PRESIDENT SAMIA: ELECTRIFY ALL HAMLETS
After registering significant strides in rural electrification, the government has now set focus on hamlets, targeting to ensure more people have access to electricity than ever before. The government is also embarking on a National Grid Stabilisation project to alleviate power outages in the country. Despite the achievements, President Samia Suluhu Hassan noted that much work ought to be done in order to connect all hamlets, the majority of which had yet to benefit from the government’s excellent work. Speaking yesterday at the State House in Dar es Salaam during the signing ceremony for National Grid Stabilisation and improvement of rural electrification projects, President Samia stated that out of the 64,760 hamlets nationwide, only 28,424 are connected to electricity, equivalent to 43.9 per cent. “While we boast that all villages will have electricity by December this year, which indicates that electricity will reach every village, we still have a lot of work to do to supply electricity to all the hamlets,” she noted. Although we won’t complete all the hamlets, “this is the task that we are going to accomplish most aggressively right now,” Dr Samia added. The Ministry of Energy has come up with an idea on electrifying hamlets and is putting together a proposal to be presented to the government, to be discussed, and to see what can be done. Their idea is to use domestic revenue in implementing that project, but there are development stakeholders who can also help, according to President Samia. President Samia yesterday witnessed the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) signing 26 contracts for the National Grid Stabilization project worth 1.9tri/- that will be implemented in phases. She also witnessed the Rural Energy Agency (REA) signing 14 contracts for improvement of rural electrification and connecting small-scale miners, health centres, agricultural projects, small-scale industries and water sources to power. “Starting with the grid project, the government has set aside 400bn/-, and we received 100bn/- from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for this year and we now have the funds to carry out this project while other projects have already gotten underway,” according to Dr Samia. She further said that the 4.42tri/- project, which will be carried out for four years in various regions, will include, among other things, the construction of 14 grid substations, the purchase of 700,000 prepaid electricity metres (Luku), and the acquisition of 27 power transformers. “These initiatives are linked because it will be impossible to successfully distribute electricity throughout the communities without strengthening the national grid. These initiatives complement one another as we strengthen the system and provide electricity to the villages,” she said. When the rural electrification project is completed, she continued, “We are dedicated to deliver development in rural and urban areas, therefore, when this project is completed, another service that we are determined to deliver to rural areas is ICT.” Earlier, Minister for Energy January Makamba, stated that some projects on the grid stabilisation have already begun, including the project to connect Katavi Region to the national grid and the Nyakanazi-Kibondo-Kasulu project. “This is the first phase, for those who have electricity challenges and their areas are not mentioned here; don’t worry because other phases are coming. We have started like this to be able to manage the project well,” minister Makamba said. According to Mr Makamba, the CAG report of 2019 indicated that dilapidated infrastructure and poor maintenance were the reasons behind regular power outages in the country. In search of solutions, the minister said, they came up with the Tanzania-Zambia (Taza) power interconnection project, North East Grid, South West Grid and Grid project; these are major infrastructure projects of electricity transmission. He further said Tanzania has 6,000 kilometres of main electricity transmission lines and the need is 12,000 kilometres. “When we say we produce 1,700 megawatt of electricity and we see that it is enough, we mean that many people have not been reached in the country. The more people have access to electricity the more demand emerge,” he said. He added, “We will reach 5,000 megawatts of electricity production by 2025 due to the production projects in Kakono, Malagarasi, Rusumo and the gas project will give us 600 megawatts and the Kishapu solar energy, which will produce 150 megawatts will all be included in the national grid by next year.” He said the ongoing construction of Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power Project (JNHPP) will generate 2,115 megawatts. REA Director General Engineer Hassan Saidy said the 14 signed contracts will benefit 25 regions, with the projects mainly targeting to connect electricity to health centres, water projects, small-scale miners and farmers in rural areas. “In partnership with the EU and France, we have set aside 385bn/- to carry out three significant projects, for which we have signed implementation agreements today. As a result, 1,522 hamlets in nine regions would gain access to power, benefiting 88,200 people,” he said. Eng Saidy said another project is to deliver electricity to mining and agricultural projects, which will deliver services to 336 locations in 25 regions of mainland Tanzania. A total of 63 health centres and 333 water pumps will benefit from the project. “Until now, 69 per cent of the villages have been connected to electricity; out of 12,345 villages countrywide, 9,467 are connected to electricity and we have 2,878 villages left. Contractors are continuing with their work in various areas,” Eng Saidy explained.
ALIGN PLANS WITH GOVT, DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS URGED
Tanzania has urged development partners to align their efforts with the government to avoid duplication of efforts in the county’s development and priorities. Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba said on Tuesday that the joint efforts put in by development partners and the government will bring productivity to Tanzanians who are the biggest beneficiaries of all the programmes. Minister Nchemba said this during the opening of a high-level strategic dialogue meeting yesterday in Dar es Salaam. Dr Nchemba said a high-level strategic dialogue meeting between the government and development partners is held twice a year, with the aim of giving feedback on the measures taken by the government, which include reviews of the budget. The minister said Tanzania’s economy is doing well and is heading in the right direction, saying that the country’s GDP grew by 5.2 per cent in the first three quarters of last year, portraying a strong performance of attaining the projection of 2022 based on the quarter four happenings. He said the government’s achievements were due to various factors, including the amendment of some laws that have created a conducive environment of doing business. Dr Nchemba further said that the government’s decision to provide subsidy of fuel and fertilizer as well as investing heavily in production sectors including agriculture is significantly paying off. “The achievements include increased domestic resource mobilization from 17,944.9bn/- in 2017/18 to 24,395.7bn/- in 2021/2022, increased recognition, cooperation and participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and private sector in development processes as evidenced by the establishment of different policies, including Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy as well as establishing the designated PPP Unit, which develops robust policies and regulatory frameworks to facilitate PPP projects,” he said. Dr Nchemba said despite the achievements attained, there are challenges to be considered, including lack of transparency on some of the assistance channeled through NGOs, which undermines mutual and domestic accountability. Furthermore, Dr Nchemba highlighted the importance of nurturing development cooperation, in particular during times of uncertainties, to jointly address development challenges, including climate change, business environment, energy, food security, blue economy and infrastructure development. He said the government is committed to development cooperation as it continues to strive to attain goals set in the development vision. On his part, the British High Commissioner to Tanzania and Development Partner’s Group Co-chair, Mr David Concar said Tanzania’s economy is recovering from Covid-19. He said the two years of President Samia Suluhu Hassan have clearly shown that Tanzania has succeeded in renewing important regional and international relationships, while also making progress domestically on political reconciliation and reaffirming its reputation for economic and social stability. Mr Concar said they recognise the efforts being made by Tanzania to complete major infrastructure projects. “We also value the country’s continuing partnership with a wide range of UN agencies. We applaud the openness Tanzania has shown to harnessing fully its partnership with IFIs such as the IMF and World Bank,” said Mr Concar. He added that this is exemplified by the IMF’s approval last year of a substantial 1 billion dollar + Extended Credit Facility to assist Tanzania’s economic recovery and reform agenda and more recently by the World Bank’s approval of a 500million US dollars IDA credit to support policy reforms, and 275million US dollars in credit and grant funding for maternal and child health investment. Moreover, he said the aid is rightly provided to support Tanzania to meet its national development goals as set out in the country’s Third Five-Year Development Plan and Vision 2025, and in the context of Tanzania’s Development Cooperation Framework. “To that end, the agenda we have agreed on is rightly ambitious in scope. It focuses on areas and objectives that are priorities for the government, which include women economic empowerment, transforming the rural economy through climate resilient agriculture and energy access as well as investing in the health and education of the predominantly young population,” he said. In addition, he said critical to achieving all of those, is the goal of turning the country’s business environment and private sector into an engine of growth and job creation
EU LIFTS BAN ON TANZANIA – GROWN BITTER GOURD FRUIT
The European Union (EU) has lifted a blanket ban on Tanzania’s grown bitter gourd to access its lucrative markets, breathing a sigh of relief to local farmers and exporters. In November 2022, EU reported to have detected presence of quarantine pest hosted in the MomordicaCharantia, prompting the European Commission to prohibit the bitter gourd crop export into EU markets, hitting hard a multi-million-shilling industry. Tanzania being a producer of bitter gourd fruit between January 2021 and July 2022, exported around 220 metric tonnes of the crops to United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, earning the economy 691,000 US dollars (about 1.5bn/-). Tanzania was required to present before the EU the pest surveillance report proving the absence of ThripspalmiKarny for it to be allowed to export the fruit to the EU markets. As it happened, the country’s key driver of horticulture industry, TAHA through the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) funded Horticulture Transformation for Inclusive Growth (HOTIGRO) had to intervene working closely with Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA) in conducting pest surveillance in all bitter gourd producing areas in Tanzania. TAHA’s Chief Executive Officer, DrJacqueline Mkindi said that during the pest surveillance, samples were taken from the farmers and presented to the laboratory for test analysis to substantiate whether they have the ThripsPalmiKarny or otherwise. “Fortunately the results from the surveillance indicated that Tanzania is free from ThripspalmiKarny, and that the bitter gourd are produced in an area that is free from Spodopterafrugiperda”DrMkindi explained. Then, the pest surveillance report was submitted to the EU for their consideration and lifts the ban on export of Tanzanian grown bitter gourd fruit to its markets. “After reviewing the pest surveillance report, the Plant Health Unit under the European Commission declared Tanzania to be eligible to export bitter gourd fruit to the EU under condition (a) of point 71 of Annex VII of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072”DrMkindi said. Indeed, the European Commission congratulated Tanzania for reaching the important milestone in the phytosanitary certification system in compliance with the EU phytosanitary requirements. “With your written communication notifying the commission that Tanzania is free from ThripspalmiKarny, Tanzania is therefore, eligible to export bitter gourd fruit to the EU,” reads a statement wrote by a policy officer in the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of European Commission, Dr Leonard Shumbe. Bitter gourd farmers in Tanzania, one of evolving Africa’s top fruits growers and exporters to the EU, have welcomed renewed exports to Europe, saying the blanket outlaw was a blow to them who had started to venture into the value chain since 2021 when it was introduced in country, thanks to the key industry country’s driver TAHA. Prospects were high that farmers would raise their glasses to toast for windfall earnings, after the industry’s flamboyant driver, TAHA, had successfully unlocked a lucrative EU’s market for bitter gourd fruit only to find themselves in a quagmire after the EU ban. In its efforts to capture international markets, TAHA through the HOTIGRO project had embraced a bitter gourd with high demands in Germany and UK, owing to its nutritional values. “We’ve added a bitter gourd in the list of our commercial and high horticultural value chain” she said, adding: “As a result from December to mid February 2022, TAHA facilitated farmers to export over 44 metric tonnes of bitter gourd to Germany, fetching them 60m/- directly and the economy 132,000 US dollars, implying that the crop is highly lucrative”. Dr Mkindi said that before the EU export ban projections were that local farmers would have been exported 350 metric tonnes between February and June, earning them 472.5m/- directly and the economy 1.05 million US dollars. In the same season, the bitter gourd value chain would have been created 750 employments, 90 percent being the women and youth who would have earned emoluments worth 45m/-, TAHA boss said. In the November 2022 and May 2023 season, the bitter gourd farmers were expected to export 1,400 metric tonnes and earn them 1.8bn/- and the economy 4.2 million US dollars,TAHA projections show.
TPA ACCELERATES STRATEGIC PORT PROJECTS
The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has set an ambitious target of expanding its contribution to Tanzania’s economy from the current 40 per cent to 90 per cent in the next few years, as the authority accelerates the implementation of strategic port projects. That is equivalent to a 125 per cent leap. While it may sound a far-fetched dream, TPA Deputy General Director Eng Juma Kijavara says the target is achievable. His optimism is born out of ongoing massive strategic investments in port infrastructures, acquisition of modern equipment and robust marketing strategies. Over the last few years, the TPA, with massive support from the government, has put more efforts into developing the country’s sea and inland ports. With the ports industry playing a significant role in the country’s economic growth, substantial financial and human resources have considerably been channelled towards transforming the sector. Eng Kijavara says the multiple projects that are currently being implemented across the country are progressing well as the authority pushes for speedy execution of the projects, while mobilising resources for other mega projects which are under the pipeline. One of the flagship strategic projects is the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP), which aims to overhaul the Dar es Salaam Port’s infrastructure. The first component of the project includes deepening and strengthening of existing berths 1 to 7 to 14.5 metres and the construction of a new multipurpose berth at Gerezani Creek. It also includes the deepening and widening of the entrance channel and turning basin in the port to the end of berth 11 to 15.5m; improving the rail linkages and platform in the port as well as deepening and strengthening of existing berths 8-11, to 14.5m. Another component is supporting the institutional strengthening of the TPA. The construction of a new yard has been completed, says Eng Kijavara, noting that currently, constructors are deepening and widening the entrance channel and turning basin. “The deepening of the entrance channel to 15m chart datum will enable us to handle larger ships that could not call at our port whose depth was between 10 to 12 meters,” he says. Tanzania’s second largest seaport of Tanga is also undergoing massive upgrading and is expected to be completed in April, this year. The upgrading and renovation of the port at the 429.1bn/- involved the expansion of two quays and deepening of berth depths. According to Eng Kijavara, the constructor has completed the construction of 450 metre long berths at the port and is now making final touches before handing over the project to the government. Kijavara recalls that since the inception of Tanga Port, the oldest port in East African region, ships could not call at the terminal’s quayside, due to high bedrock level, but the doubling handling will now be history thanks to the dredging of the entrance channel, turning basin and deepening of berths depth from the previous three to a 13 metre depth. “Mtwara Port expansion project has been completed by 100 per cent and now we’re handling large coal carriers. Similar renovation and expansion projects are ongoing in all inland ports,” reveals Eng Kijavara, noting that the construction of Ndumbi Port on Lake Nyasa is also complete. He adds that similar projects are ongoing at Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika, where a number of ports have been upgraded, while the government has also constructed the new Karema Port on Lake Tanganyika. “As the Ports Authority, our key role is to support economic growth. These huge investments seek to enhance the economy,” says Eng Kijavara, insisting that the Authority’s outstanding performance reflects on revenue collections by the Tanzania Tax Revenue (TRA). “The TRA’s record revenues are the economic impacts brought by the government’s investments on port infrastructures through the TPA,” he states and showers praises on the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan, for its continued support towards improving port infrastructures. He says President Samia’s government has funded the acquisition of modern equipment that have improved the performance of both sea and inland ports across the major water bodies and the only way the TPA can reward her is putting up a spirited and outstanding performance. “If you go to Mtwara Port, you will find what we call a ‘giraffe’, ship to shore gantry crane (SSG), which is used for loading and unloading of containers at the port, but also when you go to the Dar es Salaam Port you will find two ships to shore gantry cranes. There are also over 16 forklifts with varying capacities, reach stackers and other cargo handling equipment, we have also received tug boats, which are used to pull or push other large ships for maneuvering purposes, all these have enabled us to perform our tasks efficiently,” he lists. Kijavara adds further that the TPA is equipping all its sea and inland ports to ensure efficient and timely services to customers, noting that the authority will purchase ten tugboats for Lake Tanganyika, while pledging to equip other ports on Lake Victoria and Nyasa to ensure smooth movement of cargo between Tanzania and neighbouring countries such as DR Congo, Uganda, Burundi and Malawi. ‘The aim is to cut freight costs and time at all our ports,” he insists. The TPA, on the other hand, revealed TPA’s plans to invest at Mbamba Bay. “We’re going to completely change the face of Mbaba Bay, we’re going to construct a dockyard with the capacity of handling vessels of more than 30,000 tonnes, and we’ll build a one-stop centre, this will open our country and other neighbouring countries,” says Deputy Director General Kijavara, noting the project is expected to start this financial year. While the ongoing expansion and renovation of sea and inland ports are envisaged to massively transform TPA services, the envisaged construction of the much-hyped Bagamoyo Port would be a game changer, according to Eng Kijavara. Preparations for the construction of the Bagamoyo Port are underway with the project expected to kick off from the next financial year, through own sources as the country continues to find potential investors. “Once completed, the Bagamoyo Port would be a game changer in the ports industry not only in the country but across the Eastern and Southern Africa regions,” he says, adding that through the construction of the Bagamoyo Port, the TPA envisions to increase its handling capacity to over 10 million TEU per year. “We want to make it a pilot project that would hugely transform the ports industry not only in Tanzania, but also across the East African region. While the port of Dar es Salaam handles ships with the maximum capacity of 4,000 TEU, other major ports globally handle major ships of between 18,000 TEU and 24,000 TEU. “We want the Bagamoyo Port to have the capacity of handling 18,000 TEU and 24,000 TEU ships. Surely, this will be one of the largest ports in Africa.” Eng Kijavara says ports are catalysts for economic development as they enable trade and support supply chains, hence the ongoing investments have huge direct and induced economic benefits to the country, neighbouring nations and citizens.
TANZANIA LURES MEGA INVESTORS
President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s participation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Second Africa Food Summit is set to bring crucial investments in agriculture, a major boost to the envisaged green revolution. President Samia attended the WEF held in Davos, Switzerland and the Second Africa Food Summit held in Dakar, Senegal from January 16- 20th this year and January 25 – 27th respectively. Addressing a press conference at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday on President Samia’s latest trips, the Director of Presidential Communications, Ms Zuhura Yunus, said the Head of State managed to attract different major investors to the agriculture’s value chain. She said at the sidelines of the WEF in Davos, which went with the theme ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World,’ Dr Samia held a meeting with the Swiss agri company, called Syngenta Agro Ag. During the talks, the company expressed readiness to invest in production of seedlings in Tanzania. “They spoke about how to increase seedlings production in collaboration with the private sector. The company has also expressed willingness to support the youths in agriculture,” she said. At the same WEF, the president spoke at the meeting of the Food Action Alliance, which is a leading multi-stakeholder platform for scaling food systems innovation and impact, by mobilising collective action, partnerships and investments in leading national food systems strategies and flagship initiatives that demonstrate the best of what is possible in food systems transformation. She assured the gathering that Tanzania was well set to make major reforms in the agriculture sector practically, mentioning among other steps taken as increasing the sector’s budget by over three times in the current financial year, as compared to the previous years. Another effort was to introduce an initiative dubbed ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’ (BBT) whose main goal is to enhance the engagement of youth in the agricultural sector for sustainable and improved livelihoods. Ms Zuhura said that the president used the opportunity to welcome the participants in the forthcoming meeting of the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRI) to be held in September this year. The meeting to be held in Dar es Salaam will bring together top leaders and about 3000 agriculture stakeholders. On other hand, while in Dakar, the president emphasised on the role of youths in the agriculture reforms, citing some challenges as acquiring land for agriculture, capital and access to markets. During the meeting, several resolutions were made, including that every country should finalise investment plan in agriculture as per country priorities, introducing the Presidential Delivery Council for making follow up on the implementation of the plan, to continue coordinating securing of financial resources from within and outside, as well as to continue to increase the national budget for agriculture development. Elaborating, Agriculture Minister Mr Hussein Bashe told the media yesterday that the government has put in place different measures to contain the current skyrocketing of food prices as a result of imported inflation on farm inputs. Mr Bashe argued that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Covid-19 and increased fuel prices, prices of agriculture inputs such as fertilisers have gone up significantly, a situation which has increased cost of agriculture production and transportation of the produce, hence increasing food prices in the market. For instance, he said, the prices of imported fertilisers have increased by over 200 per cent. Transport costs have also gone up to 270/- per kilogramme of maize from only 70/- previously. To address the challenge, he explained, the government has devised short term measures including giving subsidies to imported fertilisers and fuel. Among long-term measures, he said President Samia is expected to launch a major fertiliser factory in Dodoma, which will be producing one million metric tonnes per year, while the country’s demand stands at between 400,000-600,000 metric tonnes annually. “Through this, in the next three to four years, we are no longer going to depend on imported fertilisers and no longer be affected by imported inflation and therefore, prices of food would automatically decrease,” he assured. He further stated that in the next two years, the government would have operationalised almost all irrigation schemes that are being constructed during the current financial year.
NBC PROFIT ACCELERATES BY 36 PER CENT IN 2022
National Bank of Commerce (NBC) profit before tax has increased 36 per cent on the back of an increasingly conducive business environment. The bank pre-tax profit jumped to 81.8bn/- last year from 60bn/- in 2021, which the lender said, reflects the growth they are seeing across all customer segments. NBC Managing Director Theobald Sabi said to maintain the profitability pace the bank continues to invest in systems and customer network expansion to support the forecasted growth. “We have seen a healthy rebound within the SME portfolio,” Mr Sabi said yesterday in a statement adding. “This success has been achieved on the back of deliberate actions by the government, which has resulted in an increasingly conducive business environment.” The bank, which is among the group of elite lenders where membership attained after crossing 1.0tri/- assets mark, saw its revenue increase by 18.1 per cent to 258.5bn/- last year. The balance sheet growth was aligned with their customer base growth, with loans and advances growing 27 per cent to 1.77tri/-. Also deposits grew 27 per cent to 1.93tri/-. The loans and advances have grown with an improving Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) ratio that stood at 3.5 per cent as of the end of last December. “Our loans and advances, deposits, and transactional volumes have grown, reflecting the continued growth of our customer base,” Mr Sabi said. Geographically, the NBC Chief said, they are conveniently and efficiently reaching more Tanzanians, thanks to the expanding NBC Wakala network, branch and new service centres, Mobile (NBC Kiganjani), as well as electronic banking (NBC Connect) platforms. NBC is the oldest serving bank in the country with over five decades of experience offering a range of retail, business, corporate and investment banking, wealth management products and services.
MWINYI DEMANDS EFFICIENCY AT KARUME AIRPORT
President Hussein Mwinyi has called for efficiency in service delivery at Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport to meet the demand of growing number of visitors. Dr Mwinyi issued the directives here yesterday at the official opening of the leisure retail and concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at Terminal III. The newly-built international Terminal 3 is used for international flights and was estimated to serve 1.6 million people annually, but to date it has handled 1.4 million people annually. “I want the immigration department to change and improve its systems … there should be no delays and queues which have been causing inconvenience to travelers. I also direct all other service providers to change their operations in order to meet the international standards after major reforms at the airport,” Dr Mwinyi instructed. The Minister for Infrastructure Development, Communication and Transport Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed said that the airport has recorded great strides after contracting Dubai-based air services provider dnata to run the operations of the newly-built Terminal 3. The minister informed the president that despite contracting the Foreign Service provider the provision of immigration services remain unsatisfactory. Responding, Dr Mwinyi said that he wants to see improved services at the airport after many years of incompetence and lack of skills in handling ground services, a situation which raised complaints from international airlines operators, resulting in low revenue collection, loss of luggage and pick pocketing. “As dnata and its associates continue to improve services at the AAKIA, the government is also in the process to construct Pemba airport as soon as possible so that the Island is open to the world. We want to see a new Zanzibar with leading ground handling services in Africa,” Dr Mwinyi said. He commended the dnata company for the achievement recorded in the past 14 months of its services at the Terminal 3 which include creating more than 600 jobs and improving services, thus, attracting more travelers including tourists, and increase in revenue collection. “In the last quarter of this financial year, the revenue jumped from 6.7bn/- in July/September to 8.1bn/- in October/December. During Covid-19 the collection was only 2.5bn/-. With increased direct flights, currently 34 airlines having direct flights to Zanzibar, we see a brighter future,” Dr Mwinyi said. President Mwinyi said the government is considering constructing a fourth terminal at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA) after the official opening of terminal III with the capacity of handling about 1.6 million travelers annually. “Due to the influx of tourists, holiday makers, and other visitors, we are almost beating the 1.6 million travelers’ target. We have quickly noticed that we need another larger space to handle more planes and travelers. Feasibility study for the fourth terminal is underway,” he said, thanking dnata for training about 400 airport staff to improve customer care services. Minister Mohamed said: “The Public Private Partnership (PPP) with dnata deserves praise because we are already on track to meet international standards in airport operations and we want to achieve this by 2027.” Mr Steve Allen- CEO of dnata, and Mr Tyrone Reid- CEO of MMI and ELR informed journalists at a press conference held on sideline of the event that they are committed to work with Zanzibar government and the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) to achieve the goal of providing best services at the facility. In November 2021 – dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, signed a concession agreement with Zanzibar government, along with Emirates Leisure Retail and SEGAP, a joint venture between airport infrastructure and operations specialists Egis, and private equity fund manager AIIM. Under the partnership, dnata oversees the operations of Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport’s (ZNZ) newly-built international terminal (T3), with SEGAP supporting the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) in a management/technical capacity., while the Emirates Leisure Retail will partner with MMI as master concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at T3. The company promised to provide its globally renowned, quality ground and passenger handling services to airline customers at ZNZ, ensuring safe and timely operations of flights and an excellent travel experience for passengers. It expects to handle over 4,000 flights annually at the airport. The firm is also investing in a state-of-the-art cargo centre to establish cargo operations at the airport, supporting local trade and businesses. The facility will comply with the highest industry standards, ensuring efficient and safe handling of a broad range of cargo, including perishables, pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, live animals, aircraft engines and vehicles.
EABC TOUTS LOW AIR TRANSPORT COSTS IN EAC REGION
East African Business Council (EABC) has urged governments of the East Africa Community (EAC) partner states to have single air transport services agreement to lower the cost of air tickets for both passengers and cargo in the region. “The EAC should consider replacing the existing bilateral air services agreements (BASAs) with a single air transport services agreement for EAC to lower the cost of air transport in the region,” said Mr John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC Chief Executive Officer in Arusha on Thursday. The EABC CEO was speaking during the Validation Webinar for the study on air transport services liberalisation in the East African Community (EAC) organised by EABC in partnership with Trademark East Africa (TMEA). Mr Kalisa appealed to the EAC Heads of State to agree on offering preferential and national treatment to EAC airlines as currently in some countries foreign airlines enjoy more favourable treatment than EAC airlines. He said the region can start offering preferential and national treatment to EAC cargo planes to boost exports. He expounded that the EAC Partner States should fast-track the finalisation and implementation of EAC regulations on the liberalisation of air transport services in line with the EAC Common Market Protocol. He also said that limited infrastructure, lack of standardised regulations and high air transport costs are among the challenges affecting air transport sector in EAC. In her opening remarks, the TMEA Head of Public-Private Dialogue and Export Capability, Ms Paveen Mbeda reiterated TMEA’s commitment to partner with both public and private sectors to unlock bottlenecks and facilitate trade in the EAC and the continent. She appreciated the Kingdom of Netherlands for funding the Public-Private Dialogue Programme and expounded that air transport cost is an enabler of tourism and export of horticulture contributing to EAC’s Gross Domestic Products and foreign reserves. The Principal Economist-Investment & Private Sector Promotion of the East African Community Secretariat Mr Charles Omusana said, “liberalisation of air transport services will contribute to our greatest desire of growing intra-EAC trade.” The study on air transport services liberalisation analyses cost drivers and regulations including taxes, levies and other related charges and have proposed recommendations that will help to lower the cost of air transport in the EAC. Preliminary findings of the study on air transport liberalisation in the EAC show a percentage increase in passenger traffic leads to a 0.1 per cent increase in tourism receipts. Similarly, a per cent increase in freight carrier departures leads to a 0.2 per cent increase in tourism receipts. Limited liberalisation of air transport contributes to high flight ticket rates and visa restrictions limit the movement of non-residents into the EAC region. The preliminary findings also reveal cargo volumes have largely stagnated in the EAC region due to the high cost of air cargo, the lengthy bureaucracy involved in obtaining clearance coupled with some airlines’ scheduling delays and inadequate infrastructure like cold rooms and route restrictions making it difficult to access new markets. On other hand, the findings also show that the percentage increase in air passenger traffic leads to a 0.05 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product. This is achieved through an increase in trade, tourism, inbound investment, production and employment. Air transport liberalisation in the EAC countries could result in an additional 46,320 jobs and 202.1 million US dollars per annum in GDP. The webinar on the study of air transport liberalisation in EAC was attended by over 70 actors who validated the study findings.
BRELA TRAINS TRADERS ON TRADEMARKS PROTECTION
Business personnel and industries owners in the country have been urged to broaden their understanding on protection of their trade and service marks to ensure reliable market and build the country’s economy. Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) Acting Director (Intellectual Property), Mr Seka Kisera made the remarks at a one day workshop on the ‘Relevance of Industrial Property (IP) for Sustainable Development and Growing of Business in Tanzania’, held in Dar es Salaam on Thursday. The workshop was attended by members from Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation ( TPSF) and Kariakoo Business Personnel Union from Dar es Salaam Region. He said business and industrial sector have a great contribution to the country’s economy, thus producing quality goods and protecting trademarks are crucial. “As industrial and entrepreneurship sector is growing the acts of producing fake products and thefts of other people’s trademarks are increasing on daily bases. It is important for you to be aware of these facts so as to be on the safe side”, he said. Speaking in an interview with Daily News Mr Kisera said that BRELA is planning to reach out to all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in country with the education. “This is a large group of individuals who are contributing to our country’s economy into large extent, so it is very important for them to get this education in order to increase efficiency,“ he said. He added that BRELA will also meet with big entrepreneurs in the country for the same purpose. Mr Kisera added that the organisation will also organise competitions for innovation awards for entrepreneurs, college, secondary and primary students. “All these aim at building our nation with individuals who are able to come up with different ideas and use them to invent products which will be useful in different ways,” he explained. One of the participants of the workshop, Mr Martin Mbwana – the Chairman of Kariakoo Business Personnel Union, said that the workshop was of great importance to him and promised to use the knowledge to bring positive changes.
SIDO EQUIPS BUSINESS PEOPLE WITH SKILLS TO BOOST EFFICIENCY
Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) in Mtwara Region is set to provide entrepreneurship and business skills training to youths and business people from the Comoro Islands to boost business efficiency. SIDO Regional Manager Mr Twaha Sued said here at the weekend that the plan will go in line with teaching small and medium enterprises of Comoro Islands the use of innovative technologies in production. “We (Comoro delegation of traders and SIDO) agreed on three issues, one is that SIDO will officially organise and provide entrepreneurship and skills development training programmes to youths and business people from the Comoro Islands, teach the use of innovation and technologies as well as coming to invest in SIDO Mtwara,” he said. He said the agreement was reached during a meeting between a delegation of traders from Ngazidja Island in Comoro and a community of business people in Mtwara. Mr Sued said SIDO has developed various business technologies including agriculture and biotechnology. He said the organisation is highly committed to hosting business people from the Comoro Islands and other countries such as Mozambique and Zambia. On the investment plan, Mr Sued said SIDO in Mtwara has large investment areas to accommodate foreign investors. The Industry and Trade Officer from Mtwara District Council Mr Alfred Mtawanya said the plan by business people from the Comoro Islands would make significant contribution to the economic development of Mtwara, business people in the region and the country at large. “The coming of business people, investors and students in Mtwara to us is a very productive contribution as it would help promote economic development, improve productivity and create jobs,” he said. Speaking during the meeting, Tanzanian Ambassador to the Comoro Islands Mr Pereira Silima said there is a high demand of products such as vegetables and called for business people, farmers and other people in Mtwara to tap the business opportunity from the Comoro Islands to invest more in agricultural products such as vegetables, tomatoes among other products.
TANZANIA, EU TO HOST MAIDEN BUSINESS FORUM
As part of efforts to boost trade and investments between member states of the European Union (EU) and Tanzania, the two parties are set to host the first EU-Tanzania Business Forum 2023 starting today in Dar es Salaam. The high-level event, which is taking place starting today and set to end tomorrow, will bring together distinguished business and investment stakeholders from the EU and their counterparts in Tanzania. According to a statement issued by the EU Delegation in Tanzania and East African Community (EAC), more than 400 participants are expected from Europe, including high-level leaders and prominent companies who will be joined with over 200 participants from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. The business forum aims to present Tanzania’s opportunities and comparative advantage as a strategic destination for direct investments. The forum will also provide a platform for Private-Public dialogue to further improve the business environment such as regulatory framework and facilitate Business-to-Business (B2B) and networking in view of possible partnerships, between Tanzanians and Europeans. “Lastly, the forum will offer tools for private sector development including access to finance and skills development,” the statement read in part. The EU-Tanzania trade relations are based on the unilateral trade concession scheme known as ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) according to which all Tanzanian products except arms may be exported to the EU market free of any quota and of any customs duties. The special arrangement applies to all countries listed by the United Nations (UN) as Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda are on the UN’s list of LDCs while Kenya is the only country in the EAC which does not feature on the list of LDCs. Exports to the EU from the EAC are mainly coffee, cut flowers, tea, tobacco, fish and vegetables while imports from the EU into the region are dominated by machinery and mechanical appliances, equipment and parts, vehicles and pharmaceutical products. The EU and the EAC partner states concluded the negotiations of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2014, but the agreement never entered into force because some EAC Partner States, including Tanzania, did not sign it. The EPA provides for immediate trade liberalisation of EAC exports to the EU and for a gradual liberalisation of EAC imports from the EU during a variable duration of time up to a maximum of 25 years depending on the sensitivity of the products. The agreement also provides for cooperation on trade, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and rules of origin. In the absence of EPA, the individual EAC Partner States maintain their bilateral trade arrangements with the EU. The EU-EAC EPA covers trade in goods and development cooperation. It also contains a chapter on fisheries, mainly to reinforce cooperation on the sustainable use of resources. The agreement provides for further negotiations on services and trade-related rules in the future. The deal is in line with the EAC Common External Tariff. It bans unjustified or discriminatory restrictions on imports and exports. This helps the EAC’s efforts to get rid of non-tariff barriers in intra-EAC trade.
#INDIA INVESTS 8.6TRI/-PROJECTS IN #TANZANIA
The Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has registered 630 projects worth 3.68 billion US dollars equivalent to over 8.6tri/- being implemented by Indian based companies, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has said. Mr Majaliwa attributed the success to various major reforms undertaken by the government to improve investment environment in the country, calling upon more investors from India to come to Tanzania enmasse. The Premier disclosed this when he met and held talks with a delegation from the Parliament of India famously known as Lok Sabha, which was led by the Speaker Om Birla in Dodoma, yesterday. Representing President Samia Suluhu Hassan, he said: “Tanzania and India hold a strong cooperation in the areas of trade and economy, with India occupying the third spot in terms of trade cooperation standing at 4.58 billion between 2021 and 2022…the balance of trade is relatively the same, benefiting both countries.” In his speech, he assured Speaker Birla of Tanzania’s commitment to further strengthen their existing cooperation which has come a long way, expressing a lot of confidence on the ties benefitting the two countries. According to him, the long-standing cooperation has manifested itself in key sectors including economy, energy, water, health, trade and technology, thus bringing about greater benefits. “President Samia is pleased with your visit to Tanzania and it’s her expectation that it will bring major benefits between the two countries. “In June 2022, the country witnessed six companies from India signing agreements of implementing water projects in 28 towns worth 500 million US dollars of which upon their completion will enable over six million Tanzanians to get reliable access to water,” stated the PM. Mr Majaliwa called upon India which currently holds the Chairmanship of the G-20 countries to assume the role of a defender to the developing countries, including Tanzania particularly on issues of climate change, food security, women and youth empowerment and the fight against the devastating impacts of Covid-19. Besides, the PM described the Speaker and his delegation’s visit as a move to improve the collaboration between the Parliament of India and that of Tanzania through exchanges of ideas and related stuff between their members and other executives. “I urge all members of Parliament to develop a plan of visiting and exchanging experience in boosting cooperation among them,” he noted. On the other hand, he extended recognition to the government of India for its immense cooperation through the provision of study opportunities to Tanzanian experts in different sectors, requesting the country to further extend the support in other areas including information communication technology (ICT), health, engineering, agriculture, minerals and gas. For his part, Speaker Birla expressed readiness of the Lok Sabha as a good spokesman for the cooperation and development between Tanzania and India so that the two countries continue to benefit from the existing relations. “On behalf of the government and Parliament of India, we extend our appreciation to President Samia for demonstrating exemplary…we are currently witnessing a heightened economy in Tanzania and major execution of projects…please convey our sincere acknowledgement,” said the Speaker. The Indian delegation is on a three-day working visit to Tanzania of which among other things, they will visit various tourism attraction sites including some National Parks.
FISHERMEN COUNSELED ON PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT
A Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) Senior lecturer in Geography and Economics Department, Dr Emiliana Mwita has urged the fishermen in Somanga, Kilwa district of Lindi region to use the skills they have to help the society around them and the government in preserving the environment. Dr Mwita made the call recently when she was handing over the Global Positioning System (GPS) to Somanga fishermen to assist their coral planting activities that will enable an increase in fish in the sea. The GPS was handed over after DUCE visited the fishermen’s activities in Mwamba Fisi and witnessed the challenges they faced. “We are handing over this GPS to help them in their wealth production activities. They have shown great patriotism for their country and are doing activities to help deal with climate change by volunteering without waiting for the government to do it for them,” said Dr Mwita. She noted that before handing over GPS they used it with fishermen when surveying the sea to see the activities of planting corals and found that the GPS is very important. “Today we set where we started and we have been able to go one kilometre from where they go to take the corals and plant them,” said Dr Mwita, adding it is a big area so we have seen the challenges, especially when using canoes. She said that the community has become an example because it has been able to know the problems they face and solve them together. She added although they are researchers (DUCE), they have learned a lot and continue to learn more from the Somanga people. On his part, a Somanga fisherman, Mr Hamis Basha who also used to teach other fishermen, commended DUCE for providing them with the equipment as well as funds to enable them to fulfill their duties to fight climate change. He said that they cannot hide the knowledge they have from other people since they want to catch fish and do business. Once they hide knowledge, it may cause the fish from other areas to decline, where they will come to compete with them at Kilwa. “This education really cannot be greedy. For example, if fish are missing from here (Kilwa) or other places, fishermen cannot rest because it is their business. They will be struggling on the islands and other places so that they can earn income and so they can reach Kilwa where we will strive to catch each other. So, we are ready to provide education to our colleagues who want so that fish can reproduce in abundance,” Basha said.
AGRICULTURE REFORMS: ENROUTE TO AGENDA 10/30
The government has a dream to transform the agriculture sector. And, the dream is fast becoming a reality, thanks to massive infrastructure development, the government is undertaking to uplift the key sector. Tanzania, like other countries in the world, has committed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 – to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. Agriculture has always been a prominent feature on the country’s agenda to avert incidence of food and nutrition insecurity and increase the capacity to export the surplus. In a meeting with editors in Dodoma recently, Agriculture Minister Mr Hussein Bashe, expressed the government’s resolve and commitment to ensure the country attains its agenda 10/30. The government’s aim is to achieve more than 10 per cent growth for the agriculture sector by 2030. Other goals are ensuring food security and supply to cater for domestic demand and export, increasing the value of export of agricultural produce from 1.2 billion US dollars to more than 5 billion US dollars by 2030. The government intends to increase sales of horticulture produce from current 750 million US dollars per annum to 2 billion US dollars per annum by 2030 and this will largely rely on stable and reliable irrigation infrastructures. Minister Bashe underlined the government’s zeal to stimulate productive agriculture, which he is well aware will require massive investment in terms of infrastructure and financing. “Productive agriculture is crucial and it requires extensive and sustainable research, reliable agriculture inputs, extension services, suitable infrastructure, financing and effective public, private partnership. “Productivity also demands for reliable capital, guarantees, subsidies, stakeholders’ engagement, off takers, support from agriculture ministry and support from financial institutions,” said the minister. With this objective among others, the government has come out full throttle to transform agriculture sector with allocation of budget going up four folds, much of the amount going to finance new irrigation projects, provision of fertiliser subsidy, controlling post-harvest loss, construction of warehouses, engage youth in block farming, construction of biological control unit in Kibaha, Coast Region and securing reliable markets for agricultural produce among others. Budget allocation for the agriculture sector has increased to a whopping 954bn/- for the financial year 2022/2023 up from 294bn/-, which was allocated during the previous fiscal year. Minister Bashe insisted that a large chunk of the budget is directed towards improving infrastructures and already some are taking shape, including a state-of-the- art Post-harvest Centre of Excellence for Grains at Mtanana B, Kongwa District in Dodoma and Chinangali Block Farming in the same region. Minister Bashe said that the post-harvest centre project which is being set up just a few kilometres away from Kibaigwa township, well known for maize and groundnuts production, will cost 18bn/- upon completion. This project is being executed as part of the financing the government had received from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) toward the cost of Tanzania Initiatives for Preventing Aflatoxin Contamination (TANIPAC) Project. The TANIPAC project has three components — infrastructure development for prevention of pre- and post-harvest contamination, awareness creation and institutional strengthening as well as project coordination and management. According to the minister, lot one of the Mtanana B project includes construction of a market centre, which contains administration building, market administration building, warehouse, market shed building, public toilet, external works and electrical, ICT and mechanical installations. Lot II includes construction of an agro-processing facility, containing milling plant, metal silos, warehouse, workshop building, public toilet, external works as well as electrical, ICT and mechanical installations. Lot III involves construction of a technology transfer centre, comprising a training centre building, hostel, laundry, canteen, residential building, guard house, external works as well as electrical, ICT and mechanical installations. He said such facilities will be set up in various other parts of the country, objective being to check post-harvest loss that currently stands at 35 per cent to 5 per cent by 2030. “This is why the government is investing heavily in infrastructure,” he said, adding that the initiative will boost processing of both cash and food crops, so as to enhance the value chain. Currently, the country’s capacity to process agricultural produce stands at only 10 per cent but with the initiatives being taken by the government, such figure will swell up to 50 per cent come 2030. He said by working jointly with the private sector, the country expects to cut importation of sugar to zero by 2025 from the current 20 per cent. The same is expected in other products—edible oil, wheat and fertiliser which its importation currently stands at 60, 90 and 90 per cent respectively will drop to 30, 50 and zero respectively by 2030. The same is being done in irrigation projects, where minister Bashe said several schemes are well underway and will soon be accomplished. Over the years, the irrigation schemes in some parts of the country have created the necessary resilience to rainfall variability, mitigation against drought and climate change and enhanced food security through all year crop production. Yet, the country has not explored irrigation to its full potential but this is changing, following the government’s commitment to invest heavily in the irrigation sector, to increase agricultural productivity. According to Mr Bashe, budget allocation for irrigation has been increased from 57bn/- in the financial year 2021/2022 to 416bn/- in the current fiscal year. Out of the 416bn/- allocated for irrigation, a total of 361bn/- will be raised from internal sources of revenues, he explained. Explaining the implementation of the ministry’s strategic activities in the 2022/2023 financial year, minister Bashe said construction of 25 new irrigation schemes covering 53,234 hectares and 14 dams to harvest rainy water are well on track. The dams will have the capacity of storing 131,535,000 cubic metres. He said by December last year, 21 contracts were signed, of which 18 were specific for irrigation schemes and construction of nine water dams. The projects will cover 12 districts in seven regions and are expected to create 121,059 jobs. The total cost of the projects according to the minister stands at 182bn/- upon completion “The 182bn/- earmarked for the 21 contracts represent 51 per cent of funds allocated in the budget for irrigation during the current financial year,” Mr Bashe stated Contractors are already executing the projects, while process to secure contractors for the remaining four irrigations schemes and five dams were on going The minister also said rehabilitation of 20 irrigation schemes out of 30 covering 16,646 ha is ongoing, while at least 1,659 employment opportunities have been created by the projects. “Implementation of the irrigation schemes are expected to increase production of rice to 97,300 tonnes of rice,” he explained. The minister explained further that implementation of the irrigation schemes in total will cover 26,700 hectares. He added that plans also involved expanding the irrigation area to 8.5 million hectares equivalent to 50 per cent of the total area cultivated in the country by 2030. He insisted, however, that the efforts that the government is taking to transform agriculture is based on attaining long term benefits, meaning the fruits will not be realised in a fortnight. “All the efforts we are making now, to transform this sector are geared towards having a long-term impact in the economy of the country and for farmers. We want to commercialise our small holder farmers, we want them to reap big from their engagement in agriculture, unlike now, where their output and earnings remain meager,” insisted minister Bashe. According to the Third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP-III) the country intends to employ effective application of science, technology and innovation to improve productivity and yields in the agriculture sector. Given the structure of Tanzanian economy, it is undoubtedly that the growth of the sector is directly proportional to socioeconomic development, prosperity and poverty reduction. In order to increase productivity and efficiency in the agricultural sector, FYDP III will focus on the following areas; Crops: The prioritised products are maize, rice, cotton, cashewnut, tea, coffee, tobacco, sisal, palm, wheat, soybean, cocoa, cassava, sugarcane, horticulture and sunflower.
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: LEADERS ADDRESS COST OF LIVING
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday joined other world leaders at the official opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023, which started in Davos, Switzerland on Monday and set to end on Friday, this week. Among others, the forum will seek to address cost-of-living crisis. The Director of Presidential Communications, Ms Zuhura Yunus, told ‘Daily News’ yesterday that Dr Samia was later expected to attend a sideline meeting dubbed; “Workshop on Food Action Alliance, Investing in Greater Resilience.” “The workshop is aimed at discussing food security, nutrition, environment and climate change,” Ms Yunus explained. The 53rd annual event’s theme is ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’, where business leaders, politicians, economists, and stakeholders are expected to discuss various aspects of global challenges ranging from the cost-of-living crisis and sustainable business models. According to organizers of the global forum, participants at the global forum will also discuss energy transition, natural resource crises, future of jobs and gender inequality, among others. The present meeting is crucial amidst the present crisis after the Covid-19 pandemic, growing US-China hostility and war pitting Russia and Ukraine, and others. Recognising the need for such a global dialogue when the world is facing a multitude of crises, the McKinsey Global Institute in a recent report said the countries in the world are facing challenges that do not respect borders, they’re global in nature. “Countries and economies everywhere are troubled by the challenges of building resilience in the face of massive disruption, affordably weaning our societies from fossil fuels, and building a system in which everyone prospers. “There are no solutions to the world’s largest problems that do not involve the leaders of the world’s largest companies and national and international policymakers,” stated the report titled; Global flows: The ties that bind in an interconnected world. Global leaders, celebrities, business heads, social activists, and economists, and business leaders are all expected to attend the global meeting. Leaders who will be attending the meet will include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. Also on the list are Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Swiss President Alain Berset, and Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will appear by video link today for a live interview. The list also named the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus and United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2023 will be held on the theme, ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World,’ and convene leaders from government, business, and civil society to address the state of the world and discuss priorities for the year ahead. The Annual Meeting will provide a platform to engage in constructive, forward-looking dialogues and help find solutions through public-private cooperation. Over the past two years, WEF has strengthened its impact initiatives, which deal with issues ranging from Covid-19 and climate change to education as well as technology and energy governance. These include the Reskilling Revolution, an initiative to provide 1 billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030; an initiative on universal Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics and disclosures to measure stakeholder capitalism and the 1 trillion trees initiative aimed at protecting trees and forests and restore the planet’s ecosystems.
PM WARNS AGAINST SMUGGLING SUBSIDISED FERTILISERS
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has urged the public to take up the role of safeguarding the subsidised fertilisers released by the government, to ensure the goal of increasing agricultural production in the 2022/2023 season becomes a reality. According to him, a tendency has emerged, where a section of Tanzanians with ill intention have been smuggling fertilisers to neighbouring countries, leaving behind a scarcity among farmers, something which is not acceptable. “The acts should be strongly condemned and through collaborative efforts, we should stay on alert…the available fertiliser is only meant for Tanzanians, therefore, every person should be a guard to their fellows,” said Mr Majaliwa when he made a stopover to greet the residents of Mbalizi in Mbeya Region, yesterday as part of his tour in the region to inspect the government projects. He noted that issuance of the subsidies is intended to increase food production in the country, warning against reselling the fertilisers outside the country. The Premier indicated that earlier the fertilisers were being sold at above 100,000/- per bag forcing the government under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to disburse 150bn/- to subsidise the crucial farm input to be sold at around 70,000/- for the same unit. The Premier added that “we should not accept the monies to be used outside the intended goals…let’s protect the fertilisers not to be sold to unintended people. “I’m very pleased with the development in Songwe Region, where 2,199 tonnes have been impounded from a neighbouring country, something which is unacceptable. All Tanzanians should be on guard; because this is our money that is being smuggled by a few…our objective is to serve you.” Besides, he used the opportunity to present the various status attained in the improvement of Songwe International Airport, noting that a runway has already been completed by 100 per cent, while execution of a passenger terminal is at 96 per cent as installation of lights was on progress. “The goal is to attract a wide market from neighbouring countries like DR Congo, Zambia and Malawi for their flights to carry out routes here…the President is implementing all these as part of her strong commitment and vision to bring development to the people,” noted the PM. On his part, the Minister for Water, Mr Jumaa Aweso who was accompanying the PM on the tour revealed that the president has endorsed a sum of 3.3bn/- for the implementation of the Shongo- Igale water project, which has already been completed and now in use. He added that the president also approved 4.8bn/- for the execution of water project in Inunga to increase production capacity from eight million litres to 12 million litres despite the demand being eight million litres. Commenting, Deputy Minister in the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr David Silinde outlined that the government has allocated 580m/- for the construction of 29 classrooms in Mbeya District Council, which have already been completed by 100 per cent and were in use. Earlier, a section of the residents of the area requested Mr Majaliwa to help tackle a compensation challenge resulting from leaving their areas to give room for the airport construction since 2002. In response, the Songwe Airport Manager, Eng Danstan Komba notified the PM that the claims are due to less compensation and not otherwise. He said a team was appointed to probe the matter, asking people to be patient while their concerns are being worked on.
‘ECONOMY ON TRACK’
Tanzania’s economy is on the right track despite shocks exerted by the global rise of inflation, war in Ukraine and Covid-19, thanks to the measures taken by the government to diversify the production sector. The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning (Economic Management and Policies), Mr Lawrence Mafuru, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the government is taking the right policy approach to absorb the pressures from the global economic shocks. “The economy is moving on the right direction due to our policy approach aimed at attracting more Foreign Direct Investment, investment in mega infrastructure projects and measures to attract equity private financing,” he said. Mr Mafuru said the measures will certainly continue to stir up economic growth despite being a net importer of various goods from the developed countries which are hit hard by the global shocks. He said the big economies like the US and Europe are facing high inflation rate that has pushed up prices of various goods and services. Thus net importer countries like Tanzania are forced to dig deeper to purchase much needed goods including fuel and capital goods. In a bid to contain the rising inflation, the US and Europe have resorted to hiking interest rates which in turn is impacting heavily on developing countries when they need to borrow for development projects. Also, the rising interest rate in the big global economies is hitting hard the developing countries where they have to pay more while serving their debts. He said the diversification of the economy has helped the country to continue bringing the much needed foreign currency into the economy, thus making the exchange rate stable. For example, he said, the country’s sources of foreign currency are improving due to the gradual improvement of the tourism sector, ongoing efforts to boost agriculture productivity as well as the execution of the 30 billion US dollars mega Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. He said also that due to the rising cost of financing by the global financier, Tanzania has been very conservative in accessing commercial loans except for the finance needed for the execution of highly productive projects. The Finance and Planning Deputy PS said also that the country is benefitting from the huge demand for rare earth metals in the global market thus continuing to increase the inflows of foreign currency. He said Tanzania’s strategic location as the transport and logistics hub for most land-linked countries is giving a huge advantage to boosting its flow of foreign currency. The PS said Tanzania’s trade with regional countries like Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa has continued to bolster the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Mr Mafuru said as the developed world is currently facing economic shocks, the global economy has not been spared from this pressure. He said in Tanzania, inflation is being contributed largely by oil and capital goods importation thus exerting pressure on the country’s exchange rate. The World Bank (WB) while slashing its global growth forecasts from projections it made in mid-2022 on the back of what it sees as broadly worsening economic conditions said the Tanzania GDP is projected to grow from 5.6 per cent this year to 6.1 per cent next year. The international development institution downgraded almost all of its forecasts for advanced economies in the world, cutting its growth outlook for the global economy to 1.7 per cent for this year, it said in its latest report, Global Economic Prospects. The organisation earlier projected the world economy to expand by 3 per cent in 2023. The adjustment was led by a significant downgrade to its prospects for the US economy — it now forecasts 0.5 per cent growth from an earlier projection of 2.4 per cent. “Global growth has slowed to the extent that the global economy is perilously close to falling into recession,” the World Bank said, attributing an “unexpectedly rapid and synchronous” global monetary policy tightening behind the sluggish growth.
STATE ASSURES FARMERS OF CROSS-BORDER CROPS SALE
The government has affirmed that in a bid to motivate farmers, enhance agricultural productivity and earn foreign exchange, it will not bar farmers from selling their produce to neighbouring countries. Agriculture Minister Hussein Bashe stated on Sunday that the government was not considering closing the borders and restricting farmers seeking the markets in neighbouring countries. At this juncture, Mr Bashe asked the farmers to produce more in order to have plenty of food in the country, saying prices will be good in the market, since the government has provided them subsidies for that purpose. He made assurance in a meeting with farmers, leaders, the public and agents of subsidised fertilisers and pesticides in Mbeya region. The minister stressed that the government has opened foreign markets to create opportunities in the agriculture, adding: “The government has opened the borders, I want to assure you, by the power of God, we will not close the borders, and agricultural products are a business like any other business.” Mr Bashe noted that if farmers continue with the high pace in farming, food crops will lead in bringing in the country enough foreign currency. He gave an example of the maize crop which in 2019, saw the country exporting 84,163 tonnes, in 2020 exported 73,000 tonnes and last year sold 32,000 tonnes. From 2019 until December last year it sold a total of 400,400 tonnes. He said in order to increase productivity in agriculture; President Samia Suluhu Hassan has revived aerial agriculture by instructing the ministry to return the planes, it was using for research and also ordered for new planes to combat pests such as locusts. He said high productivity cannot come by miracles, that was why the ministry has recruited 7000 Extension Officers, who have been given smartphones connected to a programme that enables them to send soil health information and farmers’ information. He said 30 per cent of crops are lost in the field, in the market or on the way, so the government has allocated funds to build warehouses for farmers’ crops in rural areas. “There will be a warehouse of a capacity between 500 to 1000 tonnes in the production areas so that farmers can store their crops,” said Mr Bashe. In addition, he said the government was going to open irrigation centres in every district in the country, hence, it is upon the farmers to exploit. He further noted that the government has instructed the Irrigation Commission to carry out a feasibility study and design of 17 large farms across the country, so that the funds could be allocated during the year 2023/24 for commercial farming.
MINISTER PLEDGES FRIENDLY TAX POLICIES
Finance and Planning Minister Mwigulu Nchemba has reiterated the commitment by the government to put in place conducive tax administration policies to enhance compliance in payment of taxes and eventually boost revenues to the Treasury coffers. Dr Nchemba made the assurance in Dar es Salaam, yesterday when officiating at the national tax dialogue which was held at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) under a theme, “Policy reforms for people’s development.” “There is a very close link between favourable tax policies on one hand and growth of businesses and development of the country on the other,” he told the delegates at the meeting, which drew participants from across the business community in the country. He added; “President Samia Suluhu Hassan has on several occasions directed us to continue improving our tax policies by incorporating views from stakeholders through these tax dialogues.” The Minister stressed on the need to harness collections of revenues and at the same time nurture businesses to grow so as to enable the government to collect more taxes. He as well pointed to the importance of widening the tax base to reduce the burden, which is borne by existing few registered taxpayers. Dr Nchemba elaborated that through a number of reforms undertaken by the sixth phase government, revenue collections by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) have increased from an average of 1.2tri/- per month to 2.77tri/- collected in December, last year. The collection exceeded the 2.60tri/- target set by the tax collector, and is equivalent to 10.3 per cent growth compared to 2.51tri/- in the corresponding period last year. “The increased tax collection is a result of improved tax administration policies being undertaken by the government,” he observed. The Minister told participants at the dialogue that there is a close connection between revenue collections and national development. “If all Tanzanians were aware of this fact, then everyone would have complied and paid requisite taxes. However, there are some businesspersons who intentionally sway their customers against paying taxes by selling their products at lower prices without issuing receipts,” he noted with concerns. On the other hand, Dr Nchemba highlighted the importance of a thriving private sector in the economy towards creation of jobs and increased revenues to the government. “Over one million fresh graduates enter the labour market each year, all these graduates cannot be absorbed by the government. There is thus a need for a strong private sector to create jobs for these new graduates,” he noted. Earlier, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning (Economic Management and Policies), Mr Lawrence Mafuru, noted that even with economic hardships experienced in other parts of the world, Tanzania has areas where it can take advantage of in boosting its economy. Mr Mafuru noted that given its strategic geographical location, Tanzania can benefit from transport and logistics sectors to improve trade with its neighbours. “The other sector where Tanzania has an advantage of increasing revenues is tourism sector, it should be noted that before the Covid-19 pandemic the sector earned the country 2 US billion dollars in forex,” he observed. The Deputy PS said the government focuses on strategic sectors which will attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) such as natural gas, coal and gold. A representative of TRA, Mr Emmanuel Herzon, said reforms in tax administration policies have increased the number of registered taxpayers from 2.2 million during 2015/2016 to 4.4 million taxpayers during fiscal year 2021/2022. At the same occasion, the Executive Director of Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), Dr Donald Mmari, said tax policies should be used as an instrument to support economic growth. Dr Mmari further suggested that the tax policies should protect local industries against unfair competition from imports which are highly subsidized in their countries of origin. Commenting, Tanzania Association of Accountants president, Godvictor Lyimo said the first tax dialogue on policy reforms with the theme “Policy Reforms for people’s Development was necessary and timely, adding: “It has been a great success and attracted a significant number of people bringing in new thinking in shaping the country’s policy framework. “Business leaders have aired their views on how best the Ministry of Finance should shape the policies to maximise tax collections at the same time attracting Foreign Direct Investments. With the demonstrated success, the Minister in the President’s Office – Ministry of Finance Zanzibar, Dr Saada Mkuya has committed to have a similar dialogue at Zanzibar on the 21st of January 2023 to leverage in the private sector inputs prior to the budget process. “Kudos to our President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan for championing collaboration between Government and Private Sector in enhancing voluntary tax compliance which has seen the TRA setting a new record high of tax collections since independence in December 2022. We should expect more positive reforms that will propel the country’s economy on the positive trend amid the challenging global economy which is currently realizing recession.
59 YEARS ON: GREAT MARCH TOWARDS REVOLUTION GOALS
From political revolution to socio-economic revolution, Zanzibar is steadily realising the goals of the 1964th Revolution, which overthrew the Sultan of Zanzibar and his mainly Arab government. As the Indian Ocean Islands marks 59th Revolution Anniversary, Zanzibaris have every reason to celebrate remarkable achievements that have been recorded in various key sectors. From trading in human beings, Zanzibar is considered a renowned tourist destination, with a diversified economy and remarkably transformed social sectors. It is an interesting march for the semi-autonomous Indian Ocean archipelagos, which have registered substantial improvements in living conditions and a drop in poverty since the historic 1964th Zanzibar Revolution. A World Bank Group report, Towards a More Inclusive Zanzibar Economy: Zanzibar Poverty Assessment 2022, shows while Zanzibar’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita grew at 2.9 percent per year during 2009 to 2019, consumption per adult equivalent grew by only 1.7 percent per year over the same period. The World Bank’s Poverty Assessment launched in November last year shows fast improvement in various non-monetary poverty indicators (living conditions). Between 2009 and 2019, gross enrollment in secondary education (forms 5 and 6), for example, increased from 51 to 66 per cent. The proportion of households with access to the electricity grid network grew from 38 to 57 per cent, with another six percent having access to solar power. “This shows that the significant increase in investments in basic social services in all districts in Zanzibar as part of the implementation of its Development Vision 2050 has led to important gains in human capital,” said Preeti Arora, Acting World Bank Country Director. The economy of Zanzibar has, thus, continued to perform satisfactorily on account of resumption of economic activities, especially those related to tourism. The Isles economy grew by 6.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2022 compared with 6.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter in 2021 It was never meant to be an easy march for the islanders. An ethnically diverse state consisting of several islands off the east coast of Tanganyika, Zanzibar had been granted independence by Britain in 1963. However, a series of parliamentary elections resulted in the Arab minority retaining the hold on power it had inherited from Zanzibar’s former existence as an overseas territory of Oman. Frustrated by under-representation in Parliament despite winning 54 percent of the vote in the July 1963 election, the mainly African Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) allied itself with the left-wing Umma Party, and early on the morning of 12 January 1964, ASP member John Okello mobilised around 600-800 revolutionaries on the main island of Unguja. Having overrun the country’s police force and appropriated their weaponry, the insurgents proceeded to Zanzibar Town where they overthrew the Sultan and his government. Reprisals against Arab and South Asian civilians on the island followed; the resulting death toll is disputed, with estimates ranging from several hundred to 20,000. The moderate ASP leader Abeid Karume became the country’s new president and head of state and positions of power were granted to Umma party members. The new government’s apparent communist ties concerned the West and as Zanzibar lay within the British sphere of influence, the British government drew up several intervention plans. The revolution ended 200 years of Arab dominance in Zanzibar and is commemorated on the island each year with anniversary celebrations and a public holiday. The Zanzibar Archipelago, now part of the East African republic of Tanzania, is a group of islands lying in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanganyika. It comprises the main southern island of Unguja (also known as Zanzibar), the smaller northern island of Pemba, and numerous surrounding islets. With a long history of Arab rule dating back to 1698, Zanzibar was an overseas territory of Oman until it achieved independence in 1858 under its Sultan. By 1964, the country was a constitutional monarchy ruled by Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah. Zanzibar had a population of around 230,000 Africans – some of whom claimed Persian ancestry and were known locally as Shirazi’s – and also contained significant minorities in the 50,000 Arabs and 20,000 South Asians who were prominent in business and trade. The various ethnic groups were becoming mixed and the distinctions between them had blurred; according to one historian, an important reason for the general support for Sultan Jamshid was his family’s ethnic diversity. However, the island’s Arabic inhabitants, as the island’s major landowners, were generally wealthier than the Africans. The major political parties were organized largely along ethnic lines, with Arabs dominating the Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP) and Africans the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP). In January 1961, as part of the process of decolonization, the island’s British authorities drew up constituencies and held democratic elections. Both the ASP and the ZNP won 11 of the available 22 seats in Zanzibar’s Parliament, so further elections were held in June with the number of seats increased to 23. The ZNP entered into a coalition with the Zanzibar and Pemba People’s Party (ZPPP) and this time took 13 seats, while the ASP, despite receiving the most votes, won just 10. Due to the layout of the constituencies the ASP, led by Abeid Amani Karume, won 54 percent of the popular vote but only 13 seats, while the ZNP/ZPPP won the rest and set about strengthening its hold on power. The Umma Party, formed that year by disaffected radical Arab socialist supporters of the ZNP, was banned and all policemen of African mainland origin were dismissed. This removed a large portion of the only security force on the island and created an angry group of paramilitary-trained men with knowledge of police buildings, equipment, and procedures. Complete independence from British rule was granted on 10 December 1963, with the ZNP/ZPPP coalition as the governing body. The government requested a defense agreement from the United Kingdom, asking for a battalion of British troops to be stationed on the island for internal security duties, but this was rejected as it was deemed inappropriate for British troops to be involved in the maintenance of law and order so soon after independence. British intelligence reports predicted that a civil disturbance, accompanied by increasing communist activity, was likely shortly and that the arrival of British troops might cause the situation to deteriorate further. However, many foreign nationals remained on the island, including 130 Britons who were direct employees of the Zanzibar government. Around 3:00 am on 12 January 1964, 600-800 poorly armed, mainly African insurgents, aided by some of the recently dismissed ex-policemen, attacked Unguja’s police stations, both of its police armories and the radio station. The Arab police replacements had received almost no training and despite responding with a mobile force, were soon overcome. Arming themselves with hundreds of captured automatic rifles, submachine guns and bren guns, the insurgents took control of strategic buildings in the capital, Zanzibar Town. Within six hours of the outbreak of hostilities, the town’s telegraph office and main government buildings were under revolutionary control and the island’s only airstrip was captured at 2:18 pm. The Sultan, together with Prime Minister Muhammad Shamte Hamadi and members of the cabinet, fled the island on the royal yacht Seyyid Khalifa and Sultan’s palace and other property were seized by the revolutionary government. At least 80 people were killed and 200 injured, the majority of whom were Arabs, during the 12 hours of street fighting that followed. The revolution was planned and headed by the ASP leader Abeid Amani Karume. However, at the time Karume was on Mainland as was the leader of the banned Umma Party, Abdulrahman Muhammad Babu. The ASP branch secretary for Pemba, Ugandan-born ex-policeman John Okello, had sent Karume to the Mainland to ensure his safety. Okello had arrived in Zanzibar from Kenya in 1959, claiming to have been a field marshal for the Kenyan rebels during the Mau Mau Uprising, although he had no military experience. He maintained that he heard a voice commanding him, as a Christian, to free the Zanzibari people from the Arabs and it was Okello who led the revolutionaries – mainly unemployed members of the Afro-Shirazi Youth League – on 12 January. One commentator has further speculated that it was probably Okello, with the Youth League, who planned the revolution. The bodies of Arabs killed in the post-revolution violence as captured by the Africa Addio film crew Revolutionary Council was established by the ASP and Umma parties to act as an interim government, with Karume heading the council as President and Babu serving as the Minister of External Affairs. The country was renamed the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba, and the new government’s first acts were to permanently banish the Sultan and to ban the ZNP and ZPPP.