Call for Application on Expression of Interest for Credit Sanctioning Incentive

Results Based Finance Facility (RBF) for “Biogas Benefits Boost Business for Farmers” (4B-F)
Expression of interest (EOI) Application by Beneficiary Organizations

CfA Issue Date: 1s tJuly 2016; 

Submission Deadline: 1st August2016

Please open the following link to download the document for more information:

Nature's beauty along Rufiji River as it passes through the Selous

...a few of the hundreds of bee-eaters that we watched for about an hour, while they nested by the riverbank ©David Liebst
A goliath heron takes flight over the river to look for a better spot to spend the night ©David Liebst
...two of a group of about 10 animals that we saw re-surface after fleeing. I was able to capture a lucky shot of one expelling its breath ©David Liebst
Lake Siwandu at sunset. It’s very difficult to describe how beautiful the colours were on this wonderful evening ©David Liebst
Photo source: (click the link for more photos and info.)

Tanzania’s helium find risks greater instability over land

A new helium find will spur mining in Tanzania, yet this risks increasing tensions with indigenous communities over land rights, threatening investors.

The discovery of a massive helium deposit in Tanzania this week has excited both scientists and mining experts, yet for all its potential this new cache holds risks for Dodoma. Specifically, this new deposit threatens to only further increase tensions between indigenous groups and the government; as development projects continue to infringe on ancestral lands. Tanzania’s extractive, agribusiness, and tourism sectors all face increased uncertainty going forward.

This latest find, estimated at 54 billion cubic feet of helium, is a major shot in the arm to global helium reserves which have been running dangerously low, with prices rising by 500% in the last 15 years. Despite being the second most common element in the universe, helium is very rare on Earth, as it is only produced from the slow decay of uranium and other elements. Helium has many uses, including in welding, leak detection, nuclear research, cooling systems in medical equipment and the Large Hadron Collider.

With this latest find valued at $3.5 billion, Tanzania has much to gain, considering its nominal GDP stands at $46.8 billion. The find will further galvanize the Tanzanian mining sector, and is likely to be top of mind during the Mine Expo Africa summit in Dar-es-Salaam starting on July 2nd.

The problem for the government is that the discovery has been made in Tanzania’s Rift Valley; an area already beset with land claim issues between indigenous communities and businesses. Tanzania was already admonished by the UN in 2010 regarding the removal of pastoralists without informed consent. Indigenous groups, notably the Maasai, have been repeatedly (and often violently) evicted from ancestral lands to make way for development projects.

Consequently, long-standing grievances exist among local groups, who do not feel represented by the government.
Helium is no laughing matter in Tanzania

While unresolved land claim disputes are not a new phenomenon, in recent years Tanzania has been adopting an increasingly aggressive approach, in order to entice FDI and ensure growth. This trend, combined with last year’s election of the heavy-handed, firmly pro-development John Pombe Magufuli, means a greater risk for violence in the event of large-scale helium extraction.

Magufuli, has earned the monicker ‘The Bulldozer’ for his strong-willed and forceful push for development. With Tanzania’s GDP increasing by 7.2% in 2016, and growth forecast at 7.4% for 2017, Magufuli is charging ahead to awaken the ‘sleeping giant’ that is Tanzania, with a focus on the country’s under-exploited natural resources. Moreover, in his budget released in June, Magufuli is increasing government spending by 31% to finance infrastructure and industrial projects, with infrastructure spending jumping from 25% to 40% of total spending.

While investors may laud Magufuli’s drive, anyone called ‘Bulldozer’ is unlikely to be tactful or patient, two key traits needed when negotiating complicated land claims. As a result, the uncertainty faced by investors in Tanzania emerges from several issues related to land. Firstly, the Tanzanian government owns all land in the country, with the president acting as trustee, leasing it to businesses. Secondly, the government’s unclear regulations regarding land use and tenancy mean it does not recognize ancestral claims by indigenous groups. Lastly, these tensions are further compounded by a heavy-handed and ad-hoc approach to dispute settlement.
Land claim disputes mar key sectors in Tanzania

Large scale helium mining in Tanzania would trigger a slew of additional land disputes, bad news for a sector already plagued by conflict with natives. For instance, Barrick Gold’s North Mara mine has been embroiled in scandal, following revelations of rape and assault by employees and guards against indigenous communities. Moreover, there is a three-way fight broiling between mining firms, small-scale artisanal miners, and indigenous groups over land usage.

Despite these tensions, the government is unlikely to do much, given the fact that in March, Dodoma finally ended a long-standing fight with seven gold mining companies around non-payment of corporate taxes, dating back to 2009. After this victory, the government will want to bury the hatchet with mining companies, who in turn will push for more mining (including helium) concessions in the short-to-medium term. This will pressure Magufuli to green-light further developments, drawing the ire of opponents directly, especially given the president’s role as trustee.

Alongside mining, there is trouble brewing for tourism and agribusiness companies. With regards to tourism, local Maasai groups are currently seeking to appeal a decision regarding a 30-year land dispute. The Maasai sought the return of over 12,600 acres managed by a U.S safari company, which they claim was transferred to the firm illegally. While the court granted the Maasai 2,000 acres in restitution, they are appealing the decision.

Furthermore, in May the government banned drought-afflicted indigenous herders to leave Tanzania’s national parks, under the pretense of protecting valuable tourist destinations from damage.

Magufuli has also been keen develop the country’s agribusiness sector, as some 80% of Tanzanians are subsistence farmers. While seeking to improve the lives of citizens, the government is disenfranchising indigenous groups who occupy fertile land.

Under Magufuli, Tanzania made headlines earlier this month after receiving an opt-out by the World Bank concerning the organization’s rules protecting indigenous communities. This was to aid a $70 million World Bank loan to the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) initiative. SAGCOT is a government initiative to promote FDI in Tanzania’s agribusiness sector, with the aim to convert 350,000 hectares for commercial production by 2030.

Alongside indigenous resistance to SAGCOT, a $500 million project by Agro EcoEnergy is stuck at the proposal stage, due to land claim disputes with native tribes. The project, which seeks to establish a sugarcane plantation and processing facility for sugar and ethanol, is tied down over issues of relocation and compensation.

While the government’s ad-hoc resolution process treats these disputes as individual cases, indigenous groups view these conflicts as inter-connected manifestations of Dodoma’s disdain for their plight. The remote nature of many of these projects – where the government’s presence is thin on the ground – put them at greater vulnerability to local instability and violence.

It is imperative that Tanzania implement a clear and just dispute resolution mechanism, or foreign companies will pay the price. Magufuli’s antics have made him a meme (#whatwouldMagufulido) in East Africa – the real question is what must Magufuli do to avoid instability.

Under the Radar uncovers political risk events around the world overlooked by mainstream media. By detecting hidden risks, we keep you ahead of the pack and ready for new opportunities.

Under the Radar is written by Jeremy Luedi.

Taarifa ya habari ChannelTEN Julai 3, 2016

Balozi Masilingi azungumza na Watanzania wa Jumuiya ya Kiislamu Washington DC

Msikilize  Balozi Wilson Masilingi akizungumza na Watanzania wa Jumuiya ya Kiislamu waishio Washington DC (TAMCO) mara baada ya iftar ilioandaliwa rasmi na jumuiya hiyo, siku ya Jumamosi Julai 2, 2016 ndani ya ukumbi wa Lawndale Dr., Silver Spring, Maryland U.S.A.

Mazungumzo yanapatikana: SwahiliVilla blog

Vijana wa kiume wenye matiti makubwa kupatiwa upasuaji Agosti 1 -10, Bombo hospitali na mabingwa kutoka Ujerumani

VIJANA wa kiume wenye matiti makubwa wanaweza kuondokana na hali hiyo kama watafika hospitali ya Bombo mkoani Tanga na kujiandikisha kufanyiwa upasuaji na madaktari bingwa kutoka Ujerumani watakaofika katika hospitali hiyo kwa ajili ya kazi ya upasuaji wa kurekebisha maumbile.

Pamoja na kufanya upasuaji wa matiti madaktari hao pia watafanya upasuaji wa vipele sugu katika ngozi, kuungua vibaya, uvimbe unaotoa damu pamoja na vidonda sugu.

Aidha madaktari bingwa hao watafanya upasuaji wa uvimbe wa aina mbalimbali uliokaa katika sehemu ya nje ya mwili kama makovu sugu, midomo sungura, uwazi katika kinywa, vidole pacha na madole bonge.

Upasuaji huo utakaofanywa na madaktari 12 kutoka shirika la Intertplast la nchini Ujerumani utafanyika kwa siku 10 kuanzia Agosti Mosi.

Mratibu wa Interplast Tanzania, Dk Walles Karata akizungumza na waan dishi wa habari mjini Tanga leo alisema kwa sasa tayari zoezi la kuandikisha wagonjwa limeanza.

Alisema wanatarajia kukamilisha uandikishaji wa wagonjwa Julai 24 na upasuaji utaanza Agosti Mosi.
“Upasuaji wote utafanywa bila gharama yoyote lakini kwa sasa mgonjwa atalazimika kuchangia kiasi cha sh. 10,000 tu kwa ajili ya usajili wa kadi katika hospitali ya Bombo baada ya hapo shughuli zote zitagharamiwa na shirika la Interplast,”alisema.
via Lukwangule blog

Amepotea, anatafutwa na familia yake

Philemon Anamwikira Ikaa Munuo
Anayeoneka kwenye picha hapo ni Philemon Anamwikira Ikaa Munuo mwenye umri wa miaka 61, ambaye ametoweka kuuanzia siku ya Jumatano tarrehe 29.06.2016 nyumbani kwake Bunju B Dar es Salam, 

Tafadhali yeyote atakaemuona apige simu polisi au kwenye namba zifuatazao... 0713449666 (Rich) 0754226760 (Tumsifu) 0713552828 (Rodrick) 0718555909 (Lucas) 0713481648 au (Tumaini).

Understanding the stock market in East Africa

32,272,059,785 of what?

This month’s Indicator of 32,272,059,785 (32.2 billion) is the total market capitalization, the amount of US dollars in all the stock exchanges, in the East African Community at the time of writing.

What do you mean by market capitalization?

Market capitalization is the aggregate valuation of the company based on its current share price and the total number of outstanding stocks.

Basically, it is the total value of the companies listed on an exchange. In our case $32.2 billion USD is the total value of all the companies in all the stock exchanges listed in East Africa.

How does this compare to other stock exchanges around the world?

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the largest in the world at over $18.2 trillion USD in market capitalization, over 500 times larger than the total value of all the exchanges in East Africa. The NYSE is followed by the NASDAQ at over $6.8 trillion USD and the London Stock Exchange at $6.2 trillion USD. A bit closer to home is the Johannesburg Stock Exchange which has $951 billion in market capitalization, nearly 30 times as large as the EAC exchanges.

So which countries in EAC have the most and the least investment in their stock exchanges?

Kenya is the largest economy in the region so it is no surprise that the NSE of Kenya has the largest market capitalization equivalent to $18.8 billion at the time of writing, followed by Tanzania at $9.8 billion, Rwanda just under $3.7 billion USD and the smallest being Uganda at $71.9 million. At present Burundi does not have a stock exchange set up.

How many investor accounts are on the stock exchanges?

It varies significantly country by country. For example, in Kenya we see approximately 4% of the people participating in the stock exchange whereas in Tanzania there are estimated to be only 200,000 accounts or less than one one hundreth Tanzania’s total population.

Increased financial literacy, wealth, and familiarity with stock investing in other locales typically correlates with increased stock market participation.

How does this compare to GDP for the countries?

Progressive Rwanda has the highest market capitalization to GDP ratio at 18.2% followed by Kenya at 13.1% and Tanzania at 7% with Uganda lagging at less than one tenth of one percent.

Among the EAC nations, there are different levels of market awareness and appetite for investing as well as regulations encouraging or otherwise, local and foreign investors. The amount of investor accounts influences this metric as well as the value of the companies listed on the exchanges relative to the size of the overall economy.

Is the market capitalization of stock exchanges in East Africa expected to increase or decrease?

It is highly likely that these exchanges will increase in their market capitalization in the medium to long term. As these companies’ future profits grow, their stock value increases equal to the projected value of these companies as determined by the market. In addition, as new companies list on the exchanges the total value of the exchanges increases.

Further, the growth of an exchange depends on the volume of participants’ capital. If companies know that there is strong interest in buyers on an exchange then they will consider listing and the more investment that exists the more liquidity a market has in a virtuous circle for investment.

That said, each of the exchanges lists stock in their respective local currencies, so a decline in currency value respective to hard currencies such as the USD or Euro could reduce gains to foreign investors. So buying opportunities may occur after currency depreciation events. However buyers should beware as global markets are becoming increasingly correlated, the extent of which which may be a topic for another Indicator column for another issue.

How can I learn more?

This article uses statistics and figures from the stock exchanges from each country and supporting articles. To learn more visit:





In addition, to find comparative statistics on exchanges throughout Africa visit

About the authors:

David L. Ross is Managing Director of Statera Capital and US Ambassador to the Open University of Tanzania active in growing companies in Eastern and Southern Africa through primary investment, investment advisory, strategic partnerships, and executive education. Connect on LinkedIn at or at [email protected]

Catherine Mandler is a Senior Analyst at Statera Capital. Connect on LinkedIn at or at [email protected]


Job opportunity: IFC (member of World Bank group) - Energy specialist - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


JOB #: 161279




CLOSING DATE: 07/19/2016


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

As part of the IFC’s Cross Cutting Advisory Solutions department, the Energy & Resource Efficiency (E&RE) group works to develop clean energy opportunities and improved resource use in emerging markets. The central aim is to increase energy access and optimize the use of resources to transform markets and improve people's lives. IFC’s E&RE works with a range of industrial sectors including agribusiness, infrastructure, financial institutions, services, manufacturing, among others.

Access to modern energy services is vital to agricultural productivity, income generation, and the provision of critical social services, notably health and education. Electricity access in Tanzania is estimated at 18 percent nationally, and only 7 percent in rural areas. Women, who shoulder a disproportionate responsibility for household fuel and water collection, food preparation, and agricultural activities, are especially affected by poor energy supply.

The vastness of Tanzania, coupled with relatively low population densities, make grid extension a challenging and expensive way to electrify many of the countries rural and remote areas. This context presents a significant potential for off-grid energy access solutions. E&RE currently focuses on two commercially-oriented, off-grid projects in Tanzania: supporting the roll-out of a range of mini-grid technologies, and increasing access to modern lighting solutions, across the country.

The Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) Tanzania Investment Plan was prepared under the leadership of the Government of Tanzania, through a National Task Force led by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) with support from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), including the IFC. The broader SREP program in Tanzania seeks to catalyze large-scale deployment of renewable energy and transform the country's energy sector from one that is increasingly dependent on fossil fuels to one that is more balanced and diversified, with a greater share of renewable energy sources, including a specific component on mini-grids.

The mini-grid component is to be managed by IFC, though as part of the overall SREP-Tanzania program. The goal of the mini-grids component is to increase access to affordable modern off-grid energy services for households, commercial and institutional users in rural Tanzania through the development and establishment of a market for commercial mini-grids using renewable energy. This will be achieved through developing and promoting commercially viable mini-grid business models that can leverage private sector resources, including support to financial institutions to extend long-term financing to mini-grid developers. The target is to extend electricity service generated from renewable energy to areas that are without access.

A key program of E&RE is Lighting Africa (, which works to reduce market barriers for the private sector to reach and provide modern lighting to 250 million people in Africa without electricity by 2030. This is in support of achieving the energy access Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with an emphasis on clean energy solutions. The Lighting Africa program works with lighting product manufacturers, distributors, consumers, financial institutions, development partners, and governments to help build a market for reliable lighting products. Lighting Africa intends to launch a Lighting Tanzania program by early 2016.

IFC is recruiting an Energy Specialist, E&RE. This is a key position to provide support to both the mini-grids program in Tanzania and the Lighting Tanzania program, focusing specifically on addressing financing issues related to the off-grid sector. The position is to be based in Dar es Salaam.

The Energy Specialist will report to the E&REF regional lead based in South Africa. In addition, s/he will also coordinate with the Lighting Africa program manager in Kenya and will work closely with the Program Manager for the mini-grids and Lighting programs in Tanzania.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment.

The Energy Specialist will support the implementation of IFC energy access initiatives including the mini-grids and Lighting Tanzania programs, working in close coordination with the Program Manager.

For Lighting Tanzania, this will include support to clients and work with financial institutions in order to increase access to finance for companies and customers, including managing the implementation of activities with clients. Similarly for the mini-grids program in Tanzania, the Energy Specialist will provide support across the different activities, with an emphasis on strengthening linkages to the financial sector and debottlenecking financing challenges facing both individual companies and the sector more broadly.

The specific responsibilities of this position include:

Advisory services to clients

The Energy Specialist will provide advisory services aimed at developing and catalyzing commercial markets for clean energy products and services in Tanzania. S/he will work with a small team of IFC staff and/or external consultants to support equipment manufacturers, distribution companies and financial institutions on building replicable business models for the sale of lighting products and/or provision of lighting services to households in off-grid markets in Tanzania.

Work with financing entities

The Energy Specialist will interact with financial entities (investors, lenders, etc.) interested in the energy access space in Tanzania, leveraging IFC colleagues who have client relationships with these stakeholders. This will include working closely with local commercial banks, foundations, regional and international private equity funds, and insurance/guarantee providers, among others, to identify and address gaps in financing of the sector.

Measurement, Reporting & Evaluation

• Support the monitoring and tracking of program performance in line with the log-frame;

• Manage individual programs to ensure timely execution and completion of Management Information System reporting requirements; and

• The Energy Specialist will have volume and development impact targets defined by the E&RE Regional Lead.

Other Responsibilities

• Provide support to market intelligence related activities;

• Promote IFC’s missions and goals as well as raise awareness on the Lighting Tanzania and Mini-grids Programs;

• Coordinate with internal (World Bank Group) and external entities promoting renewable energy and energy access;

• Potentially support to other energy access programs and activities in SSA; and

• Additional tasks will be added, as needed.

• Masters level education in business, engineering, finance, economics, or related subject;

• At least seven (7) years of experience in finance with a preference for work experience with SMEs, and strong demonstrated financial skills;

• Demonstrated experience in structuring financial products; candidates having experience with clean energy technologies and markets have a competitive advantage;

• Familiarity with the energy sector, particularly energy access, ideally from a business development perspective;

• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; must be a strong team player;

• Capacity to operate successfully in a high pressure, fast-paced, and multicultural environment;

• Positive, go-getter attitude, willing to continuously learn, share experiences and knowledge, and encourage innovation;

• Good knowledge of the Tanzanian market is essential; knowledge of other markets in SSA desired;

• Solid English communication skills; Kiswahili is important and desired.

The contract for this position has an initial duration of two years, with a one-year probation period. World Bank Group staff on regular or open-ended appointments will also be considered, and if selected, will transfer at their current appointment status.

Applications should be sent in English and must be submitted through World Bank Group website. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Cover letter should clearly describe the relevant results the candidate has delivered in prior positions, rather than simply listing responsibilities. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Citizens of African countries, as well as women and other minorities, are strongly encouraged to apply.


High Court in India refuses to order release of Tanzanian cashew nuts

(image souce: - accessed by
The Madras High Court Bench here has refused to direct Customs officials at VOC Port in Thoothukudi district to release 290.25 tonnes of Tanzanian cashew nuts lying in a warehouse since April 29 due to ownership dispute between two importers based in Kerala.

Justice M. Venugopal dismissed a writ petition filed by N. Ponnappan, a cashew trader based at Kollam in Kerala, who accused a distributor in Thoothukudi of attempting to amend the name of importer in the ‘Bill of Lading’ and divert the nuts to another company for a higher price.

Stating that the case involved disputed questions of fact, the judge said such disputes could not be resolved by the High Court by exercising its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution which could be invoked to examine procedural correctness and not merits of a controversy.

He, however, gave liberty to the disputing parties to approach either the Adjudicating Authority under the Customs Act, 1962 to prove their right over the consignment or institute appropriate proceedings under the general law, civil law or criminal law to get their grievances redressed.

According to the petitioner, he had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the distributor for supplying a larger consignment of 6,960 tonnes of raw cashew nuts of which 5534.828 tonnes were already delivered.

The present 290.25 tonnes were part of the remaining quantity to be supplied. These nuts were packed in 3,870 bags and loaded in 18 containers on March 22 before being shipped from Dar es Salaam on April 14.

They reached the port on April 29. Though the Proforma Bill of Lading contained petitioner’s name as importer, the distributor amended it for personal gains, he alleged. Contesting the case, the distributor contended that the proforma could not be considered a ‘Bill of Lading’ as stipulated under the Indian Bills of Lading Act, 1856 since it did not contain the seal of the carrier.

He also argued that the petitioner had no legal right to claim ownership without the original Bill of Lading. Further, stating that the petitioner’s name was entered by mistake in Import General Manifest, the distributor said that he had made a proper application for amending it in terms of Section 30(3) of the Customs Act, 1962 read with Levy of Fees (Customs Documents) Regulations, 1970.

Kikwete whispered for top AU post

Jakaya Kikwete (image source: accessed by
WITH the Kigali, Rwanda, African Union (AU) summit just around the corner, there has been no official confirmation so far that Tanzania’s immediate former president, Dr Jakaya Kikwete will run for the post of AU Commission chairperson, which the incumbent, Madam Nkosazama Dlamini-Zuma has decided not to contest a second term.

However, Dr Kikwete’s name has circulated widely, perhaps as the most qualified of all the possible candidates so far, to succeed Ms Dlamini- Zuma, who did not return forms for contesting the post for a second four year term when the time to do so expired on March 31, this year. She was elected to the post in 2012.

It is not clear why Dlamini- Zuma has decided to quit working for the continental body although her tenure in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU headquarters, was received with mixed feelings. Some feel she was effective while others say it is like the post was all along vacant anyway and her departure won’t be missed.

Back home in South Africa, rumours are rife that her decision could be motivated by the desire to run for president to succeed her politically embattled ex-husband, President Jacob Zuma.

The next presidential elections in South Africa are due in 2019. It could be that Ms Dlamini-Zuma felt that she needed time to lobby party stalwarts within the ruling African National Congress.

Whatever the case, African leaders who will gather in Kigali in early July will have to consider a possible successor to Ms Dlamini-Zuma. Voting could be postponed to the next summit next January if a competent person is not found.

Dr Kikwete’s name has popped up amid concerns that the post now needs a seasoned diplomat and preferably, a former head of state, familiar with the burden of leading largely cash strapped nations seeking a place and voice in the global community.

One of the criticisms against Ms Dlamini-Zuma is that she was hardly heard as the collective voice of the continent when it mattered most, especially during crises and disasters.

She is also blamed for not being an effective administrator to the point that AU coffers are technically dry at the moment. Therefore, whoever succeeds her shall inherit a list of challenges, including but not limited to improving the AU’s image, ensuring financial inflows for a functional budget and dexterous stewardship of Agenda 2063, charted in 2013 as a blueprint of where Africa wanted to be in the next 50 years.

That will present a number of formidable challenges. It will require the new AUC Chairman to be a charismatic leader who is not just all talk but one who delivers.

The AU budget for instance, is still highly donor dependent (over 8o per cent) while there are signs of fatigue among donors and an increasingly sense of pride back home that Africa should be able to support itself and live within its means.

The gap between reality and aspirations is thus going to determine what kind of a person the AUC Chairperson will be. Agenda 2063 is an ambitious programme for greater regional integration and improving the economies of all the 54 AU member states so that poverty in Africa shall be a thing of the past.

It is quite possible to transform the continent within that time save for the fact that many countries are weighed down by civil strife, wars and truly inferior modes of production such that transforming societies becomes a gargantuan task.

The new AUC chairperson shall have to be that behind the scenes anchorman, helping member states work out viable programmes that shall enable Africa eventually to move as a unit.

In many respects, Dr Kikwete embodies the kind of hope that Africa needs. He was Tanzania’s Foreign Minister for 10 years before he became his country’s president for another ten years.

Thus, he is familiar with regional affairs for more than 20 years, during which Africa transformed from the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to AU, with more emphasis on regional integration and transformation.

His ability to listen to all views and even tolerate criticism ranks him among seasoned diplomats, the kind of figure that Africa needs both at home and abroad. Dr Kikwete is also a deft planner.

As president of Tanzania, he concentrated on building a network of roads in his relatively big country to the point that Tanzania today boasts enviable record for kilometres of road. He also has an impressive record in communications, education, health services delivery and free speech for a country that for many years had known only single party democracy.

A former head of state as AU Commission Chairperson, makes the office holder comfortable talking to fellow leaders as one of them and could instil into AU greater sense of resolve, comparable in some aspects to the time when former president of Mali, Alpha Oumar Konare held the office. [via Daily News]