Saturday, April 21, 2012
THE National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) has outlined five major areas as key roles which if followed by Banks operating in the country, the initiatives could enable to empower Tanzanians in all aspects of economic development and ultimately reduce their poverty stricken situation. NEEC's Executive Secretary Dr Anacleti Kashuliza said in his paper presentation titled “The Role of Banks in empowering Tanzanians” during a meeting with Tanzania Bankers Association (TBA) stakeholders which was held last week in Dar es Salaam. According to Dr. Anacleti, the suggested areas that the banks can play as major key role are in Product and services, Bank outreach, Technology uptake, Financing in key economic areas and Banks' involvement in Micro-finance, saying that, are the most crucial for empowering Tanzanians. He says, banks should design products and services which suit Tanzanian market to enable more Tanzanians to access it. Currently most of the products are designed basing on the banks requirements rather than being customer driven. “Banks' products such as mortgage and leasing finance should be at the fore front to transform lives of Tanzanians”, he said adding that, by accessing such products it could attract the large population as many would like to have their own houses so as in the long run, they could be in a position to improve their livelihood and accelerate economic growth. On Banks' Outreach programs he said that, “access to finance is limited for both urban and rural population. Most of the banks tend to concentrate in urban areas and leave potential untapped market in the rural areas”. In view of this, he therefore insists that, Banks should go to the rural areas and increase the reach and coverage of consumer outreach initiatives. This can be done through agency and the technological support. Technological innovation has played a transformative role in extending affordable financial services, particularly to the rural population. Technology has offered financial institutions the means to reduce transaction costs and hence allowing financial services to be delivered more rapidly and more conveniently to broad sections of the population. In view of the above factors, Dr. Anacleti says that, “Banks should exploit the advancement of technology in reaching more population in the country at affordable costs. Under the role of 'Financing in Key economic sectors', Commercial banks concentration of loans is in quick turnover businesses, and according to him, they should focus more on financing key empowering sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing which employ the majority of Tanzanians. In view of this, NEEC is urging the TBA members to deliberately support the growth of key economic sectors which employ majority of the population such as agriculture. This could be through creating agriculture window financing which match with the agricultural conditions in the country. On Banks' involvement in Micro-finance, the paper is quoted as saying that, Commercial banks in the country dominate the financial markets in Tanzania as they have not extensively participated in micro finance activities which touches a large section of middle and low income groups. The demand of funds in micro-finance can be met if commercial banks change their attitude towards the micro-finance market and become important players. In view of this, NEEC has commended the role played by five major banks in the country in their effective facilitation. The banks are CRDB Bank Ltd, Akiba Commercial Bank, The Tanzania Postal Bank, The Mkombozi Bank and National Micro-finance Bank which have shown some interest and participated in this market by offering Micro-finance Services and products for the purpose of not only making profit but also to alleviate poverty of the customers, and create opportunities for change and growth. In order to take economic empowerment forward, sectoral and multi sectoral initiatives are required to realize the desired results. Though the Banking sector in Tanzania has shown tremendous growth in volume and complexity during the last few decades, there are challenges which can be turned into opportunities as joint efforts are deployed. The Limited access to finance of both urban and rural population is partly due to lack of financial literacy which enhances financial inclusion and consumer protection. According to Finscope survey of 2009 on access to financial services which NEEC quoted in its paper, only 10 percent of the population has access to formal monetary operations whereas 54 percent are basically excluded completely.
A foreign company by the name Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Ltd (AOTTL) dealing with the tobacco exports in the country since 2005, has invested a total of US$ 50 million (about Tsh. 75 billions) in tobacco exports in the country, thus becoming the leading tobacco exporter. It has been learnt. The company's Managing Director Mark Marson said last week in Dar es Salaam during his meeting with editors when briefing his company's successes and challenges for last year's trading period. He said the success of his company has been attained as a result of such a heavy investment which the company has incurred since it started operation in the country in 2005. Initially the company had invested about US$ 40 million which was used for processing plant, making its factory one of the best in Africa. In 2011, the company added new investments of US$10 million bringing the total value of investment by AOTTL in Tanzania to date to approximately US$ 50million. However, he could not disclose the profit his company has earned since then. “We acknowledge and appreciate that the investment environment is conducive, and that the TIC (Tanzanian Investment Center) played an important role in helping us with our investment”, he said adding that, AOTTL has continued to invest each year directly in infrastructure at the factory, and in the field.
ALTHOUGH Tanzania government has been touting to show that its economy has grown up to a certain level, economists say that, the high inflation rates continues to haunt consumers of the basic human necessities mainly due to various factors including poor economic means of production. James Dyoya, an international trade economist said that, “there is no way people's life would be improved in the country if the basic means of economic production such as infrastructure would not be improved in order to help larger population of rural people whose economic activities relies on subsistence farming. Basing his factors on Tanzania context, he said that, Tanzania farmers do not produce to the satisfaction to enable the surplus to be sold outside the country an aspect that is causing the basic economy on the production of food crops to be into a lower scale. The situation is sometimes aggravated by high costs of imported fertilizers and farm chemicals used by farmers. In addition to that even to those lucky farmers who produces a substantial amount of food crops and manage to sell the surplus, are mostly affected by poor infrastructure when it comes to transportation of their food crops thus exacerbating the high costs which is characterized by high demand. The transport industry depends on imported fuel to run agricultural machineries such as tractors to enable cultivate large farms in rural areas, thus this dependence requires foreign money to purchase. Since most farmers are unable to do that, the probability of refilling the needy gap is impossible. About 85 percent of the goods sold in various local markets in the country are imported and 15 percent are locally manufactured. This trend in future will put Tanzania into a bad state of economy as it will be the market of other country's products. He said. However, he noted that fast moving commodities for basic human needs such as toothpaste, soaps, clothes, shoes, some edible oil, Jam and ointments and many others, have dominated the local market and this is a clear indication that, the locally produced goods do not satisfy the demand of consumers at the local market. The presence of imported goods at a local market is an indication which shows that, the structure of the national economy is low and moreover is squeezed into foreign dominated investment to the extent that large scale production of the basic needs is foreign owned. He also noted that, in large scale areas of productions such as in big factories like mining, breweries, cement factories, as well as in services orienting sectors such as in the Telecommunications industry whereby service economy is dominated by foreigners such as mobile operating companies. As a result foreigners dominates the economy as all the major economic resources are in their hands because of the fact that almost all bigger industrial production investments which attracts foreign currency are dominated by them. In order to counter all these, the government should count and list down the problems which are associated with the economic means of production especially in rural areas in a bid to expand the production capacity and set out various ways to curb the implementation plan so as to overcome the menace .According to his views, he suggests that, each ministry in the country should budget their problems in order to counter check them and see how to deal with each one of them if they would be likely to be invested in the form of projects. On the side of the national budget, he said looks at the recurrent expenditure which are to as greater extent is being financed by donors who impose conditions which can't give something tangible to eliminate the existing problems in the country. The reasons for this according to him is that, donor countries are the once who have invested in big industries in the country covering 95 percent of the national economy. Another economist Professor Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam says that, in order to punch out economic hardships among the people of Tanzania, the industrial economy should not be left in the hands of foreign investors as they hide huge profits back to their mother countries. According to him, he therefore suggests that, this must be controlled by the indigenous and private sectors in the country. On the other hand, he has said that, people especially the youths who constitute 80 percent of the workforce in every production unit must be made to work diligently in order to produce more.
A Senior University Lecturer has blamed the government for its failure of not taking appropriate and serious steps in order to revive the operations of the dwindling central railway line, which since independence had been the pillar of the national economy for transporting goods. He wonders as to why the government has turned a blind eye to such a viable economic feature, noting that embezzlement shown on such crucial matters has contributed to a high inflation rate to a certain extent. Professor Humphrey Moshi of the Economics department at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said in last week in Dar es Salaam that, “railway transport is the most important means of economic production and if properly used, could eradicate some of the economic troubles currently facing the nation”. He has observed that, the continued lack of seriousness by government top officials including the Ministry of Transport on the basic economic matters especially on railway transport infrastructure would continue undermining the country's economy to a greater extent as most subsistence crops and those of the commercial which needs quick transport would not reach to their consumers. He targeted the central railway line and said is not only vital for the transportation of passengers, but from the economic point of view, the railway is vital for the transportation of exports and imports for the neighbouring landlocked countries such as DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia through Dar es Salaam harbour. He also mentioned another railway line which has long been forgotten that serves the eastern zonal regions in the country which starts from Dar-Tanga-Moshi and Arusha terminals, this he wondered currently does not operate for unknown reasons. He asserted that, railway is an efficient means of production of the economy of any country, and its reliability has ensured a smooth transportation of goods from within and outside the country. Unlike road transport which requires intensive repair and regular maintenance an aspect that cannot quicken the pace of economic development in the country. Professor Moshi highlighted these issues immediately after he had advised the Economic Social Research Foundation (ESRF) on other basic research on economic issues during the launching of the firm's Medium term strategic plan of 2012-2015, that the ESRF would undergo for another three years. Earlier, he commended the work done by ESRF which has been in operation for the last 18 years to be good, but noted that the implementation of their plan should more concentrate on private sector as a basic role of economic matters. In his views, Professor Moshi urged the ESRF to address the major constraints of the poverty stricken situation from the grassroots levels, noting that it is very difficult to reduce the high rate of inflation in the country if there is no effective transport means to support agricultural economy. On his views, he assumes that transport is still poor in the country especially from most food crop producing regions. ESRF is embarking on the fifth phase medium term strategic plans taking into account that need to research and build capacity on priority issues highlighted during Tanzania's mid-term development plan, the current five year plan *2011/12 to 2015/16), which focuses on addressing productive capacity constraints in addition to encompassing the objectives spelt out in MKUKUTA II strategies. The ESRF's Executive Director, Dr. H. Bohela Lunogelo said during the launching ceremony that, his organization is currently looking for fund which would enable them to concentrate mainly on five different research agendas of unleashing the country's economic growth potentials. He noted that, the plan's core programs reflects the objectives of MKUKUTA II, Mini-Tiger Plan 2020, and key sector strategies in Agriculture, Livestock, Mining, Tourism and similar industries. He further noted that, the program would address challenges for a more inclusive growth necessary for the substantial reduction of poverty in Tanzania. He mentioned the broad themes as the main research areas as Inclusive growth and wealth creation, Social services, protection and quality of life, Natural resources and environmental management, Governance and accountability and Globalization and regional integration. Under each broad theme, several sub-themes have been developed reflecting outstanding issues. Sub-themes proposed are geared towards achieving specific objectives, and building on the broad ESRF objectives.
RESIDENTS of East Arumeru constituency in Arumeru district, Arusha region will soon benefit free water supply following the donation of 10 water wells worth over Tsh. 150 million in estimates which will be built within the region by a famous Dar es Salaam based businessman. Mustapha Jaffer Sabodo made a pledge yesterday in Dar es Salaam when talking to journalists at his residence, noting that, the offer is in honour of the recent victory attained by Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) party. In addition to that, Sabodo has also pledged 100 bicycles (worth over Tsh. 250 million) for disabled persons within the constituency. Apart from the above pledges, Sabodo donated Tsh. 100 shillings on the spot which he paid by cheque in respect of the CHADEMA party, the money which will help facilitate the social developments the party is spearheading for the people in the country.
Monday, April 9, 2012
THE Tanzania government in collaboration with a UK based Gatsby Charitable Foundation has initiated a major long term program as a help in order to support the transformation of the Tanzania cotton sector whose growth is declining year after year. Working in partnership with the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB), the program aims to transform the performance of cotton sector by way of doubling its yields which has been currently produced by about 400,000 cotton farmers in cotton producing regions in the country. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tanzania Gatsby Trust, Ms. Olive Luena said recently in Dar es Salaam that, the program will assist TCB to implement the recently approved regulatory framework for introducing contract farming which will include major policy work on pricing and quality in addition to input finance. According to her, the program will also facilitate universal access to improved cotton seed, encouraging cotton farmers to adopt conservation agriculture and building the capacity sector institutions, in particular.
THE Government of Tanzania has reiterated its commitment to directly integrate national development activities by allowing direct foreign investments to take place in three major economic sub-sectors. This move is intended to reduce poverty amongst its people. Speaking on the issue in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday this week, President Jakaya Kikwete vowed that his government would henceforth concentrate more on the agriculture, mining and tourism sectors of the economy. These, he said, are the key areas which have great potentials in growing the national economy, “despite ups and down which the nation has been facing in different periods since Independence” more than fifty years ago! The president was addressing the 17th Annual Research Workshop which was organized by a non-governmental organization, Research on Poverty Alleviation (RePOA). Speaking at the workshop ― whose theme was 'Social Economic Transformation for Poverty Reduction' ― the RePOA executive director, Professor Samuel Wangwe, said “the economic growth experience in Tanzania in the last decade does not reflect poverty reduction. Recent experiences show that it has been possible for several developing countries to transform their economies and reduce poverty levels substantially. Noting that, “for the last 12 years, Tanzania's economy has been growing at an average rate of seven per cent per annum,” President Kikwete said that, despite this relatively high growth rate, “it is amazing that the rate of poverty reduction among the people in the country has been low!” Statistics, for example, indicate that, from 2001 to 2007 ― a period when Tanzania's economy was growing at relatively high rates ― overall household poverty fell by the marginal rate of only two per cent, from 35.7 to 33.6 per cent! The country's agriculture sector is still backward, and needs to be revamped and boosted soonest. About 80 per cent of the population is found in rural Tanzania, and largely depends on agriculture as their economic mainstay. However, they practice subsistence farming, using antediluvian methods and the hand-hoe. Hence, agricultural growth is very low. In the event, the Government “has firmly resolved that any effective socio-economic transformation in Tanzania should be anchored in agriculture,” President Kikwete said, adding that he is “giving agricultural transformation a very high priority.” The conception and institution of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP) and the 'Kilimo Kwanza' Initiative by the Government is testimony to this assertion. The two landmark initiatives are designed to deal with the constraints inhibiting agricultural growth, keeping productivity and production low.
A foreign company by the name Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Ltd (AOTTL) dealing with the tobacco exports in the country since 2005, has invested a total of US$ 50 million (about Tsh. 75 billions) in tobacco exports in the country, thus becoming the leading tobacco exporter. It has been learnt. The company's Managing Director Mark Marson said last week in Dar es Salaam during his meeting with editors when briefing his company's successes and challenges for last year's trading period. He said the success of his company has been attained as a result of such a heavy investment which the company has incurred since it started operation in the country in 2005. Initially the company had invested about US$ 40 million which was used for processing plant, making its factory one of the best in Africa. In 2011, the company added new investments of US$10 million bringing the total value of investment by AOTTL in Tanzania to date to approximately US$ 50million. However, he could not disclose the profit his company has earned since then. “We acknowledge and appreciate that the investment environment is conducive, and that the TIC (Tanzanian Investment Center) played an important role in helping us with our investment”, he said adding that, AOTTL has continued to invest each year directly in infrastructure at the factory, and in the field. On Corporate Social Responsibility Program (CSRP), which includes community and farmer based activities the company has been engaged with by providing assistances to tobacco farmers in various tobacco growing regions in the country. The company has also been engaging in training program on the oxen project. According to him, AOTTL operates Oxen training centers in tobacco growing regions of Tanzania namely Tabora, Urambo, Kahama and Mpanda. The aim of the project is to improve tobacco cultivation by providing farmers with trained pair of oxen and implements e.g. plough, ox carts, ridges etc. Farmers pay for the oxen through loans sourced from commercial Banks. By the end of 2011 2,930 pairs had been trained and more than 2,290 families were supplied with trained oxen. One pair of oxen together with implements costs Tshs 1.9 million. AOTTL in collaboration with other stakeholders operate a reforestation program through the Association of Tanzania Tobacco Traders (ATTT) whereby farmers are supplied with tree seedlings for planting at a subsidized rate. For the last 8 years from 2004 to 2012 a total of 69,209,000 tree seedlings were supplied to tobacco farmers. The industry policy is for the farmer to 2012 a total of 69,209,000 tree seedlings were supplied to tobacco farmers. The industry policy is for the farmer to plant 50 tree seedlings. The aim of the project is to improve tobacco cultivation by providing farmers with trained pair of oxen and implements e.g. plough, ox carts, ridgers etc. The total number of farmers who sell tobacco to Alliance One is estimated at about 30,000. AOTTL employs 300 permanent employees and about 2,500 seasonal during peak season. Tobacco growing in Tanzania is mainly done by about 100,000 small holder farmers who grow an average of a hector per family. AOTTL is in the final stages of completing construction of a water dam which will be used to store water for use during the dry season when the major water source of Ngerengere River is almost dry. The dam has an area of 13,000 square meters and a storage capacity of 35 million liters which is enough to run 4 months of processing. Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Ltd (AOTTL) is a subsidiary company of Alliance One International (AOI) of the USA, with its headquarters in North Carolina. It is one of the three tobacco buying companies in Tanzania. AOTTL has its headquarters in Morogoro municipality at Kingolwira. AOTTL is involved with Tobacco buying, processing, and selling to local and international cigarette manufacturers. It buys over 45 million Kgs of Tobacco from more than 160 contracted Farmers Cooperative Primary Societies.
THE Governor of the central Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Professor Benno Ndulu, has urged African governments to consider the heath sector as a priority area for their citizens, saying that good health is a means to raising economic growth. The good professor threw this challenge at economic and financial stakeholders from 20 sub-Sahara African countries who were gathered in Dar es Salaam early this week for the 14th Seminar on African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). The event, which was attended by about 80 participants including central bank governors and finance ministers of the African countries in the region, deliberated on various economic issues affecting their countries, and ways on how to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for their respective countries by the 2015 deadline! Ndulu said “good heath has a direct impact on raising productivity through increased productive performance of individuals engaged in the production of goods and services.” Not only that, he went on, adding that “good health is, in fact, considered an entitlement that every citizen in a country deserves for their well-being.” Basing his views on the proclamation of the need to fulfill the United-Nations-initiated MDGs, and the commitment of each country towards attainments of those goals, Ndulu said “the burden of disease resulting from poor health is a major constraint to rapid growth, particularly for African countries where the tropical climate is a fertile host to a wide range of diseases.” To illustrate, 'Roll Bank Malaria' statistics for the malaria disease and its prevalence in Africa estimate that there are more than one million deaths which result from 300 million acute cases of malaria globally each year. About 90 per cent of the deaths occur in Africa alone, as a result of the combination of preponderance of infections and low ability to cope with them. It is also estimated that malaria alone costs Africa about US$12 billion every year in lost productivity (GDP) as a result of malarial infections. The (GDP) growth penalty from malaria is estimated at 1.3 per cent annually in some Africa countries! “The burden of this is not just in terms of lost growth,” Professor Ndulu said, adding that direct costs to households for heath care ― and to government ― are heavy when measured in relation to income levels in the African region. The costs range between 2.5 and seven per cent of household incomes on average! Based on research studies,
The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) through its Business Development Gateway (BDG) Program has trained about 8,000 entrepreneurs in the country since the program started four years ago. TPSF Program Manager Sosthenes Sambua said last week in Dar es Salaam that the major concept under which the program is undertaken aims at capacity building, awareness on entrepreneurship skills and knowledge-based to enable entrepreneurs to develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He said that the BDG program trains potential entrepreneurs to take uo leadership roles and manage self-created business enterprises. The program also trains entrepreneurs to be more creative and face various challenges arising from competition. To achieve its goals, TPSF undertakes the training of business club leaders and their members in general, to widen up knowledge to appreciate various business tactics tasking managers on a daily basis. Beneficiaries of such training have become more productive and quality observant for products suitable for local, regional and wider demand. TPSF Acting Executive Director Godfrey Simbeye threw a challenge to the government for delaying appropriate decisions, saying that bureaucracy hinders small scale business development. He appealed to responsible authorities to remove such barriers so as to open up more business opportunities. He however, challenged entrepreneurs in the country to be innovative so as to be able to thrive in the local market and outside. He made the remarks to 54 chairpersons and secretaries of the BDG clubs from various regions gathered for a two day seminar organized by TPSF on entrepreneurship held last week in Dar es Salaam. Most entrepreneurs in the country fail to break through in business for lack of new ideas and innovation. The training together aimed at improving entrepreneurship skills and business management, communication as well as innovation and competitiveness. About Tsh. 15 billion was spent by TPSF to train over 8,000 entrepreneurs since its establishment in 2008, the acting CEO noted, elaborating that the BDG program is a government initiative expiring this year, and focuses to strengthen entrepreneurial culture by creating critical mass of capable entrepreneurs. Another TPSF training program is the Matching Grants Program (MGP) which ran from 2008 to 2011 and consisted of two matching grant schemes, the Tanzania Business Development Scheme (TBDS) and the Technical Innovation Applied Research Scheme (TIAS), both managed under a single management contract housed in TPSF, he elaborated. TPSF was aimed at improving the competitiveness of private firms in export markets and domestic markets as well, providing standard 50 percent cost-sharing grants to private firms procuring outside services and travel, within a properly-formulated business development plan, aimed at improving competitiveness and thus boosting sales, he further noted. The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) was established on 4th November 1998 as a result of multi-folded efforts by various stakeholders in the private sector. It was established as a company limited by guarantee to promote private sector-led social and economic development.
THE issue of water has become a major concern in many regions, with reports showing that a large portion of the country’s rural population has no access to clean and safe water. Statistics made available by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation indicate that 57 percent of the rural dwellers suffer for lack of reliable water supply. Due to this situation, most rural dwellers depends on hand drilled constructed water well sources which have shallow water which is unfit for use. Statistics further indicate that, there has been an acute shortage of water in urban areas due to leakage and dysfunctional underground water infrastructure, aggravated by increased demand, installation of haphazard pumps at households or hotels, etc. In order to effectively handle an escalating situation, the government decided to change the way water supply is administered, hiving it out of municipal authorities to become executive agencies, conducted under the Civil Service Reform Program. To facilitate its programs, the government spends 0.94 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Tsh. 468 billion a year on water and sanitation services. The latest report of Water Aid states that the water sector development program has been through a turbulent year in 2011. Water Aid, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) recently launched a water project worth Tsh. 37.4 billion to ensure access to water for five million people during the next five years . Girish Menon, the head of Water Aid international program, said when launching the five year strategic plan that at least four million people will indirectly benefit, while another one million people will directly benefit from the project on improving sanitation and safe water supply. Users were expected to take initiatives in embarking on relevant technologies for improving safe water supply and sanitation services, he said, noting that the project is in line with the national strategy for growth and poverty reduction, MKUKUTA. Under the MKUKUTA drive, the government has set targets in accessing water in terms of percentage of population at 65 percent for rural areas, 57 percent for small towns, 95 percent for major urban areas and 75 percent for Dar es Salaam city specifically, while the sanitation target is 53 percent for urban areas and 35 per cent for rural people by 2015. Water is critical for sustainable development including environmental integrity and alleviation for poverty and hunger. Improving water supply and its sources for human well-being is recognized as among the key aspects of health and welfare generally. Having seen the importance of water, Tanzania government through the Ministry of Water and Irrigation saw the need to celebrate a national water-week with other nations worldwide in mid March. This year’s annual event was celebrated at the national level in Iringa region under the theme “Water for Food Security”. The theme highlights the significance of water on food security and its quality that reflects its cooperation with rural farmers who produces consumable foods and their importance of integrated approach to water resources. A colorful week-long event inaugurated by the Deputy Minister for Water and Irrigation, Gerson Lwenge allowed stakeholders within the sector inside and outside Tanzania to share experiences on development and management of water and sanitation through exhibitions. He admitted that the ministry is faced with lots of challenges and the biggest is where most people lack access to clean and safe water.
THE High Court of Tanzania meeting in Dar es Salaam has ordered resumption of trading activities at Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) by the National Investments Company Limited (NICoL) with immediate effect, Business Times has learned. Trading at the local bourse by NICOL was suspended last year, when the DSE Governing Council de-listed the private sector investment entity from the bourse on July 6, 2011 over the company’s failure to submit its 2009 and 2010 financial statements as the market rules and regulations stipulate. NICOL became the first company in the 12-year history of DSE to be de-listed. The Governing Council initially suspended the investment firm pending the submission of the documents before NICOL automatically de-listed itself from the bourse for non-compliance. During the suspension, the Council demanded the company's financial reports for the two consecutive years, as well as details of NICOL’s intention to sell 22 million shares as part of its stake in the National Micro-finance Bank (NMB). The bank is also listed with DSE. NICOL have always blamed the national capital markets regulator, the Capital Markets & Securities Authority (CMSA), for its failure to comply with DSE requirements. This is on account of the fact that CMSA had suspended the company's Board of Directors, and its chief executive officer (CEO), since March 2011! In what became a pattern of CMSA actions against NICOL, after the Authority had removed the NICOL Board and CEO, it also froze all the company's bank accounts. This left NICOL with nobody to manage it, and no arrangements could be made to replace the removed officials There was no way in which NICOL office rent, salaries for the staff, etc, could be paid. NICOL was also suspended from trading for a month in August 2009 after the regulators noticed abnormalities in its financial statement, with analysts doubting its credibility amid feelings that it was doctored! In any case, the company had managed to produce only a single statement since its listing at the bourse in 2008! If not sorted out soon enough, these developments would almost certainly have led to the death of NICOL. It was as a result of this welter of confusion that the NICOL management went to Court. It filed a lawsuit in the High Court on March 21, 2011 seeking legal protection against CMSA's actions. NICOL argued that none of CMSA's accusations and charges held water, including removal of the company's Board and its CEO from its operations.
TANZANIA has every reason to proud itself in maintaining a firm engineering works as since independence 50 years ago, the country has never had experienced serious house collapse compared to what has occurred in other East African states. In view of this, an appeal has been made to contractors and engineers to continue their stance by rejecting the suspected locally and imported manufactured sub standard building materials which are sold out by unscrupulous traders in the country. According to building and engineering experts, substandard building materials are the major cause of house collapse if used for construction. Their lifespan is shorter and hence have lower sustainability. The registrar of the National Engineers Registration Board (ERB) Engineer Steven Mlote gave the call early this week in Dar es Salaam that, “the continued boycott of the counterfeit building materials would effectively maintain our houses for a longer lifespan”. However, he has urged contractors of high storey buildings in the country to develop the habit of taking their building materials for testing in order to establish their durability and sustainability and quality as well. Engineer Mlote was contributing his comments during a live TV talk show in a program entitled “House is Life” which is aired at 21:00 hrs on every Monday by Star TV. The program is being conducted on behalf of the National Housing Corporation by a famous TV presenter Ephraim Kibonde. During the talk show, Engineer Mlote noted that, Tanzania has not had a bad record of house collapse since independence time, and that three serious incidences have ever happened in the country. “This is a significant outlook of the building sector for the history of house building in this country”. He said.
MEDICINE Users in the country are assured of safe and quality medicines of the locally manufactured as well as imported products following the donation of five mobile mini-laboratory medical equipment by a German company to be used to detect fake drugs circulated in the local market. The equipments were handed over in Dar es Salaam city recently to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The equipments would be used by the ministry to support government led initiative aimed at halting circulation of counterfeit drugs, which has increasingly becoming a big threat to millions of Tanzanian lives. A German based Pharmaceutical, Chemical and life science company known as Global Pharma Health Fund donated the mini labs to be used by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with its agency for detecting inferior and counterfeit medicines which are said to have dominated Tanzania market. Counterfeit medicines are a serious threat to health care not only in Tanzania but worldwidwe, says Dr. Karl Ludwig Kley, the Chairman of the Merk Executive Board who officially presented the donation to the health and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Hadji Mponda. He has expressed optimism that his compact labaratory equipments would help improve the structures of drug monitoring and ensuring scarce resources are not wasted on worthless and even hazardous medicines. Dr. Mponda has however, assured Tanzanians that the equipments will help to intensify the country's fight against counterfeit hospital medicines as the compacts have the ability to detect products quickly and cost efficiently and reliably.
Stakeholders say it will save 14 million Tanzanians who are denied decent and affordable urban housing THE Dar es Salaam based housing stakeholders commonly known as 'Merchant Chamber' has appealed to the government to look at the possibility of injecting an Act on the newly adopted national draft constitution which would help house tenants to achieve their legal rights from their landlords. They say that, the law amendments of rent restriction in the newly adopted constitution of the Republic of Tanzania would save about 14 million Tanzanians who are denied decent and affordable urban housing settlements. According to housing stakeholders, there has been little control of the rental housing business especially in urban areas where about 60 percent of urban residents reside in rental houses while 40 percent of their incomes is spent on accommodation. They have therefore asked the government to review the Act in its newly adopted national draft constitution so as to establish a specific law of controlling this business because its absence has made landlords wield so much power over their tenants. The law should among other things forbid landlords for claiming for yearly rental fees yet employees are paid salaries monthly, a situation that has been placing tenants in arrears while others engage in corrupt acts to afford the housing expenses.