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Tanzania United Republic of

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Tanzania: Organic farming gains popularity
24 July 2017 - In Tanzania, like any other country in the world, the push for producing products through organic system is increasing day-after-day. Mr Jordan Gama, the chief executive officer for Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), says organic agriculture has stepped in and many organisations, groups, and individuals are in for it. Mr Gama says organic farming has been growing agreeably all over the country due to ongoing responses among consumers and other key stakeholders with similar mission and vision. (more)

Women solar entrepreneurs drive East African business surge
6 December 2016 - As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Julius' success is due in part to training from Energy 4 Impact, a London-based non-profit group that works in East and West Africa to improve access to energy. One focus of the group's work is lifting rural women from poverty through clean-energy entrepreneurship. (more)

Huge helium gas field found in Tanzania said 'game changer'
28 June 2016 - The discovery of a huge helium gas field in East Africa is a 'game changer for the future security of society's helium needs' amid a global shortage, researchers in Britain said Tuesday. The discovery in Tanzania is the result of a new exploration approach. Researchers found that the intense volcanic heat in Tanzania's East African Rift Valley has released helium from ancient rocks and trapped it in shallow gas fields, the statement said. The researchers worked with Norway-based exploration company Helium One. (more)

Solar panels power business surge -- not just lights -- in Tanzania
19 April 2016 - Samwel Nyakalege's life has recently become more of a grind -- and that's a good thing. The 33-year-old miller from Bwisya village, on Lake Victoria's Ukara Island, is one of the first to benefit from a project to bring solar power to residents and business-owners. Around the world, as the costs of solar energy plunge, it is increasingly being used to power industry and businesses, a huge step forward from simply supplying lighting and basic electrical power in places like Tanzania, experts say. (more)

Giant rats to sniff out tuberculosis in Tanzania, Mozambique
29 March 2016 - Scientists in East Africa plan to exploit trained rats' highly developed sense of smell to carry out mass screening for tuberculosis among inmates of crowded prisons in Tanzania and Mozambique. African Giant Pouched Rats trained by the Belgian non-governmental organization APOPO are widely known for their work sniffing out landmines, and are now developing a reputation in East Africa for their skill and speed at detecting TB too. The organization aims to expand the program to shantytowns, factories, and other settings in Tanzania, Mozambique, and other high TB-burden countries. 'This will improve and save lives all over the globe at a low cost,' said APOPO's U.S. director, Charlie Richter. (more)

Dubai's Dodsal finds $8B natural gas deposit in Tanzania
28 March 2016 - Dubai-based Dodsal Group says it has discovered 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas deposits in Tanzania's Ruvu Basin Coast Region valued at around $8 billion. Dodsal Group says its find is Tanzania's biggest onshore gas discovery and could boost the East African country's economy. (more)

Tanzania: Solar 'generators' power up remote homes, factories
9 February 2015 - The remote Tura village in Tanzania's Tabora region will soon benefit from a new government-run solar power project, intended to bring electricity off-grid areas of rural Tanzania. More than 840 households -- and, crucially, small factories -- in Tabora, Dodoma, and Katavi regions so far have been connected to solar grid systems, in which large numbers of solar panels feed batteries housed in shipping containers, with the power then carried out to the community on distribution lines similar to those used by Tanesco, the state-run power utility. The project aims to reach people in remote villages not covered by the country's Rural Energy Agency projects, Edward Ishengoma, an alternative energy commissioner in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said. (more)

Tanzania's current account gap narrows in year to September
21 November 2014 - Tanzania's current account deficit narrowed 12.6 per cent in the year to September, helped by a rise in tourism earnings and exports of manufactured goods while oil imports fell, its central bank said on Friday. Earnings from tourism, the main foreign exchange source, rose by 12.1 per cent to $1.981 billion due to more visitors. (more)

Mothers light up homes in rural Tanzania
10 June 2014 - Just over a year ago, homes in the village of Chekeleni were dark after sunset. Today they are filled with light from solar lamps as women bustle around cooking and children do their homework near the glowing lamps. At least 200 households now have their own solar installations for lighting and other electrical needs. Six women have brought this light to three remote southern Tanzanian villages in the Mtwara and Lindi districts. They are among the 25 illiterate, rural mothers, many of them also grandmothers, from four African countries who were trained at the Barefoot College in Tilonia in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, to install and maintain solar energy panels. (more)

Tanzania: Howard Buffett to support Selous Game Reserve protection
14 April 2014 - On a visit to Tanzania, Howard G Buffett, the elder son of American investor and philanthropist Warren Edward Buffett, pledged to provide a helicopter for surveillance of poachers in the Selous Game Reserve. A UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest animal reserves in the world, inhabited by elephants, hippos, Cape buffalo, and crocodiles. The Howard G Buffett Foundation has a long history of support for conservation in Africa. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Tanzania: Medical professionals, mothers, computer science students learning Transcendental Meditation
1 May 2014 - During his most recent tour of Africa Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, visited countries in the southern and central regions where Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes for individual and societal health, Consciousness-Based Education, and world peace have been introduced during the last few years. One country he visited was Tanzania, which he described as 'one of the most beautiful places on earth'. Reporting on the tour, Dr Morris described some of the steps of progress through which Maharishi's programmes and technologies of consciousness are being adopted by professionals, students, and members of the public. (more)


Flops
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Conservation group: Decline of elephants in Tanzania is catastrophic
2 June 2015 - A wildlife conservation group says the sharp decline of the elephant population in Tanzania, most likely due to poaching, is catastrophic. The Tanzanian government on Monday estimated that 65,721 elephants have died in the country in the last six years. (more)

Tanzania: 'large-scale farming turns small farmers into mere labourers'
20 February 2014 - Tanzania has joined the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launched by Barack Obama . Because of that, it committed to changing its tax and seed policies and make it easier for investors to gain access to land. Zitto Kabwe, chairman of the Tanzanian parliament's public accounts committee, believes his government's tax-related commitments will benefit companies rather than small farmers, while proposed changes around seeds could pose serious threats to rural communities. 'Anything that involves facilitating seed importation is a threat,' he said. 'It will be like colonialism. Farmers will not be able to farm until they import, linking farmers to vulnerability of international prices. Big companies will benefit. We should not allow that.' Doug Hertzler, a senior policy analyst at ActionAid USA, echoed Kabwe's concerns, warning that while not every New Alliance project will be bad, the overall emphasis is in the wrong direction. 'It is all about creating markets for the chemical and the seed companies that are owned by the international companies rather than public services, which is the best way for smallholders to grow and expand,' he said, adding that big changes in access to land, with more going to commercial firms, could create 'unequal land tenure patterns which will last for generations'. (more)

The poisoned chalice of Tanzania's land deals
7 November 2013 - For more than a decade Tanzania has been wooing foreign investors to help modernize and reinvigorate its agricultural sector -- which engages about 80 per cent of the population -- as a way of boosting national development. But many smallholders, the supposed beneficiaries, have been short-changed. 'I just gave my land because we were convinced by a politician that it would make us rich. I knew I would get money for the land, and also get a well-paying job when the [investment] company began operations. Now they didn't do anything and they sold our land to another company we didn't even know,' says Ahmed Kipanga, a 37-year-old father of five. In 2009, Kipanga was among 1,500 residents of 11 villages whose combined 8,211 hectares were leased to a British company that planned to grow jatropha as a biofuel. But, as jatropha turned out to be less of a miracle crop than envisaged, the project collapsed. According to the Oakland Institute, a US think tank which documented this particular case as well land deals at the national and continental level, not only are the villagers worse off now, landless, jobless, and with no compensation, but they also suffered a drop in income and living standards even when the project was functioning. (more)

Tanzanian journalists self-censor for fear of attack, harassment
9 August 2013 - Conditions for journalists are worsening in Tanzania, with reporters increasingly being harassed, attacked, and censoring their work out of fear of reprisal, a study has found. Afraid of offend the authorities and worried about their safety, journalists are failing to report the whole story on topics like corruption and political and civil unrest, said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based non-profit organisation that defends press freedom around the world. The Tanzanian media has not been able to operate independently for the past eight years due to insecurity and fear of reprisals, the CPJ said in a report entitled The Invisible Plight of the Tanzania Press. 'The rise in attacks against the press, set against a backdrop of repressive media laws, is sowing self-censorship among Tanzanian journalists, especially those working in rural areas. Public protests against the government in rural places have gone uncovered as a result of this fear,' said the report. (more)

Tanzanians see official hand in elephant poaching
20 April 2013 - Conservationists have long warned of the existential danger that poachers pose to Africa's elephants. In Tanzania, home of the Serengeti game reserve and one of the world's two largest elephant populations, the scale of the killings and the involvement of government employees may be the most chilling. Poaching in Tanzania 'is far bigger than is happening anywhere else in Africa,' says Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of the London-based nonprofit Save The Elephants. Accurate death tolls are nearly impossible to come by. Thirty a day, the government reported at the end of 2012. That's 10,000 a year. Double as much, some government leaders have suggested. The truth, conservationists say, is that the government doesn't know, and that many in the government don't want to know, given the suspicion of official connivance in the illegal trade. Anti-poaching units hired to patrol private reserves have found text messages between poachers' phones and government officials. (more)

Tanzania: Islamist riots threaten Zanzibar's stability
24 October 2012 - The Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar has experienced three anti-government protests so far this year; the latest, in mid-October, saw one police officer killed, roads blocked, and shops closed across the capital, Zanzibar City. The group behind the demonstrations, Uamsho (the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation), has plastered messages across the capital agitating for the archipelago's independence. One such message, 'if the coat doesn't fit, take it off', refers to disbanding the United Republic of Tanzania, which was born out of the 1964 union of Zanzibar and the mainland area of Tanganyika. The most recent unrest began when Uamsho supporters claimed their leader, Sheik Farid Hadi, had been abducted by government forces -- a charge the police denied. Posts on Uamsho's Facebook page threatened attacks against Christians if Hadi was not released; he resurfaced on 16 October, three days after his disappearance. Established as an Islamic NGO in 2001, Uamsho has since grown radicalized, gaining popularity among disappointed supporters of the largest opposition party, Civic United Front, which formed a government of national unity with Tanzania's ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), in 2010. Uamsho was also involved in two other protests earlier in the year. Analysts say the violence is fuelled by unemployment and lack of education among young people; youth unemployment in Zanzibar stands at about 20 per cent. (more)

Tanzania disbands parliament energy committee over graft claims
28 July 2012 - Tanzania disbanded a parliamentary committee on Saturday after some of its members were accused of corruption and potential conflict of interest over their alleged involvement in deals with the state-run power utility. National Assembly speaker Anne Makinda disbanded the energy and minerals committee, charged with overseeing the mining, oil and gas sectors. Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo told parliament on Saturday TANESCO's managing director William Mhando was suspended pending an investigation into claims he awarded a contract worth more than 880 million Tanzanian shillings ($557,700) to a company that he jointly owned with his wife and children. (more)

Tension mounts in Tanzania over delayed poll result
1 November 2010 - Tanzanian police used teargas to disperse opposition supporters in the commercial capital on Monday as tension rose due to delays in releasing the results of Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections. The protesters in Dar es Salaam were angry at the outcome of a council election run alongside Sunday's national votes that are expected to give President Jakaya Kikwete another five years at the helm of east Africa's second largest economy. A country of 40.7 million people, Tanzania is Africa's third biggest gold producer, exports coffee, and is a popular tourist destination. But, despite impressive growth rates, half of Tanzania's population still live on less than a dollar a day. (more)

Tanzania: Thousands missing school to work
29 June 2006 - At least 8,800 children in Tanzania's semiautonomous island of Zanzibar are missing school and wasting away their childhood as they engage in various forms of child labour. (more)

Tensions simmer ahead of Zanzibar vote
28 October 2005 - Months of violence in the lead-up to elections this weekend are proof of political, racial, and religious tensions. Sunday's vote has greater significance than ever before, with many Zanzibaris viewing the balloting as Western-style democracy's last chance. Two previous elections were seen as deeply flawed by violence and fraud. (more)

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