

In a separate move, and as had been foreshadowed by President Magufuli in 2016, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals announced on 3 March an immediate ban on the export of mineral concentrates and ores for metallic minerals such as gold, copper, nickel and silver. The ban is intended to ensure that mineral value-addition activities (i.e. the processing, smelting or refining of the mineral ores/concentrates) are carried out in Tanzania, as specified in the 2009 Mineral Policy and the 2010 Mining Act. Local mineral beneficiation activities are expected to create extra jobs, generate additional revenues and transfer technology and skills to Tanzania.

However, the immediate imposition of the export ban has been criticised by several stakeholders (including small-scale miners fearing bankruptcy), who argue that existing producers have been given no time to build the necessary beneficiation facilities and that arbitrary administrative measures create an unpredictable policy environment that will deter new investors. Senior representatives of some foreign mining companies operating in Tanzania have commented that “any government making unilateral decisions is worrying and of concern” and “if the Tanzanians wish to encourage foreign investment, they’re not helping by making these sorts of announcements”. The Australian government said it was “closely monitoring” the new business policies and regulations in Tanzania for any impact those changes may have on Australian investment interests in the country.

Reports indicate that Acacia Mining Plc is the first big mining company to be affected. Although the gold bars it refines can be exported, the company has had to suspend the export of mineral sands and copper concentrate recovered during its gold mining operations. Acacia let it be known that it was losing more than $1 million each day in revenue from two of its three Tanzanian gold mines (Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi) because of the export ban. It said the ban has put unsustainable pressure on its cash flow and required it to implement stringent spending cuts and to freeze new employment.

On 23 March, President Magufuli unexpectedly visited Dar es Salaam port and inspected a number of mineral sand containers that had already been cleared for export. He ordered the stock of almost 300 containers at the port to be impounded until analysis of their contents had been completed. “Based on the information that I have, if I say what is really inside these containers, it could make any patriotic Tanzanian cry…. From now onwards, no mineralised sand will be exported from Tanzania… There is no country being robbed of its mineral wealth like Tanzania”. According to the Tanzanian Ports Authority, more than 50,000 containers holding mineral sands are being exported out of the country every year.

A few days after the President’s visit, the Speaker of the National Assembly and a number of other MPs also went to the Port to inspect the seized containers. The Speaker announced he was establishing a Parliamentary committee to investigate all aspects of the mineral sands exports saga.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Professor Justin Ntalikwa, had joined the Speaker’s visit to the port. But within hours of their visit, in an abrupt move signalling the growing sensitivity of the mineral sands export ban, President Magufuli sacked Prof Ntalikwa. No reasons were given but speculation in the press attributed Ntalikwa’s removal to his remarks about the high cost and time needed to establish local beneficiation facilities.

Then at the end of March, in an attempt to allay investors’ fears over the export ban, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa made a surprise visit to the Buzwagi Gold Mine in Shinyanga and spoke to workers there who were concerned about potential job losses resulting from the export ban. “I want to assure Tanzanians questioning this exercise that we are not doing this to scare away investors,” he said. “We want to satisfy ourselves on what is going on with our mines.” He added that the government had to clear doubts that the country was not being short-changed with regard to the export of copper concentrates. The PM’s team also took samples of mineral sands from sealed containers destined for export from the mine, in order to have them analysed independently for the amounts of copper concentrates.

The ongoing controversy has now led to official calls for some of the mining agreements to be renegotiated. Just before Easter the Controller & Auditor General sent a report to President Magufuli saying that the government must review mining contracts and rethink its tax code (to remove unreasonable provisions including generous tax exemptions and other contractual loopholes) if Tanzania is to benefit from the extractives industry.

Five-year delay for the LNG plant
At the end of 2016, Statoil’s Tanzania country manager, Oystein Michelsen, warned that a final investment decision on the $30 billion onshore liquefied natural gas export terminal will not be made for at least five years, and that it would take another five years after that to actually build the plant. The commercial partners in this mega project (which the Bank of Tanzania estimates would add 2 percentage points to annual economic growth) are Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Exxon Mobil, Ophir Energy and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation. The big hurdles facing the project include the paramount need for a stable contractual framework with the Government, resolution of land issues, identification of funding and clarity over local ownership requirements in some contracts. President Magufuli has ordered officials to accelerate the resolution of these issues so that the project can start.

Tanesco – Power price hikes cancelled
At the end of December 2016, the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority announced an increase in electricity tariffs of 8.5%, to the consternation of many including the Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo, who immediately revoked the order. The increase had been sought by the state utility, Tanesco, which had actually wanted an even bigger hike. After Minister Muhongo also disclosed that Tanesco managers had been paying themselves large bonuses despite the utility’s dire financial position, President Magufuli intervened and on 1 January sacked Tanesco’s Managing Director, Felchesmi Mramba. University of Dar es Salaam senior lecturer Dr Tito Mwinuka was appointed as Mramba’s successor in an acting capacity. Mwinuka said his priorities would be to expand the country’s power production capacity, to pursue those owing the utility money, and to improve the utility’s efficiency by changing its ‘business as usual’ culture and reducing the substantial wastage of both electricity and finances within the company. He would also pursue those who make illegal electrical connections.

Comments (1)

AGRICULTURE

by David Brewin

The prolonged drought
Although Tanzania may have suffered less than several neighbouring countries, the prolonged drought which has hit the East African region has caused serious problems for the agricultural industry.

Most of Tanzania has experienced inadequate rains at the end of last year and irrigation farming has suffered particularly badly. The Tanzania Meteorological Agency in (TMA) blames the situation on the effects of climate change which, have affected weather patterns across the globe.
Particularly affected are coffee and tea farmers. The drought induced by the La Niña weather phenomenon leading into the last quarter of last year delayed the flowering of coffee bushes. Maize and bean harvests are also threatened which have triggered food price increases.

This year’s drought is said to be the worst in the past 34 years. Tanzania is already receiving refugees from neighbouring countries.

Sugar
In what was intended to be a contribution to the planned expansion of the sugar industry in Tanzania from a production of 300,000 tons per annum at present to an eventual total of up to 2 million tons, the government set aside 10,000 hectares in Bagamoyo district for a sugar project to produce ethanol for export. This project attracted substantial investment from Sweden, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, the African Development Bank and others. However, many of the population in the area were not happy and organised protests and said that it was an example of “land grabbing”. The latest news is that the scheme has now collapsed following the ending of Swedish support.

Tanneries and leather factories
Following a meeting between presidents Magufuli of Tanzania and Abdel el Sisi of Egypt in Addis Ababa it was learned that the Tanzanian Minister for Trade and Industry, Charles Mwijage, would be turning to Egypt to tap into the technology needed to help revive its tanneries and leather factories. Tanzania is second in Africa, after Ethiopia, in the number of livestock it keeps. There are some 23 million cattle, 16 million goats, 7 million sheep and 2 million pigs. But the country imports large numbers of shoes from China and South-East Asia, some 4% of which are made from pure leather. The Minister said that in Tanzania thousands of tonnes of skins and hides are wasted due to poor handling. Tanzania has eight small and medium-sized leather factories operating below capacity, in collecting and processing raw hides and skins.

High Quality Coffee
A small company of coffee growers in North Yorkshire are in the process of creating a partnership between Britain and Tanzania in producing and selling speciality coffee which is of particularly high quality. The founder of the company, David Beatty was in Tanzania recently on a research trip which is expected to be followed by the importation of high quality coffee beans from Mbeya, Mbozi and Rungwe districts. The company aims to buy premium priced coffee beans through direct negotiation with the farmers. The aim is to ensure a fixed premium price for the farmers instead of leaving them to sell their product via auction into the commodity market. Quality demands a high price, and this is the best way that a farmer can directly benefit from the increasing demand for speciality coffee. “We set our sights on Tanzania in the hopes of finding a coffee which is a true reflection of the country. Visiting the country first-hand meant that we could inspect the crop, the harvesting and processing methods plus the environmental conditions, all of which impact on the quality of the beans. Due to its exclusivity, the new coffee will be distributed to only a select few retailers, one of which is a street coffee house in Middlesbrough. It is hoped to start serving the coffee towards the end of 2017. Thank you for sending this – Editor.

Fish farming
In Tanzania fish farming is still largely a small-scale rural initiative. It is characterised by small pond culture and contributes only 1.4% to GDP. There is very much greater potential.

Inland water covers about 6.5% of the total land area including the great Lakes – Lake Victoria, Tanganyika, and yes Nyasa/Malawi. The lakes are recognised as among 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world because they are home to hundreds of species of secluded Cichlid fish. These include around 30 species of tilapia, 11 of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

The Earlham Institute and Bangor University in the UK, as part of an international consortium of organisations, are working to characterise the genetics of tilapia species. The other institutions also involved are the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, WorldFish, the University of Dar es Salaam, Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro and the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute. The aim is to improve aquaculture and fish production while preserving Tanzania’s natural diversity and resources.

In an article in the East African, the Earlham Institute’s director of science Federica Di Parmer has pointed out that tilapia farming could become a potentially important area. Tilapia are particularly suitable for aquaculture because they can tolerate different environments and conditions. Their growth rates are also relatively fast and they have low input requirements. They are second only to Carp as the world’s most frequently farmed fish.

Digitising the agricultural sector
A strategic partnership agreement has been signed between Tanzania’s national micro-finance bank (NMB) and MasterCard to digitise the agricultural sector in the country. The partnership will see the role of eKilimo, a digital platform designed to introduce efficiency, security and transparency in the agricultural supply chain. This is expected to make transactions faster, safer, and easier for all including the farmer, the buyer and the agent. Farmers will sell produce and receive payments via a smart phone.

Comments

TOURISM & ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

by Mark Gillies

The past few months have been a quiet time for Tanzanian tourism and conservation with no new crises to face, but plenty of on-going struggles.

Perhaps with an eye to the potential damage done to the Tanzanian tourism industry by cost increases of 2016, the Tanzanian Tourism Board was reported by ATC News on 14 March as being very busy at this year’s annual ITB trade show in Berlin, signing marketing representation agreements with companies in the three key source markets of the US, UK and Germany.

The job of these companies will be to promote the tourist destinations of Tanzania & Zanzibar whilst also liaising with tour operators and travel media in those source markets. Up until this point, hotel owners and tour operators have been forced to shoulder this burden privately with little support from the TTB. No details are yet known because the companies are only due to submit their business plans to the Tourism Board in the middle of the year, but it will be interesting to see if Tanzania’s story begins to be told in a more professional and comprehensive manner.

Although Tanzania’s appeal as a tourist destination remains strong, significant negative news stories remain available for the consumer to digest.

The widespread failure of the short rains last year and the subsequent drought across parts of East Africa has brought famine to Sudan, conflict to Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau and tension to Tanzania. Interestingly, echoes of Laikipia can be found in the 3 January Citizen report by Lilian Lucas that described the lake of rain in Morogoro Region and the reported death of almost 4,000 cattle. Responding to the deaths, Regional Commissioner, Dr Kebwe Steven Kebwe, consoled pastoralists who had lost cattle but ordered police in the region to co-operate with local militias in removing pastoralists cattle from farms. He also ‘turned down’ a request from local pastoralists to graze cattle in Mikumi National Park, advising instead that the applicants tend their pasture better next year.

Readers of TA and the wider media are now sadly familiar with the threat to the sustainable management of Tanzania’s natural resources posed by poaching. Elephant, lion and giraffe have all featured in the headlines of late, so it is with a certain glum weariness that we add the grumbling hippo to this tragic list.

IPP Media reported how in December, National Geographic released a report entitled ‘Fighting the Underground Trade in Hippo Teeth’ which detailed how poaching gangs in Tanzania, and other African countries, are killing hippo for their teeth, which are then carved into intricate patterns and sold to yes, you guessed it, the Chinese market.

The last census of the Tanzanian hippo population was conducted in 2001, so very little is known about current numbers and any losses from either poaching or reduction of habitat due to human expansion. When asked about the threat, the Director of Wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof. Alexander Songorwa, stated that no hippo teeth can currently be exported legally from the country, except those acquired as a result of licenced sport hunting, but that the Department was soliciting funds and working on methodologies to combat any problem.

If the news of a new victim is always down-heartening, then reports of new initiatives in the protection of Tanzania’s natural heritage are always good to receive. This is particularly so when the news puts Tanzania on the cutting edge of technological development.

For the past few years, drones have been an increasing menace when deployed above the herds of the Great Migration, to use but one example. However, Bathawk Recon (http://bat-hawkrecon.com/) are proving that a much more sophisticated version can definitely be a force for good.

Bathawk Recon is a new private initiative based in northern Tanzanian established with the aim of using drone technology and surveillance techniques to oppose poaching operations across Tanzania and other African nations. Capable of flying during the day or the night, the drones can cover vast areas, protecting the wildlife below by spotting poaching teams and directing law enforcement teams into the affected area with pin-point accuracy. Furthermore, when contact is made with the poachers, the eye-in-the sky makes sure that no poachers are able to escape; all the while remaining unseen itself.

Have a look at the company’s videos; the potential is very exciting. One just hopes that should Bathawk Recon prove to be successful, their use will be supported wholeheartedly by the governments of Africa.

Comments

CONSTITUTION

by Enos Bukuku

Signs the constitutional review process is to be revived?
A few months ago, it appeared that President Magufuli had abandoned any plans for the government to imminently revive the process of creating a new constitution. However, he recently appointed two former Constitution Review Commission (CRC) members, Humphrey Polepole and Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, to senior positions. Mr Polepole will act as CCM Publicity Secretary, whilst Prof Kabudi will take over from Harrison Mwakyembe (see Politics section, this issue) as Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs. Prof Kabudi is considered an experienced authority on legal and constitutional matters.

In his address to Parliament in early April 2017, Prof Kabudi stated that the government is reviewing all its laws relating to the constitution before continuing with the process. “I am new to the ministry, but the government had other priorities when it came into power. The process will now resume from where it ended,” he stated.

However, “where it ended” was that it only remained for the controversial proposed constitution to receive the approval of the public through a national referendum. Many politicians have pointed out the fact that this process is not provided for in the 2017/2018 government budget. The Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) has expressed its concern about this. Moreover, and setting budget issues aside, there are still difficult political issues to overcome if a new constitution is to be created.

At a recent General Meeting of the Tanzania Constitution Forum, Gaudence Mpangala, a senior lecturer at Ruaha University College, commented that 2017 and 2018 are the right times to finalise the constitution process. He pointed out that 2019 will involve local government elections and then in 2020 the national elections.

The draft constitution which was produced by the CRC contained many recommendations which were rejected by the Constitution Assembly (CA). The CA chose to reject the proposed three-tier government and stick with the current government structure. It also chose not to limit the tenure of MPs in circumstances where due to illness, incompetence or incarceration they could be removed from office. Former President Kikwete’s criticism of the CRC’s draft constitution appears to have resulted in the sections he had criticised being omitted from the final draft. One must therefore ask whether Prof Kabudi and company will have enough freedom and autonomy to find a solution without Presidential interference with the contents of the constitution, especially if there are elements within it which limit presidential powers.

This concern is heightened by the criticism the government has been facing for restricting freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. There are some who consider that the President has too much power and/or acts above the law. Whether there is any merit to these complaints, the perception that the people have about their government is of great importance, especially where fundamental human rights are involved. Presidential powers and citizens’ rights are therefore likely to become hot topics if the review process is revived, and indeed even if it is not.

Comments

TRANSPORT

by Ben Taylor

Foundation stone laid for new Ubungo interchange

Dr Jim Yong Kim at ceremony to mark start of new Ubungo interchange,

In the presence of World Bank President, Dr Jim Yong Kim, President Magufuli laid the foundation stone for a new flyover interchange at Ubungo junction on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. The three-level flyover is to be built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and is expected to ease the city’s traffic congestion problems.

Ubungo, where Morogoro Road meets Sam Nujoma Road and the Nelson Mandela Expressway, is a major bottleneck. As one of the busiest road junctions in the country, more than 65,000 vehicles pass through each day. At peak times, motorists trying to enter or leave the city can often find themselves spending three hours or more at the junction. The intersection also serves an average of 500 to 600 upcountry and international passenger buses coming in and out of the nearby Ubungo bus terminal every day.

The project will cost TSh 188bn, financed by a World Bank loan. The government is understood to have completed all the preliminary preparations including paying compensation amounting to TSh 2.1bn to people with property that is to be demolished.

CCECC is expected to begin construction works immediately, with a stated completion date of September 2020. Construction works are expected to aggravate traffic problems during this time.
A similar overpass costing around TSh 100bn is under construction at the TAZARA junction in Dar es Salaam.

Air Tanzania revenues up
Managing Director of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), Lasislaus Matindi, said the company had collected TSh 9bn in the first four months after it began operating flights with two new aircraft in October 2016. Mr Matindi said about 80% of the revenue was spent on operational costs and on settling some outstanding debts. He was speaking to reporters after talking with the Parliamentary Public Investment Committee (PIC).

Last year, the government of Tanzania bought two 76-seater Q400 aircraft from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, at $62 million.

However, though the committee was happy with the information provided by from the management and board of ATCL, it called for a more detailed investment policy and business plan, a recruitment plan and details of the challenges the company faces, according to PIC chairman Albert Obama.

Dar-Bagamoyo ferry remains grounded
A ferry that was intended to provide a means of commuting direct to Dar es Salaam city centre from Bagamoyo remains grounded, with no immediate prospect of providing services. The boat, with a capacity of 300 passengers, was delivered in 2014 but grounded for ‘intense maintenance’ soon after its trial test. Rather than 90 minutes each way, as expected, the ferry was found to be only able to cover the distance in 3 hours, making commuting an unattractive prospect.

“The issue is already in the mandate of legal experts to ensure that all the prerequisites are met as per agreement before handing over the vessel after mechanical systems are approved. Once it is over the public will be informed on further steps forward,” said Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Engineer Edwin Ngonyani.

He explained that up to now the boat was back with the manufacturers as it was not possible to accept something that failed to meet such a significant part of the specifications.
A report from the Controller and Auditor General in 2016 discovered signs of a flawed procurement process in the Dar es Salaam ferry boat’s $5m purchase from Danish-based company, JGH.

Comments

EDUCATION

by Naomi Rouse

New report highlights effects of free learning
When authorities introduced fee-free education from primary up to Form IV of secondary school, they expected the teacher-pupil ratio to double, from 1:50 to 1:99. But a new study by HakiElimu shows that Grade One enrolment in Dar es Salaam has in fact tripled, with an average of one teacher for 164 pupils.

Unlike previous measures to abolish fees, this move was not accompanied by a teacher recruitment drive. HakiElimu raises concerns about the impact this is having on the quality of education.

The study was conducted in 56 schools from seven districts randomly selected to achieve geographic representation. It aimed to understand implementation of the fee-free basic education policy, and stakeholders’ views on its impact on teaching and learning.

HakiElimu found that there was confusion between basic education and free education, and only 44% of headteachers understood the policy. Receipt of capitation grants was varied, but overall, primary schools received less than they were expecting, and secondary schools received more. Education stakeholders asked the government to respond with a full strategy to address the challenges highlighted in the report. (The Citizen)

Only 27% of Form IV candidates qualify for high school
National Form IV exam results released in January show a modest (2.5%) improvement on previous year’s results. 408,372 students sat the exams, and 70% passed with Division I – IV. However, only 27% of candidates achieved good enough passes (Division I – III) to proceed to Form V. Gender disparities are clear in the results. 51% of candidates were girls, reflecting the progress made in increasing girls’ enrolment. However, girls’ performance lags behind. Only 67% of girls passed (with Division I – IV), compared with 73% of boys. A greater disparity is seen in the higher grades, with only 22% of girls achieving Division I – III compared with 33% of boys.

Results were annulled for 126 candidates who were accused of cheating.

The top 10 schools nationally are: Feza Boys, Shamisiye Boys, Thomas More Machrina, Marian Boys, Marian Girls, St. Aloysius Girls, St. Francis Girls (Mbeya), Kaizirege Junior (Kagera), Kifungilo Girls (Tanga) and Anwarite Girls (Kilimanjaro).

Alfred Shauri (Feza Boys), expressed disbelief and excitement at coming top in the Form IV exams, saying he had worked hard over time, and carefully following the instructions of his teachers. Given his strengths in science, his friends and family are urging him to become and engineer, but he is keen to pursue business and entrepreneurship.
Top girl Cynthia Mchechu, was also overwhelmed with joy, and aspires to become a lawyer specialising in real estate, recognising the lucrative housing market in the country. (The Citizen)

Dar es Salaam achieved its worst results for several years, with 6 of the worst performing schools being from Dar. As head teachers were summoned by the Regional Education Officer to account for the results, some came out publicly out to defend their position, blaming results on factors beyond their control such as long distances, truancy, and shortage of teachers. Other teachers declined to comment, with one saying “I am totally confused with these results.”

One teacher remarked that it was difficult for the calibre of students who were enrolled at the school to pass due to their low pass rates in their Standard Seven examinations. In another school, most students live almost 20 kilometres from the school, which was cited as making it difficult for teachers to monitor students’ behaviour after school hours.

Mock results had also been poor, prompting District Executive Directors to write letters to heads of schools to ‘pull up their socks’ to avoid negative outcomes in the final exams. (Daily News)

Sexual abuse and corporal punishment ‘widespread’ in Tanzania’s schools
Human Rights Watch report calls on UK and other aid donors funding ambitious education programme to put pressure on government to halt abuses. The report found sexual abuse, harassment and corporal punishment to be widespread in schools in Tanzania. The report also found that more than 40% of adolescents in Tanzania were left out of quality lower-secondary education, despite a decision to make this schooling free.

The report, “I Had a Dream to Finish School”: Barriers to Secondary Education in Tanzania, picks up on compulsory pregnancy tests in some areas and expulsion of pregnant girls, as well as the widespread use of “brutal and humiliating forms” of corporal punishment. The report said female students were exposed to widespread sexual harassment, and that male teachers in some schools attempted to persuade or coerce them into sexual relationships.

Tanzania is one of Africa’s largest recipients of aid, and DFID is set to spend £150million on education in Tanzania between 2013 and 2020. HRW called on the UK government to leverage its donor position and call on the Tanzanian government to urgently address the most critical issues exposed in the research, particularly corporal punishment and sexual abuse. (UK Guardian)

Students protest the transfer of their headteacher

Students at Bariadi School assist their fellow student suffering the effects of tear gas (Simiyu news blog http://www.simiyunews.com)

More than 600 students from Bariadi Secondary School, Simiye Region, blocked the main road holding up community activities for several hours in a protest against the transfer of their head teacher. Students tried to march on the District Executive Director’s Office but were prevented by police.

Students had been refusing to enter class since the day before when the transfer of their existing head was announced, saying they did not want to let him go because he was hard-working. They carried banners refusing the new head, and threw rocks at the police before the police arrested and beat some students and released teargas to disperse them. The District Commissioner visited the school to calm the students and asked them to return to class, as their request was granted and the head would not be transferred after all. (Mwananchi)

Government orders submission of pregnancy report
The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu has ordered the Director of Children to supply a report on pregnancies within one month. Schools are legally required to report the number of schoolgirl pregnancies on a quarterly basis, with head teachers facing possible imprisonment for non-compliance, but Ms Mwalimu challenged colleagues to ask who had followed up to see that reports were actually being submitted as required. She emphasised the importance of following up, to ensure that laws to protect girls from early marriage and pregnancy are being enforced. While stakeholders often point the finger at parents, she held institutions responsible for not following up on implementation of the law, which requires stiffer penalties for men found marrying or impregnating schoolgirls. Tanzania has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates in the world and according to the 2016 Tanzania Demographic Household Statistics (TDHS), one third of all girls in the country were married when they were still children. (Daily News)

7,000 tertiary students risk expulsion
The Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) has reviewed student eligibility and published the names of 7,000 students who have been found to have been admitted into programmes that they don’t qualify for. The named students have one week to prove their academic credentials, or risk expulsion. 52 higher learning institutions across the country are affected. (Daily News)

Loan recovery drives up collections
New procedures for deducting loan repayments from salaries have successfully increased collections by the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB). Monthly collection has increased from Tsh 3.8bn to TSh 12bn, with the total amount collected over 8 months standing at TSh 49bn. With the new measures, the board is optimistic of further progress, stating “If we proceed with this trend, we are certain that by June we will have collected TSh 100bn for a period of one year since the campaign started. Previously, the board used to collect that amount in ten years”. At the annual rate of TSh 100bn collections, the board will be able to finance the loan issuance budget by between 20 and 25 per cent. Currently, the government funds almost the entire amount required to lend to students from its budget.

Comments

HEALTH

by Ben Taylor

Drone-based deliveries of blood and medical supplies to be trialled

“Zip” drone being tested in Rwanda (flyzipline.com)

The UK government is supporting a trial using drones to deliver blood and other medical supplies to remote health clinics in Tanzania. The idea is to dramatically cut the time spent distributing such supplies. The Ifakara Health Institute will be the local partner.

The drones – known as “Zips” – are small fixed-wing aircraft that are launched from a catapult. They then follow a pre-programmed path using GPS location data. Compared to multi-rotor models, the Zips cope better with windy conditions and stay airborne for longer. In theory, they can fly up to about 180 miles (290km) before running out of power. However, they require open space to land: an area about the size of two car parking slots. These drones will get round this by descending to around 5m when they reach a clinic and then dropping their loads via paper parachutes.

Dfid estimates that flying blood and medical supplies by drone from Dodoma to surrounding clinics could save around £50,000 a year com

pared to using cars or motorcycles. But they add that the time savings are more significant.
“Flights are planned to start in early 2017, and when they do it is estimated that [the] UAVs could support over 50,000 births a year, cutting down the time mothers and new-borns would have to wait for life-saving medicine to 19 minutes – reduced from the 110 minutes traditional transport methods would take,” a spokeswoman explained. “This innovative, modern approach ensures we are achieving the best results for the world’s poorest people and delivering value for money for British taxpayers,” said the International Development Secretary Priti Patel. (BBC)

Kenya turns down Tanzania’s offer of doctors to provide strike cover
The Tanzanian government offered to send 500 medical doctors to Kenya to help overcome the effects of a strike in public hospitals in the neighbouring country. This was despite Tanzania itself facing a serious shortage of medics at its own hospitals.

Kenya’s doctors went on strike in public hospitals on December 5 last year, demanding better pay and working conditions. The strike means that many public hospitals in Kenya have had to turn away some patients, and has reportedly caused the deaths of several patients at public hospitals. It has threatened to undermine Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s bid for a second term in the country’s presidential election in August, according to analysts.

President Magufuli responded positively to a request from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for more doctors after he was visited by Kenya’s health minister, Cleopas Mailu, in Dar es Salaam. “Tanzania has accepted Kenya’s request for 500 doctors to help the country deal with a shortage of doctors at its medical centres following a doctors’ strike,” said a statement from the President’s Office.

The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, said Tanzania has “many qualified medical doctors who are currently unemployed.”

However, a section of the medical fraternity in Kenya interpreted the offer as a form of strike-breaking, and responded by strongly hinting that the Tanzanian doctors can expect a hostile reception, triggering fears that the Tanzanian doctors could be thrown into the middle of Kenya’s tense political process and aggressive trade union movement. A court in Kenya then issued an injunction barring the government from recruiting doctors from Tanzania.

The president of the Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), Dr Obadia Nyongole, reminded the Tanzanian government of the need to address a shortage of doctors in the country’s own medical centres. Tanzania has an estimated 2,250 medical doctors, less than half the number required to meet World Health Organisation minimum standards: the requirement is around 5,000 doctors. (The Guardian, The Citizen)

Comments

SPORT

by Philip Richards

Athletics
The London Marathon is a much loved and anticipated event on the UK athletics calendar which attracts top athletes from around the world, but the upcoming 2017 event in April could see Tanzania’s top runner missing. At the time of going to press, Alphonce Simbu has days left to obtain a UK visa which, as reported by The Citizen, has been left too late because of training commitments. An urgent application is apparently being made via South Africa. Simbu won the Mumbai Marathon earlier this year, so let us hope that the wheels of inter-country cooperation work in his favour, and that we see him hitting London’s roads this year.
[STOP PRESS – Alphonce was able to compete and finished in 5th place behind three Kenyans and an Ethiopian runner]

Swimming

Hilal Hemed Hilal


Hilal Hemed Hilal, Tanzania’s top male swimmer, has been recognised for his success and development by being awarded a scholarship by FINA (swimming’s world governing body) to Thailand for a year. Hilal, who performed well at the Rio Olympics in 2016 by winning one of the heats of the 50m freestyle, will seek an additional year at the Thai camp if he posts improvements during his initial stay (The Citizen reports). As swimming infrastructure in Tanzania needs investment to comply with global standards, many promising swimmers are forced to seek scholarships overseas at educational colleges (such as Saint Felix School in Southwold, UK where several Tanzanian swimmers study) but this is the first time that a Tanzanian has been awarded a scholarship by FINA.

Football
Taifa Stars, the national team, recently posted two wins in friendly matches against Botswana (2-0) and Burundi (2-1) which must be encouraging for the new coach Salum Mayanga who replaced Charles Boniface Mkwasa at the helm earlier this year after failing to qualify for any major tournaments. These wins may have helped move the team slightly up the FIFA rankings to 135th, but there is some way to go before the position of 65th in 1995 is equalled or surpassed. The focus is now on preparing for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Kenya, and the main 2019 African Nations Cup (AFCON) in 2019 in Cameroon. The first game for the CHAN tournament is against Rwanda in July. For the 2019 AFCON tournament, the team has been drawn in qualifying Group L with Uganda, Cape Verde and Lesotho.

Comments