Sunday, February 19, 2012

ZUKU TV satellite to focus on African context

THE Premier media operator and the leading provider of cable and internet services in Eastern Africa region, the Wananchi Group is planning to offer its tailor made channels such as Zuku Africa to its viewers in an African context The company which introduced its services in Tanzania in November 2011, started its operation in East Africa region in 2007 marketing its brand Zuku Tv. The brand offers a wide selection of entertainment channels covering news, sports, movies, documentaries and musics. These includes various channels that offers a variety of International news such as BBC, Sky news and Aljazeera to mention just a few. The provider also offers many of its own channels and the services is available via satellite throughout Tanzania. All these are educational documentaries for children, women and people of all walks of life” says the Chief Executive Officer of Wananchi Group Richard Bell during last weeks' official launching of the TV satellite in Tanzania. The occasion which took place at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Dar es Salaam, was graced by the Director General of Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Professor John Mkoma as a guest of honour and was attended by all industry partners as well as members of the public.

The Director General of Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Professor John Mkoma, addressing participants ( not in picture) after he had officially inaugurated ZUKU TV brand in Tanzania during a special occasion which was held at Golden Tulip Hotel in Dar es Salaa last week. Professor Mkoma was the guest of honour. He is flanked on his left by Chief Executive Officer of the Wananchi Group, the company providing Zuku Tv services in the country, Richard Bell while on his right is the company's Chairman Ali Mufuruki. More than 1,000 people attended the occasion

To officially launching the Zuku brand, Professor Mkoma pressed down on a remote setting off a montage about Zuku on all the screens within the area, followed by a brilliant fireworks display and artist performances to the delight of all the guests. The company's CEO, Mr. Richard Bell said, Zuku has been very well received in East Africa regional market and its efficiency has been part of the company's successes. “We’re proud and excited to be launching Zuku TV in Tanzania,” said Richard Bell adding that, it's a great milestone for us and we are pleased to be able to provide quality home entertainment for all.” About 50,000 subscribers have been registered by the Wananchi Group company for its Zuku TV brand within East Africa region since its establishment in 2007. The company's introduction of Zuku services in Tanzania is the first East African home entertainment brand that provides Pay TV service and its commitment to providing fresh, innovative and affordable entertainment for the “Wananchi” (citizens) The company is extremely delighted with the uptake of Zuku Satellite TV products that have experienced unprecedented demand for the genuine product. The CEO has however assured the company's customers that they are in the process of replenishing their stocks in time for the festive season. According to him, TV brand has especially been snapped up by consumers, thus increasing TV penetration to other countries in order to offer its services to consumers in 10 countries across Africa. The countries includes includes, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, Malawi and Somalia. Already the brand is available in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with a planned launch in the rest of the countries in the course of next year.

Makonde woodcarving symbolizes African traditional culture

AMONG the major representatives of Tanzania figurative art are the Makonde people, who are renowned throughout East Africa for their original and often highly fanciful woodcarvings. Authentic Makonde carvings are made from ebony tree. The heart of this tree is very heavy (dense) and has a deep brown to black colouring. Mpingo bark is a light color under which is a small layer of white soft wood. The heart wood, however, is very hard and varies in color from a deep red to black depending on the soil type and age of the tree. When finished, the carvings are polished and the wood quite literally shines. The scientific name of a tree is called Dalbergia Melanoxylon. Locally called mpingo in Swahili language, is native to the dry East African coastal plains. The heart of the tree is very heavy (dense) and has a deep brown to black colouring. Mpingo popularly referred by Makonde people as a 'Tree of Life' is very dense and fine-grained, which allows the artists to create extremely detailed carvings. The wood, however, is very hard and varies in color from a deep red to black depending on the soil type and age of the tree. The Makonde are among the five major tribes in Tanzania who originally migrated north from Mozambique to the southern Tanzanian highlands in the mid of 20th century. They are internationally famous for their intricate carvings, based on life, love, good and evil and which form their beliefs about the origins of man. Woodcarving is an important part of Makonde's life, both in ancestor worshiping and in their own myth of creation. When the Makonde moved to Tanzania, selling woodcarving became an important means of income. Buying woodcarvings can be a great way to contribute to the local economy and prices for these pieces of African Art. In the late sixties designated craft shops were set up in the country aimed at providing the artists with a working environment. The major centers of Makonde carving in Tanzania are in the south-east on the Makonde plateau, and in Dar es Salaam city which became a haven for Makonde carvers during the large-scale migrations from Mozambique. During this time many Makonde farmers in northern Mozambique took up woodcarving to sell and supplement their incomes, this was encouraged by the FRELIMO liberation movement, which organized cooperative marketing of these woodcarvings in Tanzania. During this time of the Mozambique liberation struggles, many Makonde migrants made their way from Mozambique into southern Tanzania and settled in Mtwara, and from there to Dar es Salaam city the capital They entered into curio trade that began to emerge in 1950s and 1960s respectively and were also attracted by better employment opportunities and by favorable marketing prospects for their woodcarvings The Makonde woodcarving is probably the best known art work produced in Tanzania and are considered the most positive and uninhibited of all East African art work. It's both traditional and contemporary, reflecting a tribal past as well as modern response to urban life. Artists create all types of carvings such as faces, masks, people, bowls, bracelets and animals. Buying carvings can be a great way to contribute to the local economy and prices for these pieces of art can vary between $10 USD to $10,000 USD. Today the carvings still maintain the traditional elements of the human story in a tribal setting although many of the carvers have inevitably been influenced by the Western demand for their products. It is easy to find what is classed as "Modern Makonde" which is aimed purely at the tourist market and is basically Modigliani in style.

A typical structure of the real Makonde people made of Mpingo tree

Again, due mainly to the tourist trade, the carvers also use other types of wood such as coconut and some have also learnt to carve in stone and coral. Makonde sculpture, old and modern, represents an artistic tradition which evolved in response to the historical and economic forces affecting the Makonde people throughout the twentieth century, especially after the 1930s. It is a story which unfolds in reverse chronology from the contemporary internationally known modern Makonde sculpture to its historical and cultural antecedents about which less has been written or is known. The Makonde people had a traditional tale that "In the beginning, there was a man, who lived alone in a wild place and was lonely. One day he took a piece of wood and shaped it with a tool into a figure. He placed the figure in the sun by his dwelling. Night fell and when the sun rose again the figure was a woman and she became his wife”. Makonde sculpture dates back in the year 1930s when the first exhibition was held at Centro Cultural dos Novos in Mozambique. However, it was in Tanzania, where many Mozambique Makonde ethnic group had emigrated in search for work, that interest in their sculpture as a commodity arose. Their new sculptural forms grew naturally out of older traditions of woodcarving, unlike the Tanzanian Makonde, who had no real carving tradition. Modern Makonde sculptures range from curios of the airport variety to truly fine sculptures of imagination and artistry, but the reality of their production for commercial purposes is one that cannot be ignored. The modern Makonde woodcarving tradition goes back well before the war of liberation, but the war and its aftermath served as a genuine impetus. The style of the figures also changed, going from the earlier naturalistic figures to more distorted, satirical or somber depictions. The so-called ujamaa sculptures or in Portuguese "unidade de povo" date from the days of the liberation struggle. The "shetani" style originated with Samaki, but was quickly imitated and soon became a popular and successful commodity in the markets of Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Following independence in Mozambique in 1975, official recognition on the part of the government has further encouraged this modern tradition of sculpture. The shetani sculptures from Mozambique differed from those in Tanzania, the latter were more sexually explicit and grotesque, being solely for the foreign tourist market. The FRELIMO philosophy also mitigated or "tamed" the influence of the male masquerade mapico (mapiko), which came to be seen as essentially oppressive to women. The mapico was "liberated" and became a cultural symbol for Mozambique; it is danced on national days and has even appeared on a postage stamp. The Makonde are, of course, famous for the wood carvings which bear their name. The tradition has existed among them for at least three centuries, when examples were brought back by Arab traders. It is likely that the tradition is much older than that.

Makonde people are highly specialized in making woodcarving

Originally naturalistic and impregnated with meaning, the carvings are now generally more abstract, in keeping with the tastes of tourists and collectors. The one thing the carvings have in common is that they are invariably carved from a single piece of wood, no matter how intricate the design. The best-known works are the 'tree of life' carvings in the ujamaa style, being intricately carved conjunctions of interlocking human figures representing both unity and continuity. Less well-known are the ritual masks, which were used by dancers who embody the forms of spirits and ancestors.
Earlier Makonde carvings generally depicted more traditional themes, often relating to various deities or rituals. Even today, the Makonde produce carvings of ordinary household objects such as bowls and walking sticks, although these are seldom seen for sale. While it can be argued that the extensive commercialization of Makonde carvings has had a negative impact on artistic and imaginative quality, it has not totally destroyed originality. On the positive side, it has had the effect of securing many carvers a livelihood which they would not have been able to achieve otherwise. Less well-known are the ritual masks, which were used by dancers who embody the forms of spirits and ancestors. Earlier Makonde carvings generally depicted more traditional themes, often relating to various deities or rituals. While it can be argued that the extensive commercialization of Makonde carvings has had a negative impact on artistic and imaginative quality, it has not totally destroyed originality. On the positive side, it has had the effect of securing many carvers a livelihood which they would not have been able to achieve otherwise.

Tanzania appreciates Chinese investment potentials

TANZANIA government has reiterated its commitment to continue offering a friendly investment environment to Chinese investors, as their contribution has shown a remarkable socio-economic development in the country. The call was made last week in Dar es Salaam by the Minister of Trade and Industries Dr. Cyril Chami during the occasion to mark the beginning of the new year of the Dragon, a traditional symbol of Chinese new year activities which is celebrated by Chinese community worldwide. The event which took place at Serena Hotel was hosted by Tanzania Standard Chartered Bank and attended by high ranking Chinese Ambassador accredited in the country Hon. Liu Kinsheng and some prominent Chinese business people and Chinese community members working in the country. Standard Chartered Bank (T) Ltd hosted the occasion in honour of its Chinese clients and customers in Tanzania so as to bring a mutually beneficial socio-economic development between Tanzania and China. The event was marked by a celebration of both the Chinese and Tanzanian culture through various activities. To appreciate Chinese investors' move and their efforts towards national development, Dr. Cyril Chami who was the guest of honour said that, Tanzania is happy with what the Chinese investors are doing to develop Tanzania in various sectors of development especially in construction industry. He said 1,860-kilometer Tanzania-Zambia Railway, better known as TAZARA, which was built in early 1970s by the generous support from China, with the assistance and cooperation of our own people. Among the few but bigger investment potentials the Minister mentioned is the recent construction of a 60,000-seat new National Stadium which is hailed as the most modern sports facility of its kind in East Africa, again was built with the Chinese support and by Chinese experts. The recent signing of an agreement between the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company (CRJE) to construct the 600-meter Kigamnboni bridge, marks yet another milestone of our partnership and relations. It will also create over 3,000 jobs out of which about 1,000 jobs are expected to be permanent. According to the Minister, Tanzania continues to offer raw materials such as cotton products, semi processed minerals such as copper ore and gold to China in addition to exporting finished wood, cashew nuts and coffee. Also given the country is endowed with massive water bodies - the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria, thus has been exporting sea food to China.

Tanzania's Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Cyril Chami

Members of Chinese community living in Dar es Salaam during the occasion

Commenting his views during the occasion, the Chief Executive of the Standard Chartered Bank, Jeremy Awori said that, his bank is a committed proponent of the socio-economic potential and benefits of the Africa-China trade investment corridor. He said “trade between the Asia-Africa corridor is striking a hallmark in international trade and investment”. He is optimistic that his bank has a deep local knowledge of both Africa and China and will continue to provide the necessary financial tools and strategic advice to Chinese companies doing business as in Africa. By end of 2010, the Asia-Africa trade corridor had exceeded the USD 110 billion mark and is expected that trade investment on this corridor will continue to grow. However, this figure will continue to rise as the trade relationships and economic partnerships between Tanzania and China continue to develop and grow. However, he said adding that, the bank's latest Chinese new celebrations in Tanzania are a further demonstration of the importance that the Standard Chartered bank is placing on its African and Chinese businesses. The latest efforts by the bank include the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2010 between Standard Chartered Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), establishing a strategic partnership to explore the joint development of business opportunities both within China and internationally, including Africa.

Improved policies for good governance is still a challenge to Tanzanians

HOW to achieve an improved governance in Africa including Tanzania has remained a miracle. The consequence is that the majority of people are weighed down by poverty, diseases and all manner of deprivations. Despite being in possession of good natural resources, still people's life is gloomy but many believe that it is not for lack of policies to change the situation but more generally is for the failure of leadership and poorly applied management methodologies across the country. At present, optimists are unanimous that to overcome the hurdle, the people need to get involved in their affairs. The development has provoked the need for more interaction among those in government and their subjects. With the evolution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), efforts are increasingly being made on how to bridge the gap. Already, the adoption of ICT has brought about a revolution and transformations on how people interact, live, and earn a living etc. It is interesting to note that with the appalling poverty and underdevelopment that have become the lot of most developing nations at present, the focus of world powers has centred on how the people could be integrated to play a role in the development of their constituencies. Tanzania's former Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye was recently quoted in a TV talk show interview conducted by ITV local Television as saying that, “good governance will not be attained in the country if the top most government leaders are directly or indirectly involved in grand corruption malpractice”. Hon Sumaye was on the view of the fact that, corruption has been a drawback of people's most social and economic development activities in the country. The former Premier used the opportunity to speak out his mind amid rumours that he was preparing to contest for the Presidency in the forthcoming general elections to be held in 2015. In order to ensure good governance among the people in the country, the Ex Premier urged the government of the fourth phase led by President Jakaya Kikwete that, “the government must held responsible all mischief makers to cleanse the CCM party whose reputation seems to have been politically polluted.

Two Ex-Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Fredrick Sumaye (right) and Edward Lowasa (left) shakes hands during one of the Executive meetings of the CCM party in Dodoma. Lowasa resigned from his position following an allegation levels to him on RICHMOND financial saga in parliament in early 2009

He further noted that, at the government must react quickly at the moment in order to restore the minds of the Tanzanians now, who have become almost untrustworthy with the ruling party. “He must do an extra work of suspending without notice all suspected party members who have in one way or another been implicated in financial scandals in the country” he said without fear. “Surely this is the only way of cleaning the party which has been scorned with numerous financial scandals” he said adding that, in order to bring confidence to the people, the party chairman should not be afraid of anyone else within the party's jurisdiction. Therefore, regardless of the opportunities presented by ICTs, without good governance, development strides may not or will not be achieved. ICTs should be viewed as a tool for development and not as a goal in itself as e-governance can only function well in an environment of good governance systems. In view of this, distribution or decentralization of power into self-governing local governance systems against the centralized system of governance dominantly practiced in the past will enhance the involvement of non-governmental actors or stakeholders in policy-making. People in the country have witnessed no right is done to many local people when it comes for the demand of their rights. An example is in rural areas whereby in some parts of this country small farmers continue to be displaced by foreign enterprises and the country’s resources are exploited nearly to depletion. It's very unfortunate to see that when all these are taking place, our local government officials who silently enters into a dubious contract with such investors turn a blind eye to such malpractice and instead becomes perpetrators as though the authorities are not there. Inadequate and unsustainable policies, inappropriate technologies and insufficient rural infrastructure and institutions combined with incidence of pests and diseases have led to increasing poverty, food insecurity and stalled development. An economist Ezekiel Mtayomba based in Dar es Salaam said, “if the present policies are not corrected, Tanzanians will be doomed to more poverty and hunger as small farmers continue to be displaced by foreign enterprises and the country’s resources are exploited nearly to depletion”. He further notes that, farming and livestock production, which are among the key driving forces for poverty alleviation in the country, are therefore increasingly being jeopardized as the government is doing very little to address the issues of poverty, food security and development. Despite various policies and strategies including the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (better known locally by its Kiswahili acronym MKUKUTA) and the National Development Vision 2025, there is no any special attention that is given to the unprivileged people in the country. Tanzania is among the developing countries, ranking 128 out of a total 168 countries in the world, and according to the Human Development Index, there is a slow down attributed by the government to the impact of global financial crisis as well as drought which affected agricultural production, hydro power generation and industrial production. Moreover, although agriculture employs a huge number of people in the country, about 33.6 percent of mainland Tanzania lives below the basic needs, while 16.6 percent live below the food poverty line. The number of poor people has increased in recent years by 1.3 million. The rate of unemployment is rising, thus the gap between the poor and the rich is getting wider. Worse still, the government and its machineries such as police and judiciary do not take effective actions to save local people. Although Tanzania has legislation on investment issues, there are a number of problems relating to foreign direct investment. This is the case, for example, with the signing of dubious mining contracts (e.g.,Buzwagi, Richmond and Dowans and IPTL between the government and foreign investors. Also land grabbing by State bodies in favour of foreign investors is on the rise, the open door policy of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) which is committed for attracting foreign investors, has been detrimental to local people. Small and Medium sized enterprises are unable to compete because they do not have enough capital and business expertise, while villagers are forcefully evicted to make room for foreign enterprises. Soil erosion and pollution are of particular concern in mining sites. In January 2009, for example, North Mara Gold Mines piled up about 2,000 tonnes of toxic debris without any precaution or assessment of its impact on the surrounding communities. When rains came, the debris was washed into river Tighite which serves the surrouding villages of Nyakunsuru, Nyamone and Weigita in the Mara Region, causing fish and trees to die. Deforestation is one of the main environmental problems that threaten the country. Despite 40 percent of the territory being preserved in parks, forests are rapidly shrinking in some regions. Deforestation rates have increased significantly over a decade ago.

An Islamic bank with a wider vision to help Tanzanian citizens.

The Dar es Salaam based Amana Bank Limited (ABL) which is fully owned by Islamic community in Tanzania and follows Islamic laws, is just almost one year old now. Within the shortest period of its operation in the country, the bank has shown signs of fast growing bank in the country that takes the interest of wider population of its customers regardless of their religious affiliations. The current Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Idris Rashid who has a vast experience in the banking sector in the country talks of the bank's services and other developments in an exclusive interview with this blog.

QUESTION: As a banker, what challenges do you face?

Ans: Amana Bank Limited is the first fully Sharia compliant bank in Tanzania which was granted a provisional license by the Bank of Tanzania on 4th February 2011. Two weeks later, the bank was incorporated with an authorized share capital of Tsh. 100 billion and paid up capital of Tsh. 21.5 billion. The bank started with one share holder and up to now it has managed to accumulate ten shareholders who jointly consulted a company for a business plan focussing on business and its way forward and took it to the Bank of Tanzania for approval.

QUESTION: With how much capital did you start your business?

Ans: In May 2011, we started with initial capital of Tsh. 21.5 whereas the minimum requirement is Tsh. 15 billion. After certifying the initial capital, the bank was given a full registration certificate by Business Registration Licence Authority (BRELA)

QUESTION: How many branch offices do you have currently

Ans: The bank is currently operating under one branch office located at Tandamti street at Kariakoo business suburb. But we have plans of opening other branch offices in locations as follows, by end of this month the bank is expected to open one branch office along Nyerere road in Dar es Salaam, and the main office at Golden Jubilee House in April, in May at Lumumba street all in Dar es Salaam. In June in Arusha city and in July in Mwanza city, whereas we are also planning to open a small branch office at Mbagala on the ouitskirts of Dar es Salaam city. In big branch offices, the bank is expecting to extend its service deliveries to its customers over the time up to 22:00 hours in the evening.

QUESTION: What credit rate does Amana Bank charge when a customers borrows money from the bank?

Ans: Since the bank is operating by following Islamic Sharia laws, we do not charge our customers credit rate for loan repayment as this is regarded as an illegal act before the lord God, and instead we do business with our customers. Whoever deposits with our bank in either current or savings account, we take money then we do business and after attaining the profit then we agree on how to divide it among us. For the case of a loan, what we do to our customers and our staff is that, “we do not give them cash money” and instead we buy the particular thing in need for which a loan is needed such as a Car, Television, Refrigerator or any business products for the case of business people according to their wish. For instance, if one wants a car and wishes to take a loan in order to acquire it, the bank guarantees for its price upon presentation of the proforma invoice. Le's say if the car is sold at Tsh. 7 million, then this would be given to him at the price of Tsh. 9 million. The interest accrued is for the bank once entered in agreement for loan repayment which is paid by installment. The same thing applies to business people, we do make a bulk purchase of the products needed for their businesses according to the costs verified. After the purchase of such goods is done by then bank, they are later handed to a customer for an agreed hire purchase price which is refunded according to the terms of agreement.

The Managing Director Dr. Idrisa Rashid

QUESTION: What do you call this type of business?

Ans: The business is called 'Murabaha'. It is a kind of a contract entered between a bank and a customer in need of a loan who must have an account with the bank as one creteria. The account can either be current or sarvings depending on the type of a bank account we have here. Besides having an account, a customer must also have a security bond as a collateral which would enable them to qualify for this transactions. So you see, we are not far different from what other banks are doing in terms of security for any transaction entered on behalf of the bank.

QUESTION: As a banker, what challenges do you face?

Ans: Challenges in every business is normal, and since we are the first established Islamic bank in the country which follows Islamic laws, we really have to take time in order to educate people on how the bank operates as our business is basically conducted in accordance to Islamic laws. “We must educate people in order to get to know all the operations in the bank.

QUESTION: How do you ensure your bank's laws are strictly followed?

Ans: The bank has established the Board of Directors which is made up of prominent business people and professionals from different backgrounds and provides guidance to the Bank. The Bank has also the Sharia supervisory Board which has to see that all that is being conducted with the bank goes alongside by the Islamic laws, the Board also approves all products, services and other processes as required such as auditing and other procedures are to be followed accordingly. The Sharia supervisory Board also has the responsibility of ensuring that the Muharaba loan contract which has seven steps is being strictly observed and followed. This Board is made up of prominent Islamic scholars drawn from within and outside Tanzania who works more closely

QUESTION: How do you fair in competition with other bankers?

Ans: Approach in competition with others is a normal think as far as Banking business activities is concerned. But for the Amana Bank Limited, we are proud that we provide the services by following the Islamic Sharia laws, but currently we are proud as our bank is unique in terms of operation and therefore we do not see if there is one to compete with us.

QUESTION: Are you engaged in corporate responsibilities?

Ans: At the moment the bank is in its infancy stage, in view of this, therefore we are not yet in a position to engage ourselves in such activities. It needs more preparations, and these would be in future as we move on, we expect to join the workforce into committing such social responsibilities for the benefit of our nation.

QUESTION: What is your prospects in terms of maintaining good relations?

Ans: We are prospecting to do other services related to SMS banking and Internet banking, we are also planning to form agents who would work on behalf of the bank in order to help push on our banking activities in the country. In this way, we expect to have big outreach associating with M Pesa agent and Tigo pesa as these are scattered all over the country. We are sure as the transactions will be made smoothly.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

City commuters in Dar es Salaam calls for police help

SOME Dar es Salaam city commuters have called on the regional traffic police to intervene in the current situation whereby they are experiencing problems of boarding commuter buses destined to their respective areas of domicile during evening and night hours. Interviewed passengers at Buguruni commuter bus stand complained that, “they have to connect their journey by boarding more than three buses in order to arrive to their respective homes before mid-nights”. Investigations by this blog paper has overlooked into the matter and found out that, the persisting problem is due to few commuter buses serving the area and the habit of some bus operators of not going the whole distance of their designated routes as required. The most affected passengers are those who head to far flung areas such as Gongo La Mbotto, Mbagala, Mwenge Tegeta and Mbezi. In order for them to reach their destinations, they have to make a number of connections an aspect which forces them to pay either thrice or more for a single journey. The growing scarcity of buses has caused commuters to be subjected to the harassment of scrambling to board the few available ones, the exercise which paves way for thieves who takes the advantage once mingle and pretends to be passengers with a view to make their mischief. A spot check at Buguruni commuter bus stop last week found scores of passengers who had been stranded at around 22:30 at night, most of whom were women and children who had traveled from other places like Mwenge, Tegeta and Ubungo waiting to connect their journeys to their final destinations in places like Gongo La Mboto, Mbagala, Jeti Lumo and as newly established Kitunda suburb. Speaking to this writer, some passengers expressed concern over the situation. They said they have been spending a lot of money everyday as fare to and from their work places. However, some of them have blamed the traffic police manned on the road for their failure to curb the situation. Those unable to afford such connections for a double trip journeys and pay more fares, spend more hours on the stage waiting for service and consequently find themselves reporting late at their homes.

Due to impeding situation, they have asked the police force (Traffic) to intervene in order to ensure their safety. Preliminary investigations over the matter has shown that, shortage of transport in some routes is an exacerbating factor which is largely caused by notorious habit which is being practiced by daladala drivers who are fond of diverting their routes. However, investigations by this paper further shows that, ‘the violation of changing legal routes by daladala operators is growing at an alarming rate in the city of Dar es Salaam and the deployed police traffic seems not to take serious actions on the spot to curb the defaulters’. Some interviewed passengers say that, “there is a high traffic demand in the evenings and night hours before mid night, hence commuter transport in between these hours is at its peak in most parts of the city suburbs as workers stream back home”. Lucas Mwenda, who resides at Mbagala works with Twiga Cement at Wazo on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city, has developed a tendency of waking up early at dawn and come back to his home at dusk. He wonders why traffic police is not taking an appropriate action against daladala defaulters so as to ensure smooth operations of the commuter service all along the long distance routes. According to him, this problem has been existing for a long time in most Dar city commuter routes and wonders that none of the law enforcers has tried to prevent the vice. “It is very disgusting to note that some commuter operators violate traffic rules openly and the traffic police do not bother to book them”, said one businessman who had been experiencing problems of boarding a commuter bus during evening hours. Cornered for comment, Public Affairs Manager of Surface and Marine Transport Authority (SUMATRA) David Mziray who admitted being aware of such violations, said his institution plans to revoke the driver’s licenses if found notorious of such malpractice. According to Dar es Salaam police traffic Chief, Mohammed Mpinga, his force is doing all it can in order to curb the vice. But due to few police traffic deployed on the road, and coupled by timeframe for which most daladala violates the rules, it has been difficulty to control the situation. According to him, the penalty for a driver who diverts his route is fined between Tsh. 10,000 and Tsh. 25,000 or withdrawal of his driving license for three weeks to six months or both. But critics have commented that, the punishment given to them was not enough to streamline the defaulters. Efforts to reach the Chairman of Dar es Salaam Bus Association (DARCOBOA) Sabri Mabrouk to comment on their members and their habit in general proved futile as we take this news to press.

BOT Boss causions on gradual economic transformations in the country

THE Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Professor Benno Ndulu has causioned that, there is a probability of the national economic downfall if basic necessities such as the power crisis in the country is not tackled so as to pave the way for the manufacturers to increase productivity. He has also warned the government not to keep on raising the cost of living to its people by increasing the prices of consumable goods and services such as power tariffs, which according to him is not a solution to a myriad social problem facing people in the country. Professor Ndulu who is an economist told the nation that, the increase of power tariffs and other services is one way of increasing problems as most manufacturers of goods uses their generators which uses fuel resulting into high cost operations. However, he has instead urged the government to look at how to tackle such problems. Professor Ndulu issued a warning in a one hour talk show interview which is normally conducted by a program presenter Adam Simbeye of this weeks perspective aired on every Friday by national TBC television station in Dar es Salaam.

BOT Governor, Professor Benno Ndulu
During the show, Professor Ndulu was asked by the presenter to highlight his views for the benefit of the country on the economic outlook and its prospects for the next 12 months, whereupon he urged the government to quickly work on the persisting power crisis.
He said the continued electricity power crisis is a large phenomenon which has affected to a large extent every means of production be it small, medium and large enterprises operating in the country, however he added that, everyone should play a role to ward off the existing problem in the country.“If power crisis is solved in the country, the move would help increase the production of foodstuff and people would yield abundant food crops, hence they would be in a position to help curb the looming food insecurity”. He said He has also stressed on the tightening of the liquidity and the availability of cash saying that the combination of these would help people to lead a normal life in the country. He urged the development sectors to play a key role to revive economy back. Other things on the part of national economic development he noted was the government should look at the sector of infrastructure in order to maintain the sustainability of the economy. “Infrastructure is one of the most important thing and if not that the economic growth for individuals in the country would continue to stagnate.

Attack against Maghufuli's decision is uneconomical, says residents

SOME residents in the city of Dar es Salaam have warned people who keeps on speculating the recent decision by the Minister for Works, Hon. Dr. John Maghufuli of raising the fare charges on a ferry pontoon across magogoni creek in Dar es Salaam, saying that the raging debate has nothing important to help solve the people's demands. Either they have called on a joint communiqué discussions as a way to solve the problem among the stakeholders of the transport industry rather than speculating the matter through media organs an aspect which according to them is likely to change the matter into a political agenda. The survey carried out in some parts of the city of Dar es Salaam can reveal that, there are different opinions of the people who critically have looked over the matter and have thrown a blame to the government for its consistent habit of increasing charges of service deliveries such as transport fares and other commodities without issuing a notice to consumers of such services.
The recent decision by Minister Maghufuli has formed a speculating debate which is still fresh in the minds of many Dar residents, the issue has dominated small groups gathered in discussions of their social affairs in different parts of various Dar city's suburbs including passengers in commuter buses.

The Minister for Works Hon. John Pombe Maghufuli
The discussions uttered has turned a new twist as some people seem to have upheld the decision of the Minister Maghufuli while the majority are resisting the move, saying that there was no legality for the Minister to raise such a fare to such an exorbitant rate which has astonished users of the pantoon. More worse, investigations by this paper can reveal that, what has angered most people is where the Minister used a scornful remarks while announcing the newly introduced pantoon fares when he said, “residents who could not afford the new fares should swim across the creek” This is an annoying remark says Zuberi Hamza a resident of Temeke. “The decision to raise the fare is not so much painful than the inflammatory statement made by the Works Minister,” says another Joachim Elias a resident of Buguruni. “I am not residing at Kigamboni, but what has inspired me to utter my mind is how our leaders uses their powers in this country to abuse even those who put them in power” he queried. Joachim was disgusted as he remembered way back in mid 1980s when one Minister for Finance made the same inflammatory statement amid the financial budget he had read in parliament, and as some MPs demanded for clarifications, he blasted them as saying that, “everybody shall carry his own burden” However, insisting on the rudeness of some national leaders, he said, “during the process of buying a presidential jet, the Finance Minister Basil Mramba told Tanzanians in a press conference that, they should get ready to eat grasses, but the government must use its money to buy the plane whose transactions was found to be controversy with the British based BAE Systems company.
Residents of Kigamboni suburb on board MV KIgamboni pontoon.

Some interviewed other residents said that, they had been in support of what the Works Minister has decided saying that, the old fare of Tsh. 100 had been used since 1997 about 14 years ago when the fare was last reviewed for the charges of a pontoon for a single trip journey. Despite of Kigamboni residents' outcry of the government to have placed a large financial burden on them, they have requested to change the fare back to Tsh 100 per person because the project is owned by the government and not by the private company. Apart from the increase in fare for the people, charges for the vehicles are also increased whereby small vehicles are now charged between Tshs. 800 and Tshs. 1,500, and pick up is between Tshs. 1,000 and Tshs. 2,000, while those carrying 3 tones and a half onwards are charged between Tshs. 5,000 and Tshs. 7,500. To defend his decision, earlier the Minister for Works Dr. Maghufuli said, in Tanzania there are more than 30 boat ferries in the country and each one is charging differently according to their distance covered and moreover the Kigamboni ferry is the lowest charged fare. He said in Chato district (his home town district), there is a boat ferry which charges Tsh. 300, the Pangani Tanga charges Tsh. 200, Kisolya in Bunda district it charges Tsh. 300, Lugorola Tsh. 500, Nyakarilo Tsh. 300, Kirambo Tsh. 500 and Utete in Rufiji Tsh. 300. According to Minister Maghufuli, fares for Kigamboni which he recently raised by 100 percent from Tsh. 100 to Tsh. 200 would be retained despite calls to review that from different people including some legislators of the Dar es Salaam region. He said the government worked accordingly to laws and regulations of the country and he had observed the ferry Act in changing the fares. However, he stressed that the decision to hike the fare was approved by Tanzania Electrical Mechanical and Service Agency (TEMESA) board members.

Strategies by TBS to curb imported counterfeit products is in place

THE vision of every producer and a manufacturer in the world is to make profits for any goods produced. In order to reach a production target, a manufacturer must produce goods which cater for the needs of consumers. A great profit margin of a product is attained when a particular product is able to fair in business competition with other products in the market. But in order to obtain good products sold at the market, close supervision of such products is the essential factors which enables their verification to see if they really conform to the required standards. The verification of products is prompted by good policies and laws for the purpose of ensuring quality standards set that overlooks the basic concepts of competition to suit the urge of consumers' demands. Statistics by National Commission for Trade Competition (NCTC) gives an estimation that between 30 and 40 percent of the imported products into the country are counterfeit, and great efforts by the authorities concerned to curb with the vice has developed considerably higher. Despite of their efforts of apprehending and destroying such goods, still the habit has been growing into an alarming rate in the country. Statistics reveals that most imported counterfeit products are those ones used for construction, electricity, chemicals, dry batteries and many others. Suppose these products could be grouped in categories of food and chemicals, surely their sale in Tanzania could result in numerous deaths to innocent people. In order to curb with this problem, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has been in the forefront to make sure that in Tanzanian market, there are goods which are of high quality standards with a view to protect its consumers against counterfeit products. Various strategic measures have been so far taken by this organization with the aim of protecting consumers. In a bid to reinforce its activities, a special team of TBS technical experts has been visiting sellers of various goods at their shops so as to investigate closely their consumable products with a view to discover any cheating that might be done by manufacturers or suppliers of such products. TBS has been making a surprise visit to many selling shops of such products and a tremendous achievement has been attained so far especially by building capacity to the community at large. Despite of these efforts shown by TBS, still great number of counterfeit products are being supplied and sold at the most cheap prices in various shops in the country. Due to their cheap selling prices, most Tanzanians refuses to effectively cooperate together in order to boycott them. In view of this situation, TBS has changed a style and has currently formed a strategic means through which it could enable such counterfeit products to disappear in the local market.

The Director General of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) Mr. Charles Ekelege handing over a certified certificate of a quality product to one representative of a manufacturing firm from Kilimanjaro region. The occasion took place last year in his office at Ubungo.

Narrating about the newly adopted system, the Director of Quality Control of the TBS organization Ms. Kezia Mbwambo, says that her organization has established a new planning system whereby it would have an overall control of the illegally circulated counterfeit products and the move would help protect the rights of consumers in the country. According to her, the newly introduced system would be done alongside with the ongoing exercise of physical verification of products displayed in shops and in stakeholders' stores. However, the newly system has been approved by in accordance to the organization's legal systems. The work will be done by agents to be selected later by TBS itself in a tender bid which would involve the inspection of imported goods and these agents will take on the responsibility of issuing permits for every imported products which conforms to the standards required by TBS. She says, the work will be executed by three International companies namely, Swiss based SGS Company, Bureau Veritas of France and Intertek International based in UK. The companies will be licensed to curb with the problem of counterfeit imported goods in Tanzania. After verifying the conformity of the imported products, a special certificate note will be issued to a particular product to prove that such a product is already inspected and a certificate of approval is issued to ascertain the technical work done as per rules and principles set by TBS standards. She further says that, this system has long been applied in other East African countries such as Uganda and Kenya and other countries within Africa before. In these countries she says, the system has proved a great success by adding the value of consumers of the imported products in their countries. “These companies have been given a great mandate to make sure that all imported products into the country do conform to the accepted standards as agreed by TBS”. She referred the system as 'Pre Export Verification of Conformity (PvoC). This means that, a product is inspected and given the required standards before shipment. According to Ms. Mbwambo, the aim of the system is to make sure that importers of goods follow the principles and rules imposed by the government's standards or either those ones accepted by international bodies such as ISO before being shipped. Another TBS official Mr. Joshua Katabwa says that, under the newly introduced system, the rate at which the supply of counterfeit products is increasing, will be reduced in Tanzania market. The exercise will also reduce to a lesser extent the effects caused by substandard products which are not safer for use. He says, it will help to maintain the health status of consumers and their protection against manufactured products which are below standards and also to remove any complications facing manufacturers who are induced to legal global trade competition. Narrating the most responsibilities of importers, he says they are supposed to issue a comprehensive service that meets the standards for best quality requirement. He further clarifies that, this is the only way to save Tanzania consumers of imported goods. He says there will be certain things to be to be taken into account such as the valuation bof dangerous products and plans for registered products with the exception of buyers and importers to show the highest quality standards by following the already passed technical principles Commenting on the move, the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industries Lazaro Nyalandu who is also an MP for Singida South says the work will help phase out counterfeit imported products which to a larger extent has dominated Tanzanian local markets. He says, the action is as a result of agreement reached upon between the Tanzania government in collaboration with international organizations which are well known throughout the world for the work of inspecting imported goods. According to him, the system under Pre export verification of goods would help remove or boycott all sub standard goods which are below international standards, hence the move will also help protect consumers and users as well. However, he clarified that, the government has decided to assign the international organization bodies to curb the escalating habit of importation of sub standard materials which is being practiced by few unscrupulous traders in the country as cheating in their business transactions had increased to high standard rate. Therefore he said, in order for the country to be on the safe side and free from accepting substandard goods in the market, the government and its subsidiary body has taken this drastic steps to curb with the unfaithful traders who tarnishes the good image of Tanzania market with counterfeit products. In view of this, traders will also be in a position to do their businesses freely with care, hence ensuring high quality goods thus they will risk themselves from incurring loses resulting from confiscation and destruction of their properties if found to be counterfeit. Speaking under strict condition of anonymity when contacted for comments by this paper, one of the famous businessman in the city of Dar es Salaam has advised the companies which have won TBS tenders to do so even to those goods exported to Zanzibar in order to curb unscrupulous traders who might diverge the trend and transport their goods through Zanzibar port and manage to venture into Tanzania mainland with ease. He says if Zanzibar is in the process of establishing a bureau standard company of their own, it is better for this new system introduced by TBS to take effect to curb counterfeit products currently venturing into the Island. He urges that, it's a challenge which has to be looked at broadly for security reasons as one way to protect the Tanzania market.

Msimbazi street, a wonderful shopping spree for ICT tools in downtown Dar es Salaam

IMAGINE that it is your first time to have visited Msimbazi street in down town Dar es Salaam, geographically the street passes across Kariakoo main commercial suburb. The street forms a boundary of the main business centre to the east and residential houses to the west. It is a famous street with shops selling together with other things different types of communication devices including cell phones one can choose from one of the scattered shops around. In a great astonishment, you might become so excited and rather confused when you happen to walk along the street, you might get some difficulties while trying to force your movement through if in a hurry as the area is overcrowded with people all the time throughout the day. Despite of the story being told now and then about the street, the truth is that, “It is too disturbing to see that people who walk along the street are not happy as they encounters with scores of petty traders some holding their merchandise in hands, while the majority spreads them down on the ground in an unhealthy condition mostly along the pavements full of filthy”. But everyone seems to be busy and never cares about the situation seen around while walking along especially at this time of the year when Christmas occasion, the biggest ever celebrated at the end of the year, is around the corner. The presence of petty traders is a common phenomenon which gives an indication of failure of city askaris in their efforts to remove them from trading in such restricted areas. But because of their increase in number, the city askaris seems most likely to have been overpowered by them.

Their presence along the street and in pavements has become a menace and always inconveniencing passersby who tend to be in a hurry rushing to attend important appointments somewhere in the city. “I compare the area like a famous market square in India near Lajpath Nagaar, the biggest market on the outskirts of the New Delhi city as I can remember, I have ever been in that place about ten years ago”. But the difference in between is that, only the nature of the products being sold in these Msimbazi shops is mostly electronic and communication ICT tools such as handset cell phones, television sets, radio systems, and many other modern DVD compacts that plays music and videos. As you walk along, you will encounter lots of disturbing things. Apart from the vibrations caused by passing vehicles around, one could hear sounds of music opened in large volumes coming out of the shops constructed as though they all belong to one landlord. Apart from such disturbing noise which by all circumstances is unavoidable, one may hear someone touting in a unique voice as though attracting the attention of prospective buyers to attend a shop selling cheap products nearby. These voices are a common style all over the place alerting passersby of cheap selling products, it is purposely for a road side promotion for any product being touted by one who at the end of the day, earns his living on a commission basis. It is sometimes very funny indeed as one can hear the message piercing the air in loud external speakers strategically located at the entrance of a large shop displayed with modern varieties of ICT products. It is a common tale among the residents of most Dar es Salaam city suburbs who maintains the true facts that if you want to buy an electronic gadget, just go along Msimbazi street and visit any shop that would cater for your need. Indeed this is true to the fact, but it is not true that all these products bear the same quality and characteristics as one person remarked one day. Quite a good number of these products especially cell phones do not have long life span. Sospeter Mawala a resident of Vingunguti was happy when he was sure he had bought a cell phone handset NOKIA type at a selling cheap price of Tsh. 25,000 if compared to other types in order to communicate with. But to his great dismay he was surprised to see that within two days' time, his newly bought handset staggered communication system even before the given one week expiry time for its guarantee period. This short period of guarantee must bring a suspicion to a buyer, which ironically is different from other shopkeepers selling the same type of cell phone handset and offers a guarantee of between one and six months. The most amusing thing is that, a buyer who tend to return the handset to owners refuses to refund the money paid and instead advises their customers to exchange with another handset and continue with another time of guarantee, says Sospeter who bought one three weeks ago. Narrating this sad story, after having visited a shop at Msimbazi street he became interested with one handset upon promotion of their cheap prices. Within two day's time, when he had discovered of its defections to communicate he decided to return to the buyer. Upon his arrival with his receipt in his hands, buyers refused to refund him money and instead was forced to replace the defective one with another handset which had the same problem as with the former one. Amir Hamish, a Tanzanian of Asian origin who is an agent trading in cell phones at one of the shops along Msimbazi street said in an interview that, most handsets lacks new batteries and requires regular charging to keep them alive and failure to that most handsets fails to communicate effectively. According to him, most handsets which are sold at the most cheapest prices are prone to blocking the whole system of communication because their internal mechanism is old and already phased out from their country of origin.

As Tanzania is celebrating her 50th anniversary of its independence, various ministries and their agencies have been showing up their achievements and most activities to the general public chanting the slogan “We dared, we succeeded and we are forging ahead”, The slogan seems to be meaningless for local consumers of some imported products which are being sold in the country owing to the fact that, most of them are being checked to conform their fitness and quality standards. Despite of sectoral development initiatives undertaken by other sectors in the country, ICT industry stakeholders are still in a dilemma as they are yet not to be in a position to be assured of their good quality products. This is due to some existing unscrupulous traders who do not value the quality assurance of their products which they sell to the people and instead engage in supplying substandard products to would be their consumers in the market. Investigation can establish that most cheap selling handsets which are displayed on sale in some shops along Msimbazi main shopping centres are counterfeit and do not meet the standards required. Most of these handsets, despite of their attractiveness are unable to smoothen communication. With the advent of mobile telephony in Tanzania that began in mid of 1990s, mobile handsets were expensive with the cheapest costing the upward of Tsh. 1 million. Today some handsets costs as little as Tsh. 9,000 a piece.

Ministry's market information systems network in offing

LOCAL agriculturalists and manufacturers in the country will now be accessing information about prices and get to know reliable markets for their products with ease and on time. This follows plans by the Ministry of Indusry and Trade of designing and putting in place an integrated market information systems for them. A Senior Trade Officer with the Ministry said last week in Dar es Salaam that, “an ICT consulting company by the name of Data Works Associates Ltd has been tasked by the ministry to prepare a comprehensive information system database to which all the information will be accessed”. Wilfred Trases Kahwa said in an exclusive interview with the writer of this blog that, “the move will enable industry stakeholders to access on timely and accurate market information from within and outside the country which would enable them to know the current prices in circulation and market demand for their products”. According to him, This is a broad database which will contain big volume of the up-to-date information about agricultural and industrial products so that people will be accessing not only information about prices and markets, but also the availability of business opportunities. Contrary to what is currently happening, farmers and industrialists in the country do encounter some difficulties of getting little or insufficient information about prices and markets for their local products and this is because of the fact that, most of these are prepared manually. He said the work will be done in collaboration with the world Bank a brain behind the move, who after carried a research on Diagnostic Trade Integrated Study (DTIS) in 2003 with objective of assessing Tanzania whether it's competitive internationally in terms of exports, found it to be extremely incapable The World Bank outlined basic reason is that Tanzania entirely depends on traditional exports whereas non-traditional exports are not up-to-date. It also found that the available market and price information indices for Tanzanian agricultural and industrial goods were insufficient and shallow. Due to this, the World Bank therefore suggested that Tanzania must look for the means how it can collect and keep its local market information for heir products and put them in place for easier access. In view of this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry joined hands with the World Bank to start working for the comprehensive market database information system. Describing the importance of the whole system, he said that, the system intended to be created will help rural people especially farmers to know where to supply agricultural products and the level of prices, likewise farmers will be informed on their availability of farm inputs and their prices. The Ministry is also looking for the possibility of establishing broader markets which will be linked to district councils in the country where it will be easy to obtain first hand information on the supply of agricultural products. Internet services, notice boards in district councils, newspapers and mobile text messages are some of the mass media means through which the market information will be disseminated under the system intended in order to reach all people and key stakeholders. Having precise market information database, this would facilitate in discovering untapped internal as well as external potentials in the East African Community, AGOA and Asian markets. The system will further improve the flow of information to traders, businesses and farmers and facilitate both domestic and international trade. The network will enable them get connected and linked with global partners for the sake of acquiring information about market products and their prices. Analyzing the importance of this market information network he further noted that, it would provide accurate. accessible, convertible and timely demand driven market information which would be disseminated through into a broader elaborate and convertible systems that will integrate further Tanzania trade dealings into global trading systems through enhanced exports. When contacted for comments, an official from the World Bank Tanzania office based in Dar es Salaam Dr. Jesephat Kweka said his institution started to support the program in 2003 in order to complement government's efforts in enhancing market potentials for the locally produced products as one of the strategy in poverty alleviation. Therefore, In view of this, the World Bank official noted that an effective and efficient market information system is an important tool for attaining a real economic development in a country like Tanzania.

Working environment for foreign investors, what of local investors?

TANZANIA government has reiterated its need of continuing creating a conducive working environment for foreigners who comes to invest in the country so that more should come and invest. The call was made last week in Dar es Salaam by the Minister of State responsible for privatization and empowerment Dr. Mary Nagu during the launching of the newly introduced tea brand by Tanzania Tea Parkers (TATEPA) known as “Chai Tausi” The Minister who was the guest of honour during the launching ceremony said, “the government has appreciated the role being played by the foreign firms in the country for providing employment to youths”. However, she insisted the promotion of the foreign firms as a sole means to achieve national economic development. She said while defending her points that, “most nations in the world depend primarily on industrial sector for the National Domestic Product, a result of which the sector provides employment to youths in the country”. However, she has also praised the tea factory which she said has increased the value of investment and provide employment to local Tanzanian youths, thus increasing the national revenue.

Dr. Mary Nagu addressing a meeting
She has also asked those who have invested in industrial sector to corporate with local farmers in the country so that they could own shares in these sectors as a way of empowering them. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the TATEPA group, Joseph Mungai (Former cabinet Minister) proud himself by saying that, his organization was the first industry in Tanzania to be listed in Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) whereby up to now it has 1,600 shares distributed to local people. According to him, TATEPA is highly incorporating with small tea farmers in Rungwe district in Mbeya region whose income has helped to raise standards of living of the people within the district. The Minister’s call could not be hailed to pass through as some local investors have seen how badly they are being mistreated and denied of some basic rights entitled to them by the government when it comes to the whole issue of national investments. Cornered by the writer of this news, a local investor complained that, it was not good for the government to give five year holiday tax free to foreign investors in the country while leaving local investors with huge tax revenues to contend with in their first five year of trading. He explained his queries in deep grief that if the government should continue the trend, foreign investors would take advantage of evading tax by changing the names of their business enterprises by taking an advantage on pretext of evading tax to the government. He said it’s not good when local investors are not given their rights it deserves and it is a great surprise to see that the government only pays attention to foreigners who comes to invest in our country. Haruna Kiyembo a local entrepreneur asks to find out that, “If the government is striving hard to create a conducive environment for foreign investors, now what about local investors? What environment has there been put in place in order to save their businesses from collapsing? An economic specializing on entrepreneurship skills in the country, Mrs. Consolata Masalu could not hesitate to make a comment when contacted. She said that, the government is not playing a level ground to implement trends of investment policies. She is on the view of the fact that, local investors do not have a good chance to develop in this country and only that foreigners seems to have taken the more vulnerable opportunities available and benefits alone. She is therefore suggesting that, the government must also look at the local investors in order to empower them wherever necessary

Plans to ease congestion at KIA airport is in place

BOTH Domestic and International passengers destined and boarding at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), the second largest in the country will now be relieved of the long standing congestion currently disturbing them at the airport. This follows plans which are already in place that aims at executing a major rehabilitation work which is scheduled to take place at the airport at any time from now. Sources have said In order to accomplish the project, the Royal Government of the Netherlands has issued a grant of Tsh. 57.5 billion in total value, the money it had pledged last November to Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) after it had signed a contract for the expansion work. In view of this, a major extensive rehabilitation work is due to take place for the expansion of ground work services at the airport. This will be done for the expansion of the main runway to enable safety landing of planes. Other rehabilitation work would involve the expansion of the passengers’ reception lounge, luggage inspection section, as well as modern car parking. These would be rehabilitated so as to accommodate as more passengers as they would be required. According to the Managing Director of the Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company (KADCO) the company which is mandated to supervise all the operational activities at the airport, Marco Van Kreeke the move is in line to curb the congestion of the passengers when checking in and out of the airport.

Kilimanjaro International Airport as it look from outside its main gate.

Other reasons he mentioned is that, the completion of the rehabilitation work will help elevate the current status and the reputation of the airport in order to meet the demand and fair in competition with other airports both domestically and internationally. Sources said that, the first phase of the rehabilitation work would involve the preparation of the architectural drawings of the airport which is expected to start early next year when money pledged by the donors would be out. The drawings are expected to be completed between June and August next year (2012) and the work will be done and closely supervised by a Netherlands based consultancy firm of its National Airport Corporation (NACO) Earlier, the government of Tanzania and that one of the Netherlands signed a contract in November 2011 under which the latter would disburse funds to enable the rehabilitation work for the expansion of ground work services at KIA airport whose construction is set to commence in the year 2013.

US Presidential plane at the KIlimanjaro International Airport. This was when the 43rd US President Mr. George .Walker Bush visited Tanzania.

According to him, once the work is complete, the airport expects to increase the number of passengers as this would match with the number of aircrafts at the airport. However, he said adding that, at KIA the total number of passengers has increased from 200,000 in 2002 and is expected to reach 650,000 passengers by end of this year, statistics shows that, this is an increase of over 300 percent. When contacted for comment on the development of airports in the country, an anonymous government official from TAA said that, KIA is an international airport, the second leading in the country, despite of its international status, still it lacks important ground work service facilities it deserves. He said the government has long been looking at the possibility to help putting the operation to deserve its international status in order to match competitively with other airports in the world In 2005 Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) underwent a sensitive project for rehabilitation and upgrading of pavement on its biggest airport in the country, as by then named Dar es Salaam International Airport (DIA) which currently known as “Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport”. The rehabilitation work was done on Taxiway, apron and other facilities such as Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) and sewerage systems. The work is linked to the fruits of TANZAVIA project whose objectives are to improve safety. According to him, TAA decided to undergo such a massive rehabilitation work due to deterioration of pavements that causes inconveniences resulting into frequent failures of aircrafts during taking off and landing. TANZAVIA project means “the functional entity established to consolidate and develop the mutual co-operation known as “Twin Relations” that exists between the governments of the Netherlands and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Vodacom with its MMTT leads Tanzania market

SINCE the introduction of Mobile Money Transfer Technology (MMTT) in Tanzania way back in 2008, Vodacom Tanzania Limited, has been in the forefront to implement its system of M-Pesa money services in order to reach the people in rural areas with ease. Currently, the company stands with over 7.5 million subscribers with M-Pesa accounts, thus covering the largest market share in the local Tanzania market whereby other mobile phone companies do implement the same technology. Statistics by Bank of Tanzania (regulator of money transfer) shows that, the total number of subscribers of these services in all mobile operating phone companies as at 30th September 2011 stands at 17.7 million. Vodacom which seems to be the leading has a volume of an average of 600,000 transactions per month. These transactions include deposits, withdrawals, transfers, pay bills (Luku, DAWASCO water bills, DSTV, buy airtime and many others). About US$ 3 million is collected as a value which includes all these transactions. According to Vodacom Financial Services Manager, Innocent Ephraim, Vodacom covers these transactions all over the country through its more than 15,000 agents in rural and in urban areas across the country. The firm has an efficient coverage which is available all the time in these areas. The introduction of MMTT in Tanzania started slowly with many subscribers taking off the strides. However, as this concept involves usage of technological related products such as mobile phones to provide services, has been possible due to integration of banking services.

Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director Mr. Rena Bana talks to journalists (not in the picture) during the launching of mobile money through western union, a joint communique with the South African based Western Union branch office. The occasion took place at Kilimanjaro Kempiski Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in early November 2011.

But slowly, as the concept takes off slowly by slowly, Vodacom Tanzania Ltd has engaged more in awareness by advertising the technology through road show campaigns and consequently managed to employ people to educate their clients on the importance of the money transfer technology. Other sensitization programs the company engages with is through media advocacy programs mostly through mass media such as radio broadcasts. Radio education campaigns by use of community based radio stations, regional radios based in Mbeya, Mwanza and Dodoma cities respectively. The company also used national radios with wider frequency coverage to sensitize the masses in the whole country. These are Radio Free Africa based in Mwanza, Radio One and TBC1 national radio stations based in Dar es Salaam. In addition to that, the company is striving to make sure that, its customers gets their information at the respective registered agents across the country. They have stationed posters that portray the importance of M-Pesa money transfer as a new technology. Since its inception, the company is highly proud to have a acquired more skills and knowledge to drive its operations. It has increased the number of its agents who are now scattered all over the country. With this business that use M-Pesa money transfer, Vodacom has managed to subscribe 7.5 million customers in the country. Apart from that, the company has created employment of over 500 staff since its establishment in 2000. These have been stationed in its various branch offices in the country. It has also created over 30,000 jobs who works on commission basis in their M-Pesa agent offices across the country. “This is a huge achievement indeed when it comes to meeting ordinary Tanzanians” says Innocent Ephraim. However, he added that, Vodacom has revolutionized people how to send money in easier way and in quick transaction to rural people at large. Other achievements is where the CCBRT hospital is using M-Pesa money transfer technology to transport its rural female patients who suffers from Fistula disease to their Dar es Salaam based hospital headquarter. This is really a life changing of doing things. On money fraud cheaters, Vodacom has been dealing with this issue in order to save its customers who had been complaining of insecurity of their money sent to them. However, Vodacom has enlightened their customers to keep secret their pins as this is important to avoid leakage and shouldn't whatsoever share it with other people. In order to strengthen money transfer technology in the country, Vodacom Tanzania Ltd has joined forces with an international Western Union to facilitate cross border money transfer technology so as to enable people outside the country to send money to Vodacom subscribers of M-Pesa account. The key feature is that, the recipient gets money immediately.

ZUKU TV hits 35,000 subscribers in East Africa region

ABOUT 35,000 subscribers have been registered by the Wananchi Group company for its Zuku TV brand within East Africa region for the last six months since its establishment in 2007. The company's CEO, Mr. Richard Bell said in a statement he issued early this week in Dar es Salaam that, Zuku has been very well received in East Africa regional market and its efficiency has been part of the company's successes. The company which recently launched its TV brand in Tanzania is the first East African home entertainment brand that provides Pay TV service and its commitment to providing fresh, innovative and affordable entertainment for the “Wananchi” (citizens) The company is extremely delighted with the uptake of Zuku Satellite TV products that have experienced unprecedented demand for the genuine product.

The top most managers of the Wananchi Group from Kenya. The company has invested in satellite television in Tanzania.
The CEO has however assured the company's customers that they are in the process of replenishing their stocks in time for the festive season. According to the statement, ZUKU TV brand has especially been snapped up by consumers residing out of Nairobi city, increasing TV penetration to other countries in order to offer its services to consumers in 11 different countries across Africa. Such countries includes South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Burundi and Rwanda. Others are Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya. ZUKU TV offers a wide selection of entertainment channels covering news, sports, movies documentaries and music. Wananchi company was established in 2007 and has been the leading provider of cable and Internet services in East Africa. It’s also positioned to become the premier media operator in the region.


Last year, Tanzania celebrated its 50th independence anniversary in style and a climax of this important historic occasion took place at the national level at Mwalimu Nyerere show grounds formerly known as Sabasaba grounds along Kilwa Road in Dar es Salaam. Various Ministries and government agencies including various government parastatal organizations, participated by way of advertising their activities and efforts they had made towards the achievement of their performance attained after 50 years’ of the country’s independence period. Down here is a pictorial scene of what happened.

A child takes a rest on the back of a police horse which was brought at the ground for show. Photographers took advantage of making business as people became interested to be photographed while on the back of a horse like this little child as seen on the photo above.

This is a round about at the centre of the Mwalimu Nyerere show ground popularly known as Sabasaba ground. The grou7nd which serves as an international trade fair which takes place during June and July, has been reformed to have a status of an international outlook.

This is a staffed cow brought by the Ministry of Agriculture and livestock at the ground for show.

The Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources was the centre of all, as many people and show goers were impressed at some staffed carnivorous animals such as lion and a leopard as seen in the photo.

This is also the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Despite of the huge income the government is earning annually from tourists who comes to visit Tanzania and see its natural heritage, the country is still curbed with extreme poverty.

This was the Ministry of Finance which had displayed its Finance Ministers who had been holding the ministry since independence. Their photos were displayed at the entrance of the hall.

This was the inside of the Ministry’s hall known as Karume Hall at Mwalimu Nyerere show ground.

A cultural troupe entertaining the people who had thronged at the show ground, They could be seen here performing their concert.

This is a farm well planned and organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs the division of Tanzania Prisons. The area has almost covered an acre of a land inside the show ground. It depicts what the Prisons is doing in terms of agriculture.

New farming implements for 'Kilimo Kwanza'

People takes a look at the newly introduced agricultural implements currently used to facilitate the concept of ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ in the country (Meaning Agriculture First). The newly brought farming machine tools are controlled by the experts at the Ministry of Agriculture in the country.