Monday, March 31, 2014

Fewer numbers of Tanzanians registered on DSE market, says CEO

ABOUT 200,000 Tanzanians have bought company’s securities from different 18 companies which have been listed in Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) market the largest in the country ever since its establishment in mid 1990s. An official from DSE has said. DSE’s Chief Executive Officer Moremi Marwa said in an exclusive talks on Saturday last week in Dar es Salaam moments after his firm had officially launched the DSE Scholar Investment Challenge 2014 for students of higher learning institutions in the country. The event took place at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) whereby DSE facilitated the occasion in collaboration with the Department of Finance of the UDSM Business School (UDBS) at the main campus and attended mostly by students of different faculties of the University. He said, the current number of Tanzanians constitutes approximately less than 1 percent of the total population of 45.5 million people in the country. However, he said adding that, there is a need to educate the public and create awareness on the role of stock market to investors, business at enterprises and the economy at large. Earlier on his opening remark speech, he underscored the importance of the DSE Scholar investment challenge and noted that, is an edutainment initiative targeting Tanzanian youths who are in learning higher institutions which include Universities, Technical Institutes and other post-Secondary education colleges. “This is an initiative to encourage the youth to develop culture of saving and investment by demonstrating in practical way why and how to buy and sell securities on DSE”, he said. He further noted that, the challenge is an online simulation of live trading at DSE, where each participating group/individual is given a visual start up capital to invest using the DSE real time information for a period of 3 months starting from 1st April to June 30th 2014. 

DSE’s Chief Executive Officer Moremi Marwa 

Elaborating more, the CEO noted that, the challenge is a mobile based where students can participate through an access code number in their mobile phones *150*36=. However, he said adding that within a period of 3 months each participant will be given access to DSE real time information and a visual start up capital of Sh. 1 million to invest in securities listed on the DSE. He noted that, the main objectives of the investment challenge is to transform trading on the financial markets into accessible and enjoyable collaborative learning experiences to higher learning students in the country. The challenge will enable them to simulate the unique intensity and excitement of live-office based trading in brokerage houses and the stock market into their learning environment. Students acting in singularly or working in teams, will therefore have the opportunity to visually invest in 12 companies out of 18 listed on DSE, and will get their regular reports as they would be disseminated through various media outlets in the country. During the challenge, participants will learn to understand that prices, indices nd other data and information in the stock exchange are affected not only by the fundamental performance of the listed companies. On his part, the Director of the Financial Markets of the Central Bank of Tanzania (BOT) who was also the guest of honour, Alexander Ng’winamila thanked the initiative established by the DSE and not4ed that, this is a one forward to put awareness of  securities of the companies listed on DSE. He said the government has praised the move for at such a stage, it was important to put awareness to youths in higher learning institutions on the basic issues related with capital markets and securities in the country.

China nationals ordered to obey Tanzania’s laws

The Chinese Embassy office accredited in the country has strictly ordered its nationals living and working in Tanzania to obey the country’s laws in their dwellings just like other foreigners. The Guardian has been informed. Liu Dong, Cultural Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam, made the plea during an exclusive interview on Thursday this week. The call by Chinese Embassy official has come amid widespread speculation that, some Chinese nationals working in the country have been breaching the country’s laws and tend to engage with illegal business activities, a factor that most Tanzanians have lost trust with them. Two weeks ago, a Chinese national Engineer Yu Bo (45) was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment or pay a fine of Sh. 9bn/- by the Kisutu Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam after having pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful possession of government trophies worth 978,120,490/-. The verdict was ruled by Resident Magistrate, Devotha Kisoka under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act. Commenting on the decision passed by court, Liu Dong noted that, Chinese government is happy with the judgment and has no any comments. However, he said adding that, one way to honour the existing bilateral relationships between China and Tanzania is strict observance of the country’s laws and not otherwise. In light of the 50 years anniversary of the cooperation between Tanzania and China, Liu Dong has expressed the Chinese desire to continue helping Tanzania in every sector development with a view to promote national economy. He said there are a lot of activities to be performed in relation to the existing cooperation among the two countries Among the strategies in place is a live broadcast by a Chinese owned CCTV Television for Serengeti national park, adding that the motive behind is to promote tourism sector in the country. Other activities include the promotion of martial arts and climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro by experts from China and this would be done in collaboration with Tanzania counterparts. There would be an exhibition to promote cartoonist and photo exhibitions that would highlight value agricultural activities which were being promoted under socialism policies of the two countries during the reigns of Mao Tse Tung and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. In addition to that, Liu Dong noted that, the Chinese government will in this year start sponsoring students for Masters and PhD Degree program studies in the field of Science and Technology and about 200 Tanzanian students would benefit yearly. Two weeks ago, Chinese Ambassador accredited in the country Lu Youging was quoted as saying, “his government has pledged to collaborate with Tanzania government to curb the increased rate of poaching in national parks in the country”. To facilitate the move, China has donated two machines to be used for screening and scanning of containers at Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar ports respectively. He said that, poaching has become a problem in many African countries and China will continue support Tanzania in the fight. Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation John Haule has said that, about 15 Tanzanians earlier convicted of death sentences for allegedly found in possession of illegal illicit drugs in China, will now serve life sentences in jail. He told a press conference on Tuesday this week in Dar es Salaam when explaining the successes of the Chinese President who visited Tanzania last year, adding that, the parole is due to the good diplomatic relations which has been existing between the two countries for about 50 years in areas of social, political, economical, security as well as defense. “Due to this long standing diplomatic relations of the two countries, Tanzanian inmates who had been sentenced to death in relation to illegal possession of illicit drugs, will now serve life sentences” he said.

Expert caution Tanzania to defend its underground wealth

Minerals producing countries in Africa including Tanzania are loosing between $50 million and $80 million per year of its wealth in extractive industry which is being taken away by foreign investors. It has been learnt. The senior Regional Adviser of the Revenue Watch Institute, Silas Olan’g disclosed this yesterday in Dar es Salaam with a call insisting journalists to continue exposing the mischief which continues to hamper the industry in the country. Olan’g issued the call when addressing senior journalists and editors at a function whereby 9 senior journalists were handed over certificates of participation after successfully completed a 3 month intensive fellowship programme on specialized reporting on extractive industries. The programme was organized by tne Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) aimed at empowering senior journalists in the country with knowledge and professional skills for investigative journalism. Those awarded with the certificates of participation with their media organizations in brackets includes John Bwire (Raia Mwema), Felix Mwakyembe (Raia Mwema), Esther Mvungi (Uhuru Publications). Others are Jaston Binala (Freelance), Sidi Mgumia (The African), Shermarx Ngehemera (The African), Namsembaeli Mduma (Habari Leo), Deo Mushi (The Daily News), and Saidi Mmanga (Changamoto) Elaborating the losses incurred by these countries, Olan’g who was the guest of honour made it clear that, poor policies and bad contracts entered are the main source of problems caused by many African governments, an aspect which paves the way for the investors to continue exploiting local resources.  He said African governments have poor leadership code and this is the reason why the management policies targeted for developments are not in good order. However, he wonders why Tanzania has a plenty of wealth and yet is regarded as a poor country, he queried and called upon journalists to be the watchdog in order to help solve the problem. On his part, TMF’s Director Erest Sungura said that, his organization has pledged to continue helping media professionals in the country by providing more fellowship programs. 

Atilio Tagalile insisting a point while talking to journalists (not in the picture)
He noted that, TMF plans to organize a programme on illegal trafficking of Illicit drugs. He said the trainings would give an highlight of investigative skills to journalists pursuing issues related with illegal trade of illicit drugs and other factors which would enable them understand the concept into details. In another development, a veteran media professional and a programme mentor, Atilio Tagalile blamed the editors for not taking appropriate decision of favoring their journalists’ report writings of the investigative news. Tagalile is on the view of the fact that, some editors were not cooperative enough with the reports submitted by senior journalists who underwent the programme. He said that, the attitudes mostly shown by some editors in some newsrooms are not so paramount and encouraging, but rather discouraging their reporters who does TMF’s programmes. However, he also outlined the challenges faced during the programme and noted that, there is a problem of language barrier as mot Tanzanian journalists lacks proper understanding of the English language while pursuing their stories of extractive industry. Another mentor of the programme, Joseph Mwamunyange also gave his concern and insisted cooperation between newsmen and newsroom editors into bringing efficiency. He also called on the proficiency in English language while running the programme. Mwamunyange observed that, most journalists rely on getting translation which to some extent looses the whole meaning of the subject matter.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tanzanian entrepreneurs calls for knowledge intensification

Some executives from companies engaged in micro business activities in the country have called upon the government to intensify education with a view to create awareness among young Tanzanians into building their knowledge capacity on entrepreneurship skills. They made the plea last week in Dar es Salaam at a seminar organized by the Swedish Embassy Office in Dar es Salaam citing poor knowledge is still a stumbling block to the development of entrepreneurs. A 90 minute seminar was attended by Swedish Minister for Trade Eva Bjorling and Her Royal Highness crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the two are in the country for an official tour since Wednesday this week. The seminar among other things addressed various ways on how young entrepreneurs can do for the development of the country whereby participants discussed various challenges faced by young entrepreneurs in the country and ways on how to overcome them. Emelda Mwamanga of Relim Entertainment Ltd said that, entrepreneurs needs inspiration as employment rate is verey low in the country, hence there is a need to take a giant growth for them as they are mostly engaged their activities in petty trading. Lawrence Ambokile who is an Assistant Program Coordinator for Youth entrepreneurship and capacity building at Restless Development Ltd, noted that, lack of enough capital is a major impediment for the sector development. However, he said that, most entrepreneurs lack knowledge an aspect that most of them do not know how to create business ideas and plans and finally work for them. He is on the view of the fact that, most entrepreneurs fails to organize their proper activities simply because of poor knowledge skills which they have, a factor that has exacerbated poor development as the idea of approaching business needs critical thinking. Masoud Salim Mohammed of the Zanzibar Association of Youth Education and Empowerment (ZAYEE), has criticized government’s stand into empowering entrepreneurs in the country as most of them lack capital to run their businesses. However, he noted that, most entrepreneurs needs help as most of them do not have enough knowledge to run their activities efficiently and in effective manner. Mohammed is on the view of the fact that, there is a great need to educate entrepreneurs at all cost in order to make them understand elements of trading and other activities for lack of knowledge is an aspect which lags them behind.  He said, having capital is not a problem but how to manage the enterprises is what is likely needed, added that, educatiuoin on entrepreneurship skills is of the most important. Amabilis Batamula who is a media professional and the director of Femina Hipp magazine expressed her views and noted that, exposure is very important to make entrepreneurs change their mindset into thinking bigger issues than where they are. Batamula is of the view that, mentorship for the whole entrepreneurship development programs is of the great importance to build capacity knowledge of the entrepreneurs in the country. On his part, the Chief Executive Officer in the President’s Office delivery bureau who represented the government in the seminar, admitted with the existing problems facing the entrepreneurs in the country and noted that, the issue needs more administrative structure to get a solution. He said that, the government needs to come up with new educational curriculum and see how this can help solve the problem of entrepreneurs in the country. He has however, urged the sector to make as many ideas as they can in order to get more equity for the business. He is of the view of the fact that, many entrepreneurs borrow more money approximately 100 percent for working capital, saying that is not good.

Doctors in Mahenge district need their call allowances

SOME Doctors in Morogoro region have expressed their disappointment over the system of paying their call allowances which the Ministry of Health and Social Services had approved for them in its budget during the 2013/14 financial year. One doctor from Mahenge district in Morogoro region who spoke on strict condition of anonymity on Tuesday this week revealed that, since the approval of the allowances in July last year, they have received it only for two months. However, he is worried why the ministry of Local Government and Regional Administration (LGRA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services do not keep abreast with the issuing of the money on time.  According to the source, there is a looming strike likely to occur in some hospitals within the region and probably in some other parts in the country if the government does not take immediate attention it deserve in order to solve the matter by settling their payments on time. He is on the view of the fact that, as long as their payments delays, it gets accumulated an aspect that it would be difficult to pay them later on, just like accumulation of teachers’ pay He said there has been an embezzlement of some of the executives that cause the delaying of such payments despite several claims by some of them to the higher authorities concerned, but nothing has been done so far up to now. When contacted for comments, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Donan Mmbando challenged the matter as he could not be in a position to answer such claims. However, he relayed the message as an advice to his secretary who directed this reporter to contact the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Administration as the matter was being handled by them. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Jumanne Sagini had no immediate answers when contacted for clarification over the matter, and instead helped this reporter to get the contacts of the Morogoro Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Elia Ntandu for further comments. When contacted, Ntandu admitted to have been some delaying of the payments to the concerned doctors in the district since August last year and said that, the problem was beyond his office control ,. Narrating why the payment has been delayed for so long, he clarified that, it is the central government which deals with all payments for district doctors whose transaction is channeled through district councils in the country. However, he noted that as per the case of doctors at Mahenge, the delays might have been caused due such transactions but promised to be working on the matter to let doctors paid soon. The President of the Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT) Dr. Primus Saidia noted that, his office had not yet received such claims when this reporter contacted him to get his comments over the matter. However, he claimed later that, doctors professionals have established an organ called ‘Tanzania Medical and Dental Pharmaceutical Workers Union to stand for their rights and remunerations incase of any problem such as these. He also noted that, MAT has remained to deal with the doctors’ professionalism only and how to promote the industry for the interests of professionals. The government’s decision to increase doctors’ call allowances was reached following doctors’ strike that shocked the nation two years ago after their decision to down tools rendered medical services at the country’s leading hospitals to grind to a dead halt as they demanded for their salary increase and other allowances. In order to improve the poor working environment into bringing quality services in hospitals in the country, the government had endorsed increment on their salaries and some call allowances of different categories to its doctors working in government hospitals countrywide. Payments of such allowances is determinable according to their professional level standard and is not taxable that ranged between Tsh. 10,000/- and Sh. 25,000/- is given to doctors such as Medical Assistants and Officers, District Medical Officers and Specialists who call at their working stations to work on extra official hours.