Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IT and Global Communication summit 2010 in Tanzania

The 21st century is universally considered the digital revolution era. In this epoch, unprecedented breakthroughs in Information Technology (IT) have been at the epicenter of progress and development throughout the world. No economic, social, political or cultural element has been left un-touched or uninfluenced by the digital revolution. The most interesting aspect however is the innovations and discoveries that constantly grace the digital revolution.

A fully packed conference room at Diamond Jubilee hall during the official opening of the IT Glovbal Communication summit in Dar es Salaam recently

An exhibitor in one of the ITC exhibition stand.

The East Africa Speakers Bureau, (ESB) conscious of the swift paced IT breakthroughs, and understanding the necessity of timely information and experience sharing, organizes the first ever IT and Communication summit in Tanzania. The objective of this particular event is to bring together the leading producers, providers and consumers of the IT and communication products and services across the world. Inspired by the vision to ensure that the business environment in Tanzania reaches global standards of efficiency, innovation and productivity, the summit intends to introduce and showcase the latest trends and development in IT and communication related tools and services available within and outside Africa, and their relevance to an array of stakeholders.
Business and entrepreneurs, whether small, medium and large, and whether rural or urban, IT and Communication constantly makes a difference. In this era, ignoring the IT and Communication trend is accepting deterioration and entertaining the risk of stagnation. A two day summit demonstrated the potential of IT and Communication for different categories of current and potential users. Further, this summit addressed the demand for and barriers to accessing and use of IT and Communication across a range of current and potential users. It is an explicit objective of this summit to demonstrate how customers leverage from the technological led industries that do not only care about quality, customer relations but also velocity.

An exhibitor explaining something to a visitor

This summit had two fold purposes: First to offer an outstanding opportunity for stakeholders in various industries and authorities to discuss various issues and explore opportunities presented by IT and communication services for businesses and consumers in the digital world as shared by the leading thinkers and doers in communication and technology most of whom are business founders and operators from worldly recognized IT and communication companies. The summit will discuss topics of keen interest to providers and users of such technology. The topics will be developed under the following subthemes;

Secondly, to enable the Tanzanian population to witness and test a state of art products and tools including soft wares and digital devices in a show case forum that will demonstrate the technological know how and achievements of various firms which produces, market or make use of IT and related services from a diversity of sectors including but not limited to companies and organizations specializing in banking, telecom, internet connectivity service providers, satellite suppliers, multimedia products suppliers, data processing companies, cable networks providers, institutes of technology, media houses, solar energy, soft ware developers, suppliers of electronic devices, computer accessories or any other organization, agency, institute, commission or authority employing the use of technology in products development and service delivery.

Views from the recent IT & communication summit 2010

TANZANIANS have been urged to change their mindset into building the information technology for all. One way is recommended is the creation of blogs which according to panelists in a recent IT and Communication Summit 2010 would enable many Tanzanians get information which they thought would never reach the targeted people.
There are some people who make this world to grow into different segments, there are some people who becomes innovative in their work. People do not take their own responsibilities to build up their life, they mostly depend on excuses which in one way or another is not helpful for their part. As the saying goes, look at the areas of other vibrant companies from ICT sector, we have to integrate the agricultural sector of the knowledgeable economy. Taxation policy in all ICT business in Tanzania, there is no vibrant culture in Tanzania into building a nation like Tanzania. The generation in which we are living is not all knowledgeable. We can’t have a vibrant business if we don’t have a culture in mind of doing such business for ourselves.

A cross section of participants who attended the recent Global IT communication summit in Dar es Salaam.

Africa was left behind in the industrial age and this is the reason the continent is so poor. Not about 1 percent of the country’s population has ever read the National ICT policy through, though the policy has been published in the internet. The issue here is to find ways and means on how to develop the Tanzanian IT age for its people. Tanzania must emulate Rwanda a small country that covers 5 percent of the total land in Tanzania. The country has been described to be a Singapore of Africa because they have embraced ICT for their development. ICT is power if the nation would not change their mindset, they would always be lagging behind. According to one ICT consultant, 80 percent of the Tanzanians leaves in rural areas and still out of these 2 percent of them are able to get the electricity power supply. Therefore, it is impossible to build the information society due to poor electricity supply and IT knowledge is still low. There is a need to increase infrastructure in order to catch with the emerging technologies for development, despite on the seriousness of the issue.Very few companies are willing to volunteer for corporate social responsibilities to their people in rural areas. Hence the development of ICT in most secondary schools in the country is very scarce and sometimes not applied in public areas. A call is made to ICT companies to devote themselves in order to help bridge a digital divide which still exists among the people. The use of TVs in rural areas is so expensive that only few people can afford them.

People looking at various ICT products brought for exhibition by various ICT companies.

On the part of the media, it has been so reluctant or rude for that matter to report on ICT issues for the country’s development. According to the writer of this news whose contribution was heard during the discussion sessions, he threw the challenge to fellow media stakeholders and practitioners to take a keen interest in ICT reporting in the country. According to him, he said hardly a week can pass without seeing an ICT article in newspapers. There are a lot to be highlighted in terms of ICT development in Tanzania. Trainings are the most possible ways to accomplish the need of IT development. Empowerment to rural farmers and capacity building is necessary and very vital to the development of the rural people in Tanzania. The summit was an eye opener to every participants for it brought delegates from various ICT companies and operating consulting ICT firms in the country. According to the Director in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Dr. Zaipuna Yona, in his paper entitled “The role of government in providing broadband”, people are still taking ICT as a sector in itself rather than a cross cutting element throughout their lives.

An exhibitor Mr. Mohammed at the car tracking company showing one of the visitors how his company traces the lost vehicles of their clients during the summit.

Such attitudes towards the use of ICT goes hand in hand with wrong perception that such technologies arte for the rich people, or that having them in a house is a sign of extravagancy. Indeed, a advocated that if people from all walks of life will realize the essence of ICT in their lives, then everything will be simplified. According to him, the government bureaucracy has been caused to a large extent by lacking a proper system of e-government. The education sector similarly is lagging behind because it lacks ICT facilities in the classroom. Once ICT is installed in a classroom, one teacher will manage to teach a number of schools at the same time and a doctor will manage to prescribe medicine far apart from his or her patient. Once there is proper utilization of ICT in government offices, there will be no falls-in for passports in immigration offices or flocking of customers at the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) or at Business Registration Licensing Authority (BRELA). The banking sector in the country has set a good example by improving its services through the use of ICT particularly in e-government and ATM machines.

Lack of knowledge impends ICT policy initiatives in the country

THE National ICT Policy Initiatives in Tanzania has been earmarked to be a slow moving process despite of the government’s efforts to keep going the policy. According to one ICT expert, the situation has been aggravated by lack of seriousness in line of its implementation. Richard Undala an IT consultant said recently during the IT and Communication Summit 2010 in the city of Dar es Salaam that lack of proper ICT knowledge coupled with poor ICT facilities, the two have deteriorated the development of ICT in the country. Before the formulation of the National ICT policy in the country which came into being in 2003, initiatives to develop ICTs were being carried out by individuals, public and private entities making it difficult to optimize utilization of national meager resources. Tanzania did realize some achievements which created the need for more concerted efforts for the establishment and development of a fully fledged National ICT policy that would provide guidance on planning, management and the coordination of all matters related to ICT in the country. Seven years ago, the government appointed the then Ministry of Communication and Transport (Now the Ministry of infrastructure development) as a national ICT coordinator and a focal point for all ICT related issues in the country. Despite of enormous strides taken by the government, much remains to be done as critical to mainstream the development of ICT tools as appropriate to address the challenge of sustainable national development. However, he said that it is useful to look at ICT as a cross-cutting issue in its own right with its goals to achieve crucial national development goals. Among the few goals is using ICT in identifying and exploiting opportunities for trade, investments and finance through e-government, e-agriculture, e-commerce, e-education, e-heath etc. Apart from the above category of usage, ICT could be used in the establishment of national and regional distance searing health and education service programs in the country.

A cross section of few participants during the Global IT Communication summit in Dar esSalaam.

In order to realize the above benefits work, ICT need to be developed on a Public and Private Partnership spirit. The private sector participation in the establishment, development and investment in ICT is of crucial importance. A two day meeting that drew participants from many IT companies and other stakeholders from district and regional levels put forward an argument with a vision to create a vibrant ICT business in Tanzania and what impact it would have to the development of the country. Another ICT consultant, Mr. Theophilus Mlaki of Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH) noted during his contribution that it was high time for the ICT sector to intervene with the developments that would help ward off obstacles in order to achieve the national development goals. Mr. Mlaki whose commission gives ICT trainings to local government authorities in the country noted that, the central government and the local government authorities from district to regional level has to conduct a full awareness and sensitization campaign programs at all levels on the role and importance of ICT to citizens.

Mr. Samwel Nyangoka of the print factory exhibition stand during the summit

In spite of government’s efforts through various agencies, sufficient knowledge among the people is still required to put in place valuable resources and strategies which would enable fight poverty into building of a strong nation. However, five years ago, Tanzania approved the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, better known by its Kiswahili acronym “MKUKUTA” whose major aim is to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. MKUKUTA was built around three primary clusters of desired outcomes namely growth and the reduction of income poverty, improved quality of life and social well-being, good governance among others as well as accountability. The adoption of MKUKUTA is a pivotal moment in Tanzania’s development process, and without the use of ICTs to address the issue, the program is likely to fail. MKUKUTA is based on the premise that poverty will only be reduced once good governance and accountability prevails in the country. According to him, ICTs are powerful resource tools needed for development, and on the basis of extensive research and experience, MKUKUTA can only achieve the goals and objectives by demanding policy makers, civil society organizations and public servants address the complex issue that drive citizens into its awareness.

Show goers at Zain exhibition stand

Lack of awareness of most policies formed in the country, has been an impediment to the growth of many economic development. Importantly however, there is a real risk to the successful implementation of MKUKUTA since at a local government level, many actors do not know about the ICT policy and do not integrate it into their planning and implementation. “MKUKUTA’s strategies would not work for the national development if the government and stakeholders do not lay down emphasis on the ICT policy initiatives and its implementation. Tanzania’s National ICT policy guides national development status and without it nothing will be done to ensure workable strategies. However, according to Mr. Innocent Mungy who is a Communication Manager representing his company, Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) in the meeting, noted that in order to achieve the basic goals, the use of ICTs and components will facilitate the development with ease. Despite government’s move of stopping excise duties on computers and IT accessories in the country four years ago, still the mode of communication skills by use of internet in the country is very poor. Since in the 1990s years of economic liberalization in Tanzania, there has been a large wave of investments in ICTs for development and some significant part of this has been aimed at to support poverty reduction. ICT provides access to information by people to enable them share and exchange information, knowledge and experience and thus empowering people to easily encounter the challenges of everyday life. It offers enormous opportunities to narrow social and economic inequalities and support sustainable local wealth creation, and thus help to achieve the broader development goals that a country has set through free integration of information systems.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Africa urged to offer incentives for renewable energy

African countries have been told to develop tangible incentives for the adoption of alternative livelihoods and energy sources to mitigate emissions from deforestation. The call was made on Thursday by participants from SADC member countries at the just-ended meeting themed: Reduce Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. They said successes achieved the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD) would also require large scale stakeholders engagement across all levels especially at the grassroots to ensure that communities receive tangible benefits from it. The participants also called for a well designed strategy and policy to achieve positive effects on the conservation of associated biological diversity and ecosystem services as well as livelihoods in forest dependent communities. A participant from Zambia, Charles Masange said the designing of the strategy and policy would greatly increase peoples’ incomes and improve forest governance through better management of forests by the communities. Masange suggested establishment of ‘REDD Desk’ at the South African Development Community (SADC) secretariat to facilitate effective monitoring, reporting and verification of forest resources. Additionally, he said each country should also establish its own ‘Desk’ to be managed by a technical working group that would design appropriate methodologies for the programme. “Currently, Zambia has submitted a national joint management programme to the UN-REDD, so that it can prepare for future REDD implementation,” he said, adding that as one of the nine developing countries, Zambia would soon be piloting the UN-REDD programme.


Wonderful car for hire in Dar es Salaam city.

This is a wonderful car which can be seen in most prime areas of the Dar es Salaam city. It is for hire in various ceremonial occasions including wedding parties. It's a kind of a car that has brought attention to many passersby. According to the owner who did not want to be mentioned nor photographed when approached, the car was imported from United States of America. One can hire it for US$ 700 per day, that is 24 hours.

Machinga complex not yet open for operation

WHEN the fourth phase government came into being five-year ago, President Jakaya Kikwete made many promises to small working groups and other business enterprises that his government would empower them by giving micro credit facilities to run up their businesses He also made promises to many small scale organizations who toils to gain their livelihood for a token f of USD 1 per day, that his government would improve their life standards. Under his newly introduced slogan that is aimed to achieve development targets by applying new strength, new vigor and with much faster pace for the attainment of the social and economic goals, the President also urged the working groups in the country to work in order to achieve their targets. Among the lowest working class in the community the president had promised to improve their lives, were the petty traders commonly known as Machinga who he promised would be given created for good business environment. Better working environment was a major focus in line by the government to relieve their worries. In a move to implement the government’s plans, the Dar salaam City Council (DCC} had initiated a major development project that would help few business member groups to fulfill their objectives into solving out their woes. To practice its move, the DCC built a business park with a view to accommodate the needs of few or many petty traders in the city of Dar es Salaam. A year has now passed since the construction of the business park known as “Machinga Complex” project with three units each with four storey was completed, but to the great surprise, one can see from far a distance floors of the buildings are empty and never occupied for business. There are so many questions arising as regards the whole arrangement about the allocation so as to accommodate the targeted traders in their appropriate compartments to conduct their businesses in the buildings, but t no avail. Despite of this uncertainty, hopes by most targeted groups of petty traders alias ‘Machingas’ to acquire spaces for trading and conducting their businesses in these newly constructed parks seems to have dashed away from their minds as the authorities of the DCC continues to be silent and reluctant to utter a word as regards its occupation. According to the Mayor of the Dar es Salaam city, Alhaji Dr. Adam Kimbisa, the buildings were purposely intended for the petty traders as earlier planned. However, he assured the people that the buildings were constructed specifically to improve their trading activities and nothing else.

'Machinga Complex’ facing Karume stadium at Ilala Mchikichini. Since the construction of the building was completed a year ago, it has been seen vacant without occupation an aspect that it has brought surprise to the intended business groups.
Machinga Complex was designed by the DCC for specific registered trade organizations of the petty traders who are recognized by a supreme group name known as VIBINDO who operates within the city of Dar es Salaam.. The groups had earlier been promised by the city fathers to have such a State-of-the-art building of their own in a bid to improve their businesses and earn a better life standards like other business people in the country. The move is to accomplish the ruling CCM party’s manifesto and a promised it had issued to small scale business people during the n2005 general election campaigns. But to the great dismay, most traders are surprised to have seen that the delays in opening the complex has taken so many days. Some say the arrangement might have some political agenda behind the whole exercise. This is because they could see no action is being taken in order to clear out their worries. As a result most of them are desperate over what they think might have been perpetrated by corruption an aspect which has driven them into such an extreme bearing in mind that none of them has yet acquired a space to trade within the complex. This is a surprise to us, says Juma Temu a famous hawker at Ilala-Mchikichini Machinga market when interviewed. However he added and compared the issue like a jungle of justice delayed and ultimately would be denied. A famous trader at the same market, Mr. Omary Rashid pointed out that, it was meaningless for the government to spend a lot of money for constructing the machinga complex as a development project and yet still a substantial number of the targeted groups can be seen with their merchandise spread on the ground all along the pavements as though there is no an area for business. Reports shows that about 5,000 machingas are expected to occupy the area to trade but none has yet been allocated ever since the construction of the complex ended a year ago and handed over to DCC officially. It’s really shameful as one can see the buildings which have been conjoined by a flying over that passes over the Kawawa Road at Ilala suburb that are still vacant. However, an economist, Mr. Joseph Silvanus did not hesitate to make a comment on the issue about the delay . He has appealed to the city fathers to hurry up with the allocation as the delay denies the government with the revenues to be charged from the prospective trading groups. The government started the construction of the complex in 2006 and ended up in late 2008. Already Tshs. 2.4 billion has been spent to construct 1,600 kiosks to be occupied by more than 5,000 businesses people.

Every construction work is a boom to the national economy

CONSTRUCTION industry is one of the sectors that handles large financial resources of any country including Tanzania. The amount of money that change hands in the industry are significant. The industry contributes about 11.5 percent of Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to that momentary volume. This being the case, there is a need to equip key players in the industry with adequate financial skills for the sector to work more effectively. The industry requires competent engineers. It is these engineers who actually play the greatest role in each of the main legs of the construction triangle-clients’ representatives as consultants and contractors as well as architects and quantity surveyors. Engineers are required to play their roles professionally and in strict compliance with the code of conduct and ethics for engineers when discharging out their duties. Because of the above factors, Tanzania government established its own regulatory bodies whose task is to monitor the contractors and engineers professionals to abide by the rules and ethics so as to avoid shoddy construction work in the country These are the Engineers Registration Board (ERB), being the oldest board in the country. The Board was established way back in 1968 and was re-established in 1997. Then there is Contractors Registration Board (CRB) which was formed in 1997. According to CRB, the government has invests heavily in construction industry so as to get the country’s infrastructures in good order, and now the growth of the sector stands at 11.5 percent. About a decade ago, the growth status of the sector stood at four or five percent. The construction industry comes second after education when it comes to budgetary allocation from the government for having considered its importance to the national economy. The growth of the industry can be measured through the presence of new buildings, modern roads, city master plan, telecommunication towers and airport runways. This shows the big role and dedication which is being displayed by professional engineers in the country. In view of this, CRB has dedicated more to build the capacity of local contractors in order to enable them to undertake larger projects in both local and international markets.
Statistics by CRB indicates that, up to 2008, the market share by value for local contractors in the country was 30 percent, while foreign contractors had 70 percent lion’s share. However local contractors account for about 94 percent of the local contractors registered in the country. This trend does not create a friendly environment for the development of the local contractors and contracting capacity. Access to finance is one of the challenges that have continued to stifle the growth of contractors despite the strategic role they play in the building of the nation. The importance of the construction industry to the national economy is well recognized in so many relevant policy documents such as Tanzania vision 20025, MKUKUTA 2005-2010 and construction industry policy 2003.
Currently construction industry contributes substantially to the national economy through contractors. It has been growing at an average of 11 percent and the industry employs about 9 percent of the workforce in the country. The industry therefore has a strong operational base and business presence in the local economy. Despite of the importance of contractors to nation building, the main constraint to local contractors is capital and access to finance in the financial institutions in the country. In order to rescue local contractors in the country, CRB has adopted to seek a strategic and holistic approach in addressing the issue with no objective of seeking sustainable solutions through collaborative efforts with various stakeholders. CRB in collaboration with the World Bank through the international finance corporate has started to implement a leasing project to local engineers. The construction industry can be a stepping stone towards improved social well-being in the country. The sector can help accelerate social and economic development and fight poverty and unemployment. Engineering is among the noble profession that have the privilege and responsibility of self regulation because of its importance. It works on the modes of communication including roads, railways, telecommunication towers and airports. In this regard, construction industry is in the forefront when it comes to social and economic development initiatives in the country.
ERB on the other hand has also worked out code of ethics that aim at regulating the activities of engineers. It also overseas the conduct of engineers and engineering consulting firms. The codes is based on the Board tenets of truth, honesty and trustworthiness, respect for human life and welfare, fairness, openness, competence and accountability, engineering excellence, protection of environment and sustainable development. Under the law, it’s illegal for an engineer or an engineering firm to practice the profession that’s not registered. The ERB Board, just like CRB also has the legal powers and has the obligation to withdraw the right to practice from registered engineer’s Board, and if found guilty of professional misconduct or professional incompetence.

What do you know about insurance on construction property?

THE need to secure against risk of loss is a prudent step in any business undertaking and the construction industry is no exception. An up market residential house costs some Tshs. 600 million or more to complete, what would be the cost of the multi storied buildings that we have dotting the skyline of Dar es Salaam city and other towns or cities in the country? Quite colossal amounts of money are used on these projects. Would a prudent investor undertake such project without a fall back position? The fall back position is normally carefully arranged for an insurance protection. In fact most financial institutions that lend money for such projects cannot give the go ahead unless property arranged insurance covers be in place. A construction firm worthy its salt would be familiar with the following terminologies in the day-to-day operations of their firms. These terminologies are consistent whether it is a road project valley dam construction, building project, factory project and other hosts of projects that deserves the following;-Bid bonds, performance bonds, Advanced payment bonds, Construction All risks insurance, Construction plant and Machinery insurance and Erection of risks insurance.
Any tender procedure requires the tenderer to guarantee certain financial terms for a specific period. Either a bank or insurance firm normally in a form of bid bond normally signs the guarantee. A bid bond is normally 2.5 percent of the tender amount. A tenderer might change terms once awarded a project due to a variety of reasons. If the tenderer changes terms when the tender is awarded to them the client has s4rrved options, accepts the terms as revised or advertised the tender afresh. If the tenderer is re-advertised, then the bid bond is called in to offset the cost of re-tendering. The performance bond is also a guarantee to the investors that a certain project will be undertaken as per agreement. Either the bank or insurance firms signs this bond. The performance bond is normally 10 percent of the project cost. Just like the bind bond, the performance bond is called in if the contractor is unable to compete the projects so is the start up capital. Borrowing from the banks for the contractors might not be a viable option due to the high interest rates. A contractor could ask the investor to advance some capital to start the project. All contractors are familiar with legal procedures set of acquiring such tenders for construction of any big projects. To have some security, the investor would ask the contractor to secure an advanced payment bond. The advance of payment bond would be recalled if the contractor does not put in the project the money advanced, thus putting the investors in a financial bind. The contractor might have all the bonds secured and also expend all the resource on the project. However the contractor would not be home if he or she doesn’t secure protection from many other calamities some of which are acts of God.

Other calamities such like explosion, riots, strikes etc, these are some of man made acts. How does a contractor secure protection against such acts? Contractors all risks insurance is the answer to many exposures a contractor faces. The insurance is designed to cover the projects in its many faces. The stocks of material on site can also be covered so is the contractor’s equipment. The insurance cover for equipment is optional at the contractor’s choice. As the contractors undertake the project, despite all the care and protection, there is potential liability from third parties. You might often heard of situations where falling debris injure or kill innocent third parties even where scaffolding is erected and suddenly injure a technician at work. The litigation from such event can be financially crippling to any firm and would also distract the contractor from his core business. Further accidents to third party property at construction sites are reported every now and then. On your contractors all risk insurance, liability for third party has been taken into consideration and the contractor can take out adequate liability cover for this eventualities. Thus even if the contract takes one month or several years, the premium for the project takes all those aspects into consideration including the maintenance period. For the specialized contractor who erects and commissions machinery for the many industrial projects, an erection all risks insurance is crucial for his operation. I have discussed the above where the project is normally undertaken by construction firms. However, there is certain category of investors who choose to supervise the projects by themselves and hire services of some masons to build their homes and or commercial property. Normally they inject money into the projects as when the same is available until the building is complete. These projects can be covered on a fire insurance policy, which takes cognizance of the building being under construction. Your insurer or brokers depending on your special needs can discuss of all the above option. It would be a moral crime in Tanzanian society to lose the saving patiently kept for the grand project for lack of insurance protection.

Maintaining quality caterpillars and handling equipment in Tanzania

Caterpillars and use of handling equipment in road construction sites are important tools as they ease the activities undertaken for road construction. Companies operating in these sites need the best equipment and the best product support to ensure that their machines are helping them to make money. Mantrac Tanzania Limited is the authorized caterpillar equipment dealer in Tanzania. It is a part of Mantrac group, who are the caterpillar dealer in other eight countries spanning three continents. The firm operates in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq and parts of Russia. The firm distributes and support CAT construction machine power systems and material handling equipment, serving a wide range of industries and applications. With decade of experience as a leading equipment supplier and service-oriented organization, the firm offers customers integrated business solutions backed by technical expertise and comprehensive understanding of home makers. Mantrac established and opened its businesses in Tanzania with an objective of supplying a range of caterpillar earthmoving construction equipment useful to facilitate road construction activities in the country. From the outset, a strategic goal of the company has been to assemble a range of top quality and world-class brands under one roof and develop the capacity to provide professional technical support. Mantrac Tanzania Ltd provides its clients with quality products and services using experienced professionals and the most appropriate technology and delivery systems. To achieve this, it strives to excel in thoroughly a professional approach and follow-up from their service and product suppliers. The firm has local branches in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Tanga and Moshi and offers a range of Customer Support Agreements (CSA) ensuring comprehensive total repair and maintenance contracts tailored to fit customer’s specific needs. The Mwanza workshop offers unmatched field-service capabilities and has long serviced Tanzania’s demanding mining industry. Full equipped field vehicles, high tooling and round the clock availability of engineers combine to ensure that their customers’ machines are kept well. The firm also offers periodic field inspections as well as precise technical recommendations. In this way, Mantrac guarantees its customers full product support services ensuring that their equipment is kept running at peak performance to ensure the best returns on investment.

In hope of delivering best possible service, Mantrac Tanzania boasts of a unique specialization centre which employs the latest equipment tooling end contamination control methods for overhauling engines. Every stripped down part is cleaned, inspected and measured, while reusability guidelines are closely followed to ensure the customer gets maximum value for overhaul. Located along Nyerere Road in Dar es Salaam, the centre provides a six month warranty on all engine rebuilds. Apart from Mantrac’s long affiliation with caterpillar, dating back to more than 80 years, the firm has maintained strategic links with other global suppliers as well including O and K mining equipment, Olympian generators, Perkins engines, AGCO agriculture equipment, Kenworth trucks, Michelin earthmoving tires and a number of leading IT brands. CAT machines are designed with ease-of-operation/maintenance and maximum components commonality in mind. This enables the customer to reduce training costs and ensure consistent quality of performance from operators. Mantrac offers the complete range of new as well as reliable used heavy caterpillar equipment. The company backs the range of world-class equipment brands needed to operate hydraulic excavators in a quarry, motor graders, off-highway trucks, backhoe loaders, Tele-handles and soil compactors. Others are skid steer loaders, articulated dump trucks, truck type tractors, pipe layers, folk-0lifts, scrapers, wheel loaders, track loaders, asphalt pavers and compactors, cold planners and rotary mixers. All products blend productivity and durability to give the best return on investment. For the material handling and warehousing equipment, Mantrac Tanzania provides a complete range of caterpillar material handling equipment specifically designed for cold storage, bottling, stevedoring, lumber handling and other warehouse and industrial applications. Along with an array of versatile pattel trucks and stackers, Mantrac also offers a line of reach trucks and order pickers (both low and high-level) for warehouse spaces large or small. Apart from earthmoving equipment, the company also provides sales and technical support services to a range of industry sectors in the country. Services provided includes, Sales and delivery commissioning, After-sales technical and workshop support. In view of this, Mantrac is proud with its strong and professional after-sales support - an essential service that ensures their customers’ benefit profitably from the efficient operation of their machines. With the backing of the key international suppliers, MANTRAC provide the Tanzanian marketplace with skills and services wherever they may be required.

Use of Tanzania’s natural resources is amazing

TANZANIA is endowed with abundant different kinds of natural wealth which can be found within its borders from west to east and then from North to south of the country.
Due to the increase of the population, many of the resources available in the country, have been badly misused and sometimes gets damaged for improper usage for no reasons. For example, there is rampant felling of trees despite of the government ban thus causing deforestation. Sometimes people destroys their natural wealth that does not foresee the importance of water sources in an area, the destruction of water catchments, an aspect that leads to the drying up of the main water sources which ultimately affects the entire eco-systems. If the resources found in Tanzania would have been used properly, it’s obvious that the life of most Tanzanians would never be as can be seen now where in some parts of the country there is famine which is still a great problem to the nation. Famine remains a challenge every year and to be on the safe side, the nation has to seek for assistance outside the country. From this point of view, it shows that the people of Tanzania do no have an effective development plans associated with agricultural activities and it’s therefore amazing to see that the nation keeps on asking for food assistance and yet the country has an arable land that covers about 70 percent. Statistics shows that out of this vast land, only a size of 10 percent which is on use countrywide.
Other natural features that Tanzania is endowed with includes water streams and abundant natural lakes, and still on its eastern side of its frontiers, the country is bounded by the Indian Ocean. But there is less important economic activities that is taking place in all these waters as required. There are a number of natural lakes in this country which have become an attraction to tourists apart from fishing as the main economic activity done in these lakes. But despite of this, problems of improper use of natural wealth is still there. It’s really amazing to see that people who proves to be active in these areas have definitely failed to use the opportunities as well as the available resources in order to sustain economically. This is because of the fact that, there is no a collective accountability for the concerned community and on the other side lack of commitment from the government side, is a contributing factor altogether.
According to one economist, if large portion of the natural resources found in Tanzania would have been used in proper way, Tanzania would have been among the least developed nation in the world. According to him, Tanzania government seems to have failed to organize themselves properly and put down effective strategic plans and policies so that it might benefit from its natural resources including mineral deposits it has.
“For example, the government must impose policies to defend the indigenous small scale miners and let them organize themselves in various groups to form organizations and unity for their help” he said adding that, by having such organizations it’s easier for them to get credit facilities such as loans from financial institutions to enable them develop.
Apart from that, the government should create a conducive environment by way of maintaining better infrastructural facilities so as to enhance the environment of production schedules. But due to lack of all these facilities, coupled with lack of proper planning system imposed for the development of minerals in the country, this might be the main reasons for minerals to be a scarce commodity to almost every Tanzanian.
Mining activities has been creating problems to the people living close to mining sites in the country, a result of which some have lost their lives for no apparent reason bearing the fact that these are the country’s natural resources and a gift given by the lord God.
Tanzania’s national parks have become the most attractive tourist destination centers for having different animal species which can be found there. Every year, there are huge number of the visiting tourists in 15 national parks found in the country and the government has been earning a huge amount of foreign exchange.
Despite of this tremendous development taking place in the country, tourism sector is yet to help reduce poverty stricken situation in the country owing to the fact that, there is poor work supervision coupled with poor administration on our own wildlife resources.
There are many vivid examples that can prove how the government has totally failed to mobilize country’s natural resources for the local development. Despite of the vast densely populated forest lands across the country, it’s wonderful to see that the government has even failed to supply desks to many primary schools in rural areas which do not have enough desks for pupils and students in both primary and in some secondary schools.
This is an example which shows that no Tanzanian leader who is a position to explain and elaborate on how we don’t have enough desks for pupils and yet our country has vast forest lands from which to harvest trees to make wood from which to prepare desks for our pupils and students in schools. Agricultural sector seems to be lagging behind despite of the efforts aimed to give the priority to the sector. Agricultural products are not scientifically processed to their final product. The question comes that, why shouldn’t we have our own agricultural canned industries for our locally produced products to suite farmers in the country? For example, most Tanzanians are able o establish processing industries to produce products from locally procured raw materials.
By having our own local industries, the situation would reduce the mindset of most Tanzanians who thinks that most commodities are imported to the country and used as a product market produced outside the country, whereas on the other way round, the raw materials have been obtained from within the country. This situation has caused Tanzanians to use foreign exchange to order small low quality consumable products from far eastern countries such as China, Indonesia, Taiwan etc, instead of using the money to buy production equipments such as tractors and their spare parts, or industrial machineries. This is shameful on the part of the government which cannot even avert such claims as related to the whole issue of importing products from abroad as it has the power of using various techniques to stop direct importation of the products which can be produced in the country to minimize unnecessary costs. For example, there is a need for the government to stop importing Khangas and Vitenges from outside the country, and by doing this, the government shall reduce unnecessary stiff competition among the local producers who suffers at the expense of cheap imports. But it’s through making use of our own available resources that our government can make a one step forward towards national development despite of the little that we have at the moment. Today Tanzania has been turned a market place selling products produced by foreigners who takes raw materials from our country and make products which in turn are exported to us back, thus providing employment to their people while Tanzanians remains with nothing to do to sustain their livelihood. There are so many countries in the world which are developed by depending on their own resources and not on too much dependence on external aid. If they have managed to develop by making use of their own resources, Why Tanzania which has an abundant natural resources within its borders?