Friday, August 15, 2008

Celtel Tanzania re-brands as Zain

CELTEL Tanzania has joined its sister companies in Africa and the Middle East in adopting the brand name Zain as part of re-branding the entire African operations from Celtel, one of the leading mobile telecommunication service operators in Africa and the Middle East. Before the re-branding exercise that came to a close recently, the Kuwait mobile operator was trading in 14 African markets as Celtel International. Speaking recently at a press conference in Dar es Salaam, the Chief Operating Officer for Zain East Africa Region-in Charge of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar Mr. Bashar .T. Arafeh, said that Zain would continue to support education because they want to help people to have a wonderful life that they had had planned to have before, however he added that his company has closed an older chapter and embarked on a greater journey ahead. ”We are expanding what was the most extensive network in Tanzania to make a deeper impact on the lives of subscribers” he affirmed. As from the time the new name was announced, all Zain pre-paid and post-paid customers in Africa and the Middle East using the one network service started to enjoy the benefits of being treated as local customers wherever they are. The company operates in 22 countries with a customer base of over 50 million subscribers. Mr. Bashar note that his newly reformed firm (Zain) now hosts a total of three million active customers in Tanzania which is about 40 per cent of the total market share. Last year, the Zain Group made gross revenue of $265 million and $52 million net profit. The company said in a statement that the new name is more colorful and targets mass markets, with the slogan shifting to a wonderful world from making life better for all of the 22 operations of the group worldwide.

The Chief Operating Officer for Zain East Africa Region-in Charge of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar Mr. Bashar .T. Arafeh,

The move is aimed at unifying the company’s 22 operations to become one of the leading borderless networks in the world. This is in line with the group’s goal to make the mobile operator one of the top 10 global networks by 2011, the statement noted. One network plan started in 2006 when Celtel started to offer its services to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and by last June, it expanded network services to Congo, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Niger, Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi and Madagascar. This made the customer base reach 28 million customers across Africa. Plans are underway to bring Ghana in the one network service by end of this year, bringing the total number of countries under the scheme to 15, it said. Mr Bashar said the company plans to add Saudi Arabia into the one network service by the end of next year. This is due to the huge number of Tanzanians in the Middle East demanding that the service be extended into that zone, he pointed out. In the next five years, Zain plans to invest an extra $500 billion as part of its commitment of improving the rural network infrastructure, he added. Although it has re-branded its entire African operations from Celtel to Zain, the company’s management has vowed it would continue to support the education sector in Tanzania and elsewhere. In particular, Zain would continue to support artists in Africa further improve their talents in music and culture, he noted. Zain Brand is wholly owned by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange trading as Stock Ticker. The firm has a market capitalization of over USD 25.8 billion as of June 30th 2008.

Zain’s current headquarter building, the firm had acquired the premises from the former Tanzania Posts and Teleccommunications Corporartions (TPTC) which is located along New Bagamoyo Road opposite COSTECH headquarter building at Kijitonyama in Dar es Salaam.

Zain is currently serving over 35 million customers on the African continent, and has resolved to help the continent achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Last year, the firm donated millions of dollars worth of books and educational supplies to most government owned schools in Africa. Similarly, the firm has partnered with international establishments in bringing telephony to 400,000 people in remote areas of Africa and has many community projects across both continents. Zain’s financial results for 2007 and the first quarter of 2008 were splendid, despite fierce competition in many markets it operates. It crossed the 50 million customer milestone, as well as recording consolidated revenues of USD 3.488bn, an increase of 26 percent compared to the first quarter of 2007. Zain was established in 1983 in Kuwait as the region’s first mobile operator and was known as MTC until September 2007. From modest beginnings in Kuwait, the firm now has more than 16,000 employees serving over 50 million customers in 15 African and seven Middle Eastern Countries including Ghana and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the company has promised would be launching its mobile telecommunications networks in the coming months. In Africa Zain operates 14 countries that includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Operations in Ghana will begin in October this year.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


A MAJOR continental conference on the new media facilities and communication issues for journalists in Africa is here to come. It’s called Highway Africa Conference which is going on its twelfth year of growth and achievement later in September this year in a small historic town of Grahamstown in South Africa. The place has been a traditional venue of this important African journalists’ gathering since its first conference held in 1997. The conference facilitates the move in bridging African media communication gap and African journalism and ICTs. The maiden conference started with only 67 delegates who participated and now, as per the last year’s gathering, this number has increased over ten times almost to 701 delegates. This shows that, its vision has given rise to the development concept of the forum. This year’s slogan “Citizen Journalism, journalism for citizens” will focus on the emergence of citizen journalism. Through formal presentations, participants will address the goals of journalism in society and how citizen journalism fits within those goals. Stakeholders will discuss issues related to the problems affecting the development of modern communication and new media facilities such as the internet, mobile phones, radios, TVs and their uses as they are applied in the African media industry. The occasion is to comprehensively inform and educate African journalists about pivotal issues and how the media practice is a major factor in finding innovative ways to bridge the digital divide plus the growing gap between countries that have access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The administration block of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. The department of Journalism and Media Studies at the University has been hosting an annual ICT meeting for African journalists across African continent in every September since 1997.

This is an annual event that is organized by the department of Journalism and Media Studies of Rhodes University located in Grahamstown and co-hosted by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Its main objective is to shape an African information society within the global economy. The conference offers training on how to better cover issues related to technology, and also how to better use technology in their reporting. The event also helps African journalists’ network with their colleagues from across the continent share experiences. Apart from training, there are also a number of side events that takes place alongside such as book launches, exhibitions, presenting annual awards to news media, individuals and companies that use technology in creative and innovative ways. Since its inception, the growth of new media facilities among African journalists has more than doubled. Communication between journalists on the continent has increased substantially and each country in Africa is now online. The conference has been adopting various themes in a bid to highlight the importance of the ICTs use and other developmental aspects of it especially for the rural community development as a whole, particularly with regards to harnessing new technologies as well as the crucial role that new media has played in democracy and development. One of the focal points to note on the conference’s strategies is the plan to strengthen the communication technology revolution to all humanity by connecting developing countries with technology boosting internet security. Being an annual conference, it has been promoting awareness within the African media context through seminars and workshops over the use of the ICTs. Its roles in the last twelve years has proved valuable to the furtherance of communication on the continent’s information society. Today the new media in Africa stands at the foothills of an exciting new era. With a great demand for the innovation and advancement of information technologies and telecommunications throughout the world, it has an exciting future to look forward to.

A cross section of delegates during the official opening of the past meeting session of the Highway Africa Conference, this is at Eden Grove Red conference hall.

In 2003, the conference with the help of the Dept of Journalism and Media studies of the Rhodes University formed a news agency which to a greater extent has played a significant role in mainstreaming the media in terms of information giving though its website In practice, the agency has helped to develop the requisite knowledge attitudes and practices in the African media. It has clarified and highlighted issues faced by African journalists and the role it plays in extreme coverage of the events for a range of ICTs for the media and for the African audience. In recent years, the agency actively participated in the two phase of the global information summit in Geneva (2003) and in Tunis (2005) respectively. It has drawn a number of African journalists who makes a significant contribution of the ICT stories to the African audience. Professor Guy Berger who is the principal architect of the Highway Africa forum, is also the head of the School of Journalism & Media Studies at Rhodes University. He founded the new media lab in 1996, which in turn gave rise to Highway Africa project.

Professor Guy Berger, Head of the dept of Journalism and Media Studies of Rhodes University.

According to him, the mission and vision of this important conference is to have a vibrant and growing network of African journalists empowered to advance democracy and development through their understanding and use of appropriate technologies. The main functions of the conference are to sensitize African journalists about the role of information and communications technology in society and the media, to train journalists and journalism teachers in understanding and using technology to access, generate and distribute information. To build a network of journalists, and to link this with key stakeholders (academics, policy makers, civil society etc). Advocacy for a media and technology environment which enables journalists to play their full role in democracy and development. To research the use and impact of the ICTs in Africa with particular reference to the media, and lastly to publish and disseminate research and information across a range of platforms. Highway Africa in 1997 had a two fold objectives to show African journalism what is possible on the internet and secondly to empower delegates with skills to make the most of the new medium. The conference has been adopting various slogans since it started with the fist slogan “New media 2000” reflected what new technology the new millennium would bring through the year 2000 by then seemed too far away. In 1998, the slogan “Bringing the Highway South” was a forerunner to the need to bridge the digital divide. The main focus of the conference was on using the internet as a research tool and as a means of empowering. “Internet Media and Democracy” the slogan for 1999 suggested that new media has a responsibility beyond bedazzling users with clever tricks. There was broad agreement that technology has a role to play in promoting and safeguarding democracy. At the Highway Africa conference in 2000, the years was hailed as the dawn of “Africa’s new media century” as delegates debated the role of African media in the global information society, online African content and community media online. In that year, journalists and students put together a newsroom of the future as an experimental exercise in covering the conference itself. The year 2000 also saw the first live broadcast of the conference’s awards for the innovative use of new media technology. In 2001, Highway Africa was about “Digital Renaissance” where participants aimed to go beyond the wired internet and to explore content on wireless devices such as cell phones. Day five of the conference was described as on the move. African journalism in the cellular age. The conference coincided with the September 11th terrorist attacks on the USA twin towers trade centers, the incident claimed lives of more than 5,000 innocent people. But the tragic events of New York and Washington did not detract from the success of the conference.

A photograph depicting a thick black smoke billowing over the skies from a twin tower building of the World Trade Center after a terrorist attack that involved a plane crash in New York city. The two buildings were completely destroyed and reduced to ashes killing an estimated 5,000 innocent people that morning of the 11th September 2001.

Highway Africa moved out of its traditional home of Grahamstown for the first time in 2002 to coincide with the hosting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, even the slogan “Wiring journalism for sustainable development” was designed to mesh with the aims and objectives of the high profile summit. Preparing African journalism for the world summit on the information society (WSIS) was the principal focus of the conference in 2003 with the slogan “Mainstreaming media in the information society”. Delegates in Grahamstown meeting understood that Africans would learn about this vital important conference through the eyes and ears of first world journalists. All stories about the regulation and structuring of information and communication technologies would be interpreted from European and American perspectives. It was out of this concern that Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) was conceived and a new force covering ICTs for Africans made its mark. The agency covered the final prepcom for the first phase of the summit in Geneva and eventually the summit itself in December of that year. HANA has since reported on several conferences in Europe, Asia and Africa during the second phase of WSIS in Tunis, Tunisia. In 2004 the conference slogan was “Media making the Information Society” a notion that resonated with the objectives of news organizations throughout the continent. Having reached a degree of maturity, it was then possible for Highway Africa Director, Mr. Chris Kabwato to say “ it has now been confirmed beyond doubt that Highway Africa is the undisputed premier annual gathering at the continent’s journalists”.

Mr. Chris Kabwato, the Director of Highway Africa Conference.

In 2005 was the ninth edition of Highway Africa focused delegates on “Reinforcing journalism in the information society”. The trend continued within the conference to place an emphasis on journalism and give less importance to the technology as delegates debated the meaning of African journalism. The tenth Highway Africa conference in 2006 with the slogan “Celebrations, Reflections and future Directions” had much to celebrate and even more to reflect on as its various stakeholders took decisions on future directions Generally speaking, the conference is the best example of great hope for Africa and the media in a bid to highlight the importance of the ICTs use and other developmental aspects of it especially for the rural community development as a whole, particularly with regards to harnessing new technologies as well as the crucial role that new media has played in democracy and development.

Information access is still a great challenge for rural Tanzania

ALTHOUGH the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) has changed the political face of Tanzania by making information more vibrant and transparent, the tools have never been doing a serious job in the fight for poverty, increase education and improve health services in most rural communities in the country.
With the power of ICTs, still many rural communities in Tanzania lacks crucial information related to the awareness of HIV/AIDS spread and ways to tackle the pandemic. About 80 percent of Tanzania rural population lives in dire poverty in some of the most marginalized communities. People in these areas faces challenges brought about because of the poor infrastructure exacerbated by bad roads and as a result, ICT services in these areas are not efficient. It’s easy to see under the already compounded situation how difficult it is for people living in these circumstances to align themselves with the ICTs of the challenging world. ICTs are very important in spreading democracy and contributing towards development. But for communities in rural Tanzania, the question is “how can people benefits from ICTs” Tanzanians depend on rural economy to pursue their intended development goals and about 80 percent of the national economic development is largely contributed by people living in rural areas. Despite of the efforts shown by some, still the basic use of the available information superhighways which are to help them speed up their development processes are limited an aspect that accounts for the low levels of their production capacity. Various ICT stakeholders have attributed the reasons for being lack of knowledge as well as negligence by the government which they accuse to have not yet sufficiently addressed the ICTs issues for the specific developments and their importance in general. Basic communications such as internet surfing is by far a major demand as of present, but for a number of reasons its expansion to more remote rural areas is very scanty. The accessibility of other ICT gadgets such as faxes, mobile phones, TV stations and their satellites are less established or not established at all in most rural areas. A cell phone needs electricity to charge, lack of infrastructure means no electricity, thus there are no cell phones. Who can spend money on a newspaper or a magazine when the majority of the people can’t even afford to buy food and soap?

Let the old people in rural communities have access to the ICT tools. Basic communications such as internet surfing is by far a major demand as of present, but for a number of reasons its expansion to more remote rural areas is very scanty.

Media outlets in the country have tried their level best to reach out to rural communities in their roles to inform, educate and entertain, but their efforts have been constrained owing to poor infrastructural facilities which can be found in these regions. Once again, however poverty has been a major obstacle and most people live from hand to mouth in a daily basis. This makes difficult for them to afford even the smallest and cheapest radio set. Radio is the easiest and cheapest way for rural dwellers to learn of the changing world and it remains a dominant ICT tool. The internet is another cheap way to access information and communicate, but in Tanzanian rural areas, this is still a nightmare. Most of the districts in the country do not have internet services. Statistics shows that, out of over 250 districts found in the country, about 16 districts have no electricity power supply from the national electricity grid. Despite the current development with increased coverage in bigger townships in urban centers and along several main highways, still the majority of the people residing in most remote rural areas of Tanzania do not get reliable internet connection. There is a preconception that the risk of establishing viable ICT such as mobile telecommunication in rural areas is too high. Some of the reasons include the investment budget, plans and the need to cover very big areas by mobile operator and other relevant investors. But on the other hand, general knowledge on IT service applications and the basic communication possibilities with mobile phones is limited. To achieve a reliable communication network, most people have regularly or often preferred mobile phones even in areas where there is no easily accessible connection. Most of those who are business oriented regularly operate mobile phones even if they are only for usage when they are in towns. The radio is the beast form of communication as it is cheaper to afford and communities do not need to be literate in order to feel the impact of the message. Unlike the internet and television which needs stable infrastructure. The devices enables poor people to resolve their isolation as they have no other reliable access to information. Television sets can support participatory development as well as allow the voices of the rural people to be heard through a range of options that can be operated provided it should have an \elaborate means of a stable infrastructure. But to the great extent, most television channels viewed by people from far flung areas in the country, do not get clear images compared to viewers who are closer to the city of Dar es Salaam where most television stations are based. Study has established that, a television viewer in Tarime district in far northern part of the country and that of Newala district in Mtwara region in Southern tip of the country or in Muleba district in Kagera region far in western horizon, have to connect their television sets with a satellite antennas in order to get a reflection of clear images. Without these antennas, TV connections is a big problem. This shows that, TV infrastructure in the country is not stable.

ICT to help curb teachers’ shortage in Tanzania

Tanzania government is to start using mobile phones and computers to mitigate the effects of an acute shortage of teachers in its primary and secondary schools. The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, said recently in Dar es Salaam that the plan involved distant learning through mobile phones messages and computer generated classes. He said the Government would from October start using information technology (IT) as an alternative method to tackle the shortage of teachers in the country. Speaking during the handing over of nearly 100,000 books worth Tshs. 2.45 billion to aid 75 schools, Prof Maghembe said the IT project would start as a pilot study before being rolled out to other needy areas. The books were donated by the Brothers Brother Foundation, a 50-year-old charity based in the US. He said about 200 primary schools would benefit from the IT programme. They are located in Lindi, Kisarawe and Bagamoyo districts, which all face an acute shortage of teachers. The minister said if successfully implemented, the project would mark a turning point in Tanzania’s goal of ensuring quality teaching aimed at improving education standards. The programme, he added, would also use projectors to reach more pupils. The projectors would be operated from one control centre manned by a few instructors.

The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Professor Jumanne Maghembe in a meeting with stakeholders. Tanzania government would from October start using information technology (IT) as an alternative method to tackle the shortage of teachers in the country.

Tanzania is experiencing an acute shortage of teachers in both primary and secondary schools, with the latter facing a shortfall of some 40,000 new teachers. Prof Maghembe said IT would be used as an alternative as more teachers were being awaited to graduate from training institutions. ”We are completing a project which will enable the use of IT to reach many students as part of measures to tackle the shortage of teachers in the country. This will also help in improving the standard of education and raise the enrolment of pupils”, said Prof Maghembe. After the project is completed, we shall be able to use one teacher to teach many students and the shortage of teachers will be history in Tanzania, he added. Prof Maghembe acknowledged the support of the American people in Tanzanian’s efforts to address the shortage of teachers. He warned that the shortage could get out of hand if alternative measures were not taken to solve the growing problem. Meanwhile, Prof Maghembe said the Government had raised the number of teachers graduating from various teachers’ training colleges to about 20,000 graduates annually.
He thanked the American people for the donation, saying the high enrolment had led to a shortage of the books in some parts of the country. He said the reading culture had been partly hampered due to lack of reading material. The American ambassador, Mr Mark Green, said the books were donated on humanitarian grounds and the fact that the US had warm relations with Tanzania. He noted that the books’ composition would help students improve their English and communication skills. Mr Green said the US was also volunteering Peace Corps who double as mathematics, science and information technology tutors in public schools. He urged the donation to be directed to the most needy. The function was also attended by senior Ministry of Education and US embassy officials accredited in the country.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Computers as a multi-purpose tool in today’s era of globalization

THE use of computers has seen the introduction of extended entertainment, with a computer, a number of interactive games can be played. Children can also be seen enjoying themselves with some of these games making computers to all age groups in the society in terms of usage. You can watch movies and play music on computers, indeed it’s a multi-purpose tool. For school going children and adults, computers have become a source of information through extensive use of powerful search engines on world wide web like google search engines, MSN search, AltaVista search, yahoo search etc. Many societies have benefited from computer technology advancement through monitoring systems that have taken control of some routine manual processes. This can be done manually and it is very tiresome when it’s supposed to be measured over a long period of time at intervals, say twice in every minute. Introduction of an automated computer system would mean a computer awaits inputs, carry out some operations and provide an output. A variety of approaches are available to train people. Each has its place but affordable Computer Based Training (CBT) video technology makes it possible to train a large number of people with ease and efficiency. A major advantage of CBT is that learning can take place at the convenience of the consumer. With further advancement a number of repetitive operations have been taken over by computer systems thereby reducing the amount of work to be done by human beings. It’s also worth noting that regardless of these positive innovations to human life, there has been a hot issue on the negative impart of computer systems whereby fears are that if might result in retrenchment of thousands of employees as little human intervention will be needed where a computerized system has been introduced.

Children can also be seen enjoying themselves with some of these games making computers to all age groups in the society in terms of usage.

The fastest of today’s computers can perform more than a billion calculations per second. Even so, they are still too slow to approximate a human being’s higher intellectual processes such as the capability to reason, discover meaning, generalize and learn from the past experiences. Though computers are very powerful tool, but without qualified people and effective electricity supply to operate them, their value is limited. Essentially electric power drives the economy, political and social lives globally both in the developed as well as in developing nations. For the case of Tanzania, this fact occasionally manifest when power rationing is scheduled to cushion the acute power shortage amid a protracted drought that usually occurs, an aspect that cause water levels drop in most of the country’s hydro-electric power generating dams. The country’s industrial production sector relies on electric power mainly generated by hydroelectric plants whose production is far below the 550 megawatt of the national demand. But since the country has enormous potentials of the electricity power, an investment in the sector is a solution to the problem. In order to resolve the electric power shortage, there is a great need to diversify the resources of energy in the country. According to an expert, more hydroelectric power plants should be established in big rivers found within the in the country. According to the Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Eng. Hosea Mbise, hardly 10 percent of the country’s population of approximately 40 million people has access to electricity. In rural communities only 2 percent have been reached. The government through its power policy of 2003 continues to work out strategies to increase the ratio of power consumption from the current 10 percent to 25 percent by 2025.

Understand little knowledge about your computer and internet communication

HAVE you ever wondered the great things that a computer is capable of doing? A computer is a machine that is capable of performing tasks under the control of a program or a set of programs. A user-friendly gadget such as a computer should be the pride of every individual in the wake of increased ICT use in this era of globalization. We might find it handy to use it at home or at work places. A program is just a set of instructions that a computer can understand, and they are these instructions that a computer will use to perform a certain task. The performance of a computer is usually measured by the ability and speed of the computer to execute those instructions. The set of instructions can be sub-divided into application and operating software, these are set of instructions by as software. Hence the general study of a computer application can be divided into both a software and a hardware. The hardware refers to the aspect of the physical tangible components of a computer whereas the software refers to the set of instructions or programs that control the function and performance of a computer. Within this set of software, there are also sub-divisions where the software can be sub-divided into systems software and application software. Application software is all about that software that is used to perform specific tasks and is usually tailor made to solve certain known tasks. An example will be an application like a word processor. System software refers to software that is specifically designed for the well functioning and operation of the computer. This includes utility programs for the computer like the set of instructions for the start up (booting of the computer) operating system e.g Windows 2000, Linux, Unix etc.

A user-friendly gadget such as a computer should be the pride of every individual in the wake of increased ICT use in this era of globalization. People are now using the internet connected to it anywhere you move around the world.

For a long time people have seen computers as something outside of this world because of the myths about their sophistication. Many people never even hoped that they would in these days and age own a computer that they would operate with at home or at their work places. They were seen as things for maneuvering big space ships. It’s nowadays that this myths about computers is being demystified to make people appreciate the importance and the user friendliness of computers. A computer is now a common feature in homes and people are now using the internet connected to it anywhere you move around the world. Internet is one of the most powerful tools for electronic dissemination of information and has overshadowed other communication modes. This is the most common use of computers as witnessed by the increased number of internet cafes in most countries. Through the World Wide Web, people in different geographical places can access important information from different parts of the world on different subjects at anytime. Communication via electronic mail has also proven to be one use of computers that has become very common over the last few years. With the great advances in technology, this vital aspect has been extended to hand held devices like palm top and cell phones enabling people to access their electronic mail on these hand held devices anywhere and at any time of the day. Besides the internet, computers can also be used as servers for storage of huge amounts of vital data. The ancient way of filling information being replaced by the introduction of large storage computers usually referred to as servers to take the handing of the huge volumes of data. Not only do these servers reduce the amount of paper work, but also they increase the efficiency of doing some of the process or operations that were being done annually. Consider for example, the amount of space that would be required to house files with hospitals patient history for say ten years and compare it to the introduction of just one computer to handle all that information. This has made a positive impact on the overall output and time taken to complete some repetitive tiresome operations. From this, it can be seen that with the use of computers time for operations and work reduces significantly as much of the work would now be done by the computers automatically thereby increasing efficiency and accuracy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Implementing ICT policy for education in Tanzania

EDUCARTION is the key sector for development as it plays an important role in poverty reduction and has a strong influence on the society for being the main public employer. The country’s national policy is the starting point for an in-depth focus on education in Tanzania. A consistent ICT policy and its implementation strategy for the education sector in the country could build the sector’s performance if the government and the stakeholders are determined to take as keen interest. In order to support the National ICT policy in the country, the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) has been in the forefront working in collaboration with some international bodies such as SIDA, IICD and UNESCO with an overview of the potentials of applying ICTs in the education sector in the country. The three international organizations have dedicated to implement the process of National ICT policy and have put forward various initiatives which outlines among other things, the application of ICT by deploying and developing a countrywide e-education system. Rural ICT access initiatives is a collaborative effort being undertaken by COSTECH in support of IICD attempting to bring to the community an affordable ICT based technologies for good governance and transparency for typical rural villages.

Teachers inside a computer lab for a training session at Kasulu Teacher’s Training College in Kasulu district, Kigoma region.

COSTECH being a part of the national task force, has been spearheading ICT capacity building which included training of specialized groups and assisting a number of national institutions in establishing computer mediated communication. The project includes training if trainers and installation of equipment and internet connection. Besides ICT for education policy process, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is developing and implementing programs for the primary, secondary and teachers’ training education in which the advantages of ICTs are carefully considered compared to the costs expressed in time and finance. As part of its strategic plan to introduce ICT in the education system in Tanzania, there is a showcase ICT project owned by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Swedish International Agency (SIDA). Potentially the opportunities are very attractive in terms of communication, improved teachers’ training and increased reach of education. The decision to expand the use of ICT to government teachers’ colleges in the country has a positive impact by improving communications, providing opportunities for professional development and facilitating the application of ICT in teaching and learning careers. More than 1,000 tutors have received training in various computer application programs which are offered by donor agencies in various Teachers’ training colleges in the country since 2003 when such training programs were first initiated. It’s very pleasing to note that, the climate of change is cutting up with all stakeholders of education in Tanzania, is that tutors or a teacher is taken as a facilitator and a trainee as a participant in learning. The emphasis now is on the learner who tries all the time to construct own meaning out of what is being taught. With the growth and expansion of Information and communication technology, there is now a consistent search for information by both tutors and trainers and this is revolutionalizing teachers’ education where everyone is seeking more and up to date information.

Transforming government services through ICTs in Tanzania

INFORMATION and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have increasingly become powerful tools in Tanzania, and their uses have participated in helping various government activities and services. ICTs have also played a key role in advertising Tanzania in global markets, since the 1990s there has been a large wave of investments in ICTs for development in every sector of the national economy. These investments have produced many documented successes which have proved to be more helpful in facilitating e-government services to the people countrywide. The introduction of e-government in Tanzania effectively started in 2002. Since then the program started to provide systems that enhanced internal capabilities and information dissemination. This included office automation, e-mails, web access, data communications and management support. Initial success led to many other activities such as the adoption of online electronic transactions. Since then, various arms of government have made significant progress in deploying ICT in e-government solutions which are categorized in both e-governance and e-government solutions and can be accessed through the official online gateway of the country, that’s the national website Through this website, it’s possible to access a considerable amount of government information. However, the website only communicates to the citizens and not from the citizens to the government. The Tanzania online information gateway which was launched by the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) in 2000 provides development issues for Tanzania and the Tanzania development gateway. Collectively these internet based gateways gives Tanzania a global presence. Tanzania online is a joint initiative of the government through the President’s office (Planning and Privatization), this is a UN system and ESRF organization which was given the responsibility of establishing and implementing the project.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement, Ms. Salome Sijaona launching a new website of Tanzania Building Agency in Dar es Salaam last year. This was during the 5the anniversary to mark the existence of the agency since is was formed in the country. A colorful ceremony was held at Karimjee Hall where Ms. Salome Sijaona was the Chief guest.

The role of Tanzania online is to establish a common body on analytical work and one stop online information center on development and poverty reduction efforts currently spearheaded by the government in the country. The topic within the scope and coverage of Tanzania online database includes, Agriculture, Education, Environment, Health, Industries, Mining, Poverty reduction measures, Private sector development, Science and Technology and many other development issues. In addition, there are several ministries departments or government agencies and Tanzania embassies or high commissions abroad that have their own websites. However, in every case the websites are one way. In the category of e-government, several government agencies are transforming their operations by deploying their activities through the respective websites of their own. Some of the most significant examples includes the integrated financial management system at the treasury. The deployment of platinum in the local government reform program, the integrated human resources and payroll system at the civil service departments. Another project is the Tanzania National Assembly (Parliament) that contains Acts, Bills and useful parliamentary documents are readily available in the site. Also from this website, one can access parliamentary online information system. Other examples of e-government services are the Tax administration project at the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA). The authority formed an online tax filling system in the country in 2006. Other projects are e-Diplomacy initiative of the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Defense’s independent telecommunication network initiative. The National Examinations Council of Tanzania and the e-government systems to be developed by the National Tender Board. In Tanzania, ICTs have empowered individual citizens and other groups of people to hold government officials publicly accountable. These reports are evident from the Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) website and links to the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA). The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) is currently playing a greater role in connecting Tanzanian youths and other people in rural areas to the internet to learn specific issues related to ICT knowledge so as to help them access information for empowerment and sensitization. COPSTECH is a parastatal organization under the ministry of Science and Technology The firm has the possibility of coordinating and promoting science and technology development initiatives in the country. By doing this, the commission has been conducting seminars and workshops in various youth centers in the country since 2002. For a number of years now, COSTECH has fully involved itself in promoting ICTs in Tanzania, the firm has been assisting in introducing ICT awareness in health education and civil registrations in the country. All of these are very large projects with significant ICT components, each with its own significant rewards for government and her citizens. But such initiative also enables the government as a model user of ICT to become a driving force for sustainable progress in the national ICT arena.

Combating crimes by using ICTs

ICT stakeholders, including SWOPNET Mwanza Chapter have been urged to conduct more ICT awareness workshops to raise the awareness of the ICTs to the law enforcers in the country, and teach them on how it can support combating crimes. That call was made by the participants of a SWOPNET forum, which was held on 27 June 2008 at Vizano Hotel in Mwanza city. The forum was attended by 25 participants who included lawyers, magistrates, prisons officers and police officers from various regions in the country. They said they had been highly impressed by the contents of the forum, which they further said, was their first time to attend.

The Executive Director of SWOPNET Mr. Abubakar Karsan, getting prepared for his presentation during a workshop his organization organized to raise awareness on the use of computer connected to the internet to law enforcers which was held in Mwanza city on June this year.

Appreciating how ICT can support the war against crimes, they however noted that, lack of training on how to use various ICT tools and non availability of the computer software and hardware, could jeopardize utilization of ICT tool in combating crimes. They claimed that most of their offices do not have ICT tools such as computers and internet. An official from the police force said they were still using old typewriters. In his presentation, Abubakar Karsan, showed how ICT can combat crimes. ICTs can support and facilitate quick communication, provide reliable storage of information and quick retrieval of information, for police and other legal uses, he said.

A cross section of the participants who took part in the workshop, they included lawyers, prisons and police officers in the country.

Earlier on the participants were introduced to SWOPNET Mwanza chapter's activities by Adam Ndokeji, while Joseph Msaki deliberated about online discussion and its advantages. However practical training on how to participate on an online discussion was not possible, as the SWOPNET discussion group could not be availed.

Another Police raid on a newspaper office in Dar es Salaam

MANY people have condemned a recent action by police force in Dar es Salaam region of attacking the offices of a weekly and the most incisive Kiswahili newspaper in Tanzania, the Dar es Salaam based Mwanahalisi and made away with a computer containing editorial inputs of the investigative journalists’ reports. The group consisting of about seven policemen in their plain clothes sent by the country’s Director of Criminal Investigations Mr. Robert Manumba hijacked the office at around 10:00 o’clock in the morning and put under arrest the Chief Editor, Mr. Said Kubenea whom they accused of colluding with a National Bank of Commerce (NBC) employee in revealing confidential information on certain private accounts at the bank. The unfortunate action was perpetrated on 18th July and was followed by searching of the residence of the Chef editor who is also the Executive Director of the publishing firm, Hali Halisi Publishers Limited. The lucubration is the literary child born and a laughing stock. The police’s untimely search clearly proved unpopular and immediately became the subject of a severe criticism by advocates of the human rights and freedom of the fourth estate, the independent mass media fraternity. The protestors ranged from journalists to political leaders to readership and to common folk who are frustrated and angry at revelations of the most malpractices (the so-called UFISADI in Swahili language) in high places.

The Chief editor of Mwanahalisi weekly tabloid, Saed Kubenea narrating his ordeal to pressmen a day after, how he was attacked by plain clothed policemen in his office at Kinondoni-Hananasif and later set free. He is flanked on his left by the Chairman of the Tanzania’s editors’ forum in a press conference hall at Maelezo Auditorium in Dar es Salaam.

The discontent was so palpably charged with emotion that the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) at Police Headquarters in Dar es Salaam Mr. Robert Manumba felt bound to attempt an explanation. Speaking to pressmen in Dar es Salaam on the following day, he said the search was part of investigations into complaints that the newspaper had released banking secrets for public consumption. According to the DCI, an NBC Limited employee is alleged to have improperly passed on details of the latter’s client to Kubenea who then published them in his newspaper. Many peace lovers have condemned the raid saying it’s a government’s move in a bid to protect top most officials implicated in various financial scams in the country. Tanzanian journalists under the platform of the Editors' Forum and human rights groups have demanded an immediate and unqualified apology from the Government over the raid, vowing to continue publishing classified documents if doing so was in the interest of the public. A few months ago Mr Kubenea and consulting editor Ndimara Tigambwage were seriously wounded after a group of armed men invaded their offices. Mr Kubenea was flown to India for treatment after his sight was impaired. Flanked by leaders of various media associations, NGOs and human rights groups, Editors' Forum chairperson Sakina Datoo called the invasion an attack on press freedom. Any government which adheres to the principles of good governance ought to shun and condemn such actions, she said. This is to threaten investigative journalists’ works that the government’s agents want them to abandon investigating and publishing crucial information which the public at this moment requires.

The Director of Criminal Investigations in the country, Mr. Robert Manumba in one of the press conferences he held at the Information Auditorium Centre (Maelezo) in Dar es Salaam. He is flanked by a retired special zone Police Commander of the Dar es Salaam region, Commissioner of Police Mr. Alfred Tibaigana

Linking the invasion to a few individuals benefiting from grand corruption whom Mwanahalisi tabloid has been in the forefront to expose, Datoo wondered why the government has not stormed into houses of individuals suspected to have stolen Sh133billion from the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) External Payment Arrears (EPA) account. Why haven’t they invaded the houses of EPA suspects they are currently investigating and conduct a search, she demanded. “We (journalists) stole the dubious Richmond power generation contract and published it. We then stole contracts on the controversial BOT twin towers construction and published them. We stole documents on the Kiwira, Meremeta and EPA. I ask you where we would have been today if we wouldn’t be stealing confidential documents from the government” she inquired. Our job is to unearth the hidden and not to benefit a few individuals. she said. Ms Pili Mtambalike, the deputy executive secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) said the organ now fears that the police act undermines efforts by journalists to expose individuals who have been ripping off billions of taxpayers' money. We condemn this move to silence journalists by using state organs. We shall make sure that editorial freedom is defended at all costs, the council executive emphasized. Tanzania Journalists Association (TAJA) chairman Hamza Kondo said the attack was an indication that there is massive graft within the government. He called for an unconditional apology from the Government. The director of the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP), Usu Mallya, joined other organizations to condemn the act. She called the move as meant to suppress the voice of patriotic journalists. The incident, she said, should serve as a challenge for journalists to write more analytical stories about the fate of our nation without centering too much on attacks levelled at specific personalities.

Ayoub Ryoba, the chairman of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), and a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication based in Dar es Salaam.

Mr Ayoub Rioba, the chairman of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa), called the invasion an abuse of state organs. Mr Bernard Mapalala, the deputy managing editor for The Guardian, said police invasion of Mwanahalisi offices indicates that a huge amount of money stolen from pubic coffers is being used to interfere with the work of state organs, to divide journalists among themselves and legislators. Leaders of the (police) force should not allow themselves to be used by criminals, he said. Mr Manumba told reporters over the weekend that Mr Kubenea was suspected of colluding with the bank official to publish information on some bank clients. But Mr Kubenea demanded that the DCI tell the public whose accounts secrets he was looking for and who authorized him to do so. This is purely a bank issue and not the DCI's matter, he said.

Friday, August 1, 2008


THE Algerian National Organisation of Victims of Terrorism (ONVT) held the country's first International symposium on terrorism in March 22nd and 23rd this year in its capital city Algiers. Experts and journalists from the Maghreb, Egypt, France, Italy and several African countries attended the two-day event to address topics related to the psychological care of victims, as well as the involvement of civil society in the fight against terrorism and the impact of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation in Algeria. A two day meeting was held at El-Aurass Hotel in Algiers city. I was lucky to have been invited to attend this important occasion, and my presence had a gloomy aspect in the meeting for I had to present a paper under the subject, “Terrorism a concern of everyone”

The Algerian President Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika

The meeting which was attended by about 300 participants was organized by ONVT under the patronage of his Excellency the President of the Republic of Algeria Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika. In his special message to the conference participants and showing State ownership - the President affirmed that the civil company must improve and adapt its means of action in the light of the objectives of the international community aiming at the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism. "It is now recognised that unified action by civil societies across the world is more necessary than ever before to contain and eliminate the terrorist threat,"

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Right)

Algerian President said in an opening message read to the participants, noting that the international fight against terrorism can succeed if citizens can turn themselves into a force which will exhort the international community to redouble its efforts to have the global convention on terrorism adopted, to reach a consensus on the definition of terrorism and, in the end, to look after the victims of terrorism. However, he added that the fight against this trans-national menace will only be truly effective when it deals with a clearly defined enemy upon whom everyone can concentrate their efforts. He emphasized that terrorist victims have shown by voting, with courage and self-sacrifice, for the national reconciliation charter, to bar the way to blind extremism which turns to terrorist violence, supposedly in the name of Islam.

The National Organization of the Victims of Terrorism was created with a political association in September 1993 and by its currently serving Secretary General Mrs. FLICI Fatma Zohra. This NGO focuses on the assistance and the support for the victims families of terrorism including their psychological, medical, legal and socio economic issues. It shares the grief of the victims and survivors of the Terrorism in Algeria which left a large number of orphans and handicapped people, psychologically scarred nation with a feeling of insecurity that resulted in slow development of the country. Mrs. Flici F. Zohra whose husband died in a terrorist attack in Algeria drew a mix of speakers for the two day conference who included the following with their paper presentations in brackets as follows:- (Old directing of the communication near national Safety) by Aïssa Kasmi, (Psychological Strategies terrorism and use of information and/or misinformation like propaganda), by the Italian journalist Gianni Cipriani. (The civil company and fight against terrorism), by Mr. Benhamou Mohammed, (Media victims of terrorism and of the war) by the Italian war journalist, Giuliana Sgrenna, herself victim of terror in Iraq War, (The promotion of partnerships public an approach of the SOEC to fight against toughening and the driving violent extremism with terrorism by an academic of SOEC) by Mr. Mahdi Knani, an academic,
(Terrorism and women) by Ms. Nacéra Rech, (Victims and media) by Cyrille Kiléba, (Journalistic French of the bloody decade in Algeria: the case of Telling Didier, the eighth dead of Tibhirine) by Mr. Rina Sherman, (Terrorism and psychological traumatisms), by Asma Tougne, (Safety and action citizen vis-a-vis terrorism), by professor Mahmoud Abul Eeinin, (Anti terrorism and civil society common strategy the Kashmir Case), by Ms Saâdia Haq, a freelance journalist in Pakistan, (Algeria national terrorism with international terrorism), by Nardjes Flici and finally (Terrorism, a concern of everyone) by Emmanuel Onyango, a Tanzanian based journalist. Please you can visit the organization’s website then go to programme

A sign board showing details of the meeting at the entrance leading to the conference venue at Aurasi Hotel (Photo by the courtesy of ONVT website)

Down here is my 6 paged paper entitled “Terrorism, a concern of everyone” which was presented to delegates on my absence. Actually it’s not a researched paper, but my views in it were based on the relevance of the subject given. You might want to know why I didn’t attend the meeting physically and leave my views presented by others on my behalf. This is another story despite of the efforts made by the organizers to have me in their meeting which ultimately hit a snag. In a brief narration as concerns with the whole issue is that, communication was a big problem between Algerian Embassy offices in my country with their foreign ministry who delayed to send a confirmation report to the Ambassador accredited in my country about the meeting scheduled to take place on that day. It’s the Ambassador who had enquired for the truth of the meeting from their country when I sent a letter of invitation to him asking for VISA, thereafter he followed his office procedures as per their official work schedules. It took twelve days to work on this an aspect which later on delayed my VISA to be out on time, though I had already had the flight tickets with me sent by the organizers. I do not know should I call it a bureaucracy or what? Upon hearing of this, the organizers were so excited but I asked them to distribute my paper to prospective participants of the meeting which of course they did and here it is.





This paper attempts to enhance the understanding and knowledge of global terrorism acts and its effects in societies. This habit is indeed a concern of everyone in a society and the world at large. The world is actually crying over the acts of terrorism as they are increasingly expanding now and then. It’s indeed a real fact that effects of terrorism undermines mankind development. There is no country in the world whereby acts of terrorism does not exist, and these have impacted negatively on people’s economies and their way of life. Terrorism causes threats and fear among the people in regions where it’s commonly practiced, and because of this, the global society has indeed every reason to frown upon it.
This paper breaks into four main sub-headings starting with the introduction which describes the meaning of terrorism in different perspectives, why people practices terrorism and the impact of the terrorist attacks in societies as well as the devastating effects caused on their national economies. The paper has also focused acts of Terrorism in Africa with specific examples in Sub-Saharan Africa region as a case study. How in some other countries in Africa have been affected and are still suffering the brunt of terrorism acts on their land. What actions does our governments take in order to avert the situation. The paper also highlights a typical example of what takes place in mostly affected regions by terrorists in the world like in Pakistan, India, Iraq, Afghanistan and around the middle East countries, whereby human deaths are daily counted as a result of terrorist attacks. It’s my sincere hope that, participants in this special forum would learn a lot from the main themes scheduled to be addressed in the workshops.


THE World has indeed every reason to look for various ways over the fight against terrorism which has become a growing concern in everyday life. Terrorism is an act of violence which involves sporadic killings, or indiscriminate killing of the people for that matter which is being practiced by few notorious groups of people with intent to undermine developments. Ironically people who practices such mischief (Or terrorists) normally are angered by one party, and after having realized of no any helpful solutions to their grievances decides to form a revolt in retaliation which is expressed by way of terrorism. We all know what is “Terrorism”, this can be described in many different forms and has different perspectives, and the most common and dangerous way known by people is through bomb attacks or by use of explosive materials. This is the worst form of terrorism that is targeted mostly in large gatherings. Terrorists may use many other tactics to achieve their ambitions such as, kidnapping, ambushes of police and military personnel and hijackings of airplanes and as an extreme step, blasting of prominent buildings. Ambushes and hijackings are other forms of terrorism acts which has become a major concern to solving people’s grievances and unsolved claims.

Delegates observing a one silence minute in honour of the people who perished in various terrorist attacks in the world.(Photo by ONVT website)

Terrorism is described in various forms as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and there are some people who regard it as a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. In most cases terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. Terrorists normally plans their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. I think we are all aware of what happened in USA seven years ago when terrorists successfully accomplished their planned mission after hijacking three planes and two of which crashed into the twin tower buildings, the World Trade Centre that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people that morning of the 11th September 2001. As terrorism ultimately involves violence with the aim of creating fear not only to the victims but among a wide audience, it is fear which distinguishes terrorism from both conventional and guerrilla warfare. While both conventional military forces may engage in psychological warfare and guerrilla forces may engage in acts of terror and other forms of propaganda, they both aim at military victory. Terrorism on the other hand aims to achieve political or other goals, when direct military victory is not possible. This has resulted in some social scientists referring to guerrilla warfare as the "weapon of the weak" and terrorism as the "weapon of the weakest." Nobody actually knows exactly why this terrible act of violence happens. We know that some people used the most extreme form of violence to kill innocent civilians but we don't know their reasons for this act of terrorism. There can be no sane reason for doing this. But the question we have to ask ourselves is that" What does our government do to keep us safe from this kind of violence?"


Terrorism has also become an increasing reality in Africa. The continent continues to provide fertile ground for terrorist organisations through vast, porous borders and political instability. All of these have provided terrorist organisations with ample opportunity to inflict grave human and commercial destruction in African continent. Many parts of the African continent remain engulfed in violence and instability a result of which has led to the severe disruption of the normal functioning of political, social, commercial and economic activities. In addition, the human displacement of millions has been brutal as has been the destruction of large parts of many key cities and pivotal infrastructure. It’s indeed a true fact that, Africa is engulfed with political violence and these have exacerbated terrorism acts. Look at the various indiscriminate killings taking place in war torn regions. Unlike what takes place in the Middle-East, Africa’s issue is now becoming more worse. There have been unresolved political issues which have caused political violence in some of the African countries, these are as a result of undemocratic rule and poor governance whereby the majority are denied their rights. Women, children and old people are the most sufferers.

Secretary General of ONVT Mrs Flici .F. Zahra during the meeting sessions which had been preceded by opening speeches(Photo by ONVT website)

Such crises have wrecked havoc the economies and there has been formed marginalized groups in rural communities who continues to suffer and partly depends on humanitarian assistances to survive. These crisis have for long been going on despite peaceful resolutions and agreements signed between the governments and the rebel groups. The political crisis have led to numerous civil wars that later forms ethnic clashes among the people and ultimately causes bloodshed to most innocent people in Sub-Sahara Africa region. There has been horrific happenings such as the atrocities being committed at the expense of the few leaders who wants to stay in power by force. Ethnic clashes and mass killings have remained the order of the day, a result of which many people have been left destitute and displaced, as well as homeless. The national economies of the affected countries are deteriorating for lack of investors in mostly affected regions. The African continent presents a text-book example of the devastating effects both conflict and terrorism can exert if not resolved in a timely and decisive manner. The continent continues to face a myriad of socio-economic and political malaise that has ravaged the continent for many decades. An example in Africa, it is important when talking about terrorism as there is no uniform global threat to their national economies. So in terms of risk management, it needs to reflect local issues, or local terrorism issues. The problem that we are facing today is that local terrorism issues have local agendas. Africa and other developing nations depends on foreign investments to drive their national economies. And so, when talking about terrorism, you need to talk about the local terrorist issues that the region is faced with such as political violence and ethnic clashes and other forms of violent crimes which are increasingly becoming more prevalent in some parts of the region and they can pose the largest threats by creating the largest instability in the region, and causing a withdrawal of foreign investments. Many African countries are continuously burdened with the dismal prospects of abject poverty, marginalisation, HIV & AIDS, social unrest, drought, economic collapse and the absence of legitimate governments and poor governance. To compound an already dire situation, much of the continent from North, to East, South to West has witnessed violent conflict, war, insurrection and military coups that have caused bloodshed and the loss of millions of innocent lives.

Delegates following up proceedings at the meeting(Photo by ONVT website)

From Darfur to the DRC, Uganda to Ethiopia, Kenya to Somalia. Both tribal and political conflicts have taken its toll like what recently happened in Kenya whereby over 1,500 people have been reported dead and about 400,000 civilians have been left homeless since the country was plunged into the political violence in a post-election that took place last December. There are so many atrocities being committed in these regions and people are killed without mercy, the majority of the populace lives in fear and there is no harmony. The national economies in these regions are deteriorating because of lack of economic power, there have been a number of refugees living in camps and who relies on humanitarian assistances for their livelihood. The continued existence of the political indifferences in these regions is a drawback of their country’s initiatives to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The African continent has also provided fertile ground for the growing threat of religious extremism and the presence of international terrorist organisations, notably the threat posed by Al-Queda group that is said to have various operations on the ground in many of Africa’s conflict hotspots. The brutal attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania ten years ago represented but an opening salvo of the terrorist threat that Africa could face in the future. Two massive bombs popularly known as ‘twin bombings’ exploded killing 224 people including 12 Americans and injuring about 500 people. The bombings took place simultaneously despite of the distance of these two cities, It was a very fanny happening that stunned everybody around. No one can imagine how tactical are terrorists. Responsibility was quickly traced to the most well-known Al-Queda group. Three years later, the Al-Queda operation struck again, killing 15 people in an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa, Kenya, and simultaneously firing missiles at an Israeli passenger jet taking off from Mombasa's International airport. The Mombasa attacks are proof that there is still Al-Queda infrastructure in East Africa built on linkages in which terrorists thrive. The lingering presence of terrorism in the region also attests to the radicalizing effects of deep-rooted problems there. The greater Horn of African region that includes Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, with the exception of Tanzania, other countries have become home of interlocking conflicts, weak and failing states. Even before the 11th Sept terrorist attacks there was a recognition that poverty in one part of the globe creates scope for regional conflict and international crime. "It is futile, if not foolhardy to think there is no link between poverty and terrorism,"


I think we should analyze and find out the root cause of terrorism, why and when it started. was it there from the beginning ? Unless we know the cause we can not get a cure for it. We must analyze the root cause into every terrorist movement and tackle them psychologically. Many people and their governments in this world, have tried by all means to look at ways and means on how they can stop terrorism and live peacefully and happily, but the sad thing with the human race is that they would never organize themselves neither peacefully nor happily. People have always to find something to fight about no matter how stupid it is. Clearly the society need to look at the underlying causes and wherever possible take precautions , as most currently applied techniques on how to fight terrorism isn't working. Perhaps be looking more at international justice and economic parity, for a start so that we may be living peacefully and happily. How many foreign terrorism have you seen and how many do you think are killed in domestic crimes? I think the society cannot do anything about the present terrorists. But I feel that the future generation can be saved from the clutches of the terrorists by educating everyone. Education is the most important tool, dedication and strong leadership of the country is another approach to safety. If the country’s leadership is effective and firm on issues, then its people might be free from such a mischief and might be able to control terrorism acts with ease. Like many, I am equally upset by the ongoing terrorist attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere. I am also upset by the way Israel is doing on Palestinians. My heart breaks with every report of the hundreds of nameless people who die from various terrorist attacks in these countries. For me, then the question, “How to Stop Terrorism” is easy. We stop terrorism first of all by stopping our own terrorism! We cannot fight terrorism by becoming terrorists. We cannot end terrorism by using the methods of terrorism to bomb and kill people, such as the innocent Iraqis and Palestinians who continues to perish everyday. The US government must take an appropriate action of bringing back their own military troops from Iraq. ‘They MUST also stop invading other countries on pretext of the possession of nuclear and biological weapons, as a way to seek for the truth about the matter whereas on the other way round, there is nonexistent of such things in countries they target”.

This is how the atmosphere looked like at the podium(Photo by ONVT website)

Well, terrorism itself can't be defeated, it is a tactic that needs the assistance of large armies in order for it to be effectively banished. It will be never ending if the society would not learn the main tactics used by terrorists when attacking people. It is therefore imperative to get hold of the terrorists’ networks and support the war on terror. Terrorism will continue as long as good people continue to follow religions that allow killing under any conditions. Do you think you and your country aren't terrorizing someone out there in the name of god. I could go on and on about this but people thinks they are right and everyone else (with a different belief) is wrong. Whatever you do is OK as long as your religion sanctifies it. Few suggestions may be like declaring illegal such organizations and their members as fugitives in the eyes of law of the land and international law. There should be a financial squeeze on the terrorist groups assets. Actually they should never be allowed to stabilize and should be kept on the run. Confiscation of their assets and other properties is also one solution. When caught by the law, there should be summary trials and final judgments should be delivered with punishment not less than death penalty and let this be done in full public view so as to deter other susceptible persons to turn over to these acts. Above all, strong measures are required to be taken to listen to demands of the dissatisfied segments of the society patiently, resolve their demands within the legal and constitutional framework of the country to see that these groups are not left out of the mainstream of the nation.

A cross section of delegates who attended te meeting in their session(Photo by the courtesy of ONVT website)

A continuous dialogue process is required to be initiated at the highest level of the government where concerned organizations and prominent personalities may be involved. Because to nip the global menace in the bud, preventive and precautionary measures are more important than subsequent oppressive and restrictive measures and use of force leading to escalation of violence and loss of peace and tranquility. I believe that we still have a chance to live peacefully and happily in this world. However solving this issue, it should start from every individual, yet must be a global movement. It should start by respecting other people. Respecting each religion, belief, lifestyle, and personality. People must start thinking about the good of everyone and not good only for him/herself. This is a tough challenge but if we aim for it, I know we could do it. We can be alert to be not a part of that and guide our children also to keep away from that.


The terrorist attacks in the United States seven years ago has put the war on terror firmly on the international agenda. International terrorism is currently one of the international community’s most urgent challenges. All Terrorism acts are perpetrated for political goals. Unlike letter writing or protesting, that is used by activists when they believe no other means will effect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure is seen as a worse outcome than the deaths of civilians. This is often where the interrelationship between terrorism and religion occurs. When a political struggle is integrated into the framework of a religious or "cosmic struggle, such as over the control of an ancestral homeland or holy site such as Israel and Jerusalem, failing in the political goal (nationalism) becomes equated with spiritual failure, which, for the highly committed, is worse than their own death or the deaths of innocent civilians. Norway strongly believes that a broad range of measures must be used in the fight against terrorism, including political, diplomatic, and financial measures. The use of military force, as in Afghanistan against Al Qaida and the Taliban, should be a last resort. The fight against terrorism must at all times be focused, appropriate, and carried out within the bounds of international law. It must not be used as an excuse to set aside human rights. The terrorist threat looms over all people and all societies, and all countries have an obligation to support the fight against terrorism in accordance with UN decisions. This was underlined in the 2005 UN World Summit Outcome Document, in which the member states condemned all terrorism, irrespective of its form or purpose, and declared that terrorism is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security today. It is important that the UN leads global anti-terrorism efforts.

Journalists with their video shooting cameramen at work recording the proceedings of the meeting(Photo by ONVT website)

Sponsored terrorist groups have already had played havoc with invaluable human lives and property in India for quite some time now. From the Punjab to the far eastern state and from Kashmir to deep inside southern India every corner every crowded place be it a place of worship, a market or a railway station, the terrorists have had made their presence felt in every corner. They have advanced to even the most protected areas like the parliament house. India has suffered and is still suffering and perhaps will continue to suffer, god knows for how long. Now it is Pakistan’s turn. The country is now a day in constant threat from Al-Queda group and other militant outfits. They have also been able to attack the army outposts and V.I.P’s areas. We can also witness miserable terrorist attacks by outfits in other places within the country According to the government sources, Ms. Benazir Bhutto former country’s Prime Minister had been gunned down by one of these terrorist outfits. Besides this, large area in different parts of the country are virtually under the control of Al-Queda and other terrorist groups. Situation in Pakistan is so serious that terrorist leaders have dared to threaten the army. It is a matter of great concern for both Pakistan as well as the rest of the world. The world cannot ignore the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear-armed country. One should think about the consequences if Al-Queda, Taliban or any other extremist or religious fanatic group gets access to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, what do you think is likely to happen? Will it not be the end of the world?