Tanzania Helps Kenya Avoid A Terrorist Attack

Last year during Kenya’s General Elections, there was a plan for a terrorist attack that would disrupt these elections as well as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing- in ceremony. The Tanzanian Head of State, President Jakaya Kikwete, revealed that his country played a vital role in the hindering of these terrorist plans.


Image Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/files/2013/11/UHURU-KIKWETE.jpg

Article Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/-/1056/2285270/-/14fhnew/-/index.html


G8 New Alliance Initiative Favors Agro-Business

A Kenyan farmer tends newly planted trees

At the 2012 G8 Camp David Summit, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which aims to lift 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty in the next 10 years by supporting agricultural development (http://www.usaid.gov/unga/new-alliance). However, a closer look at the policy implementation shows that the G8 New Alliance Initiative is excluding small-hold farmer input and favoring agribusiness.

Since the formation of the New Alliance, ten countries have made more than 200 policy commitments, largely granting agribusinesses unprecedented access to decision-makers, including easing of export controls and tax laws as well as governments giving huge chunks of land of investment.

The CEOs of companies were invited to the table with African presidents and head of donor agencies through the New Alliance Initiative, although there was no representation for the subsistence farmers. While the private sector investment is supposed to ensure food security, the companies’ plans include non-food crops, including cotton, biofuels and rubber, or other goods for export markets. Companies have refused to publicly announce their full investment plans under the New Alliance. Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said that governments have been making promises to investors with “no long-term view about the future of smallholder farmers.”

The chairman of Tanzania’s parliament’s public account, Zitto Kabwe, agrees. “By introducing this market, farmers will have to depend on imported seeds. This will definitely affect small farmers. It will also kill innovation at the local level. We have seen this with manufacturing,” he said. “It will be like colonialism. Farmers will not be able to farm until they import, linking farmers to [the] vulnerability of international prices. Big companies will benefit. We should not allow that.” Kabwe further argues that the tax commitments should go through parliament, not just the executive branch, as they would benefit companies rather than small farmers.

While the New Alliance has benevolent intentions to lift sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty, placing the project in the hands of private investors leaves room for error. Colin Poulton, research fellow at the center for development, environment and policy at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, told Guardian “Without a clear theory of change indicating how increased investment in large-scale agriculture will lead to poverty reduction, improved food security of nutrition, and without clear plans to ensure that large numbers of outgrowers will be engaged in the new value chains, the New Alliance is so far primarily an initiative to commercialize agriculture in Africa.”

For more reading: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/feb/18/g8-new-alliance-condemned-new-colonialism (Picture Source)



Water Relief Projects Alleviating Stress in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Aerial view of Dar es Salaam

A series of new underground water projects in Dar es Salaam have brought clean water to thousands of residents. The project targeted primary and secondary schools, dispensaries, and business centers. The projects have also enabled thousands of residents to benefit from this first step in a long-term solution to fix water problems in Dar es Salaam by 2014. Other parts of the long term project include expanding pumping stations and laying out more water pipes that stretch out from Dar to rural parts of the country. By 2015, the government aims to extend water projects to at least eight further regions including Lindi, Mtwara, Kagera, Tabora, Shinyanga, Rukwa, Mara, Singida, and Tanga regions. The end goal of these rural projects is to provide clean and safe water to at least 90% of urban dwellers and 60% of the rural population by 2015.


Tanzania Holds Its Fifth Census Count

The Population and Housing Census, which began Sunday August 26th, is Tanzania’s fifth post- independence census count. The main objective of this census is “to contribute to the improvement of quality of life of Tanzanians through the provision of up to date and reliable data for development planning, policy formulation, planning and service delivery, as well as for monitoring and evaluating population programs.”

The past censuses in Tanzania have been less successful than hoped, and most censuses done in colonial times were actually used mainly to identify adult tax payers. The recent censuses in post colonial Tanzania have often been tainted with discrimination and prejudice.

This census is being held by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Zanzibar Office of the Chief Government Statistician. The more specific goals of this census include district profiling to provide planners with more accurate data, social and economic development planning, and providing data for researchers in various fields of study.


Tanzania: From Least Developed Country to Middle Income

Tanzania Minister for Industry and Trade Dr. Abdhallah Kigoda has high hopes that the country will move to the middle income status. He hopes Tanzania can achieve this by improving industries, trading with partner states, and finding market access for their products.

Kigoda made these statements during the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation day in Dar es Salaam last week, and wanted to assure the private sector that he recognized their contribution toward the national economy. Kigoda spoke of the benefits of the commitment by the private sector and the  government in this time of economic growths. The overall goal of private and public support seemed to be attracting investment to Tanzania to drive economic growth.

Kigoda also spoke of the need for the private and public sectors to work together, and trust each other. If the private sector trusted the government more, they could work together as one and have a stronger voice on development issues.

The idea here seems to be a good one, and cooperation within the economic sector is important for any type of growth in the future. This will be particularly attractive to investors- a public sector that is stable with the support of private sector companies would be much more likely to receive the investment that Tanzania needs to drive economic growth into the next class.


European Union Grant of 152.5 Million USD to Aid Tanzanian Development

Tanzania and the European Union have enjoyed partnership and friendship for years, and signed a set of grants two days ago that would endow Tanzania with a 126 Million Euro aid package. Tanzania has been supported by the European Union since 1975, when the EU first granted Tanzania 1.8 Billion Euros in aid.

President of the European Commission, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso is on a three-day visit to Tanzania where he is spending his time meeting with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and inspecting the various development projects that have been financed by the EU.

The agreements signed between Tanzania and the EU require that the aid will go to rehabilitate more than 200 kilometres of roads, provide drinking water for 500,000 people, improve sanitation infrastructure and services for about 140,000 inhabitants, and strengthen democratization and good governance. The EU is also supporting Tanzania’s Northern Corridor Agriculture Development, which is an effort to improve food security. One main goal of the improved agricultural development and rural infrastructure is to suppor the idea of decentralization and improve connectivity among rural areas and market acess to those rural towns.

The first financial agreement will go to the improvement of road transport network in the country. The second is for water programs in Lindi Sumbawanga and Kigoma towns. The third financing agreement will support the improvement of rural roads. The fourth will be for programs to support Non-State Actors in Zanzibar with objective to strengthen democratization, good governance, and support civil society initiatives on accountability, participatory development and policy advocacy. The fifth agreement is meant to support the National Authorizing Office for managing the EU portfolio in teh country. The last agreement is directed to technical cooperation facitility aimed at providing flexible instruments for capacity development and policy and expert advice.

President Kikwete was hopeful at the strenghtening of ties between Tanzania and the European Union once again, and said that he hoped the visit from the EU President woudl reinforce the political dialogue and economic cooperation between the two countries.

I firmly believe that the most important thing about this aid package is that it supplements Tanzania’s national development strategies and plans, and does not attempt to create new strategies. Many aid packaes come with strings attached and directives, and fail to truly make a difference. The idea of an aid package simply donating help to current, operating, country-wide strategies is an important one, and something President Kikwete recognized as well.

President Barroso was also pleased with the agreements, and said that Tanzania has become one of the EU’s main partners in Africa. President Barroso mentioned that he would like to continue working with Tanzania on issues of energy, anti-piracy, counter terrorism, and migration issues, as resolving each of these issues is a common goal for both the EU and Tanzania.

Overall, I believe that the partnership between Tanzania and the EU is a strong one. Tanzania is a thriving African country, and with aid in the right places (such as aid that will flow smoothly into an already operating development strategy), development in Tanzania has potential to increase. The aid that is going into increased interconnectivity of rural areas and providing better market access to rural communities is also important, as lack of market access is an often seen obstacle towards development and globalization in many rural developing countries. It prevents farmers from moving up to specializing in one crop and selling it in markets, but instead keeps them reliant on subsistence farming with no way to increase their fortune. Hopefully this aid package will help some rural towns grow beyond this plight.

Link to Article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201207230094.html

Tanzania: Promoting Peace with the Africa Partnership Station

While Tanzania and the United States have worked together for many years thanks to their common goal of peace and stability in Africa, this recent growth in military ties through the Africa Partnership Station truly shows how their relations are growing.

Just last month, on June 23, a Military Sealight Command-chartered High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) spent twelve days in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, to support Africa Partnership Station (APS) East 2012. In 2010, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and over 130 sailors from Tanzania’s navy participated in training from the US soldiers during a similar visit to Dar es Salaam. Not only were Tanzanian soldiers trained, but US Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents conducted training and facilitated information exchange in areas such as leadership, port security, martial arts, and riot control. These visits are not only militarily significant, but show a level of trust and deep diplomatic ties.

This partnership between the US and Tanzanian navies has been expanding since 2007, when US began participating in training events and regional exercises led by the Africa Partnership Station in an effort to improve maritime safety and security.

The Africa Parternship Station is an international security cooperation initiative that works to strengthen global maritime partnerships and maritime safety and security in Africa. APS believes that an increase in maritime security abilities in Africa will contribute to development, economic prosperity and security, and help to deter violent extremist ideology ashore. in teh last five years APS has worked with partners in the United States, Europe, and South America; all united by this common goal of maritime security.

I believe that this approach to development and insecurity in Africa is one that has high potential. The three main goals of APS include deterring piracy, stopping illicit trafficking, and protecting resources. These points are all major obstacles to propserity in Africa, and this approach, with the cooperative approach to security, could aid to decreasing trafficking of drugs and persons as well as deter piracy in the immediate future.

Not only is this effort particularly important to the African Presidential Center because of our common goals of promoting peace and stability in Africa, but also because eleven of the countries we work with are involved. Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania are all participating in 2012 APS activities, as well as the United States.


Link to the Article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201207091134.html