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Tanzania's power grid to link to Kenya and Zambia by 2015
October 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

tanzaniaelectricity480x255Tanzania will complete a $455 million power transmission line next year linking its power grid to Kenya and Zambia, part of plans to export electricity powered by its gas and coal reserves to neighbours, the Energy and Minerals Ministry said today. Tanzania, which has found commercial quantities of gas offshore and sits on big coal deposits, aims to double its generation capacity to 3,000 megawatts by 2016 to meet rising domestic demand and supply the region. Power shortages are common across Africa and businesses often complain that poor or erratic supplies deter more investors and push up prices of local products, as many firms have to rely on costly generators when power is cut. Known as the “backbone interconnector”, Tanzania’s Energy Ministry said the $455m link would be in place by April, one of several regional projects that include links running between Kenya and Ethiopia and between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Linking power grids “The backbone project will link with Kenya’s northern power grid and Zambia’s southwestern power grid and transform Tanzania into a regional hub for the east and southern Africa power pool, the ministry said in a statement. The 667km high voltage line is being built with financing from the European Investment Bank, World Bank, African Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund. Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia signed a deal in Dar es Salaam on September 30 to link the three countries. Tanzania’s Energy Ministry said last year it was in talks with Kenya to export 1,000 megawatts of electricity to east Africa’s biggest economy. Tanzania has 46.5 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and is investing in a pipeline and new gas-fired power plants to boost generation. It also aims to export gas with a planned build liquefied natural gas plant. It also has 5bn tonnes of coal reserves and plans to build coal-fired power plants. *Source Reuters/The African Report]]>

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Electricity: East African countries seek consultant for power grid link
September 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

electricgridsKenya, Uganda and Rwanda have invited bids for a consultant to oversee a feasibility study for connecting their nations by high voltage power line, part of efforts to meet growing demand for electricity and deepen integration of their economies. The project aims to build a 400 kilovolt (kV) electricity line running from Olkaria, where Kenya is expanding geothermal power production, via Uganda to Birembo in Rwanda, a tender announcement published in Kenyan newspapers showed. The three nations, with a combined population of more than 94 million and all members of the five-nation East African Community, are battling to keep up with demand for power as their economies grow by about 5 percent a year or more. Businesses often complain of erratic and expensive supplies. The consultant will examine power needs and potential for export and imports until 2035, as well as assess designs and other details of the project. Bids are due by Oct. 17. The tender did not indicate a cost for the project. Kenya is tapping geothermal resources in the Rift Valley as part of its broader ambitions to add 5,000 megawatts (MW) to the east Africa nation’s electricity output by 2017. That will add to Kenya’s existing capacity of about 1,664 MW. Uganda and Kenya are already connected by older lines. This project will add new sections and harmonise the grid. As well as expanding generation, Kenya has plans to add 5,000 km of power lines to its existing 3,800-km network by 2017. Only a third of Kenya’s 44 million people are connected to the grid. Kenya has at least 3,000 MW of proven geothermal energy in the Rift Valley, but exploits only about 200 MW, analysts say. It is currently adding 500 MW of geothermal capacity. Though drilling wells to generate steam can be costly, it offers benefits including less reliance on thermal plants prone to fluctuations in international fuel prices and on hydro-electric power, which depends on rain-fed dams. Uganda produces about 550 MW, its energy ministry says. Rwanda has an installed capacity of 115 MW, according to state-run Rwanda Energy Water and Sanitation Limited. *Source theafricareport]]>

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Etihad Airways to Increase Presence in Africa with Launch of New Daily Service to Dar Es Salaam
September 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

etihadEtihad Airways (http://www.etihad.com), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will expand its African route network with the launch of a daily service to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. Flights between Abu Dhabi and Dar es Salaam, which commence on 1 December 2015, will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats. Dar es Salaam will be Etihad Airways’ 110th destination globally, and its 11th destination in Africa and the Indian Ocean. The daily schedule will offer two-way connectivity over Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with convenient onward connections to 45 popular destinations across the Middle East, Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, North and Southeast Asia, and Australasia. In particular, it is anticipated that the demand for the new route will be boosted by strong flows of business and leisure travellers, as well as cargo volumes, between the East Africa region and the Indian Subcontinent and China. James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Dar es Salaam is an important new route on Etihad Airways’ global network. It builds upon our existing presence in Africa, and supports the close trading relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.” The UAE is the primary trade partner of Tanzania in the GCC region. Between 2007 and 2012, trade between UAE and Tanzania increased by more than 350 per cent to US$761 million. “Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies, and the launch of this new route also enhances access and the two-way flow of trade and tourism between the continent and key destinations across our global network, supports inbound tourism, encourages investment, and provides much needed local employment,” he added. Tanzania has the sixth largest population in Africa (51 million), with over four million people living in the largest city, Dar es Salaam. The large proportion of the community consist of market traders and proprietors of small businesses whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent—areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations. The country is also developing quickly, and currently has around US$19 billion in transport and utilities infrastructure projects being planned. China is playing a key role in financing these major projects, and is fast becoming the East African country’s leading trade partner, with trade between the two countries growing to US$3.7 billion in 2013. In 2013, Tanzania was also named one of the world’s most sought after destinations for leisure travellers, and is blessed with numerous national and international tourist attractions including Mt. Kilimanjaro, the wildlife-rich national parks of the Serengeti, and the spice island of Zanzibar. Tanzania has the second largest economy in East Africa, and Dar es Salaam provides a strategic gateway for the transportation of goods and commerce to the surrounding six land-locked countries of Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Etihad Airways (http://www.etihad.com) began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 110 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 104 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional*. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com Download the table “Etihad Airways schedule for Dar es Salaam flights, effective 1 December 2015″: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140922.png *In partnership with APO]]>

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Tanzanian growth accelerates on back of gold production – stats office
September 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Tanzania’s growth accelerated in the first quarter of 2014 from a year earlier, on the back of a jump in gold production and power generation, the statistics office said on Thursday.

[caption id="attachment_11979" align="alignleft" width="300"]PHOTO©REUTERS PHOTO©REUTERS[/caption]

Gross domestic product (GDP) in Tanzania – one of the fastest growing economies in the region – expanded by 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 7.1 percent a year ago, said the state-run National Bureau of Statistics.

“Mining and quarrying activities registered a growth of 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to a growth rate of 1.7 percent during the same period in 2013,” NBS director of economic statistics Morrice Oyuke told a news conference.   “This growth increase is attributed to an increase in gold production during the first quarter of 2014,” he added.   Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.   Big gas discoveries offshore – still several years away from major exports – have drawn in more investors, both in the energy industry and other sectors looking to find a foothold in a growing market.   The country aims to double its power production capacity to 3,000 megawatts by 2016 by investing in new gas and coal-fired turbines.   “Power generation and water supply activities grew at a speed of 12.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with 6.2 percent in the same period in 2013,” said Oyuke.   NBS said the transport and communications sector grew 16.5 percent in Q1 2014, slower than the 19 percent rate recorded a year ago.   The manufacturing sector registered a growth of 8.5 percent in Q1 2014 from 8.3 percent previously, while the real estate industry registered a growth of 8.1 percent compared with 9 percent the previous year.   Analysts say the nation of 45 million, most of them mired in poverty and dependent on subsistence farming, still needs to overhaul infrastructure such as a congested port and creaking railways, and cut red tape for investors. *Source The Africa Report]]>

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Adopt Swahili as official language, says Mwinyi
September 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

Former Tanzania president Ali Hassan Mwinyi (grey-haired) and other participants finish their race during the Cancer Run at Kololo Ceremonial grounds yesterday. More than Shs300 million was collected from the run to help complete the cancer ward at Nsambya hospital. Photo by Ismail Kezaala. Former Tanzania president Ali Hassan Mwinyi (grey-haired) and other participants finish their race during the Cancer Run at Kololo Ceremonial grounds yesterday. More than Shs300 million was collected from the run to help complete the cancer ward at Nsambya hospital. Photo by Ismail Kezaala.[/caption] Kampala- East African countries should revive the use of Kiswahili to ease communication and promote unity, former Tanzania president Ali Hassan Mwinyi has said.

Mr Mwinyi was speaking yesterday after taking part in the Rotary Cancer Run at Kololo Airstrip, where he was the chief runner.
“There was an East African language committee but unfortunately, this committee was born in Tanzania, fell sick in Kenya and was buried in Uganda,” he said.
The former Tanzania president said he was in Uganda to witness the re-birth of the language.
“I’m pleased to tell you that I’m in Uganda to witness the re-birth of Swahili and so the next time you invite me, I will address you in that language.”
Swahili is already an official language in Tanzania and Kenya where it is spoken by the majority of the population. In Rwanda and Burundi, it is widely spoken but some Ugandans claim Swahili was used by harsh colonial officials and government law enforcement agencies and criminals, hence their dislike of the language.
President Mwinyi, who arrived in Uganda last Friday, was in the company of his wife Siti Mwinyi who also took part in the run.
East African Legislative Assembly legislator Mike Sebalu, the chairperson of the run, said it had created awareness about cancer among the masses and expects the cancer ward at Nsambya hospital to be opened to the public in January.
A team from Monitor Publications Ltd led by the Executive Editor, Prof Malcolm Gibson, took part in the event, which attracted more than 20,000 runners, with the organisers announcing more than Shs300 million in collections. *Source monitor
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20 staggering facts about tourism in sub-Saharan Africa, including some real star performers
August 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

LEE MWITI* Aviation costs and bribe-happy authorities are a real deal killer, but some countries such as Rwanda and Cape Verde are playing to their strengths. download (6)GLOBAL tourism is a $3 billion a day business and accounts for close to 9% of the world’s jobs (263 million), yet Africa’s share of industry receipts remains on the periphery – at only 5.2%. When North Africa is taken out of the equation, this drops to 3.3% for the rest of the continent, according to World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) data. This is despite the industry showing resilience to major shocks such as the global economic crisis, and having potential to transform sub-Saharan Africa economic fortunes. The region is the second-fastest growing destination after Asia Pacific, and could count up to 3.8 million direct and indirect jobs by 2020, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). In 2010, some 935 million tourists spent $339 billion directly in emerging economies, with total global export income from tourism valued at over $1 trillion, and total impact on global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) an estimated $6.3 trillion. Yet surprisingly many African governments do not think too much of tourism, despite having a raft of success stories from Mozambique to Cape Verde to convince them of the goldmine they are sitting on. An authoritative World Bank report  – the most definitive yet about tourism in Africa – outlines the economic and social benefits the region can expect to glean by concentrating on tourism, and presents some success stories of how countries have become big players despite small beginnings The report, written mainly for scholarly types and policy makers, also throws up some startling numbers pulled from various good sources. We thumbed through it and picked 20 of the lower-hanging industry tid bits to highlight here: 1: In 2011 tourism and travel directly generated 2.7% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and directly and indirectly accounted for more than 1 in 20 jobs—12.8 million according to WTTC data. Direct tourism receipts are estimated at $33.5 billion—the amount the US plans to invest in Africa. 2: In 2010, the region attracted 30.7 million visitors, an increase from only 6.4 million in 1990. During the 2008-2009 global crisis years, arrivals in sub-Saharan Africa actually increased 4.4%, as worldwide numbers fell 3.8%. This was the only region where tourism actually grew during that crisis. The UNWTO predicts the region will receive 77 million arrivals by 2020; with 50 million of these being intra-regional visitors. 3: In Egypt, before the Arab Spring upheaval, visitor arrivals from 1990 to 2005 grew from 2.9 million to 8.6 million, and by 2010 were just short of 15 million, with their expenditure estimated at $12.5 billion. In 1970 Egypt drew fewer than 400,000 tourists and set about revamping its policies including on crucial areas such as land, leading to the surge. 4: International tourist arrivals grew 284% between 2005 and 2010 in Mozambique, with the post-conflict country now projecting 4 million tourists a year by 2025. This has been due to legislative reform, development of a strategic plan and elimination of visas for sub-regional visitors. (Read: You are an African and want to travel in Africa? Try later) 5: Receipts from Cape Verde touched $432 million in 2008—15% of its GDP and 21% of its workforce. This was due to market-oriented policies, political and banking reforms such as pegging the local escudo currency to the euro, and investment incentives, with the result it now has world-class infrastructure facilities. Another island, Zanzibar, predicts that 50% of its population will be involved in tourism by 2020. 6: More than 10 million people travel internationally within sub-Saharan Africa, for leisure to medical and business reasons. South Africa continues to be the most popular destination, and contrary to perception, is quite receptive to visitors from its north. (Read: Despite what others say, South Africans actually love Africans) 7: Tourism is a job-intensive industry, the report notes, quoting a study by the Natural Resources Consultative Forum that found a $250,000 investment in Zambia generates 182 full-time formal jobs—nearly 40% more than the same investment in agriculture, and 50% more than in mining. 600x3008: Despite the need to develop tourism, Africa can also be guilty of overregulation. In Namibia more than 50 permits and certificates are required for lodging owners who want to register or renew registration. In South African compliance costs in 2007 were three times higher than those in other sectors, while high taxation remains a real concern for the industry as governments perceive it as a cash-cow. 9: Tours and Safaris to sub-Saharan Africa cost 25-25% more than trips to other parts of the world, another cited study notes, and flights, including charters, to the region are nearly 50% more expensive. Reasons for this include a lack of competition in the aviation industry (despite having 15% of world population, sub-Saharan Africa has only 4% of the world’s scheduled air service seats), the need for imported goods and services, and high import duties. 10: The region’s competitiveness is also affected by the high cost of developing hotels and debt financing: In much of the world the median cost of developing hotels for a full-service hotel are $200,000, a widely-cited report showed.  In Nigeria for a mid-market hotel you would cough up above $400,000, and $250,000 in Ghana. 11. Low education levels also are a big challenge: Ethiopia can only accommodate 32 students in its catering institute from 300 applications, despite a blossoming hospitality industry. Local value share in many countries is also a problem: most hotel furniture in Tanzania is imported from China. In contrast the Dominican Republic, a global star performer, produces more than 90% of its tourism supplies locally. 12: Rwanda’s great leaps in ease of doing business reforms receive global recognition, but few would know that the desire to increase gorilla tourism and conservation has played a  big role in this, also helping rehabiliate its image. In 2013 the country banked $294 million in tourism receipts, from $62 million dollars in 2000. 13: Globally, tourism is one of the few economic activities where women outnumber men in certain positions, and are paid the same. A 2010 UN  study found that 31% of employers in the hotel and restaurant sector were women, compared to other sectors, providing an outlet for many women who would otherwise be disadvantaged or  out of work. 14: According to the 2013 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Lesotho and Mauritania are in the bottom seven least competitive tour destinations, while Seychelles is the only African country in the top 50. Burundi is awakening to the potential, it has increased hotel bed capacities from under 800 three years ago, to 2,000 today, and attracted the heavy hitters such as the Hilton. 15: Tourism ministries in Africa are often underfunded, leading to donors stepping in. Their efforts can be game-changing. In Tunisia, the government identified several sites for tourism development and invited donors to help. An “anchor development” site was identified and given initial stimulus, leading to the growth of the entire destination. The country now attracts up to seven million tourists annually and accounts for 7.5% of GDP. 16:  Eastern and southern Africa attract more tourists and revenues than West and Central Africa, with Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Ghana the visitor magnets in sub-Saharan Africa. Europe and the US remain the primary source markets for all these countries, despite their best  “Look East” efforts. 17: Average regional figures do not highlight the entire picture of dependence on tourism: the industry accounts for 44% of Seychelles’ GDP and 16% in Mauritius. Both islands are sub-Saharan Africa’s most competitive destinations. East Africa (5%) and southern Africa (3.4%) benefit most, while West Africa and Central Africa lag at 2% and 1.7% respectively. 18: FDI in Africa remains poorly understood and in some countries controversial, with a prevailing argument being that the poor are often disadvantaged. Yet in Tanzania a UN survey found that export earnings from tourism exceed those of gold or agriculture. South Africa utterly dominates tourism FDI with $6.1 billion in 2011. Ghana ($270 million), Kenya ($404 million) and Uganda ($165 million) also received significant FDI in that base year. 19: UN data aggregating 40 of 47 sub-Saharan Africa countries suggests there are 390,000 hotel rooms, but only 10% of these meet international standards. Half of these are in South Africa. Twenty three international hotel chains operate in Africa, the biggest being Accor, Hilton, Intercontinental and Starwood. There are also nine regional brands, with Laico, Protea and Serena the largest. 20: Bribes and corruption can dramatically reverse tourism gains—in the DR Congo spontaneous “fees” can increase aircraft landing fees from $1,000 to more than $12,000 for some flights. The Central African Republic’s “development fee” pre-civil war also doubled the cost—a common way of raising funds by fragile countries, 20 of which are listed on Africa lists. But even mature markets struggle with the problem—up to 75% of Kenyan businesses have reported having to make “informal payments” to get things done. *Source M&G]]>

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Tanzania looks to oil, gas for more prosperity
August 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

The government is taking proper institutional and structural measures to ensure natural gas makes meaningful contribution and steers the country to socio-economic prosperity.   Jakaya-Kikwete-and-US-Secretary-of-State-John-KerryThe thrust is to make sure the gas discoveries in Tanzania become a catalyst for growth and not a resource curse as it has happened in other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world. “We want gas to complement other sectors and not compete and replace them… we want it to boost our economy and not burst it,” said President Jakaya Kikwete during a luncheon held at the Centre for Global Development (CGD) on Monday afternoon. The president who was speaking on the “Future of Tanzania following the discoveries of gas”, told the gathering, which was mainly comprised of the centre’s staff, that the country was set for the beginning of a new era in addition to working around the clock to tap the envisaged benefits. He, however, said for the institutions and policies to work, the conduct of the leadership of the day in making the right decisions at the right time was necessary. “I am committed to do my part to set institutions and regulations right before I vacate office next year. I want to be the last president of this country to manage poverty… I managed poverty but I want my successors to manage prosperity,” said the president. He maintained that the natural gas provided for that and that his preoccupation between now and the end of his term in office were to align the country in a direction for taking off. The good news, he said, was that Tanzania was a democratic state with high public scrutiny and involvement in natural resources monitoring.

According to the president, Tanzania was lucky as the discoveries came at the right time — when the country had launched the 15-year development plan. “Tanzania expects to receive the first revenue from gas around the year 2020, the time when the country would be implementing the last 5 year development plan that ends in 2025.” “That means the discovery of gas will not impact on the implementation of the development plans. This gives us an opportunity to put in place the right institutional, legal and policy environment before revenue from gas starts to flow in,” he said. All in all, he said, the government had made it clear through the national gas policy that the resources found in Tanzania belonged to the people of Tanzania and it must be managed in a way that the benefits would be shared by the entire society. Meanwhile, the president has invited American investors to come and invest in Tanzania and enjoy the most conducive environment of doing business. Speaking during a breakfast talk at the Corporate Council on Africa, Mr Kikwete mentioned a number of attributes that made Tanzania an investment destination of choice. These, he pointed out, included strong economic performance and macro-economic performance, peace and stability — and friendly business environment. *in2eastafrica]]>

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Tanzania ready to do more business with America
August 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

Tanzania has re-affirmed its readiness and strong commitment to do business with the United States and revealed its capacity to absolve 10 times or more of the current volume of investments and trade from America.   By TUMA ABDALLAH* Jakaya-KikwetePresident Jakaya Kikwete said although there were already several investors and businesses from the US operating in Tanzania, he believed the country could do better than the current 4.5 billion US dollars investment and 328.8 million US dollars worth volume of trade. In his message to the US-Africa Leaders Summit that begins here today, the president said vast opportunities existed in oil and gas, mining, agribusiness, infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism and other services. He said Tanzania had a big potential in natural gas with proven deposit of 50.5 tfc and a potential of up to 200 while downstream petrochemical related activities (using gas) were expected to commence soon. “There could be petroleum as well,” he said. Mr Kikwete said the mining sector offered plenty of investment opportunities with almost all minerals known to exist on the earth crust available in Tanzania – some of which found in huge quantities. “Tanzania has industrial minerals such as coal, iron-ore, nickel, cobalt, tin, soda ash and kaolin, plenty of gemstones including diamonds, ruby, garnets, emeralds tourmaline, sapphires and the beautiful tanzanite which is found only in Tanzania,” he said. He added that the country also had deposits of base metals such as gold, silver and copper as well as precious metals such as niobium and titanium. On agriculture and agribusiness, the president said Tanzania had about 44 million hectares of arable land, which was suitable for both tropical and temperate crops. He, however, said that currently, only 25 per cent of the arable land and about 500,000 hectares of the 29.4 million hectares suitable for irrigation were being utilised. The president reported that while about 91 per cent of Tanzania’s agriculture was in the hands of smallholder farmers, large scale agriculture was being promoted and ample land had been dedicated to cater for the needs of large-scale farming. At the same time, he further reported, the government was busy assisting in transforming the agriculture of smallholder farmers through the value chain, while deliberate efforts were being made to encourage local and international private sector to play a more significant role towards that end. President Kikwete told his audience that opportunities also existed in the manufacturing, ICT, power generation, transmission and distribution; ports, railways and tourism inviting US companies to come and invest in this and other areas. He assured them of conducive business and investment environment and peace and stability. According to the president, Tanzania has so many other attributes which makes her an investment destination of choice to investors. They include strategic geographical position with borders with eight countries and a gateway for six landlocked ones. “This provides good investment opportunities for the development of infrastructure, trade, transport and logistics. Currently, there are serious efforts to upgrade and develop ports, roads, telecommunications and railway infrastructure linking the country with Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. Prospective investors are welcome to work with Tanzania to develop these assets,” he explained. Likewise, Mr Kikwete said, the Tanzania provided a sizeable market of 48 million people and an ever growing middle class and skilled labour force. “Tanzania’s population of over 48 million people is predominantly composed of young people. The country has invested substantially in education at all levels which makes skilled labour force readily available. Equally important to note is that so far, the cost of labour in Tanzania is relatively low in comparison to many parts of the world,” he pointed out. He congratulated US President Barack Obama for conceiving the idea of holding and hosting the historic Summit, which he said was a demonstrable proof of Mr Obama’s commitment to deepen US-Africa relationship and accelerate the pace of socio-economic growth and poverty eradication in the continent. Mr Kikwete said the summit offered an excellent forum for African countries to tell their stories about the progress they were making in the social, political and economic and security arena as well as available investment and trade opportunities. He said apart from a few trouble spots, Africa was no longer characterised by political instability, social strife and economic troubles. Economically, he said, the continent was booming and the prospects for the future look very promising. He quoted a report by the ‘Economist’, which showed that for the decade that ended in 2010, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies were in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the IMF, during 2011-2015, seven African countries, Tanzania included, will be among the fastest growing economies in the world. President Kikwete gave an example of Tanzania whose economy in the past decade grew at an average of seven percent. “This year we expect it to grow by 7.2 while Inflation which stands at 6.4 per cent as of June, this year is expected to be brought down to 5 per cent or less by June 2015,” he explained. He attributed such strong macro-economic performance to sound economic policies being pursued by the government in line with the ongoing economic reforms. “The reforms have worked well for Tanzania, which in recent years witnessed phenomenon increase in investment and expansion of trade. FDI inflows, for example, increased from 150 million dollars in 1995 to 1.8 billion dollars in 2014,’’ he noted. *Source Tanzania Daily News/in2eastafrica.net]]>

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Tanzania: As Floods Threaten, Tanzania Aims to Build a Megacity That Works
July 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

A motorcyclist negotiates his way through a flooded road along Bibi titi Mohamed street in Dar es Salaam, following a heavy downpour in March 2014. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Zuberi Musa A motorcyclist negotiates his way through a flooded road along Bibi titi Mohamed street in Dar es Salaam, following a heavy downpour in March 2014. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Zuberi Musa[/caption] Dar es Salaam — Tanzania’s largest commercial city – one of the fastest-growing in Africa – has redrawn its master plan to try to become a megacity prepared for climate change, and not a city of worsening urban sprawl and flooding. The plan, which looks ahead to 2036, aims to transform the city of over 4.5 million people and proposes creation of a Metropolitan Development Authority to oversee planning and major infrastructure development, including transportation and utilities. It calls for measures to mainstream climate change adaptation into existing urban development policies, for instance constructing better storm-water drainage systems for a city increasingly hard-hit by flooding, and relocating residents from areas with high flood risk. The authority would have powers to veto planning decisions by lower municipal councils that are inconsistent with land-use policies for the city. Said Meck Sadick, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, told Thomson Reuters Foundation that the government wants to see Dar es Salaam grow into a megacity with ultra-modern institutions, industries and facilities to attract investment and accommodate an ever-increasing population. The success of the plan, however, depends on enforcing regulations and stopping continued construction of buildings in flood-prone and other prohibited areas, Sadick said. Fast-growing Dar es Salaam generates over 40 percent of Tanzania’s GDP but is exposed to a range of risks from climate change, including flooding, sea level rise, coastal erosion, water scarcity and insect-borne diseases. 10 MILLION BY 2040 According to a government study in 2011, Dar es Salaam is poised to become a megacity with over 10 million people by 2040. Even today, about 140,000 people live in flood-vulnerable areas, with 31,000 people considered at high risk. As the number of people living in slums with poor access to water and sanitation continue to rise, Dar es Salaam epitomises the growing challenges of dealing with urbanisation, poverty and natural disasters, according to experts at ICLEI, a network of more than a thousand cities working on sustainable development and resilience issues. The government estimates that nearly 70 percent of the inhabitants of Dar es Salaam live in informal settlements and urban slums situated in marginal areas at the risk of flash flooding. According to the Resilient Cities Congress Secretariat’s report for 2013, steering development away from high risk areas is one of the most effective ways to limit the costs of extreme weather in the future. However, Silvia Macchi, an associate professor of urban planning at Sapienza University in Italy who has worked on climate change adaptation in Dar es Salaam, said the city’s new plan does not focus sufficiently on long-term climate threats and misses “an opportunity for reshaping urban policy and the city itself” to build resilience to climate change. “Although reference is made to (climate change adaptation) as a key focus of the proposed urban development strategy, no consideration is given to slow and incremental climate change impacts such as seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifer” and the city’s water supplies, she said in an email. That oversight is “probably due to the complex nature of problems faced in Dar,” she said. But city officials in the plan “did not actually change their way of looking at the city,” she charged. Such long-term changes are already affecting people living in the coastal plain of Dar es Salaam, who are increasingly turning to rainwater harvesting as their groundwater supplies become saline, and trying to diversify their sources of income to better face increasing environmental pressures. The city’s new plan should recognise that “such practices represent a valuable resource for resilience planning,” she said. RELOCATION FROM INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS One problem facing officials in Dar es Salaam and other large cities, the ICLEI report noted, is how to enforce land use policies in cities where informal settlements dominate. As part of climate resilience efforts, which include things like construction of a sea wall, mangrove planting and better drainage, the government has relocated 654 families whose homes were engulfed in water in 2011 floods. They were given 100 square-metre plots 35 kilometres from the city centre. In an interview with Thomson Reuters Foundation, Aziza Ali, one of those relocated, said securing a plot of her own was good news, but she can no longer carry on with her cooking business because she is so far away from her former clients in the city. “Transport is the main problem here. I can’t afford Tsh.3,000 ($2) for the bus fare to go to town every day,” she complained. Her family is also still living in the tent the government provided when they made the move in 2011. “I was given 100 bags of cement and iron sheets when the president came to see us but since I don’t have the money to build a house, I ended up selling the materials to feed my family,” she said. Sadick said efforts to relocate informal settlement dwellers out of flood-risk zones are hampered by lack of funding and suitable relocation sites. Many people also prefer to live in the city centre close to services and economic activities, he said. As part of the new master plan, city authorities are implementing a multi-million-dollar low-carbon transport project, which aims to bring state-of-the-art, high-capacity commuter buses to bring people on the city’s fringes into the centre each day for work. * Source Thomson Reuters FoundationKizito Makoye is a journalist based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He reports on climate change and governance issues.]]>

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AfDB boosts Comesa aviation project with Rwf10 billion
July 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Peterson Tumwebaze* [caption id="attachment_10463" align="alignleft" width="300"]Integrating Airspace could expedite economic growth in the region. T.Kisambira Integrating Airspace could expedite economic growth in the region. T.Kisambira[/caption] Regional aviation industry could be enhanced, thanks to African Development Bank’s support to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) airspace integration project. COMESA has put in place a steering committee to undertake a study on how members can harmonise their aviation airspace and boost economic growth in the region. The committee chaired by Rwanda, will also review terms of reference on how the project shall be implemented. The project will cost $10million (about Rwf8billion), according to Dr. Abu sufian  Dafalla, COMESA’s  Director  for  infrastructure. “We expect to establish a robust legal and institutional framework, financially viable and technically feasible system that will accelerate the integration of airspace   infrastructure development in the COMESA region,” Dafalla said. The project seeks to develop  suitable legal and institutional requirements   that will help establish a cooperative regional framework for a single seamless Airspace a cross the COMESA region. The committee is expected to provide a detailed analysis of a strategic technical, financial and operation options for the provision of upper airspace navigation services and Air traffic management systems,  Dafalla said. Francois Kanimba, Rwanda’s minister in charge of trade and industry, said, that integrating the region’s Airspace systems will drive sustainable development for African economies and support local communities. “A strong and vibrant aviation industry is vital for our economies to grow and thrive, however, to achieve this objective it will require contentious dialogue by all partner states and strategic infrastructure investments into the aviation industry,” Kanimba said during the launch of the project in Kigali yesterday. Kanimba, further noted that critical ground installations plus a harmonised global traffic control system is critical for regional trade. Osman Ali Aymen, Chief Transport Engineer at the African Development Bank, said, that the banks’ support is a quick reaction to the critical milestone  in the development of Africa’s  aviation  industry. “Establishing a more interconnected air transport system is key to Africa’s economic development. Our mandate is to continue supporting this project through building a sound regulatory framework, infrastructure development and harmonisation of Airspace within the region.” * newtimes]]>

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Rwanda: African Leaders Back Creation of Eastern African Standby Force
June 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

East-Africa-LeadersAfrican Heads of State and government have supported the creation of a well-equipped standby force to help in tackling security challenges in the region. The leaders meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, said Africa required a deployable standby force to combat new security challenges. President Paul Kagame chaired the 3rd extraordinary meeting of the Eastern African Standby Force Assembly. Meant to enhance security in the Eastern Africa region, the East African Standby Force will be composed of military, police and civilians serving as regional mechanism to ensure rapid preventive and intervention deployment for peace and stability in the region. Opening the session, President Kagame reiterated the need for the region to work together to solve common security challenges on the continent. The meeting was attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, Ikililou Dhoinine of Comoros and Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto. Others were Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed of Somalia, First Vice-President Bakry Hassan Salih of Sudan, Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf of Djibouti and Minister Jean Paul Adam of Seychelles. President Museveni stressed the importance of investing in peace, adding that the high financial cost of ensuring peace remains far less than the price people continue to pay for insecurity. All member states of the Eastern African Standby Force committed to deploying all means to ensure the full operational capacity of the force by December 2015. Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda pledged one battalion each with Rwanda pledging to provide medical personnel. Conceptualisation: Mooted in 2005, the East African Standby Force will be composed of 10 member states, including Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda with South Sudan scheduled to join the force. The East African Standby Force will work to contribute to regional and continental peace through a regional conflict prevention, management and resolution capability able to respond effectively to crisis within Eastern Africa and across the African continent. As one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force, the Eastern African Standby Force will form an integral part of the Peace and Security Council and as part of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Meanwhile, during his second day in Malabo, President Kagame also attended the opening ceremony of the African Union Summit where members discussed the summit’s theme of transforming Africa’s agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development. *allafrica]]>

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Barrick Gold Unit Is Accused of Bribery in Africa
June 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Mining Firm Doles Out $400,000 in Cash to Officials, Others; Company Says Payments Are Legitimate   By RACHEL LOUISE ENSIGN and CHRISTOPHER M. MATTHEWS* African Barrick Gold ABG.LN +2.64% PLC’s North Mara gold mine is a tough place to do business. imagesThe site, in a remote region of Tanzania, is nearly 700 hundred miles from the commercial hub Dar es Salaam. Travel is difficult and infrastructure, nearly nonexistent. But for African Barrick and parent Barrick Gold Corp. ABX.T -1.79% , the site is posing more than logistical headaches. As part of a process to buy land near the mine starting last year, African Barrick paid more than $400,000 in cash mostly to Tanzanian government officials and consultants responsible for valuing the land, according to company invoices and copies of checks reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. An anonymous person said the payments were bribes to officials in position to influence African Barrick’s business interests, according to an email sent to the company last year and reviewed by the Journal. The person didn’t describe any quid pro quo behind the payments. African Barrick and Toronto-based Barrick Gold said payments they made weren’t bribes and were legitimate payments for expenses and allowances tied to an agreement with the Tanzanian government. “Cash is often the only viable method of payment because in many regions of the country, banking infrastructure and services are extremely limited, or sometimes not available at all,” the companies said. “All such payments are carefully documented, monitored and controlled.” The nearest bank was hours from the mine, people close to the company said. An investigation for the companies by law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP found that African Barrick “acted appropriately in all instances, in accordance with Tanzanian, U.S., and U.K. law,” the companies said. African Barrick recently has cut back on paying officials for certain expenses and is evaluating how to make payments differently, according to company budgets and the people close to the company. The Tanzanian government didn’t respond to requests for comment. U.S. authorities have said that cash payments to government officials, while not necessarily illegal, are a red flag. “The most obvious form of corrupt payment is large amounts of cash,” says a guide from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The anonymous person’s email mentioned plans to report the African Barrick payments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act units of the Justice Department and the SEC. The 1977 law makes it illegal to offer money or a gift to foreign-government officials to gain a business advantage. Barrick Gold shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange, making the company and its subsidiaries subject to the FCPA. If a person provides information that leads to an SEC action, the person can get up to 30% of any penalty the agency recovers. The SEC and the Justice Department declined to comment. Canada has a similar law that makes it illegal for Canadian citizens and companies to bribe foreign government officials. Barrick Gold declined to comment on whether U.S. authorities have contacted the firms regarding the allegations. African Barrick’s earnings fell sharply last year, though the North Mara mine increased output, according to the company’s annual report. Barrick reduced its stake in African Barrick in March as part of an effort to pay down debt and focus on its most profitable operations. Under a memorandum of understanding between African Barrick and the Tanzanian government that was reviewed by the Journal, local and national officials would oversee the valuation of land parcels that African Barrick wanted to buy and determine their owner. The company would compensate the officials with allowances and pay cash for travel and other expenses, the memorandum and the people close to the company said. Some of the money was paid in cash to Adam Yusuf, the head of a Tanzanian government task force overseeing the land valuation for African Barrick, with the intention that he would deliver cash to other officials, according to the documents reviewed by the Journal. Mr. Yusuf was responsible for asking for money, picking up the cash at a bank and turning in documentation, such as sign-in sheets, that the cash was used as intended, the people close to the company said. Two people inside the company raised concerns over the cash payments to Mr. Yusuf and other officials, according to company emails. Mr. Yusuf didn’t respond to requests for comment. Jerry Minja, a district land officer who also received cash as a part of the process, according to company emails, said the agreement between the government and African Barrick prevented him from commenting. The company’s payments began last year after African Barrick began a new process to buy land close to the North Mara mine. Past efforts to buy land had been hampered by problems such as unreliable land documentation, the people close to the company said. The task force was comprised at various points of between five and 13 government officials and met regularly for a year starting in February of last year, according to the documents reviewed by the Journal. The officials sometimes participated in a broader group that a company budget and an email listed as having up to roughly 140 additional members. A large portion of the payments, which ranged from about $19,000 to roughly $121,000, were for allowances to compensate task-force members for their time, according to the documents reviewed by the Journal. The task-force officials received up to roughly $250 a day in such fees for as many as 45 days at a time, according to African Barrick budgets. Some of the fees covered a “night out allowance.” Other payments were designated for stationery, gasoline and other contingencies, according to the budgets. Tanzania’s per capita gross national income is $570 a year, according to the World Bank. African Barrick received sign-in sheets saying that government officials picked up their payments, the people close to the company said. The company received receipts vouching for the officials’ gasoline usage, for which the company initially gave the officials cash, the people said. Jaco Maritz, African Barrick’s interim chief financial officer until last September, raised concerns about the cash payments, according to an internal email reviewed by the Journal. After receiving an email in March 2013 from a mine employee requesting about $121,000 in cash for a meeting with government officials, he wrote back, “Let’s find best way to deal with payments going forward to avoid cash payments where possible.” Mr. Maritz, who is now vice president for finance, said in response to a request for comment that the company takes all its compliance obligations and internal controls seriously. “In this case, the company applied a high degree of oversight to ensure we met our obligations, complied with the law at all times and also followed company procedures,” he said in written statement.” *wsj]]>

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