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Economies within the East African Community (EAC) are projected to grow at 5.6 per cent this year from 5.1 per cent registered in 2022. In its New Year message, the East African Business Council (EABC) further disclosed that Intra-EAC goods exports stood at $3.6 billion in 2021 increasing by 30 per cent from $2.75 billion in 2020 following the elimination of persistent non–tariff barriers and easing of Covid-19 restrictions. “In 2021, EAC goods export to the world stood at $18.78 billion and imports at $ 44.2 billion,” the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and corporates in the East Africa noted yesterday. According to an EABC’s study barometer on business and investment outlook which showed the rate of investments, operation and performance of businesses in the EAC bloc is recovering amid Covid-19 and is set to increase by 11 per cent in this year. Plans are underway for the EABC to engage the Chair of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State to enhance trade in cereals for increased food security, strengthen the integration of regional supply chains, eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers, restrictions to the free movement of services, double taxation, open skies, telecommunications and infrastructure development in order to boost the expansion of businesses across EAC borders. “We count on your continued support towards EABC Secretariat advocacy initiatives,” the message read in part. Similarly, the regional business council plans to roll out high-level public-private dialogues to ensure the Governments of EAC Partner States put in place frameworks to reduce the effects of global disruptions on business, investment and economies. Last year, EABC organised a Pre-Heads of State Summit Consultation and presented memoranda of private sector policy priorities to the EAC Council of Ministers during the High-Level Summit on Common Market Protocol. During the year under review, the EABC also saw seven out of 10 EABC Policy Priorities adopted in the Communiqué of the EAC Council of Ministers on Common Market Protocol and the adoption of 35 per cent as the fourth band of EAC Common External Tariff (CET) by EAC Partner States which is set to promote industrialisation and regional value chains. EABC is the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and corporates in the East Africa with a single purpose of driving EAC’s integration process through trade and investment. Its overarching objective is to be an effective change agent for fostering an enabling business environment and to promote private sector’s regional and global competitiveness in trade and investment.


Inades Formation Tanzania, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which is affiliated to the international association of Inades Formation, has implemented a special project on climate change resilience for farmers in the two districts of Chemba and Kondoa in Dodoma region. Christened ‘Climate Change Adaptation for Improved Livelihoods in Semi Arid’ the helpful project under the financial shadow of Bread for the World is working to impart the farmers in the two districts with useful agroecological practices necessary for combating effects of climate change in their plantations. Among others, the robust project being implemented in cooperation with the Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF) has successfully managed to train the beneficiary farmers on proper land management, biological practices for the restoration of land fertility as well as soil moisture maintenance. During an interview over the weekend in Chemba District during a special tour of the project, the project coordinator, Abbawesiga Kamulali, said the initiative was also meant to address environmental issues across the two districts. “Despite being endowed with arable land and conducive climate for supporting production of numerous crops, farmers in these districts have been failing to realise bumper harvest due severe effects of climate change,” Mr Kamulali noted. The effects, he added, include prolonged drought spells, soil erosion, and soil infertility together with washing away of soil humidity, the negative factors that have currently been contained to a great extent after the farmers have been trained on biological practices to restore the losses. “Apart from training them on how to restore soil fertility and moisture through agroecological methods, we have also introduce them (farmers) to improved drought tolerant seeds varieties as well as the Quality Declared Seeds (QDS),”


Minister for Minerals, Dr Doto Biteko has said that the government is in the process of resuming gemstone auctions, geared towards bringing big buyers and traders into the country. This was stated at the launching of a mineral tourism shop of the Tanzanite Experience Company in Manyara Kibaoni area in Karatu District, Arusha Region. Minister Biteko said through the auction, the firm, through the newly launched shop will get a lot of gemstones for development of the centre and other areas. Biteko said that through the centre which is located in the northern tourism circuit, the shop has been attracting a good number of local and foreign tourists. He said that Tanzanian gemstones, especially Tanzanite, are mostly being purchased in large quantities by tourists who come to visit our national parks. The minister said that the government will continue to support vigorous efforts and initiatives by the private sector to promote gemstones that are found in the country. He added that the Ministry of Minerals commends the investment which has been made 100 per cent by Tanzanians. Dr Biteko said that such initiatives by the private sector are in line with the efforts of President Samia Suluhu Hassan in promoting the country’s rich natural resources and creating a conducive environment for investments. “It should be remembered that through the ‘Royal Tour Film’ featuring President Samia, she widely promoted Tanzanite minerals as among the attractions available in the country,” said Dr Biteko. He said the ministry encourages such kind of investment which directly supports the efforts made by the government to promote Tanzanite and other minerals in the world. Dr Biteko called on people who are interested in investing in gemstone cutting not to hesitate coming and invest in adding value to minerals and in the process provide jobs to Tanzanians and increase revenue in forms of taxes. On his part, the Director of Tanzanite Experience Hassinne Sajani has said that the shop has become a big attraction for Tanzanians and tourists from abroad who buy several mineral products. He also added that the company has 80 employees and more than 80 per cent are residents of Manyara Kibaoni. For his part, the Manager of Tanzanite Experience, Junaid Khan said that more than 6000 visitors have come to visit the Tanzanite Experience Company Karatu District Head Dadi Kolimba has said that mining business which is opened in Karatu district will increase income and explained that he has congratulated the company for providing more than 80 jobs to Tanzanians in various positions.


The price of beans in most parts of Dar es Salaam City has risen to a historic level, turning out to be a burden to consumers. The average price of beans climbed to between 3,600/- to 4,200/- for a kilo recently, causing many customers to reduce their consumption to this one time being their favourite meal. A ‘Daily News’ survey in various grain markets in Dar es Salaam City namely Tandika, Gongo la Mboto and Buguruni showed the highest bean grade fetches between 3,600/- and 4,200/- per kilogramme. The skyrocketing prices have made most citizens dig deeper into their pockets, especially those who depend much on beans and maize as the basic food. A resident of Tandika Ms Zainabu Kassim said the rising food prices have affected the household meal budget while income remains unchanged. “I used to buy a kilo of beans for my family consisting of 5 members when the price was 1,500/- for a kilo. It is hard to buy that quantity when the price is 3,600/- per kilogramme,” Ms Zainabu said. Additionally, Ms Mwajabu Daniel, a food vendor at Gongo la Mboto market expressed her disappointment with the rising prices which she is saying is a heavy burden to bear for the customer since they cannot raise the price of the food plates. “A kilogramme of beans is now ranging between 4,000/- to 4,200/-, it is very disappointing to food vendors,” she said. She added that wheat flour has also increased from 1,200/- to 2,000/- per kilogramme, an increase of at least 1,000/- from the previous price. Furthermore, Mariam Saleh, a food vendor in Buguruni market stressed over the sharp rise in bean prices causing her to reduce the quantity that gives her assurance of selling the whole amount. “I have now reduced the amount of maize flour to 7 kilogrammes costing about 11,900/- after its price shot to 1,700/- per kilogramme from 900/- per kilogramme when I used to buy more than 15 kilogrammes,” she stressed. On her part, Ms Awei Said, a wholesale trader at Gongo la Mboto market said the reason for the sharp price rise is due to the opening of borders where business people from neighbouring countries are competing with the locals thus driving up prices. “The price rise is attributed to the opening of the borders whereby most of the grain is sold to the regional markets,” said Ms Said. Ms Awei also stressed that the high price of beans already hiked by farmers plays a bigger part in the increase of price in the market and this is a burden to the consumers that has caused most of them to look for alternatives. “For example, combat beans are now sold at 330,000/- for 300 kilogrammes for a wholesale price, yellow beans are sold at 360,000/- for 300 kilogrammes and maize flour is sold at 40,000/- for 25 kilogrammes,” she added. According to the wholesale prices of main food crops released by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry last month shows that Mtwara Region has the lowest minimum prices for maize grains whereby the price for 100 kilogramme ranges between 80,000/- and 90,000/-, while Tanga Region has the highest price of about 128,000/- and 133,000/- for 100 kilogrammes. For beans grain, Kagera region has the lowest price ranging between 130,000/- and 170,000/- for a 100 kilogramme, while Kinondoni District in Dar es Salaam region registered the highest price between 300,000/- and 350,000/- for 100 kilogrammes. Also, the report shows that Kigoma Region has the lowest price of 230,000/- for 100 kilogrammes while Dodoma recorded the highest price of 365,000/- per 100 kilogrammes.


Government’s subsidy on fuel has continued to bring relief to consumers for the past six months, as prices in the local market persistently go down. Data indicates that the pump prices for petrol has decreased by an average of 14 per cent during the period for petrol imported through three major ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara. From August last year to January this year, prices after subsidy for petrol imported through Dar es Salaam Port reduced from 3410/- to 2819/-, equivalent to 17.3 per cent. During the same period, prices of petrol imported through Tanga Port decreased from 3435/- to 2989/-, equivalent to 13 per cent. Meanwhile, retail price for petrol imported via Mtwara Port has gone down from 3393/- in August last year to 2993/- this month, equivalent to 11.8 per cent. However, figures show that diesel has maintained a slight decrease of prices by an average of 0.55 per cent for two ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga. Whereas, prices for diesel imported through Dar es Salaam Port has gone down by 0.8 per cent from 3,322/- in August to 3295/- in January this year, the prices for diesel imported through Tanga Port reduced by 0.3 per cent from 3349/- to 3340/- during corresponding period. In the contrary, the diesel imported via Mtwara Port has recorded a slight increase of pump prices by 1.58 per cent from August last year to January this year, whereby diesel sold at a cap price of 3351/- in August as compared to 3404/- announced yesterday by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA). In the public notice on Tuesday, the EWURA announced the indicative prices for petroleum products for this month. The statement, signed by the authority’s Director General Modestus Lumato, said pump prices of petrol for Dar es Salaam has decreased by 8/- per litre, whilst, Tanga and Mtwara increased by164/- per litre and168 per litre, respectively, compared to the prices that prevailed in December 2022. Also, diesel for Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara increased by 48/-, 91/- and 135/- per litre, respectively. On the contrary, the price of Kerosene in Dar es Salaam has decreased by 49/- per litre compared to the previous publication. Increase in cap prices are attributed to changes in Free on Board (FOB), premium and appreciation of the US dollar against the Shilling. The prices differ from one location to another due to differences in recommended loading port and transportation costs. The statement said the information on prices is intended to enable stakeholders to make informed decisions on petroleum prices at any particular time. “Oil Marketing Companies are free to sell their products at a price that gives them a competitive advantage provided that such price does not exceed the price cap and is not below the floor price for the relevant product,” the statement emphasized. It further stressed that the price boards should clearly show prices charged, discounts offered as well as any trade incentives or promotions on offer. “Consumers are encouraged to purchase from stations that sell products at the most competitive prices and offer better services,” it said. The authority warned that legal action will be taken against any retailer who fails to comply with the instructions.


Tanzania’s export volume to China is expected to grow by 20 per cent in the year 2023, thanks to enhanced trade and bilateral ties between the two countries in 2022. Tanzania exports to China rose to 605.5 million US dollars (1.4tri/-) this year from 409 million US dollars ( last year, according to Tanzania Ambassador to China, Mbelwa Kairuki. The envoy released the figure yesterday, highlighting major achievements that the country has recorded through its mission in Beijing in the year 2022, which is coming to an end. Mr Kairuki attributed the successes to a number of factors and efforts taken by Dodoma and Beijing governments, including the historic visit that President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan made to China last month. President Samia’s Beijing visit played a crucial role in cementing further the existing bilateral ties as well as opening up more business opportunities for people of the two countries, said Amb. Kairuki. “The historic visit opened a number of opportunities. From next year 2023, Tanzanian businessmen will start exporting avocados and perch fish to the Chinese market,” he said. Moreover, at least 1,000 Tanzanian youth will be able to sell soybeans to China following agreements that were signed in 2022 between the government and Longping Company of China. He said, under the signed agreement, Tanzanian youth who are growing soybeans will be provided with seeds and farming inputs. Also, there are some 10,000 employment opportunities for Tanzanians that will be created following huge investment at the Sino-Tanzania industrial area in Kibaha, Coast region. “The investment is part of implementation of the resolutions reached during the investment forum held between President Samia and the Confederation of Chinese businessmen in Tanzania,” said Ambassador Kairuki. This year also saw Tanzanians start to transport their cargo direct to China through Air Tanzania in May 2022. It is expected that by 2023 the export volume will increase considerably. Ambassador Kairuki also noted that Tanzanian students studying in China, business men and tourists will continue enjoying direct flights between Guangzhou and Dar es Salaam. Air Tanzania launched direct flights to Guangzhou in July this year. Expounding further, the diplomat said 2022 was also the year in which the Tanzania Royal Tour film premiered in Hunan province television in October. The film was viewed by 60 million people. According to Ambassador Kairuki, the Royal Tour film was translated to Chinese language and uploaded in the Chinese popular social media networks including the Bilibili. In the education sector, the embassy initiated an educational program on various technologies that can be used to increase production and processing of various raw materials available in the country. A total of 122 Tanzanians received scholarships to study in various Chinese higher education institutions and more opportunities are in pipeline for the year 2023. The embassy also provided public education on business opportunities available in China as well as proper procedures that business men have to follow in order to avoid losing their capitals to dishonest traders. As part of efforts to strengthen services in China, in May 2022, Tanzania launched the consulate in Guangzhou, China’s commercial city. The consulate was established for the sake of facilitating accessibility of services for Tanzanian business men and others who are exploring opportunities in the world’s second economic giant.


Campaigns for safe use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at domestic level got fresh impetus on Wednesday as the Oryx Gas Tanzania Limited embarked on a programme to train consumers at community level. The company’s move is intended to assure that the LPG use does not affect environment and peoples’ health that could as well cause deaths. Officiating the launch of the programme in Kilimanjaro region, Energy Permanent Secretary, Engineer Felchesmi Mramba, said the initiative was a boost to President’s Samia Suluhu Hassan’s efforts, seeking to ensure that Tanzanians shift to using the clean cooking gas. Eng Mramba said the ministry believes that improving peoples’ lives includes opting clean cooking energy because several women are affected through using charcoal and firewood. The launch of the programme yesterday went along with training for Ward leaders in all districts of Kilimanjaro region and the community members. The training went along with donation of 700 Oryx Gas LPG cylinders and starting kits to different communities’ representatives and users. “This training will be gradually implemented for all communities nationwide,” Oryx Gas Tanzania Managing Director, Benoit Araman, said. This is part of the company’s educational mission and its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG policy). “These sessions aim to create awareness about LPG, its safe use and how cooking with LPG can improve health of communities whilst protecting the environment,” Mr Araman said. He said the LPG can be dangerous if used or misused, but, if used with care and the relevant level of training and knowledge, Oryx LPG is the ideal clean energy to be used for cooking. Mr Araman further argued that the usage of LPG was growing in Tanzania, hence, it was the responsibility of LPG players to ensure that LPG customers are educated and trained in such a way they are aware about all good benefits of LPG and how to use it safely. “That is why Oryx Gas Tanzania has decided to launch this safety training for its users along with basic education about Oryx LPG clean cooking solution. Nothing is more important than OGTL customers’ safety,” he added. For a very long time, Oryx Gas Tanzania has conducted various trainings for different groups of users like Super Dealers, Dealers, Retailers. OGTL has also teamed up with key stakeholders such as Energy and Water Utilities Authority (EWURA), the Fire Brigade, the Weight and Measure Agency (WMA) in creating awareness about safety of LPG for resellers and distributors. “Now the Oryx Gas Tanzania has decided to go to end users level, which we believe is the right thing to do to educate customers for a safe use of LPG whilst reducing the risk of accident to happen due to a lack of knowledge,” he stated.


Farmers in Kongwa District of Dodoma region have asked the government to build capacity among extension officers over agro ecology so that they impart such knowledge to farmers. Agro ecology is sustainable farming that works with nature. Ecology is the study of relationships between plants, animals, people and their environment – and the balance between these relationships. Agro ecology is the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming. They observed that, since agro ecology practices have so far proved to play a meaningful role in helping farmers to overcome severe effects of climate change in their fields it was prudent for the government to assure all farmers across the country are adopting the practices. During the special tour of the district, the farmers who have benefited from a three-year watershed agro ecological project titled ‘Enabling a Resilient and Prosperous Community Through Participatory Agro-ecological Practices in Semi- Arid regions of Central zone’, admitted to have managed to get bumper harvest during the 2021-2022 farming season despite intermittent and unpredictable rains received during the season in central semi-arid areas of Kongwa. “For years we have been getting poor crop yields due to the dry spell and other negative effects of climate change, but after being trained on agro ecological practices we have since managed to realise good harvest,” expressed Hilda Madeje, the project’s beneficiary farmer. Before the inception of the project she added, crop production within the District was primarily derailed by land degradation, drought, floods among others. Ms Bilha Mtembezi, the other beneficiary, expressed gratitude over the way professional manner has been applied in the project. “Before the project most farmers here used to apply low-yield landrace seeds varieties that usually prompted poor yields, but with the improved seeds varieties were currently realizing enough harvests,” she appreciated. Ms Pendo Magomba also expressed gratitude to the way the timely initiative has trained the farmers on how best to establish the Technology Hub Plot (THP) referred to as Shamba Darasa in Swahili, being among permanent learning sites used by multiple stakeholders to spearhead scaling of proven technologies at landscape level. With the THP she said the farmers have effectively managed to improve crop yields as a result of using Fanya Juu/Fanya chini contour terraces, tied ridges (that have immensely helped in conserving moisture and preventing soil erosion and soil fertility loss). “At my farm I grow sorghum (Macia variety), pigeon pea and maize (Tumbi 105), and through the use of an intercropping system I have managed to realise good yields,” she added. Elirehema Swai, Coordinator for Research and Innovation at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI)- Makutupora Centre, informed that the project was gearing to improve agricultural productivity and landscape scale natural resource management through participatory planning, diagnosis and implementation of integrated watershed management. “The project also focuses on promotion of use of innovative and agroecological based agricultural practices that enhance sustainability and household resilience,” he insisted.


President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced on Tuesday that an investor has expressed interest in financing a 367-kilometre Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) link connecting Uvinza, a town in western Tanzania, and Gitega, a city in Burundi. The announcement comes two months after Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) invited bids for the construction of the line. Bids were due in November 15 of this year. “There is already someone who has come forward who wants to construct this railway, who will spend his money—this is not a loan—and in exchange, we will agree to refund the investor on the transportation of his consignment when it is finished,” President Samia stated. She added, “So let us count that the Uvinza-Msongati railway already has a financier and when we are ready, we will sign a deal with the investor to begin construction,”. In a speech at the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam for the second phase of the SGR lot six from Tabora to Kigoma, Ms Samia said the project has been in the pipeline since January this year when the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on an initial cost estimate of 900 million US dollars (about 2.1tril/-). However, the Head of State did not reveal the name of the investor, but once completed, the route will transport over a million tonnes of cargo between the two East African countries. Each year, the railway line will carry over three million tonnes of minerals from Burundi to Tanzania. The project is expected to cut down transportation expenses, promote industrialisation and boost the regional economy. The line features 85km of siding/passing loops and 282km of the main railway line. Lot 1 will span a distance of 180 kilometres within Tanzania, from Uvinza to Malagarasi. Lot 2 on the other hand will span a distance of 187 kilometres from Musongati to Gitega. President Samia went on to say that the main goal was to connect Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Of course, the Tabora-Kigoma railway and the Uvinza-Musongati-Gitega-Kindu railway will open up Tanzania and connect it with the DRC on its eastern side, where there is a lot of cargo that needs to be transported to the world market,” “Currently, the cost of transporting one container from the port of Dar es Salaam to the DRC is estimated to reach 6000 – 15,000 US dollars, depending on where the cargo is going within the DRC and it takes more than a month,” Ms Samia said. But if this railway is completed in 2027, she said they expect the transportation costs will decrease to 4,000 US dollars and the travel time will be 27-30 hours. “It is my expectation that the infrastructure we are improving will help stimulate trade between the countries that use our ports and Asian countries. This is also an opportunity for Tanzania to benefit from its geographical position,” she noted. President Samia urged Tanzanians to be grateful to God and the government for their efforts in achieving the essential aim of promoting their well-being, noting that transportation used to take more than a week, but that it now takes only a few hours to reach various parts of the nation. Earlier, Minister for Works and Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa said for the financial year 2022/2023, the railway sub-sector was allocated 1.19tril/- to continue with railway construction, repair and purchase of railway equipment. Prof Mbarawa said that the construction of the railway for the first phase is progressing well and the signing of the Tabora-Kigoma section has coincided with the completion of a total of 2,102 kilometres of SGR throughout the country, Tanzania sets a new record for having the longest railway network of SGR in Africa. “I congratulate Tanzanians through the government you lead for starting early to implement Agenda 2063 of the African Union, which calls for African countries to have an SGR network,” he noted. He further said when President Samia came to power, the construction of SGR was being implemented in two parts of Dar es Salaam – Morogoro and Morogoro – Makutupora with a total of 722 kilometres and in two years the government has commenced implementing the four parts of Makutupora-Tabora, Tabora-Isaka, Isaka-Mwanza and Tabora – Kigoma that makes 1,380 kilometres long. “The contractors are progressing well with the construction on all the lots and their claims are on time according to the certificate of payment they submit,” he said. In terms of the purchase of work tools, the government has already invested 1.29tril/-, the contribution of the railway will be large and will enable the port of Dar es Salaam to face competition from other ports and bring productivity to our country, according to Prof Mbarawa.


As part of efforts to mitigate transport challenges during the festive season, Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) has allowed some upcountry passenger buses to increase frequencies of their trips in regions facing transport woes. In addition, the regulator has issued 349 special permits to minibuses for hire to people who wish to travel in groups to upcountry regions. Principal LATRA official at Magufuli Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam, Mr Eyudi Nzuki, mentioned some of the routes where the frequencies have been increased as Arusha, Bukoba, Mwanza and Mbeya from Dar es Salaam. The official also mentioned some of the companies whose buses have increased their trips as Abood, Allys, among others. “LATRA has ensured that all the buses which have been allowed to increase their trips are safe and have been fitted with speed governors. In collaboration with the police force, we also ensure that the vehicles are frequently inspected,” he explained. In a related development, Mr Nzuki said the regulator has issued a total of 452 special permits in various regions to meet the increased demand of transport services during the festive season. According to the official, 103 special permits have been issued to buses with a capacity to carry more than 42 passengers. The remaining 349 permits are for minibuses which could be hired by people who wish to travel to areas with high demand of transport services, he explained. Mr Nzuki explained further that the authority has undertaken a number of efforts to address hurdles which are normally experienced by passengers wishing to travel to upcountry regions during the festive season. “Passengers should purchase their tickets at offices of respective bus companies and avoid booking the same outside bus terminals where they could be conned by middlemen,” he advised. However, some of the passengers who were interviewed decried what they described as artificial shortage of seats in buses being created by middlemen in collaboration with bus conductors. “You may be told that the seats for that particular day are full, but the same people will lure you to part with between 40,000/- and 45,000/- for a trip from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and Arusha which is usually charged at an average of 37,000/-,” one of the bus touts at the terminal stated. On the other hand, the Treasurer of Tanzania Bus Owners Association (TABOA), Mr Issa Nkya, has called on the media to continue sensitising the public on the importance of purchasing their tickets from offices of respective bus companies to avoid middlemen.


Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute – Naliendele Centre (TARI-Naliendele) plans to release a new variety of cashew nut which is resistant to cashew leaf and nut blight disease. TARI Naliendele Centre Director, Dr Fortunus Kapinga made the revelation here recently saying the new variety will be grown without using chemical pesticides. “We are at the final stages to release the new variety that can be grown and well managed without using chemical pesticides to control the disease (blight),” he said following farmers’ complaints over severe attack of the blight disease on cashew crop causing substantial yield losses. According to Dr Kapinga, the disease is highly caused by weather variables particularly rainfall and moisture. He said the disease has recently become a serious destructive compared to the past where it only occurred after rainfall. “In that past, the disease occurred after rainfall but nowadays it occurs due to moisture causing more destruction on crop yields,” he said. Speaking here recently, cashew farmers said the crop production has been highly affected by various pests and diseases including blight causing crop losses. An agricultural Consultant in Lindi Region, Ms Khadija Bakiri said the region has been much affected by pests and disease due to climate changes. “Lindi region has been much affected by pests and diseases especially on cashew crop which is affected by several diseases that constrain production,” she said. Ms Bakiri said the region had expected to harvest over 100,000 tonnes of raw cashewnuts in 2022/2023 season but the goal will not be reached due to pests and diseases that have caused crop losses. She said in 2021/2022 season, Lindi region harvested over 65,000 tonnes of raw cashews. “In this 2022/2023 season, we are not expecting to harvests below 65,000 tonnes of raw cashews that we harvested in the last 2021/2022 season,” she said.


The Central Bank has placed Yetu Microfinance Bank Plc under statutory administration after the bank failed to meet regulatory requirements regarding liquidity and capital adequacy. “To permit Yetu Microfinance Bank to continue with banking operations while under the state of shortage of liquidity and undercapitalisation is detrimental to the interest of depositors and poses systemic risk to the stability of the financial system,” the central bank said in a statement yesterday. It said suspension of the operations of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) listed Yetu Microfinance, came after noticing dwindling of the capital for the pro-poor lender. Financial markets analysts started to see the underperforming of Yetu Microfinance since 2020. The microfinance bank posted successive net losses in the last three years due to the huge cost of funding, loan impairments and ever-increasing operating expenses. “The most notable red flag from their latest published report (quarter four of last year) was the loans to deposits ratio of 390 per cent, even when we include borrowings, loans were still at 139 per cent of the total,” Imani Muhingo, Head of Research and Financial Analytics at Alpha Capital told Daily News on Sunday. Vertex International Securities, Advisory and Capital Markets Manager, Ahmed Nganya, said Yetu Microfinance’s liquidity and capital adequacy ratios were below the required thresholds of 12.50 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. “It’s clear that it was a matter of time before the Bank of Tanzania decides to place the bank under its administration,” Mr Nganya said adding: “However, despite some valid questions on Yetu’s governance practices, it is visibly clear that third-tier financial institutions, microfinance banks included are operating on edge”. The banking industry is hugely dominated by larger banks—CRDB, NMB and Standard Chartered, which pushes these smaller institutions to take many risks in issuing loans. “We think sector consolidation is bound to continue as we expect dominoes for these smaller institutions to continue to fall,” Mr Nganya told ‘Daily News’. The central bank suspended Yetu’s board of directors and management and appointed a statutory manager to manage the affairs of the lender. “Thus,” BoT statement said, “Yetu Microfinance will not be open for normal business for a period not exceeding 90 days during which the Bank of Tanzania will determine an appropriate resolution option”. The central bank also assures the public that it will continue to protect the interests of depositors and maintain the stability of the banking sector.


Kariakoo’s furniture and cloth traders face a gloomy Christmas and New Year season as shoppers’ pattern reveals a worrisome trend. The end-of-the-year holidays are a time of hope and the advent of almost every Christmas season prompts merchants to predict good business. “But not this year,” said Ms Restituta Kiria, a garment businesswoman at Kariakoo market for almost two decades. The business trend, according to the Daily News spot survey, especially at the Kariakoo market and its surroundings, revealed that the volume was decreasing significantly compared to a similar period last year. The shopping trend, according to businesspersons, normally starts to pick up three weeks before Christmas, especially for children’s clothes but this year is unpredictable. Ms Kiria said that this year’s business was not picking up dashing their hopes to capitalise on low Covid-19 infections plus various government initiatives to spur trade and investment to maximise profits. “I don’t understand why the situation has become so difficult,” Ms Kiria said adding “businesses were good some six to seven years ago in December. “Normally, this time around we are starting to count some returns…but this year we have failed to analyse the business pattern.” She said the “situation is scary” as they may fail to meet their New Year obligations such as paying rent, school fees, salaries and the like. “For us, the situation is not pleasing, maybe for other businesses but not for clothes… it is still unpredictable,” said Ms Kiria. The business also is facing another challenge, especially after the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 ordering consignments online increases the chances of not receiving the required goods as per the lists. Levina Christian, dealing with home decor products for over 10 years, said that the business pattern was confusing and unpredictable compared to previous years. “We counted on Christmas and New Year to realise profit but business was down even in comparison to the four months ago….It seems shoppers haven’t speared money for home decor,” she said. She said the previous months up to September business was good compared to those of the two months leading to the end of the year holidays. “Previous years, in November and December most décor shops were closing between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm,” Ms Christian said adding that they even failed to make pace with orders of their customers in upcountry. To restock for end-of-the-year holidays some traders took loans which now fear repayment as the season looks gloomy. The latest central bank monthly economic review issues over the weekend showed that loans to traders increased from 13.6 per cent in September to 19.4 per cent in October. The ‘Daily News’ spot survey revealed that the situation was unpleasant for clothes, furniture and decorations traders since they are registering low turnover a day as Christmas nears. “It’s going to be a difficult Christmas for us,” said Kassim Kondo another trader at Kariakoo, “People buy when they feel good. But Tanzanians are wary and concerned right now about meeting end goals. Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Monthly Economic Review report issued yesterday showed that the extended broad money supply grew down by 13.3 per cent in October, from 13.6 per cent recorded in the similar month last year. However, the report said the growth of the extended broad money supply is generally consistent with the target of 10.3 per cent for 2022/23.


Manufacturers in the country have been urged to continue working closely with the government to improve the business environment to enhance the industrial sector’s contribution to economic growth. The Director of Industry Development in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr Christopher Mramba made the remarks at the annual Symposium of Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) held in Dar es Salaam at the weekend. “CTI has been one of the leading business associations in assisting the government to address some of the challenges affecting the business community in the Country. Your valuable recommendations to improve trade related rules and regulations governing industrial development have contributed to a better business environment for industries to explore existing opportunities, expand and establish new ventures, I wish to inform you that the government is taking necessary measures to improve the business environment so that the manufacturing sector in the country can participate effectively in the domestic and international markets,” he said. He said some of the key reforms undertaken include the implementation of recommendations from the Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms to Improve Business Environment and several other interventions which seek to develop a roadmap towards a reduction in the cost of doing business. He called upon all members to share their views on how to successfully implement responsible business practices adding that their input will form the basis for suggestions on remedial measures that the government will take to ensure that we achieve the much-anticipated goals of sustainable industrialisation and poverty alleviation in the country. “I also wish to congratulate you for the work well done in organising this Symposium and for selecting a theme which seeks to inform members of the need for complying with the best practices and principles for sustainable industrial production. The objective of this symposium is aligned with the government’s development agenda which seeks to transform the country into a semi-industrialized economy characterized by increased contribution of the industrial sector in the growth of the country’s economy,” he said. He told manufacturers to continue with production through technically and economically sound processes that minimise negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. The CTI Chairman Paul Makanza argued that Tanzanian manufacturers to use available local resources to produce various products the move he said will reduce the cost of their products and compete with those imported. He said Tanzania is blessed with abundant natural resources which can be used to produce many products with the highest quality something that will help to reduce the dependence on importations of products. “In this annual Symposium we look at what we do concerning (SDGs) to reduce poverty, and hunger and how we can reduce carbon in our daily activities and also we discussed how we can improve workers’ welfare especially their working environment,” he said Mr Makanza said they also reminded to avoid child labour because many international companies cannot do business with a company that entertains child labour. He thanked the government for implementing a blueprint to improve the business environment in the country and reduce some nuisance taxes and other bureaucratic procedures. “We thank the ministry for the introduction of the blueprint department that identifies business challenges and work on them. As industrialists we see it as a good move we believe that because all our challenges are known they will be dealt with one by one because you can’t solve them at once,” he said


The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) activities have recorded a subpar performance affected by Christmas and New Year holidays. The bourse performance increased by 4.0 per cent to 1.2bn/-as foreign participation decreased in what was termed as investors’ pulled by the end of the year holidays obligations. Vertex International Securities said in its weekly market review that the increase in volume and turnover was not enough to overcome negative price movement last week to let the equities market post unsatisfactory performance. “We think this [was] due to a decline in foreign investors’ activity as we approach the year-end, and we do not expect any huge performance improvement this week,” Vertex said over the weekend. The stock brokerage firm, however, said “We forecast a slight recovery of prices”. In the first week of this holidays months, the bourse posted a turnover of 1.2bn/-, 4 per cent higher than the previous week’s 1.14bn/-. While foreign participation in buying and selling was almost zero except on Wednesday when selling clocked 35.15 per cent. On the other hand, Orbit Securities said in its weekly market synopsis that both benchmark indices closed last in the red. The All-Share Index shed 3.64 points and the Tanzania Share Index trimmed 11.68 points. “Several counters played a major role in pulling down the indices,’ Orbit said, “the major culprits included cross-listed stocks such as KCB which closed the week 1.4per cent down and Jubilee Holdings’ (JHL) share price dropped by 0.54 per cent.” Total market capitalisation, last week, decreased by 0.19 per cent to 15.572tri/- while domestic market capitalisation decreased by 0.30 per cent to 10.202tri/-. TOL was a top gaining share last week by 7.69 per cent to 700/- followed by CRDB, which gained 1.32 per cent to 385/-. Simba Cement lost 6.78 per cent to close last week at 1,100/-, followed by TICL which went down by 5.88 per cent to 160/-, and NMB dropped 2.67 per cent to 2,920/-. CRDB was a top market mover recording 76.72 per cent of total market turnover followed by NMB with 10.18 per cent and TPCC with 7.05 per cent. Banks, Finance and Investment (BI) closed at 3286.75 points, 1.06per cent down. Industrial and Allied (IA) and Commercial Services (CS) posted a slight decline of 0.04 per cent each to close at 5,023.30 points and 2,147.73 points, respectively.


The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) has launched Zonal Buyer-Seller Forums that aim to promote business and investment at regional and district levels. The TPSF chairperson, Ms Angelina Ngalula said recently in Dar es Salaam when celebrating TPSF Day 2022 that the forums aimed to increase sales to all zones in the country since their responsibility is to ensure that they increase the scope of the private sector. She said also to raise startups so that they can fully participate in the domestic and foreign markets such as the East Africa Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “Along with other things we will conduct a two-year evaluation, including increasing the scope of business for the private sector, where we will conduct regional forums to reach all Tanzanians throughout the country to raise the small businesses,” said Ms Ngalula. Ms Ngalula said TPSF will continue to cooperate with the government to ensure that the private sector participates well in increasing the economy despite the challenges that have arisen including Covid-19 pandemic. “We will continue to work hard to pay taxes and cooperate with the sixth phase of government to build our country,” Ngalula said. Ms Ngalula commended the government for being able to improve the business and investment environment that has stimulated economic growth under the leadership of the Sixth Phase Government 2021-2022. On his part, the Sino Tan Industry Park, Mr Janaon Huang who represents the Chinese Business Chamber of Tanzania said they were very confident to do business with Tanzania. He said Tanzania has a conducive business environment to do business since about 99 per cent of them sold to China with zero tax. “Nowadays we are very confident with the environment of doing business here. There are natural resources, good achievements and the responsible institutions are well organized,” said Huang. The Tanzania hawkers (machinga) vice-chairman, Mr Steven Lusinde thanked the government for recognizing them and being able to lend more than 2.2bn/-. Mr Lusinde said Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) had been empowered by being given places to do business as well as reducing interest from banks.


Tanzania is likely to attain the needed progress in the financial sector if it is able to ensure that it implements the six pillars identified in the Absa Africa Financial Market Index 2022. The Deputy Permanent Secretary-Economic Management Policies, Ministry of Finance and Planning Mr Lawrence Mafuru, said at the launch of the report on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam that highlights six important pillars if African countries are to accelerate in development. “The six pillars are useful and will complement well the efforts Tanzania is making to boost its financial sector to the highest level and enhance its contribution to economic growth,” he said. The six pillars include market depth, access to foreign exchange, market transparency, tax and regional environment, the capacity of local investors, macroeconomic environment and transparency and legal standards enforceability. The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, however, showed improving market infrastructure in the majority of countries in the region. The PS said the report which had already been made an official report by the Central Bank, was likely to help the government when looking at its policies and intervention in the country. According to him, the report will go a long way towards positioning the country in liberalising the financial markets and innovating products and solutions that are available to local and international investors. For his part, Absa Bank’s Finance Director, Mr Obedi Laiser said the report provides an overview of the state of financial markets in Africa and identifies the main impediments to their development. According to the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2022, African countries have responded positively to the need to develop domestic financial markets to protect economies from external shocks. “Even as challenging market conditions weighed on performance in the index, 19 of the 26 countries improved their scores relative to last year,” the report said. It further said that this was largely due to broad-based progress in developing sustainable financial markets, which is becoming increasingly important to global investors. Namibia, Uganda, and Kenya are among the countries with the most significant increase in scores as they have bolstered their environmental, social and governance market frameworks and, in Kenya, climate risks have been incorporated into financial stability regulation. Greater product diversity has lifted scores for most countries too, including Angola and Lesotho which both issued their first initial public offerings over the past year, according to the report. The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, now in its sixth year, presents a broad view of financial market progress. The index continued to evolve this year.


The ruling party CCM’s chairpersons have expressed satisfaction with the construction pace of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. A team of 32 party chairpersons from all regions in Mainland and Zanzibar and several Central Committee members were delighted with the project pace when they toured Dar es Salaam- Dodoma SGR section on Monday. Kigoma Regional Chairperson, Jamary Tamimu called on the community to protect the railway infrastructure. He said upon completion of the project, the SGR will be an exemplary railway in East Africa region which will contribute more to the country’s economy. “Our SGR will open new economic opportunities within and in neighboring countries and therefore increase revenues to the people and the nation in general,” said Mr Tamimu. Martha Mlata, Singida Region CCM Chairperson commended the government for successful implementation of the project. Mwaka Yamrisho, CCM Unguja South Regional Chairperson said that, party members should conduct regular routines to inspect development projects. She said they are satisfied with the progress of the project attained so far and people should be made aware of strategic projects’ pace. Minister for Works and Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa said the government will later next year sign a construction agreement with Burundi to extend the railway network. Prof Mbarawa said before the railway was designed for a speed of 120kms per hour but they received views from stakeholders to increase the speed, therefore they changed it to160 kms per hour. “Stakeholders were concerned why are were building a railway system that will use diesel instead of electricity and after consulting experts we came up with this model project which has also attracted the attention of other countries,” Prof Mbarawa said. “We are now going to link Tanzania with other countries such as Burundi, Congo and Rwanda,”. “I would like to assure Tanzanians that all projects are implemented as planned, there is no project that has been stalled,” he said On his part, the Tanzania Railway Cooperation (TRC) Director General, Mr Masanja Kadogosa said the tour was part of the implementation of CCM election manifesto. He however dismissed online posts mocking the new arrival passengers’ wagons claiming that they are “used”. Kadogosa said the passenger wagons which arrived a few days ago are new and all the procurement procedures were observed. Kadogosa clarified that the total cost of the 59 passenger wagons is $55.6 million, adding that out of the 59 wagons, 14 have already arrived in the country.


Mvomero’s farmers in Morogoro are losing an average of 30,000 tonnes of vegetables a year due to bad roads which bar them from reaching markets in townships and cities. The farmers, in three villages of Tchenzema ward, Mgeta division, are sometimes forced to throw their produce midway to markets as vehicles are breaking down due to bad roads leading to mainly Morogoro and Dar es Salaam markets. The Tchezema Ward chairman, Mr Sist Mkude, said every year vegetable farmers experience bumper harvest but fail to sell their produces, in and outside Mvomero, held back by poor road condition—in most cases are impassable. “We harvest different kinds of vegetables, and fruits, most of which get rotten and wasted,” Mr Mkude, who is a vegetable farmer, said adding: “This is due to the lack of reliable market access as taking them to the market is impeded by bad roads.” He said in most cases trucks fail to reach their villages completely or on time and if managed they broke down midway. The Ward Chair spoke last Saturday in a meeting held in Kibagala village, Tchenzema ward, Mgeta which discussed challenges faced by farmers and ways of addressing them. The meeting was organised by the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) in collaboration with the national network of farmers’ groups in Tanzania (Mviwata). Another farmer, Mr Prosper Ngatigwa, asked for the government to intervene to make sure that roads in Mvomero are passable full time a year to avert post-harvest crisis. “We are asking for government intervention and at least repair roads to enable us to transport our vegetables to different markets in the country,” Mr Ngatigwa said. The villager said to reach the market they have to hire motorcycles popular as bodaboda, paying 10,000/- for a sack to Mlali ward in Kongwa district, Dodoma. The amount is too high for them to sustain any profit. The farmers are cultivating carrots, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, legumes, beetroot, corn, and leafy vegetables. The Tchezema Ward Councillor, Mr Timoth Machonga said to villagers that Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) in Mvomero allocated 400m/- for rehabilitating roads in the district and a contractor has already been picked for the job.


Tanzania is well prepared to explore business and trade opportunities to be brought by the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) bloc, whose implementation will commence next year. The scheme aims at cutting tariffs on goods from developing countries so that they be in a position of increasing their exports to the United Kingdom (UK). Also it will cut administrative costs for businesses by reducing more tariffs and bringing more countries in scope of the most generous tariff reductions. Speaking during the launch of the second UK- Tanzania business forum yesterday, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade Ally Gugu, said the government will continue to ensure Tanzanians business community produce quality products for export. “We shall make better use of this opportunity as it will help to boost trade volume between our two great nations,” he said, adding that the UK is one of the top trade partners with Tanzania. Statistics from the UK Department for International Trade show that total trade in goods and services between the UK and Tanzania was 227 million UK pounds (634.9bn/-) in the four quarters to the end of the second Quarter of the year 2022. This is equal to an increase of 5.6 per cent or 12 million UK pounds from the four quarters to the end of quarter two of the year 2021. Total UK exports to Tanzania amounted to 199 million UK pounds (556.6bn/-) in the four quarters to the end of quarter 2 of the year 2022, being an increase of 32.7 per cent compared to the four quarters to the end of second quarter of last year. Moreover, total UK imports from Tanzania amounted to 28 million UK pounds (78.3bn/-) in the four quarters to the end of quarter two of the year 2022. This is a decrease of 56.9 per cent compared to the four quarters to the end of quarter two of 2021. Speaking on the business forum, Mr Gugu asked members of the business community to make better use of the platform in boosting their business. Present in the forum, the UK High Commissioner to Tanzania David Concar asked Tanzania business personnel to make better use of the DCTS for speedy development. “The scheme will apply zero and reduced tariffs to hundreds of additional products imported from 65 developing countries worldwide and reduce origin requirements and increase access to the scheme for DCTS countries,” he said. According to him, the scheme will cover goods produced in Tanzania using components from other countries. The scheme also cuts administrative costs for businesses by reducing more tariffs and bringing more countries in scope of the most generous tariff reductions. He noted that 99 per cent of total goods exported from Tanzania will now be eligible for duty-free access to the UK. For his part, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Tanzania Lord Walney commended Tanzania for its initiatives on supporting investors by providing all the needed support. “Tanzania has made great progress in supporting investors and businesses like those here today contributing to Tanzania’s economic potential,” he said. Over 30 participants from private and public institutions in the UK are attending the forum that is also scheduled to work on challenges facing bilateral trade.