Saturday, June 28, 2008

Love that became fatal

RIGHT from the beginning I was thinking of not publishing this image that goes alongside with the sad story which had befallen a young lady in this blog for fear of letting my readers would become so impressive with this shocking news. It’s all about the lady in her early twenties who was studying at Moi University in the Republic of Kenya. The lady claimed that, he managed to infest over 124 men who happened to sleep with her with a dreadful AIDS disease and left a message that mentioned the names of all men before she died. The incident happened five years ago as a student. I received this image which was sent to me electronically in my email on 27th august 2007 by somebody who is a fellow journalist based in Kenya. I had this image with me kept in my email box since then without deleting it, and have now realized there was a great need to publish it in this blog for my readers to view. Actually it’s very sad and so painful if look at it, being a Christian, this is how the lord God has been punishing those people who do not want to listen to him. Never mind to have come across such an information in your life, I believe it might not be the first time to have encountered with such a thing in your life. Nobody can ever say he object the fact that he or she hadn’t a relative who has lost life due to AIDS disease. Therefore by coming into contact with such an image, this should sound as a normal thing in our daily life. Moreover, it would desist or teach others who are fond of going through without looking for something to keep them safe. They might as well abstain from doing unsafe sex whatsoever. My dear readers, you must understand that, it was not God’s intention to create his man and stay on his earth to suffer, but everybody must understand that, we are living on earth and have to adhere to God’s rules, the same way as we respect the laws of our country. Whoever seems to be going astray, then should be punished in whatever way possible. The image you are about to see below is VERY DISTURBING though it touches on our human weakness, the weakness of the flesh. For you that God has ordained a purpose, for you that may be tempted on several occasions, for you that has a family, for you that wants to start a family, for you that have a dream to age gracefully and contribute to your nation. Thank God for the gift of life and pray for his assistance in every minutes so as to become free of temptation! Make use of it, when temptation come your way brave the memory of the image below and remember the words of the lady at MOI UNIVERSITY and why she did what she did to whom she did it. Those people could easily be with you now. Take God as your guide, follow his steps...temptations come and comes once and it gone. Young women and men, learn to wait and be faithful to your partner once you take the next step of family. Once again the image below is DISTURBING for the faint hearted

The graphical picture is very disturbing but it’s there for you to understand the turn of events. She was by all means a great beauty. But by the time of her death she didn't look even like her shadow.

This was how she looked like before she became emanciated

I have the details from her for you to read through and know what happened thereafter and actually how she really looked when life was still available{Pretty}. Now start reading the letter she had left

When I joined Moi University in September 2001, I promised myself "that it's in Moi University I got it and its here I will leave". I have indeed lived to keep my promise. I was in Form three when a student on his attachment in our school proposed for a relationship. He had all the qualities a woman would want in a man so I gave in. He told me all a form three girl would want to hear. In my innocence and naivety, I succumbed to his pressure to have sex with him, consequently, I lost my virginity to him. After his placement, he reported to college for his final year and we still had contacts. I visited him on a number of occasions, (I've even lost count the number of times I visited him). He was my first and only love and therefore hanged on every word he told me. My boy friend later graduated and we lost contact until last month (March) when his sister told me about his whereabouts (details of this later). Before registration in the Faculty of Law, in PSSP, I went for medical tests as is the requirement. I then opted for an HIV test, which unfortunately turned out to be +ve. It then downed on me that I had treaded the rest of my life for a university student who had deliberately and intentionally preyed on my innocence. My first impulse was to take away my life, counseling sessions did not mean much to me and I quickly walked out of the session. I however did not confide my status to anyone until today. The following day I went to a different Health facility and the results were still +ve. Therefore there was no doubt that I had been infected by this teacher-student. Since as the sister said, he had passed away after 6 months of being bed-ridden, besides, I had never had any other sexual relationship with anybody – No blood transfusion and the last time I used a syringe was in 1989. Now, since whoever infected me did not mind about my life, I will also infect as many as possible as long as they are university guys oblivious of my status. So guys, anyone of you out there who may have crossed my "path" should count himself unlucky and should quickly place an order for ARTs supply before it's too late! I decided to spread the virus indiscriminately in the Campus, (and have no apologies), because its here I got and I intend to leave it here. I've a well-documented report of all those guys who "crossed my path" since I joined this college. I will be posting their full names and registration numbers on the Students' Notice Board after the end of Semister. II Exams (August). So far, I've had 124 students, yes one hundred and twenty four. Out of these, only 6, yes six used a condom I still reiterate the fact that I owe nobody an apology and am still on a spreading spree till August. Otherwise, I wish you success in your end of First Semester exams as you wait for your slow and sure DEATH.

My dear friends, it seems like the world is coming to an end. We all need to take care; this is not the era where we never used to talk about sex to our young ones- be they children, brothers, sisters, cousins. We need to educate them! I believe this is just but a tip of the iceberg; Its only that she came out openly and said what had happened to her. But, THINK! How many more out there are out in the same mission, other Universities, Colleges, Commercial enterprises, Schools, work places and brothels? We need to be very cautious.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tanzania celebrates World Refugee Day

ON Friday 20th, Tanzania joined other international communities in celebrating the annual World Refugee Day. The country has become the main centre of hosting refugees who flock from outside since way back in 1972. The first batch of refugees came from Burundi when the country struck into a hot political turmoil forcing more than 6,000 people to seek for refuge. Other nationals came from Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa during the struggle for their country’s liberation, they had to flee to seek for safety. All the refugees are now back to their respective countries.

A National Service brass band leading the procession from Mnazi Mmoja ground to Karimjee hall during the celebrations to mark the World Refugee Day in Dar es Salaam.
The purpose of World Refugee Day is to draw attention to the plight of refugees, celebrate their courage and resilience, and renew commitment to solving refugee problems. It is also an opportunity to recognize the contribution which refugees make to the countries which host them. On this sixth anniversary of the United Nations-designated World Refugee Day, thousands of organizations in hundreds of countries comes together to focus global attention not only on the plight of refugees and the causes of their exile, but also on their determination in order to survive and on the contributions they make to their host communities. This year, the events around the world focus on the need for protection. For some this means economic security for others protection’s freedom from violence and persecution.

A typical example of a refugee camp. This is Mudende refugee camp in Gisenyi-DRC
In eastern Tanzania, the government was scheduled to mark the day by giving naturalization certificates to 202 Somali Bantu refugees in Chogo settlement. The government had given these refugees land and welcomed them to apply for naturalization based on the historical links they have to Tanzania. Cultural and sports events were held in camps and settlements.

Caring for old parents, a responsibility of everyone

When people talk of parenting, of course many think that they are actually talking of taking care of young ones. Ideally, parenting is the nitty-gritty of the entire process from preconception to maturity of our children even after they leave us. Of course there could be other definitions, but this fits the script. In view of this fact, even the older people also needs care and assistances wherever possible. Great care for them is highly required to make them survive happily. Caring for the aging parents in this case as is being applied in most communities is a rare phenomenon in developing world as most care givers are not financially good, or for some reasons they might fail to perform the intended work due to poverty. It poses difficult challenges especially when a crisis hits and when one is suddenly faced with such responsibilities of elder care, perhaps the aging mother or father has fallen ill and is hospitalized and needs close medical attention or facilities for nursing in order to recover. Becoming a caregiver to parents involves major changes for all concerned - physically, emotionally, socially and financially. Learning to cope with such changes in a healthy way is as important as to ensure the aging parents can live in a mutually loving and giving moral family relationship. Caring for old parents is indeed a responsibility that every person can handle when time comes and it’s difficult to do away with it, but it's the last thing one has to think about in life. Whether the time is now or somewhere down the road, there are basic steps that a care giver can take in order to make their life a little easier.

Older people in African communities. Poverty stricken situation is a major setback to the caring of the older people in these communities.

Some people live their entire lives with little or no assistance from family and friends, but today few people are living longer than ever before. It's always better to be prepared earlier no matter how far one is staying away from parents, says Samson Kanyondwi who stays in Dar es Salaam while his parents are far in rural Kasulu district. Kanyondwi who is the only son surviving his parents at his home village is a government employee who is about to retire, and despite of the fact that he is faced with numerous family matters such as paying school fees for his children, also he undertakes greater responsibility to ensure that his parents at home now deserves all the rights of survival for the rest of their life.
It’s a well-known fact that, when parents are getting older and older, the immediate person who is taking care of them has to ensure that they stay healthy. But it's difficult to monitor the health of the aging parents from miles away. Care givers must pay regular visits to them and ask about their health and find out if there's anything they can do to help them maintain their health standards and independence.

In Europe, caring of the older people is greatly taken into account, while in African societies, this is a rare phenomenon

Parents needs clothing, food and proper sheltering as these are the three basic material life for human beings. But how do care givers work on this idea into achieving the most needed objectives, actually is a matter of dedication and sympathy bearing the fact that they are parents without them even care givers would never have been born. There are certain basic considerations one has to think about old parents. For instance, take a look around your parents' home, keeping an eye out for anything that might mean they're having trouble maintaining their home. Has the well-maintained compound of their house become overgrown? Are there dirty things around or piles of filthy around? Think in terms of safety and note any changes in your parents' hearing and vision. Difficulty reading directions on prescription medications or hearing a doctor's advice could pose safety threats. Any big changes in the way your parents do things around the house could provide clues to their health. Pay attention to your parents' appearance and notice if they're keeping up with their usual personal hygiene routines. Are your parents' clothes clean? Do your parents appear to be taking good care of themselves? Failure to keep up with daily routines, such as bathing, tooth brushing and other basic grooming, could indicate health problems. Dementia, depression or physical impairments could be to blame, and are among the most common reasons why older people move to an assisted living center.

Older people must be helped and placed to stay in healthy environments.

Today, many adult daughters and sons find themselves called upon to help care for their aging parents. The commitment they have to make may be for a short time or it may last for years. It changes the roles, responsibilities and feelings within the family and can be complicated and confusing. At the same time, caring for an aging parent can also benefit the family. It can bridge the gaps among generations. Family support systems can be strengthened as members learn to prepare themselves for their own aging. In an African society, caring of old parents in most families has for long remain a mystery as most strongest age mate groups have migrated from rural life and entered in urban centers in search of job opportunities to earn their livelihood. Contrary to African point of view, in some European countries, the Parent Care Solution is a new tool for today. It is a proactive, caring process involving parents and their adult children. The Parent Care Solution helps preserve wealth and family relationships. It is an innovative solution to a serious problem

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why drivers have to check out their cars before taking off.

AFTER a whole day’s work, drivers normally looks for safe places in order to park their cars. You might have asked yourself why are they opening their cars’ bonnets as a sign of checking them out every morning before taking off? One thing which reflects to people’s mind is to see if there are some parts missing in it. This could be a brilliant idea as per their imagination, but perhaps the most important reason for this is to ensure whether there are some parts in an engine is leaking. Drivers always have to check to see the contents of the oil in cars’ engine. Oil leakage from a car engine is dangerous and sometimes if not prevented by mechanical means to keep its retention, can lead to engine bust because of overheating an aspect that is likely to cause fatal accident while in motion. According to one mechanic, Mr. James Maneno, checking of an engine oil in cars is a very important aspect that keeps cars in good condition. The exercise involves pouring lubricant oils that ultimately runs to the entire parts of the engine. According to him, checking of cars’ engines is a regular task that involves all kinds including even those of heavy duty trucks. This is a manual work generally and shouldn’t only involve checking oil alone or transmission fluid in other words, but also tire pressure, battery and what other items which are needed to be periodically checked in motor vehicles. The work is very simple and always when doing the job a car is placed at the level spot when the engine is stopped. A driver has to wait for a while to let the engine oil to pour down to the oil pan. Then he pulls the engine oil dipstick which usually it has a bright handle saying "engine oil". Wipe it off with a clean rag or tissue. Then insert it back all the way down into its place.

To keep cars in good health is as important as one who keeps his own health

Normally a dipstick should be at full mark, that you can see that it's a bit lower. It's not a big problem yet. When checking the oil condition and finds if its way is too black, it's definitely time to change it and replace it by a clean one. If it's slightly-brown, it's O.K. If it's dark-brown, but still transparent, it's admissible but it's better to change it soon. It would be better to add the same type and brand of the engine oil as it is already in the engine. A driver must add a little amount and then wait for a minute to let the oil pour down. He then has to check the oil level again with the dipstick. If it's still low more should be added but not to overfill it. There are basic steps through which must be followed in order to avoid dangers from knocking down while in motion. Thus, Preventive maintenance is important to keep cars in safe condition. With proper care in this manner, a car will last longer and some of the possible problems can be avoided.
Well-maintained cars are not only safer but are also more economical and produces less pollutions. If the car is well-maintained, the owner becomes proud and can expect higher price when it’s put on sale. Maneno narrates other few but necessary basic car maintenance tips that a driver must stick into includes, apart from regular oil changes that keeps car engine in a good shape, regular car wash is another aspect. The exercise keeps the car’s body looks shiny and free from corrosion. Taking precautions with the little problems likely to occur in cars in time may save a lot more. As soon as a driver feels that there is something wrong with his car like any kind of irregular noise, vibration, shimmer, or some leak or any warning light comes on while driving or anything that seems to be irregular, has to take his car for inspection at a dealer or a garage as soon as possible. Incase of a major car repair, a regular mechanical inspection is necessary as it might be unsafe to drive. It's definitely better to check any small problem before it will cause something serious. Maneno recommends that, it’s therefore imperative to have cars inspected regularly, at least once a week for business cars such as taxis by an experienced motor mechanic who can lift a car and check major components needed for repair such as brakes, suspension, etc.

How smoking is dangerous and harmful to human health

SMOKERS may have started smoking because their friends did or because it seemed cool and adopt the habit as a normal lifestyle without realizing the dangers posed to their body health. But they keep on smoking and never refrain because they have become addicted to nicotine, one of the chemicals in cigarettes. Nicotine is both a stimulant and a depressant. That means nicotine increases the heart rate at first and makes people feel more alert (like caffeine, another stimulant). Then it causes depression and fatigue. It’s a poisonous substance derived from tobacco, the substance that causes addiction to cigarettes the drug withdrawal from nicotine make people crave another cigarette to perk up again. According to many experts, the nicotine in tobacco is as addictive as cocaine or heroin. A cigarette is a product consumed through smoking and manufactured out of cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco, combined with other additives then rolled or stuffed into a paper-wrapped cylinder (generally less than 120mm in length and 10mm in diameter). The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder for the purpose of inhalation of its smoke from the other (usually filtered) end, which is inserted in the mouth. When people smoke cigarettes, nicotine enters their bloodstream. The term cigarette, as commonly used, refers to a tobacco cigarette but can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis. Cigarettes contain nicotine which is toxic and are proven to be highly addictive, as well as a cause of multiple types of cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, circulatory diseases and birth defects( which include mental and physical disability) and emphysema.

A man who has become bed-ridden due to some lung complications caused by chronic smoking. His health has deteriorated as though he is suffering from Tuberculosis disease.
When smoking cigarettes, it delivers smoke to the lungs immediately and produce a rapid psychoactive effect. Substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and cocaine, which are unhealthy, are often illegal, and can lead to addiction. Although alcohol and nicotine are legal drugs, they can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs like marijuana and heroin. Experts say that, a chronic cigarette smoker, or a chain smoker in other words experiences some changes in his body when one refrains from smoking. If you smoke regularly, you're probably physically addicted to nicotine and your body may experience some symptoms of withdrawal when you quit. These may include, headaches or stomachaches, crabbiness, jumpiness, or depression, lack of energy, dry mouth or sore throat, desire to pig out. The dangers of smoking cigarettes are often greatly exaggerated while the benefits are downplayed and have short-term health benefits. Now, smoking cigarettes is certainly bad physically, but the threat of diseases such as lung cancer or emphysema are made out to be worse than they actually are. The major latest reports about chronic smoking shows that, Smoking harms nearly every organ of a human body, causing many diseases and thus, reducing body health in general. Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, reducing risks for diseases caused by smoking and improving your health in general. Smoking cigarettes with lower tar and nicotine provides no clear benefit to health. The list of diseases caused by smoking has been expanded to include abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, pneumonia, periodontitis, and stomach cancer. A study printed in 2001 by Michael Houlihan, titled "Effects of smoking/nicotine on performance and event-related potentials during a short-term memory scanning task" showed that smoking cigarettes, or more specifically the nicotine in cigarettes, has a positive effect on short-term memory. A "denicotinized" cigarette and a "nicotine-yielding" cigarette were used to show the difference between the amount of nicotine ingested and the effect on short-term memory. This study basically showed that smoking shortens response time and it also positively affects event-related potentials. The response time was more greatly affected so, this shows that nicotine shortens response time by affecting response-related processes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How Tanzania benefits from ICT technologies

ALTHOUGH Tanzania is not among countries that have effectively exploited digital opportunities, it has benefited immensely from Information and communication Technologies (ICTs) in recent years. Addressing the Leon Sullivan Summit delegates in Arusha city recently, the country’s Communications, Science and Technology Minister, Professor Peter Msolla said that the tangible achievements includes two million internet users across the country and about nine million telephone subscribers. He said since the liberalization of broadcasting services in the country, the sector has registered 47 radio stations and 29 television broadcasters. ICT is indispensable for Tanzania to meet the target to build a well educated society with medium industrialization and an inclusive people-centered and development-oriented information society by 2025. According to available statistics, one telephone line is shared by five people compared to the 0.03 per cent Tele-density in the country in 2000. The current 20 per cent telephony penetration is a result of the spread of services to cover many parts of the country and the gradual fall of tariffs. Statistics further shows that postal and courier service operators now numbers 42 compared to 13 in 2000. A few years ago Tanzania had less than half a million internet users while mobile phone subscribers and basic telephony users were 606,859 and 161,590, respectively, in 2002.

The Minister for Science and Technology Professor Peter Msolla stressing a point while presenting a paper during Leon Sullivan summit held at Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) in Arusha city recently.
According to the Minister the use of ICT has become the government’s strategic development tools whose adoption is being supported by relevant policy measures and strategies. The new technologies are in that regard viewed as a pillar and driving engines towards attainment of national development plans and fighting poverty. The digital infrastructure and services are vital for stimulating development activities as well as in empowering people to access and exchange information. ICT catalyses business growth, propels good governance and helps to cheapen availability of public services and making others affordable.

Two American delegates who attended the Leon Sullivan Summit taking a stroll along some of the companies’ exhibition stands during the summit.

The minister noted that ICT has had positive impact on social lives and is greatly supporting the national economy as a whole. As a result people’s lives and business transactions are becoming even more ICT dependent and there is increased demand for more sophistication and convenience on the related services. There is ample room for the private sector in Tanzania to team up with the Government in order to address the ever increasing demands for the related ICT services as well as expansion of the ICT infrastructure. Several strategic national and international initiatives have been taken to improve access to ICT, reduce the digital divide and improve the requisite infrastructure in the country. These include the East African Submarine Cable systems (EASSy) and the Tanzania national fibre optic backbone that will be built before the end of the forthcoming financial year. There is also the due Tanzania Educational and Research Institutions network that will be implemented to facilitate connectivity of universities, higher education and research institutions. Local operators have, on their part, come together to address the missing undersea link on the eastern part of Africa through EASSy. The government has put on measures to be pursued so as to enhance ICT penetration in the country that include approving the necessary legislation for implementing objectives in the present national ICT policy. There are also plans to devote more resources to the development of the national infrastructure to support exploitation of the ICT capacity. Others are creating and approving better incentive packages for investment in the ICT service industry and seeking international support to help mainstream the sector. Another aspect in that regard will be promotion of wider use of ICTs at the level of the State and public services, institutions, private entities, community and individual users. Digital experts say prerequisites for effective exploitation of ICT requires among other things existence of a comprehensive national policy, access to reliable power, and implementation of e-initiatives such as e-government, e-commerce, e-learning and e-health. Also strategically vital are digitally skilled personnel, existence of a reliable national ICT infrastructure and a good national science, technology and innovations policy. Science and technology and innovation must play a major role in seeking and implementing solutions and methodologies which will allow the expansion use of ICTs for production processes, provision of services, improvement of teaching and learning, research, etc in order to improve living conditions for our citizens.

TTCL lined up to manage 170bn/- local govt ICT backbone

TANZANIA government has said that an Information and Communications Technology backbone which will connect all regional and district authorities will be managed by the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL). Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently, Communications, Science and Technology minister Prof Peter Msolla said the government had already allocated Tshs.17bn/- in the next financial year for a feasibility study and compensation for people who will have their property destroyed to pave way for the project. The project would ensure that all rural and satellite areas were connected to the cable and this will allow e-government in all central government and local government offices. Prof. Msolla said in the first phase of the project, the government needed about 70bn/- for the project and 100bn/- in the second phase, which will be in form of loans and grants. Once the ICT backbone was in place, it would bridge all the gaps in communications and this would allow many people in the country to access ICT advantages. According to the Minister, poor infrastructure had been identified as a major challenge in accessing ICT and that the ICT backbone would overcome all the challenges.
The minister noted that Tanzania continued to use microwave ICT national backbone whose capacity was below users. The government has continued with formalities of constructing an optic fibre ICT national backbone whose cost of construction and accessibility are affordable, and once in place it will enhance connectivity to all Tanzania Mainland district headquarters. On the other side, the TTCL Chief Executive Officer, Mr. William Beckman said if the ICT infrastructure was adequately addressed it alone would provide wide opportunities in the communications sector. The company had 150,000 customers currently and that the number was projected to increase to 400,000 in the next two years or so. Beckman said his company was in the process of securing a Tshs. 250bn/- loan (US$ 115m) from a local bank which would help to keep the company improve its infrastructure and its operations in the country.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tanzania government to create friendly environment for ICT investors

Tanzania government has said that it would provide an enabling environment for ICT investors putting up projects in the communication sector, one of the country’s pivotal areas for development. The Defense and National Service Minister, Dr. Husein Mwinyi said recently during the launch of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) week in Dar es Salaam that more investors are needed in the area as the sector was developing at a much faster pace. In his key note speech, Dr. Mwinyi said that ICT is the pillars for the country’s development and that it represented an independent distinct sector of the economy, and when accessed properly, ICT could bring tremendous changes to the development of the country’s economy. ICT is an enabler for growth and development could benefit both developed and developing countries, provided the right policy measures and enabling environment are in place. In view of the current development set up, the government has called upon mobile and fixed phone network operators in the country to reduce tariffs in order to allow the needy to gain access to mobile phone communications. But the call might hit a snag following an increase of income tax imposed on mobile phones in the country in a recent 2008/2009 proposed budget read in Parliament on 12th June 2008.

Minister for Defense and National Services, Dr. Husein Mwinyi, the son of the second phase Tanzanian President, Ally Hassan Mwinyi, is being taken around various ICT companies’ exhibition stands during ICT Week celebrations in the country. Looking on at the center in a red tie is the Director General of the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Professor John Nkoma. TCRA organized the event.

Despite of this gradual development for the sector, there has been some significant reduction in the tariffs rates for both national and international calls, and the rates are still very high for locals to afford especially those residing in remote areas. Under this situation, there is likely to occur a slow development of new media facilities in rural areas which would be contributed to some extent by communication service providers who focus only in the urban populace and do not put much emphasis on rural dwellers who need the service most. The private sector has a big role to play in creating awareness among the people on the use of ICT especially in rural areas. Internet Service Providers (ISP) too have to widen outreach and cover rural areas. Stakeholders of ICT sector have called upon the ISPs to foster their outlook to rural areas so that their services should reach rural areas in order to keep them abreast with what is going in the country and around the globe in general. Service providers should also teach users both in urban and in rural areas of communication services with a view to helping more people become past of the computer revolution.

ICT to be introduced to speed up court proceedings in Tanzania

THE Judicial and the Investment Facility in Africa recently signed an agreement geared at modernizing the judicial system in Tanzania. In this agreement, the investment facility for Africa would provide an up-to-date ICT training (on use of computers) to judges, registrars, court clerks and stenographers so that they might speed up court processes and increase transparency. The firm will contribute US$ 2 million (about Tsh. 2.4 billion) to the project while the judiciary would contribute US$ 650,000 (About Tshs. 800 million) in the form of taxes. The knowledge would help increase the current process of recording evidence in court, the technology would replace long hand writing which is too slow and outdated. The knowledge would also guard against very common occurrences of loss, misplacement and destruction of court files. Speaking during the signing ceremony, the CEO of the investment firm, Mr. Omar Issa said the agreement which signaled the start of a joint funded project, would also see the investment climate improved with modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Chief Justice Augustine Ramadhani standing right to President Jakaya Kikwete. This was immediately after the President had sworn in more than 15 Judges of the High Court of Tanzania. Judges, Court clerks and other personnel of the High Court of Tanzania, would be given a training on how to speed up their work by using computers.

According to him, it will encourage both inward and external investment into Tanzania because the technology will ensure that the entire legal process is more cost—effective and efficient. The knowledge acquired by the beneficiaries after the training would enhance good governance within the judiciary system in the country by reducing congestion of cases, and it would also avoid lengthy delays of court hearing. For his part, the Chief Justice, Augustine Ramadhani said the technology would promote delivery of justice to all as it will expedite the administration of criminal justice and brighten the future of the investment climate in the country. The technology could help Tanzania due to its strong expanding economy and stable political environment.

Friday, June 13, 2008

ICT use is for all regardless of one’s old age

ARE you one of the elderly that arte excluded from ICT use and still use traditional methods of communicating with people? Are you techno-phobic and find it difficult to learn something new? Is there an age limit to ICT usage? Not at all, it’s only the youngest who call the older generations too old. ICT knows there is no age limit while using it. In fact there are many people who are older than you, and who are still benefiting from ICT.
The Web podia Computer Dictionary defines ICT which stands for Information and Communication Technology as the study or business of developing and using technology to process information and aid communications. In other words, if you are using technology to process information, or you are using technology to support communications, then you are using ICT. Many of the-day-to-day technologies we take for granted incorporates ICT. The mobile phone is such one example, the second is the computer, Fax and Email at your office or at the internet café is another example. The examples are endless and the probability that you have used ICT before a
nd not only once, but that you use it regularly, is quite high.
Old people have also an opportunity to make used of the ICT gadgets. No matter how old they are with grey hairs on their head. ICT is for all people of all walks of life
When you buy a burger at a fast food chain, your order is taken in a computer terminal. The terminal is used to process information. At a clothing store, the labels are scanned and the information is used not only for your purchase and for inventory replenishment, but also for marketing campaigns again processing information. It’s important to recognize and understand ICT so that you can use it more effectively in your daily life. The more you become aware of the technology around you, the greater its value will be to you. The fact that the elderly are intimidated by technology and that therefore they are not going to be productive members in the computer age, just because one has grey hairs on head, does not mean one cannot learn to think in terms of bits and bytes. Such ideas are gone as far as ICT is concerned. In fact a great market opportunity is being misused here.

An old woman from Iramba village in Bunda district can be seen seated besides her house while communicating in a mobile phone with her daughter who is in Mwanza city.
At your age whereby your children are all grown up, there is money and time to spend on newest technology, especially when it can make your life easier and allow you to accomplish tasks much faster. Above that though, for the elderly, it’s not only a question of doing the same thing more quickly or in a simpler way with the aid of ICT. It’s also a question of being able to perform tasks independently which would be impossible without ICT. Another step could then be introducing ICT into your life in a way that is directly beneficial to you. For instance, a computer in your home could be used to type your work, manage your business and monitor your finances. With a connection to the internet, you can instantly communicate with people who are far from you, or download a wealth of information and it doesn’t matter how old are you. For those who have operated quite effectively at a slower pace, you can without anxiety, turn off the machines and then enjoy a spectacular sunset, immerse yourself in a novel or hold a child in your lap and tell her a tale.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why ICT has yet to reach rural areas in Tanzania?

LACK of modern infrastructure in the country’s rural areas has been a stabling block that hinders the growth and development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This is why most rural areas in Tanzania are still lagging behind in adopting the use of ICTs and their applications. About 80 percent of Tanzanians live in rural areas where there is no electricity and the government shows no any efforts to create a conducive environment that would increase investments in those areas in a bid to eradicate the escalating phenomenon. Statistics made available by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals shows that, rural areas covers only 2 percent of the power distribution network in the country, an aspect which shows that the vast majority of the rural people lacks ICT use whose gadgets mostly depends on the electricity power supply.

Most roads in rural areas in Tanzania are in bad condition while others still impassable during rainy seasons an aspect that has rendered into poor ICT investments. Little developments with few electric poles can only be seen at the junction points of the main roads.

Another thing, most roads are still in bad shape and virtually impassable especially during rainy seasons. Schools and hospitals in these areas are the worst hit, with most students in rural areas currently unable to use computers. According to an ICT engineer in the Ministry of Science and Technology Mr. Samson Mwera, illiteracy is still one of the major obstacles to the spread of ICT in rural areas in the country. However, he says, this is also coupled by the crude technology as well as language barrier. A majority of the people there could not communicate in English, a situation that is disturbing to most Tanzanians who are used to Swahili language. In the modern world language has become an important aspect in the application of ICT gadget e.g internet, and computer application.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How desktop computers came to the rescue of newspaper production

A newspaper is a publication containing news, information and advertising usually printed in low cost paper called newsprint. Usually newspapers are most published daily or weekly. In this world, the first printed newspaper was published way back in 1605, and the form thrive even if the face of competition from technologies such as radio and television. However, recent developments on the internet are posing major threats to its business model. Paid circulation is declining in most countries and advertising revenue, which makes up the bulk of a newspaper’s income is shifting from print to online sources. Plummeting sales notwithstanding, since the 1980s, the newspaper industry has made giant strides in so far as the production process is concerned. Thanks to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the use of modern computers in general
In addition, their printing process has largely moved away from lower quality, four colour process, offset printing. However, the area that has largely benefited from modern computers is the production process. Indeed with the use of desktop computers, word processing software, graphic software, digital cameras and digital prepress and typesetting technologies, all these have revolutionalised newspapers’ production process.

With the introduction of desktop computers, newspapers production has become much more easier than before. Modern computers connected with new media facilities e.g internet, has in general helped develop media industry.

Gone are the old “Hot type” method of text composition which used molten lead to create individual letters, paragraphs, and full pages of text is extinct. Today, composition work is done primarily with computers. Improvements in desktop publishing software also allows customers to do much more of their own typesetting. These technological advances have enabled newspapers to public colour photographs and graphics as well as innovative layouts and better design. In fact the user of computers has simplified publishing tasks that would otherwise require much more complicated equipment and human efforts. This is called desktop publishing and it allows an individual to combine text, numerical data, photographs, charts and other visual elements in a document that can be printed on a laser printer or more advanced typesetting machine. The primary advantages of desktop publishing over conventional publishing apparatus are low cost and ease of use. Tanzania newspaper industry had to move with the world in the development set up.

Various African journalists at the media center during World Summit on Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia. The use of desktop computers and internet in general have helped media personnel disseminate their information with ease and more quickly.

It is also significant to note that, coming into Tanzania of such technology was during the time of the liberalization of the county’s newspaper industry. It was a time when many private newspapers came into being and which had necessitated the importation into the country modern printing presses, and lased prepress equipment. In fact typesetting and page layout have been revolutionalised by the technological changes shaping desktop publishing. Increasingly computers are used to do much of the typesetting and huge layout work formerly done by pre-press workers, posing new challenges for the printing industry. Desktop publishing is in itself rapidly changing field that encompasses a number of different kinds of jobs. As explained computers enable desktop publishers to perform publishing tasks that would otherwise require complicated equipment and extensive human efforts. Advances in computer software and printing technology continue to change and enhance desktop publishing work. For example, instead of receiving simple types text from customers, desktop publishers get the materials over the internet or in a computer disk. Other innovations in the occupation includes digital colour page make-up systems, electronic page layout systems, and off-press colour proofing systems.

ICT as a catalyst for economic take off

It’s not a dispute that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accords a password to prosperity and posterity in all realms of the human society in the 21st century. ICT is one of the pillars for socio-economic and industrial development. It has revolutionalised education, governance, manufacturing, medicine and communication and Transport in entirely.
In essence, the benefits of embracing and being ICT compliant for individuals, nations, governments, learning institutions and companies outstrips the underlying costs of installation and capacity building. As a consequence, governments ought to develop a comprehensive integrated ICT led social-economic development policy plan, set within the wider context of the development goals of each country.
This will facilitate the realization of the society into an information rich knowledge base society. All key economic activities for instance, Agriculture, Tourism, Commerce, Industries, Health, Aviation, Research, the list is endless, have to be anchored around modern technology in order to achieve the desired efficiency and productivity. But even as there exists disparities in levels of growth and development in ICT worldwide, as clearly manifested in the global digital divide, all energy and resources ought to be routed in the pursuit to bridge the gap. In the past, people haplessly witnessed the widening gap in the digital divide, now the western world has continuously edged the developing world in ICT advancement. The reasons for the phenomena are apparent that the western world has a rich resource base both human and financial and the requisite infrastructure.

Downloading of educational materials for distance learning has enabled most on-line students worldwide acquire their learning materials with ease. Besides online facilities, computer connected with the internet has also played a crucial role by quickening the work of researchers and scholars to obtain information from various web sites all over the world.

There is need for all the stakeholders in developing societies to put in place policies, resources and the infrastructure that will bolster the development of ICT for posterity.
E-learning, e-commerce, and e-governance among others have become the clarion in affluent and fast placed society, impacting directly to the development of the society. Despite the difficulty environment, it’s important to note that the developing countries and Africa in particular, have recorded remarkable in the field of ICT. With the advent of World Wide Web (www) communication has been eased in speed, convince and the cost of people mailing at the touch of a button across borders and continents. For instance in Africa, and particularly the East African Region, ICT has yielded greater benefits in the education sector.
Those who hitherto, for one or more reasons could not access education either because of the prohibitive costs are now learning on-line, others are students at the open visual learning centers, pivoted from Universities in the region. Besides the online facilities, ICT provides an unlimited database for scholars and researchers posted on various sites on the world wide web. But the sector now owes remarkable advancements to ICT is commerce, its emergence has enhanced the levels of transaction and speed. Currently individuals and companies made orders and transact online. The benefit from the technology is that, the cost of doing business has tremendously been lowered. Even bank transactions are undertaken online.

The Officer-in-charge of the Development Information Services Division (DISD) at the UN-Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) based in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, Ms. Aida Opoku Mensah displaying a book she had just launched at African Information Society Initiative (AISI) pavilion during second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, Tunisia. This was in November 2005. This an ICT book highlighting ICT news for African Development

On the part of rich nations, they need to help in exploring ways of how to connect the entire world wide voice gates. They too of course in collaboration with the less advantaged, need to explore concrete measures and action plan to meet this objective, taking into account resolution reached at previous telecommunications development meetings in Tunis in November 2005 and in Geneva in December 2003. There is need to lay down a clear and more inclusive, most just and equitable information society. But then poor countries, especially in Africa, have complained about the reticence of western governments since the Geneva summit. However, this should not be a draw back to attain ICT growth.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Five Tanzanian ICT companies receives licenses

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has issued five licenses to different companies to enable them offer Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions in the country. TCRA Director General Professor John Nkoma said recently in Dar es Salaam while presenting licenses during ICT week celebrations, that the country was doing everything possible to attract ICT companies invest in ICT related solutions.
There was need for companies to invest in the ICT sector to give people a wide choice of services. ”If we license more companies in different ICT related fields, there will be competition in the sector as well as reduction of costs and other related charges”, he said.
He insisted the country`s ICT Policy should address issues of curriculum development and syllabi for computer and ICT training courses at all levels of education.
He said that the government has opened up doors for private sector participation in the telecommunications sector development to facilitate adequate usage of ICT services.

Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director Genera Prof. John Nkoma speaks to the pressmen (not in the picture. Right is the National ICT coordinator, Engineer Augustus Kowero and left is a TCRA official.

”This is important to develop human capital if we have to effectively utilise the ICT services” he said. A representative of one of the companies which received license, Alan Paul, of Midas Services, underscored the need to strengthen public-private partnership to ensure inclusion of women, children, and other disadvantaged groups in ICT for development. According to him, his organization would provide banking services and point of sale services which are state-of-the-art services aimed at reducing the stress of carrying a lot of money when going shopping.
Chairman of the 2-mobile, one of the companies which received licenses, Joseph Rugumyamheto, commended the government for its demonstration of interest in the use of ICT services from the central government to the village level. He said that his company would provide multimedia services and voice over internet protocol.
Besides Midas services and 2-Mobile, other licensed companies include E-Life which will provide short massages for examination results, and Zanzibar Datacom, which will provide internet services. Others were E-click, licensed to provide video conferencing and voice over internet protocol.

Bird’s eye view of corruption scandals in Tanzania

FOLLOWING the death of a former Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Governor, the late Dr. Daudi Ballali which occurred in Washington DC in USA towards the end of May 2008, Tanzanian government has come under intense pressure from the public over his death as he is considered to be a prime suspect in a multi-billion financial scandal currently facing the BOT. Activists and the media personnel have strove to investigate and bring to law the masterminds of misappropriated funds especially those under External Payment Arrears (EPA) account operated by Bank of Tanzania (BOT), Richmond saga, dubious mining contracts and many others. The public has demanded the release of names of people involved in the scandal and their immediate persecution but this has since ended up in vain. EPA scandal alone consists of fraudulent payment of about Tshs. 133 billion (US$ 116 million) made by BOT to 22 ghost companies in the financial year 2005/06 involving the payment of the country’s external debt.

The late Dr. Daudi Ballali who died in an hospital in Washington DC-USA towards the end of May 2008. His mysterious death is still a subject of debate among most Tanzanians.

According to a recent government pronouncement, nearly half of the money (Tshs. 60 million) had mysteriously found its way back into state coffers. The Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police refused to disclose the names at this stage, pleading for patience because the investigations were still going on. Speculation has been rife as to why the government would rather recover the loot than prosecute? While others believe that the government may be shielding the culprits, and the most plausible reason seem to be that the government has figured out that it has a weak case against the culprits in a court of law.
The now famous Richmond scandal where Richmond Development Company Ltd struck a lucrative deal to generate electricity for national grid for the detriment of the nation’s economy, saw the government almost collapsing. Therefore, this may yet be another scandal similar to the mining contracts that later had to be negotiated.

Former Tanzanian Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, his resignation came after he was implicated to have been involved in a Richmond saga as a prime suspect.

When Richmond saga was uncovered, President Kikwete’s right hand man, Edward Lowassa was forced to resign as the Prime Minister, echoed by two other ministers, Nazir Karamagi, former Energy and Mineral Minister, as well as the Dr. Ibrahim Msabaha who headed the same Ministry before.

Former Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr. Nazir Karamagi who is also linked to Richmond saga the second to resign from the cabinet

The BOT scandal has already claimed its governor as its first casualty, Dr. Daudi Ballali who was fired by President Jakaya Kikwete in early January this year after he was implicated in the investigative reports carried out by government’s Controller General (CAG) and the accounting and audit firm, EMST & Young.

Dr. Ibrahim Msabaha, former Energy Minister during third phase government. He is the third Minister to resign.

Following this, the President had dissolved his government and made several cabinet reshuffles following multi-million dolar scandals. Anti-graft war is gaining momentum than never before. It is the limelight today his political bigwigs looted public funds for personal gains, and perhaps unfounded institutional uses.
Analysts predict that, the President as a person might be hard hit by the anti-graft war after another Minister resigned again. This is the Infrastructure Development Minister, Andrew Chenge who served as Attorney General in the third government phase which Kikwete worked as a foreign Minister. Mr. Chenge is currently under investigations over corruption allegations in the purchase of military radar linked to a British Air company that manufacturers military weapons.

Mr. Adrew Chenge, Former Infrastructure Development Minister was also forced to resign in the on-going radar scandal. Mr. Chenge, a professional lawyer had been holding a position of the State Attorney General for the last ten years.

With investigations mounted by Kikwete’s administration and the parliament unearthing massive looting including the Bank of Tanzania, some of which claimed to have been used in financing political campaigns, stakeholders of politics now challenge the government to enact a law which will be monitoring funds used by political parties in the campaign as it was promised by President Kikwete.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fast-paced growth in ICT fuels overall economic development in Africa-New ITU report:

THE International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has said that, as the end of the first decade of the new millennium approaches, Africa stands at a crossroads with ICT policy makers faced with important choices.
Launching the ITU African Telecommunication/ICT Indicators 2008 report, Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau, said Africa presented several growth opportunities in the ICT sector.
The report shows that, growth in Africa's mobile sector has defied all predictions. Africa remains the region with the highest annual growth rate in mobile subscribers and added no less than 65 million new subscribers during 2007. At the beginning of 2008, there were over a quarter of a billion mobile subscribers on the continent. Mobile penetration has risen from just one in 50 people at the beginning of this century to almost one third of the population today. Mobile subscribers are also now more evenly distributed. In 2000, South Africa accounted for over half of all Africa's mobile subscribers, but by 2007, almost 85 per cent were in other countries. Mobile success, driven largely by competition, is also spawning new services such as micro-payment prepaid recharging, single rate inter-regional roaming and the uptake of m-commerce applications.
While mobile services have become more accessible and affordable, internet access has not kept pace. It is estimated that there were some 50 million internet users in Africa in 2007, translating into around one person among twenty. Over half of the region's internet users are estimated to be located in North African countries and South Africa. In Sub Saharan Africa, only three per cent of the population is online. The scarcity of International Internet Bandwidth and lack of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) drives up prices. As a result, Africa is the most costly for internet access. The average monthly internet subscription is almost USD 50 in Africa, close to 70 per cent of average per capita income.

Dr. Hamadoun Toure, ITU Secretary General

According to Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008 is a strategic step in bridging the digital divide. " However, he says this is a decisive milestone in our commitment to connecting the world," Dr Touré has challenged the ICT industry to explore the many opportunities that are available across the continent - and which would be on display to forge the tools that can act as catalysts in other sectors of the economy and of society, such as health, education, business, agriculture, and government services.
Addressing the opening Press conference in a recent meeting held in Cairo-Egypt, Dr Touré said, "Africa has been the fastest growing market worldwide over the last three years," adding that much of this growth had been stimulated by competition, policy and regulatory reform in most African telecommunication markets. "Today, the African ICT industry is an exciting place to be. Market liberalization continues and most countries have established regulatory bodies to ensure a fair, competitive and enabling environment."
"Today, more than ever, as the world shifts towards an information age that is transforming it into a global village, technology contributes to the core of economic growth and better living standards