Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tanzania ranks the fifth for uranium production in Africa

TANZANIA is expected to be among the top five producers of uranium in Africa after the completion of Mkuju River Uranium Project, which is in the final stage of trial, the Uranium One Chief Operation officer, Mr Andrey Shotov said on Wednesday this week. He told journalists that in the coming two years they will start mining activities, the project expected to boost the country's economy. “We are finalizing the Mkuju River project, we are looking forward to start trial as in the coming two years,” he said. According to Mr Shotov, the project started seven years ago and that it has reached to the implementation stage after various research studies were conducted. He said the project is expected to provide employment to various Tanzanians and promote various economic activities across the country. “Mkuju River Project in Tanzania is among the world’s most promising uranium projects. The project is currently maintained in the active status as research work and preparatory operations are under way,” he said. MANTRA Tanzania Mnaging Director Mr Frederick Kibodya said that Mkuju River Project would be the first uranium mine in the country. He said since establishment of the project, over 200m/- US dollar have already been used in exploration, constructing infrastructure and supporting local communities. “The projects will increase national income and employment to many Tanzanian. Tanzania will be the leader in mining technologies,” he said. He said upon the completion Mkuju River Project would employ 1,600 people.

DRC slashes its visa fee by 50pc

THE government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced the reduction of Visa fee for Tanzanians and Ugandans by half from 100/-US dollar to 50/- US dollar with effect from November 1, 2016. The decision has come a month after the DRC Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Jean- Pierre Mutamba and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (TTFA) Executive Secretary Capt Dieudonné Dukundane as well as Chief Operating Officer Mr Sayiba Tambwe Patient met with DRC high level officials in Kinshasa to discuss the matter. According to the statement released by DRC’s Director General of Immigration Mr François Beya Kasonga the move is part of Visa harmonisation process for Central Corridor Member Countries, in which Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are involved.

Already Burundi, DRC and Rwanda enjoy Visa free movement among themselves under the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) arrangement. Harmonisation of Visa was also one of the agreed issues during the 7th Ordinary Meeting of the Inter-State Council of Ministers of the TTFA held in Dar es Salaam on August 11, 2016. Commenting on the new development Capt. Dukundane hailed DRC Officials for this move that will reduce struggles and facilitate trade within Central Corridor member countries. He also commended the useful guidance provided by the DRC Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Mutamba towards the achievements made so far throughout this process.

Environmental polluters in Lindi region to face prosecution

PRIME Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, has ordered immediate arrest and prosecution of environmental polluters in Lindi Region, decrying the alarming rate of dirtying the surroundings in the southern region. The premier, addressing a public rally in Lionmdi town on Wednesday this week, he directed the regional authorities to take stern measures against the culprits, warning that if the current trend continues unabated, the region is likely to turn into a desert, with most of the water catchments badly affected. He said instead of clearing the forest every year, sesame farmers should use their farms permanently for the cash crop growing, noting that sustainable agriculture should always support environmental conservation. Mr Majaliwa noted that the tree cutting would not only lead to desert but also shortage of food due to adverse effects on the water catchments. He said the government has this year spent about 75m/- on a borehole project, more than double the 35m/- spent on similar project in the past due to declining water sources. Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Godfrey Zambi, directed the ward and village leaders in the region to beef up security at areas surrounding forests, threatening stern actions against any leader failing to conserve the environment in their areas of discretion. “Those who are implicated in bush fire and cultivating near water catchment areas will now face the wrath of law,” said Mr Zambi.

EAC’S citizens in Diaspora to get support while in violent crimes

EAST African Community (EAC)’s citizens encountering violent crimes in foreign countries will get support from their country embassies, thanks to EAC Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill, 2016. Before the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) passed the Bill here yesterday, several members debated it extensively, with Ms Susani Nakawuki asking embassies abroad to increase efforts in helping the EAC citizens in difficulties. “The primary concern of the Embassy or Consulate should be the safety of citizens, arranging for medical assistance, providing guidance on regulations and contacting next of kin in the event of violent attack, accident or death,” she said. Ms Nakawuki accused many EAC member embassies abroad of not offering enough support to the victims, arguing that it’s high time changes were made amid this era of escalating human trafficking in the pretext of searching jobs. She said most of the victims were women as another legislator, Adam Kimbisa drummed up for increased control of the permissions to leave the country. “Details of where our citizens are going (abroad) should be made available before the leaving approval.” Ms Dora Byamukama, who moved the Bill, Mr Martin Ngoga and Ms Maryam Ussi who presented the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges report on behalf of the substantive Chairperson, Mr Peter Mathuki, asked all members to endorse the proposed legislation. The Bill now awaits the assent of the EAC Heads of State in line with Article 63 of the Treaty of the Establishment of the EAC. Should the Heads of State assent the Bill, it will become an Act of the Community, taking precedence over the laws of the partner states on the matter. The Bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the prevention of trafficking in persons, prosecution of perpetrators of crime, provision of protection mechanisms and services for the victims of trafficking and strengthen partnerships against trafficking in persons in regional bloc.

Donors appreciates the implementation of TASAF programmes

DEVELOPMENT Partners are satisfied with implementation of the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) productive social safety net (PSSN) programme which is on track in achieving its objectives. They have urged government to substantially increase its budget allocation to the PSSN and also explore additional funding sources. Mission Task Team Leader, Muderis Abdulahi Mohammed, made the remarks at the Joint Review Mission Wrap-up Meeting held in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday this week after having carried out field visits in Pemba, Mkalama, Muheza, Chato and Mbarali recently. “Most of the processes of the conditional cash transfers (CCT) are well stabilised and operate adequately. Compliance records for health and education grew from 37 percent and 28 percent in July 2015 to 82 percent and 81 percent respectively in May 2016,” said Mohammed. However, compliance with co-responsibilities is over 95 percent in health and over 90 percent in education whereby children aged between 6-18 years enrolled in schools with 93.8 percent attendance, he said. “Ninety one percent of households with children below the age of five years attend health facilities regularly,” he noted. On average 58 percent of households voluntarily joined the Community Health Fund (CHF) to overcome risks and shocks in time of need. Considering the Budget shortage, Mohammed said the mission has recommended maintaining of public works roll-out only to 44 project authority areas (PAAs) which are about 300,000 households until more budgets become available. He noted a good progress towards instituting e-payment system to digitalise cash transfers and increase financial inclusion in a flexible distribution. Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Amina Shabani, said the TASAF programme needs to be enhanced and sustained, expressing the government’s commitment to fully support the projects. “The government extends recognition to the DPs for their invariable support,” she said. TASAF Executive Director Ladislaus Mwamanga pointed out that the programme intended to reach 10 percent of the entire population but has surpassed the limit. “The project has already covered 1.1 million poor households which is equivalent to 15 percent of the total population in 161 Project Authority Areas (PAAs) which is close to 10,000 villages,” noted Mwamanga.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stakeholders to discuss Gas utilisation master plan

STAKEHOLDERS in the hydrocarbons industry are in the final stages airing their views on National Gas Utilization Master Plan (NGUMP) before government’s releases it for public discussion. Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Prof James Mdoe, SAID ON Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam that the document has been in preparation since 2010. “At the moment we are finalising NGUMP, which aims at providing clear guidelines on the utilisation of the discovered natural gas,” he said. He said the meeting was crucial as it brought together stakeholders in the industry to air their views on the NGUMP draft for further improvement. The intention of the government, he said, was to ensure Tanzanians benefit from the natural resource whether directly or indirectly. NGUMP is a strategic document promoting inter-sectoral coordination in the design and implementation of the natural gas development activities. The government envisages coordinated utilization of gas on the basis of NGUMP while detailed technical and economic analysis should guide selection of the best project for implementation that will address mutual interest of the investors. Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), Acting Managing Director, Kapuulya Musomba, said the objectives of NGUMP include identifying current and future demand and supply of natural gas for local and foreign markets. “As it is a 30-year action plan, it also aims to set up a framework for development of infrastructure to supply the market and to set financing strategy for gas utilization projects,” he said. NGUMP proposes that natural gas will be utilised for cooking and cooling in the households. In forecasting households demand natural gas, an assumption is made that a typical household will demand 35.5 scfd for cooking. Musomba said the master plan was an integral part of the strategy for the implementation of National Energy Policy of 2015 regarding the utilization of the resource, the improvement of infrastructures and human capital development in the country. According to National Bureau of Statistics, it is assumed that from 2016-2045 the population will on average be growing at 1.95 per cent per annum. It is further assumed that ten per cent of households in the country will be supplied with natural gas for cooking by 2045. Over the past two years, Tanzania has discovered 50.5-trillion cubic feet of gas, of which roughly 45-trillion is offshore. This includes the nearly three trillion discovered in June by Statoil and its partner, Exxon- Mobil.

Govt to ensure legal protection of education sector in the country

IN a bid to improve the quality of education in the country, the government has said that it is making sure that all important plans are legally protected. Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, disclosed this early this week in Dar es Salaam at the opening of education stakeholders’ meeting. The meeting participants included retired civil servants from the Ministry of Education, permanent secretaries, commissioners, directors and school inspectors. It was aimed at discussing challenges facing education and advise the government on appropriate measures in addressing them. Prof Ndalichako said that a number of good plans have been put in place but they are being interfered with new plans before they are implemented. “Following these challenges, we are working to ensure that all plans in my ministry are given legal power to avoid frequent changes and promote sustainable development in the sector,” she said. 

Tanzania's Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister, Prof Joyce Ndalichako,

The priority of the Fifth Phase Government, she said, is to improve the quality of education. “This involves strengthening of the education system from nursery to tertiary level, students’ qualifications, education inspectors and teaching techniques,” she said. The minister further said that her ministry is currently working on a bill that will allow the formation of a teachers’ regulatory body. She said the formation of the body will help ensure that all teachers who will be allocated to the schools meets all the required qualifications. Prof Ndalichako, however, said that the government values all views by stakeholders which aim at improving education. For her part, the Director for Schools Quality Assurance in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Marystella Wasena, said that the meeting was crucial for the development of education. “This meeting is crucial because its participants are former employees of the Ministry of Education. They have experience in the sector and some of them have acquired studies on various issues related to education. We hope that their views are important in addressing various challenges facing the sector,” she said. Gender and Development Consultant Prof Marjorie Mbilinyi commended the government efforts to ensure that all children in the country have access to basic education. The government has increased the number of schools and desks, but it should also take initiatives to improve the quality of education. She, however, said that the government should also employ more teachers and empower them with new teaching skills to improve pupils/students’ performance.