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East Africa: Irrigation Farming ‘Only Way to Food Security’

As Tanzania grapples with delayed rains that are certain to adversely affect agriculture, new analyses tout increased investment in irrigation as a solution to food insecurity.

Tanzania generates its food mostly through rain-fed agriculture which is currently being threatened by drought facing East African countries.

Agriculture accounts for about 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and the sector employs nearly 70 per cent of the working population.

Most parts of the country received rains below average between October and December last year and there are signs there will be insufficient harvests this agricultural season.

As experts advise the government to evaluate the drought in order to have a clear picture of what the food situation will be in the next few months and take the necessary precautionary measures, irrigation farming is being suggested as the long-term intervention needed to save agriculture. Tanzania is one of the countries which have a huge potential for irrigation farming–a potential that hasn’t been well exploited.

The National Irrigation Master Plan (NIMP) 2002 prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Security and Co-operatives in collaboration with the government of Japan through its International Cooperation Agency (Jica) indicated that the total irrigation development potential in Tanzania Mainland stands at 29.4 million hectares.

Out of those, 2.3 million hectares are classified as high potential, 4.8 million hectares medium potential and 22.3 million hectares as low potential.

However, presently only 460,000 hectares are under irrigation. However, the government says it targets to expand irrigation farming to cover at least one million hectares come 2020.

The director general of the National Irrigation Commission, Mr Seth Luswema, says there is political will to develop irrigation in the country but more investment focus is needed from both the public and the private sector.

“We are now reviewing the irrigation masterplan as part of our effort to reach the targets,” he said over the phone, adding:

“Funding is still a challenge and as you know, it depends on the revenue collection. Some projects are integrated to have water resources and generate power. This kind of investment is not a joke. It needs collective efforts from public and private sectors,” he added.

He said Tanzania needs between Sh2 trillion and Sh5 trillion to complete irrigation projects that will increase the coverage to one million hectares as planned.

According to him, Tanzania has 2,800 irrigation schemes countrywide.

The minister for Water and Irrigation, Mr Gerson Lwenge, was quoted by the media last year as saying that more than Sh39 billion was allocated to the Irrigation Commission for the current budget year.

Tanzania enacted the National Irrigation Act 2013 in a bid to protect farmers from the growing stresses of extreme weather and climate change, by promoting better use of irrigation.

The National Irrigation Act strengthens the National Irrigation Policy of 2010.

Among other things, the law establishes the Irrigation Commission, a national body with the mandate to coordinate, promote and regulate irrigation activities across the country.

Researchers and experts are rooting for more investment in the irrigation farming as solution for the farmers to manage drought caused by climate change and reduce hunger.

“The development of irrigated agriculture has boosted agricultural yields and increased the number of cropping seasons to two or more in many parts of the world, thereby conserving important forest resources, contributing to price stability under climate variability, and helping to feed the world’s growing population,” says the deputy director of the Environment and Production Technology Division of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Claudia Ringler in a summary of new analyses.

For instance, rice production in irrigation schemes with developed infrastructure is estimated to be over 5.0 tonnes per hectare while under rain-fed agriculture the yield is less than 2 tonnes per hectare.

Last October, the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) of the IFPRI ranked Tanzania 96 out of 118 countries, with a “serious” level of hunger. The country has made significant progress in reducing hunger, according to the report though, down from a high of 42.4 score in the “alarming” category in 2000 to 28.4 in 2016.

The GHI is a tool designed for the IFPRI to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally, regionally, and by country.

Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda were in the same group of “serious” level of hunger but with different scores.

The analyses indicate that a combination of accelerated irrigation development with increased investments in water use efficiency at the basin scale would reduce prices of rice, wheat, and maize by 7.4 per cent, 3.6 per cent, and 1.5 per cent, respectively by 2030.

“Although some of these investments might seem expensive, they would provide huge benefits to communities in the developing world and have the potential to help millions leave poverty and hunger behind,” adds Ms Ringler.

Source: allafrica

World Bank skills project targets 30,000 youth

A new World Bank initiative has been launched to help Tanzanian youth improve the quality of their skills and tap into the country’s key economic sectors.

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The US$120 million programme announced on 16 June will see at least 30,000 trainees in university, technical, vocational and alternative programmes benefit from an initiative designed to help eradicate deficiencies in workforce skills in Tanzania. The initiative is being funded under the World Bank’s International Development Association.

Dubbed Education and Skills for Productive Jobs, the project aims to improve the quality, quantity and relevance of skills vital for sustainable development and employment.

This will strengthen the institutional mechanisms of Tanzania’s new National Skills Development Strategy – NSDS 2016-2021 – which aims to boost the supply of quality labour for industries.

According to the World Bank, it is critical that Tanzania promotes short-term approaches to capacity building such as short-cycle training and firm-based training in addition to vocational, technical and university training.

Key areas

Young people will be trained in key economic areas such as tourism and hospitality; agriculture, agribusiness and agro-processing; transport and logistics; construction; information and communications technology; and energy.

According to a World Bank statement, Tanzanian firms have identified a skills gap that is higher than the average in Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. The country also has low levels of skills compared to other developing countries, and the gap is greater at medium and higher skills levels.

An information document linked to the project states that about 32% of the population has either no primary education or incomplete primary education. Around 46% of people have completed primary education.

In addition, a large proportion of unsuccessful firms have complained of skills constraints, with 63% reporting that a lack of workers with the right skills contributed to their failure.

Long-term development

“The improvement of human capital by helping to address the skills gap is critical for the attainment of the country’s goal to become an industrialised economy, create income opportunities and reduce poverty,” said Bella Bird, World Bank country director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somalia.

“But also with the population of job-seeking youths growing ever so rapidly, these actions are important for long-term development.”

The five-year initiative will be implemented in accordance with the Tanzanian government’s National Skills Development Strategy guidelines under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

The project will support the progress of integrated reporting and management of information systems, to enable the ministry to collect, consolidate and use real time data on service delivery for planning and monitoring.

Similarly, the project will support training institutions being funded to develop systems to track post-training employment of graduates.
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East Africa gets $16m fund for transport

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – The second round of Challenge Fund support for innovators and entrepreneurs working in the logistics and transport sector was officially announced last week in Dar es Salaam. 

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The Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT) Challenge Fund is a $16 million (Tsh.35.2 billion) grant-based financial mechanism that supports innovators with good ideas for products or services that can reduce the costs of transport and logistics in East Africa.

According to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) which is a not-for-profit organisation funded by a range of development agencies with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through trade, LIFT will provide grants ranging from $ 150,000 to $ 1,000,000 (Tsh.330 million to Tsh.2.2billion respectively) to winning proposals from innovators from across the world whose project ideas will be implemented in the East African Community (EAC).

It was further revealed that the launch follows a successful inaugural round that saw 9 awards to projects that are touted deliver a significant reduction in time and transport costs in their area of operations

LIFT is a TMEA initiative managed by Nathan Associates through a Fund Management Team based in Nairobi with funding support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). LIFT seeks to trigger and introduce innovative approaches to tackling freight and transport costs in the East Africa region.

East Africa is reported to have the highest freight and transport costs in the world; over 50% higher than the USA and Europe per kilometre. Indeed, transport costs for landlocked countries in the region can be as high as 75% of the value of exports.

Transit times have the most significant effect on exports and also result in firms having to carry higher levels of stocks making them less efficient.

Successful LIFT projects will contribute to TMEA’s objective of reducing transport time along the main East Africa transport corridors by 15% by the end of 2016.

Speaking at a side interview session after the launch, Dr. Josephat Kweka, Country Director Tanzania, TMEA said that it was their hope that the entrepreneurs and innovators of the EAC in partnership with their counterparts internationally will drive forward development through the adoption or introduction of ‘best practice’ technologies in the transport and logistics sector, enabling local businesses to compete favorably in the increasingly global economy.

“LIFT is a valuable financial instrument that supports private sector ‘can-do’ to develop and test new ideas that should reduce the cost and time of transport and logistics in the EAC and TMEA is essentially co-investing with the private sector in projects that are seen as being too risky to undertake without external sponsorship or support,” Dr. Kweka said.

LIFT Challenge Fund Manager Mr. David Mitchell emphasized the impact of the challenge fund to local entrepreneurs saying that the Challenge Fund instruments fill a significant gap in the financial support needs of private businesses and the innovators that drive business activity to greater results and efficiencies.

“This is achieved while mitigating the risks of high-return projects that mainstream banking and financial institutions tend to avoid supporting due to the uncertainties of the business proposition or a bank’s own lack of experience in the sector,” Mitchell said.

The LIFT Challenge Fund is open to businesses and individuals throughout the world that are either presently operating or intend to be based in the EAC. Businesses in the transport and logistics sector, or those that provide services to actors within it, are now being invited to submit their innovative concepts to LIFT for possible funding.

Recognising the initial promise and success of Round 1 LIFT Award winners, David added, “We have 9 Round 1 projects that confidently predict they will deliver a significant reduction in time and transport costs in their area of operations, but with a wider extrapolation of the best practices proven, it is entirely logical that trade levels and the competitiveness of regional enterprises will be enhanced”.

He said a reduction of a single day in transit times between Dar es Salaam and Kigali for example should offer a potential for a 7% increase in export volumes, thus reductions in transit costs and times will present real potential for a resulting increase in trade attached to the wider benefits of a reduction in the cost of living and a more rapid growth in the creation of new jobs across the EAC.

TMEA works closely with EAC institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations. TMEA is funded by a range of investors in development that include: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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Source: busiweek


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Tanzania: Unesco Steps Up Conservation of World Heritage Sites

Arusha — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has issued a new declaration aimed at strengthening conservation of the world heritage sites.

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The document released, read and adopted at the end of an international conference on the heritage sites in Arusha which ended at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) over the weekend.

The “Ngorongoro Declaration on World Heritage and Sustainable Development 2016” was read before delegates by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Gaudence Milanzi.

“This is going to be a windfall to all communities around living within or around the world heritage sites across the world, including Tanzania and specifically here at Ngorongoro,” he said. The Declaration stressed that contrary assertion in some quarters, conservation was a key driver to sustainable development and must be embraced by policy makers in all countries.

Under it the main beneficiaries should be the communities living around them, he stressed as scores of delegates, many of them wildlife researchers, conservation experts and tourism officials toured the iconic Ngorongoro Crater.

A world heritage site is a place or man-made structure which is preserved because of its special cultural or physical significance to the global community and listed by Unesco.

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Tanzania: Promotion of Local Tourism Encouraged

IN a move to promote domestic tourism, a local company, Jovago has launched an online campaign dubbed ‘Tanzania Yetu’ to encourage local residents to visit attraction sites in the country.

Addressing members of the media in Dar es Salaam recently, the Public Relations Manager of Jovago, Ms Lilian Kisasa, said that the campaign was aimed at encouraging Tanzanians to share photos and videos of the attraction sites they have visited across the country using #Tanzaniayetu.

“Through various social media like face book and Instagram, people will be able to post photos and videos of the country’s attractions they have visited so as to encourage others,” said Ms Kisasa.

Based on Tourism Report of 2015, most tourists visiting the country are from Kenya, United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, South Africa and France, which constitutes 60 per cent of foreign visitors and 40 per cent domestic.

“The campaign will require local people to share their experiences in the tourism sector so as to motivate those who have never done so to explore their own country and enjoy the beautiful attractive places they have never seen before,” she pointed out.

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According to the Country Manager of Jovago Tanzania, Mr Andrea Guzzoni, Tanzania has a lot of potential that people could learn from and enjoy the beauties of the country. “We do appreciate foreign visitors into the country but local residents should take personal initiatives to promote their own tourism sector so as to boost the economy of the country,” noted Mr Guzzoni. On his part, The Director of Tourism and Marketing at TANAPA, Mr Ibrahimu Mussa, lauded the effort taken by Jovago in promoting the tourism industry in the country.

“Technological use of such nature in our country should be encouraged, taking into consideration the gradual use of smart phones,” said Mr Mussa. He said sharing videos and photos is an easy way of creating awareness, therefore most people in the process will be motivated to visit the sites.

He added that in the next financial year, the ministry intends to extend further their service by posting adverts of the country’s sites through the social media and currently the attractions possess social media pages such as face book and instagram. “Statistics shows our annual site visitations include approximately 950 tourists whereas domestic tourists comprise of 300-450 people,” added Mr Mussa.

He called upon Tanzanians to overcome the misconception that only rich people are the ones who can afford to visit the country’s attraction sites. “Anybody can visit our attractions regardless of being well off or not, because the entry fee is affordable, people can simply organise themselves as a group to cater for transport issues,” he said.

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Tanzania to have maiden geopark

TANZANIA, a country with the biggest number of National Parks in the world, is also about to become the first African state south of the Sahara to establish a maiden geopark.

The first ever ‘geopark’ in both the country and the Sub- Saharan African Region, whose initial establishment process has started, is going to be mapped across four districts in Arusha Region within the Northern Tourism Circuit. It will cover scenic sections of Karatu, Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro Districts.

The hot and puffing, active volcano and Tanzania’s third highest peak, Oldoinyo L’engai Mountain will be one of the highlights for the geopark.

The first ever sub-Saharan geopark project, initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) is being coordinated by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), involving district officials and community leaders.

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The European Union (EU) is funding the maiden geopark and according to Engineer Joshua Mwankunda, the Acting Manager for the NCAA Cultural Heritage Department, EU has already floated 1.8 million Euros, (equivalent to 4.3 billion/-) as initial funding towards the proposed geopark. Geoparks are supposed to be a unified geographical area which addresses the protection and use of geological heritage in a sustainable way, while also promoting social and economic well-being of the people residing within the earmarked location for the park.

So far there is only one geopark on the African continent and this is found further North in Morocco. But for the south of Sahara region, the proposed one in Northern Tanzania is going to be the first.

A special meeting of officials to lay down plans for the maiden geopark was held in Arusha over the weekend, involving district commissioners, council chairpersons, executive directors and tourism officers, as well as administrative secretaries from Longido, Monduli, Karatu and Ngorongoro districts.

“Karatu Geopark will encompass the Eyasi escarpments, Lake Eyasi and its nearby Rock paintings as well as Endoro waterfalls,” said the Karatu District Council Chairman, Mr Jubilate Gerson Mnyenge.

On his part, Mr Isaac Ernest, the Chairman of Monduli District Council mentioned the Engaruka plains and Mto-wa-Mbu valley as an area linked to the proposed Geopark being undertaken through the Ngorongoro-Lengai Management board.

The Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Mr Hashim Mgandilwa, said the active Oldonyo Lengai mountain (mountain of God), its corresponding Lake Natron, the Engaresero rocky hills and pillars of erosion are among the spellbinding features that will make the Tanzanian geopark a force to reckon with as far as scientific and tourism values are concerned.

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Tanzania’s government cautioned over spending conservation revenue

TANZANIA (eTN) – Wildlife and tourism stakeholders are skeptical about the Tanzanian government’s decision to abolish retention of funds, collected by wildlife conservation institutions, for other spending, saying the plan would kill the wildlife parks.

Conservationists from Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es salaam and the northern tourist city of Arusha saying that the government of Tanzania should stop meddling with conservation of wildlife by shelving retention of funds collected from tourists for other spending.

Comments from wildlife conservationists were aired after Tanzanian minister for Finance Mr. Phillip Mpango announced through the parliament a plan by his government to abolish retention scheme which allowed public institutions to bank the operational funds for own spending.

Under the new arrangement by the government of Tanzania, all public institutions, including the national parks, will be required to submit all park fee collections to the Ministry of Finance for retention under the central government control.

Conservationists fear that in this case the national parks and wild game reserves failing to execute their duties for lack adequate funding. Tanzania’s government had earlier allowed the wildlife conservation institutions to spend their own generated funds for strengthening anti-poaching operations.

Wildlife conservation institutions in Tanzania are the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Wildlife Division, which has been transformed to Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA).

Friends of wildlife conservation and tourist stakeholders have been worried to see the Tanzania’s government sucking the tourist fees, collected by wildlife parks, for other uses outside conservation activities.

An outspoken member of parliament Mr. Peter Serukamba warned the government over consequences ahead of its own decision to siphon funds from wildlife parks, a situation he said would kill the tourist parks through the lack of adequate funds for protecting the wildlife.

In Tanzania, all wildlife parks are managed by the government through the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, but operating freely through collection of park entry fees collected from visitors, concessions, hunting and other fees remitted by visitors and companies operating inside the parks.

On the other side, Tanzania depends on foreign support for wildlife conservation activities.

Tanzania National Parks is the leading and biggest wildlife conservation institution, commanding and managing 16 parks, which stand as the leading tourist attraction and the source of tourist revenues approaching US$2 billion from 1.2 million tourists, as per recent statistics.

Source: sustainabletourismalliance


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Tanzania: A Tourist Paradise in Its Own Right

LOCATED midway Cape Town in South Africa and Cairo, the city of Arusha is Tanzania’s tourism hub. It is also known to the tourism world as the safari capital of Tanzania. The city straddles the Great North Road connecting Cape Town to Cairo. By a quirk of fate, Arusha is also located at the geographical centre of East African countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

It is, consequently, the capital of the East African Community (EAC), a body revived by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, after its demise in 1977. Burundi and Rwanda are also EAC members. The city of Arusha had a humble beginning in the 1890’s and grew up to become a world renowned city.

The first guide book produced on Arusha town (and the Northern Province as Arusha Region was then called) was published on December 5, 1929 to mark the opening of the Moshi to Arusha railway line. The official opening was made by the British Governor of Tanganyika, Sir Donald Cameron.

The first session of the Tanganyika Legislative Council to be held in Arusha took place at the same time. In 1929, the guide book says, 5,000 sterling pounds were enough capital to acquire land.

The same amount of money was enough to hire land tillers who also planted coffee and brought it to a bearing stage. The Arusha area also had vast potential for citrus fruits, horticulture and sisal with the climate and rainfall being conducive to ‘White settlement’.

Arusha was a ‘little piece of England.’ At the end of the First World War (WW1) Arusha town was slightly more than a hamlet. There were few shops and no motorcars or garages.

Ox-wagons were the main means of transport and the 79-kilometre journey from Arusha to Moshi, which takes an hour by car now, took more than a week by ox-wagon. By 1929, however, the face of Arusha was beginning to change with the New Arusha Hotel (NAH) of the day proudly advertising that it had hot and cold water in all bedrooms, electricity lights, modern sanitation and a teak dance floor.

To be precise, the advert said: “If you wish to have a real enjoyable holiday, then go to Arusha and stay at the New Arusha Hotel, where you will obtain hot and cold water in all bed-rooms, modern sanitation, Teak dancing floor, electric light and really excellent food as well as golf.”

The advert also appealed for customers saying that the hotel had a tennis court, big game (wild animals) and bird shooting. A company owned by John Mulholland claimed that it had the ‘finest bacon slicing machine in the territory,’ and Major A.E. Pekins advertised for more white settlers, mostly from Britain.

In 1957 the East Africa Tourist Travel Association produced the first formal guide book to the town of Arusha. Not surprisingly, there was a picture of Maasai family ( man, woman and child) on the cover and Mount Meru in the background.

The guide was published four years before Independence in 1961. The book also carried advertisements from a ‘European’ bakery, meat shop for ‘European service,’ and ‘European vegetable shop.’ There was also an advert on ‘European hospital.’

The 1952 census put the population of Arusha town at 7,797. The census figures in colonial days showed racial divisions. So, the population of Arusha comprised 3,560 Africans, 3,153 Asians and 1,084 Europeans. In 1952 the tariff for single room in New Arusha Hotel with a private bath was 40/-. Breakfast was four shillings and lunch seven shillings. Today, Arusha City is simply dynamic.

Part of the present scenario has been brought on by the dramatic increase in the tourist trade and the rural-urban migration that affects all societies. Lured by the city’s potential people have resettled in the city from all over Tanzania and various parts of the world.

This cosmopolitan liveliness may at times border on chaos to the visiting outsider. Pushcarts carrying items ranging from roofing sheets to grass for domestic livestock ‘compete’ with motor vehicles on the city’s narrow roads.

Hawkers virtually block the pavements with goods displayed on the ground. The presence of mineral market and mineral mines has also helped boost the population. In 2007 the city of Arusha was estimated to have 359,044 residents.

A report compiled at that time by the City Director, Mr Raphael Mbunda, showed that further 100,000 people entered the city daily and leave the same day. The city of Arusha has been developing as the capital of the East African Community (EAC) with the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) at the pivot. Arusha has also the distinction of being the centre of the trade in Tanzanite which is mined at Mererani in Manyara region.

The industrial potential of unique Lake Natron, once developed will add to the region’s prestige as an industrial region. Lake Natron, contains the country’s only commercial deposits of soda ash.

Arusha region’s commercial, industrial, tourist and agricultural might make the region the second largest consumer of electricity and gives the region the sixth longest regional economy after Dar es Salaam Mwanza and Shinyanga. The population boom has over-stretched social services.

What is required is fresh look at the Arusha master plan and better implementation initiative. Water supply is one of the sectors that have been over-stretched by the population boom. Out of the 14 deep boreholes that supply the city with water, 12 are located in Arumeru District.

Only two boreholes are located within the perimeters of the city. The city also gets water from two springs located in Arumeru District. In 2006 the city of Arusha had water requirement of 42,000 litres per day while actual production stood at 35,000 litres during dry seasons and 44,000 litres during rainy seasons.

Arusha City residents are mainly business people. The city has a sizable population of industrialists, tourism operators, urban village farmers and livestock keepers. The main sources of revenue for the city, however, are industries, businesses and tourism. About 52 per cent of residents in Arusha depend on the three economic sectors. Arusha city has 12 major factories that contribute significantly to the

These include General Tyre East Africa; Tanzania Breweries and Sunflag. Others are Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries; A to Z (treated mosquito net industry); Kilima Bottlers; MB Super Food; Sunkist Jumbo Mills; Tanfoam Industries; National Milling Corporation; Foills and Silos Industries and Arusha meat Company.

The city also is home to more than 200 small-scale industries. Residents in the city require a total of 95,240.3 tonnes of grains and 14,654 tonnes of legumes per year. Arusha District is self-sufficient in food annually, depending on rain performance.

Arusha Meat Company, an abattoir that was built in 1991 and which is owned entirely by the Arusha City Council, has slaughter capacity of 500 cattle and 400 goats and sheep per day. At the moment the abattoir slaughters only 150 cattle and 130 goats and sheep.

The main problem that afflicts Arusha Meat Company is lack of capital that would enable the company to expand its slaughter houses (killing floors), build more storage rooms (drilling rooms), increase supply of water and abattoir equipment.

The city council plans to solve the problem by entering into public-private partnership in order to secure funds for improvement of the meat processing operations. The company has market value of 1,305,000,000/-. Arusha Region is the second to Dar es Salaam on the industrial development ranking. There are large, medium and small-scale industries scattered all over the region.

The major industries produce textiles, iron and steel. There are also large-scale industries dealing in wood, electrical and electronic appliances and beverages. Also in this rank are food industries and milling industries.

Others are pharmaceutical, chemical and plastics industries. The region has 11 hospitals, 34 health centres and 197 dispensaries. These facilities have a total of 1,743 hospital beds. The most common diseases in the region includes malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, anaemia and tuberculosis.

Source: allafrica


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Elephant poaching, tourism and politics in Tanzania

TANZANIA (eTN) – Ahead of Tanzania’s general election in late October, opposition presidential hopeful, Edward Lowassa, has vowed to end poaching of elephants and trade in blood ivory.

Mr. Lowassa, who is vying for the Tanzania presidential post under the ticket of the leading opposition Chadema party, had vowed to see elephant poaching and illegal trade in blood ivory get thrown into the archives when elected to the top post, to lead this African wildlife-rich nation.

He blamed the current government under the ruling CCM party for hibernating corrupt elements known to carry out poaching of elephants and trade in blood ivory, and also the illegal trade of live animals.

The ardent politician and former Tanzanian Prime Minister told his supporters and hundreds of thousands of excited voters that poaching of elephants and destruction of forests were areas his new government will be committed to ending.

He said during his election campaign in Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam that his new government will ensure a sustainable conservation practice to protect Tanzania’s forests and wildlife parks, which constitutes about 300,000 square kilometers of nature-protected land.

Mr. Lowassa told the biggest crowd of enthusiasts every observed that he was committed to attract tourists and travel trade investments to establish hotels and tourist accommodation facilities in Tanzania as a plan to attract 2 million tourists during the next 5 years against the 1.2 million tourists recorded this year.

In line with the establishment of premium tourist hotels and lodges, the Tanzania’s presidential hopeful said his new government will strive to train more local graduates in the hospitality industry as a means to raise productivity in tourism.

He accused the CCM government for embracing corruption which had made Tanzania lose its elephants at a rocket speed. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), also known as the World Wildlife Fund in the US and Canada, along with the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Save the Elephant, reported that around 99,000 to 100,000 elephants were gunned down between 2005 to 2015 inside Tanzania’s protected and unprotected areas.

The opposition Chadema party had voiced its concern in the Tanzanian parliament, accusing the government of Tanzania over laxity, corruption, and inefficiency among officials in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism which led to escalating poaching of elephants and poor performance in the tourism industry.

The Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Peter Msigwa, from the liberal opposition Chadema party, has been vocal on a poaching spree, looking to see the CCM government end elephant slaughtering and illegal exportation of live animals.

He once provided data showing the gravity of the poaching of elephants, trade in blood ivory, and export of live animals from this country to the Middle East, China, Vietnam, Singapore, and other South Asian states.

Mr. Msigwa claimed that all indications point to the fact that poaching is now beyond the control of the Tanzania government under CCM’s corrupt policies.

Mr. Lowassa also promised to establish a viable airline to take over from the ailing Air Tanzania (ATC), Tanzania’s national air carrier, which is operating at a loss and dependent on subsidies from taxpayer money.

Established in 1977, this airline remains just a name now, and has had its most domestic, regional, and international routes captured by private and foreign-registered airlines.

Mr. Lowassa also vowed to restructure and revive the historical Central Railway line built by Germans 104 years ago. This rail cuts across the center of Tanzania and is best for tourist excursions, but has been neglected by the CCM government in favor of truck owners.

Likewise, the coalition of the opposition party leaders had accused the ruling CCM party for embracing foreignization policies in favor of foreign investments which had given corrupt investors an open path to transfer huge sums of money to offshore accounts, leaving Tanzanians poorer and a wider gap between the rich and the poor growing.

Together with the liberal Chadema leaders, the opposition coalition blamed the current CCM led-government for massive divestiture of once leading state-owned companies in favor of incompetent investors, saying the ruling party’s neo-communist ideologies had plunged Tanzania into an abyss of abject poverty, corruption, and theft of public funds.

Local media outlets and the opposition side are accusing the ruling party’s economic policies favoring unscrupulous foreign investors who had robbed this country from its natural resources, changing Tanzania into a “Squandered Eden.”

They as well blamed the government for its failure to solve the long-existing conflicts between pastoralists, farmers, and wildlife conservators in areas or localities bordering tourist and wildlife parks, looking for Mr. Lowassa to solve these conflicts.

Tanzania will hold its general, presidential election in late October to elect a new head of state and members of parliament after the ten-year term of the outgoing president Mr. Jakaya Kikwete.

Source: eturbonews


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Tanzania Hands Out Tourism Accolades

Arusha — The 2015 Tourism for the Future Awards which was held in Arusha recently left me with much excitement and grandeur writes ELISHA MAYALLAH.

The day-long event was packed with different presentations from well-selected tourism stakeholders who shared their knowledge, showcased, acknowledged and later rewarded the best practices in sustainable tourism across Africa.

The message in most of the presentations recognized the quality and abundance of Africa’s resource endowment for tourism, which is exceptional and caters for the environment and community development.

This is because the travel sector has a direct link in the tourism industry in which services and products are integrated to achieve a destination experience.

Traveler’s Eye Tanzania was the main organizer of the event. It was founded to positively contribute to the development and socio-environmental impact of the tourism industry across Africa.

The focus is on pro-sustainable tourism projects, taking part in sustainable development of Africa as a leading tourist destination region through advocating for environmental conservation and socio-cultural authenticity.

Having already been recognized internationally, Traveler’s Eye Tanzania was officially endorsed by the Tanzanian Ministry of natural resources and tourism on the 10th September 2014 to be the national sustainable tourism driver for Tanzania.

The awards, according to Vanessa Baldwin, one of organizing partner, recognized community based organization (CBOs) that provide socio-economic benefits to the host communities which are meant to secure a sustainable future for the Tourism industry in Africa and to ensure that tourism is a driver of the economy.

The award event is a product of Africa’s first Pan-African Sustainable tourism campaign “Uniting to Conserve Africa’s Legacy”.

It hosted representatives from across Africa and the world featuring the International tourism trade and conservation communities.

Other invitees were from the African economic bodies, environmental activists, regional and International development agencies, awards application finalists and the African tourism community.

Emerging top in a competitive categories from Tanzania were Tengeru Cultural Tourism Programme, African Wildlife Trust and Zara Tanzania Adventures, all from the tourism wonderlands of the north of the country.

The Tengeru Cultural Tourism Programme, based near Arusha, emerged top in the culture and heritage category while Zara Tanzania Adventure won the sustainable business award. The Arusha based African Wildlife Trust won the environment conservation award.

Gladness Obed Pallangyo could not hide her joy when Travellers across Africa voted Tengeru Cultural Tourism Programme to the Culture and Heritage Preservation Award.

“This win means a whole lot for us, we appreciate it as it gives us further exposure,” Gladness Pallangyo said, after receiving the award from the Tanzanian minister of natural resources and tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu.

Six winners were announced at the event of the Tourism for The Future Awards Africa, which partnered with several sponsors to recognize the best in the tourism industry, across six categories.

The awards, according to Vanessa Baldwin, one of organizing partner, recognized community based organization (CBOs) that provide socio-economic benefits to the host communities which are meant to secure a sustainable future for the Tourism industry in Africa and to ensure that tourism is a driver of the economy.

Source: allafrica


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