Helium: 10 things you may not have known about Tanzania's new chemical wealth

Last week researchers discovered large quantities of helium in the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley. Helium is found in much more than just balloons and the periodic table of elements. Here’s 10 stats you may or may not have known about this chemical element and why this discovery matters for healthcare.
  1. Helium is used in telescopes, spacecrafts and radiation monitors.

  2. In the medical world, helium is essential to operate MRI machines.

  3. Tremendous amounts of energy flow through the superconducting wire throughout the key component of an MRI system, a powerful magnet cooled to 4.2 kelvin, or 452 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Liquid helium is the only element that is feasible for cooling a magnet to the degree where the superconducting properties of the wire can work.

  4. Depending on the type of MRI being produced, a machine may need in the range of several thousand liters of helium stored in a sealed vacuum system surrounding the magnet.

  5. There are over 30 million MRI scans performed in the US each year. That’s a lot of patients and doctors who need MRI every day for diagnosis.

  6. This newly expanded resource from the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley has the potential to fill more than 1.2 million MRI scanners and should continue to support the supply to meet the demand of the industry.

  7. There are efforts underway to develop innovative ways to reduce MRI manufacturers’ reliance on this element, including an investigational, research device that was developed under a National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Research Partnership between GE Global Research and the Mayo Clinic. This new magnet technology requires only 1% of the liquid helium to operate compared to a conventional system and does not need refilling.

  8. Liquefaction is a process used to recapture helium lost during the MRI manufacturing process so it can be reused it—it’s essentially a major recycling system.

  9. GE Healthcare built a new 5,000-square-foot helium liquefaction facility in Florence, South Carolina to further liquefaction efforts.

  10. The U.S. Geological survey estimates that there are about 35 billion cubic meters worth of helium left on the plant with the majority of it coming from the U.S.
This article first appeared at GE Healthcare's The Pulse - on health, science and technology

Beaufiful! New photos from Tanzania’s Lake Natron

Above, photo slideshow cross-posted from artwolfe.com with the following message:
My recent trip to Tanzania included a visit to Lake Natron, where I hoped to capture the colonies of lesser and greater flamingos who rely on the area as one of its few consistent breeding grounds in East Africa. As you’ll see from the slide show, our subjects did not disappoint! The salt water lake is home to organisms that manage to thrive in the high salinity and ultimately give the water the rich and varied hues, providing a beautiful backdrop for our shoot.

Pelicans and other birds also made an appearance, and zebras kicked up dust as they traveled through the same region. As mentioned in my previous post – this trip was short but satisfyingly productive and well worth the aggressive travel schedule. I feel this is my strongest work yet in this region, and I hope you enjoy these images!

Pres. Museveni receives special message from Tanzania's Magufuli

L-R: Tanzania's Minister Augustine Mahiga, President Kenyatta of Kenya; President Kiir of Sudan; Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu; President Museveni of Uganda; Kagame, President of Rwanda; Ethiopia's Hailemariam Desalegn and President Lungu of Zambia (photo: igihe.com)

6 JULY 2016

President Yoweri Museveni has received a special message from President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania.

The Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Augustine Mahiga delivered the message to Mr. Museveni at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday 5th July 2016.

In his message, President Magufuli expressed Tanzania's gratitude to Uganda and other regional countries for their commitment to building their relations with Israel whose Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently visiting the Eastern Africa region.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Uganda on Monday 4th July 2016 to commemorate 40 years since the Israelis rescued their citizens who had been taken hostage by Palestinian and German hijackers during which the leader of the rescue operation Lt. Col. Jonathan Netanyahu, elder brother to Prime Minister Netanyahu, was shot and killed.

During the meeting with the Tanzanian Foreign Minister, President Museveni urged the United Nations to instill harmony in sectarian and warring factions among many nations in the world by promoting negotiations in order to achieve a peaceful world.

Mr. Museveni condemned forces that hijack innocent people using it as a method of fighting. "This is lack of seriousness," he observed.

He added that FRELIMO in Mozambique was armed but not a terrorist group and that NRA in Uganda was armed and fought a just war successfully. He observed that many do not understand the meaning of terrorism.

"Any armed negative force is terrorist. Those who say any armed person is a terrorist do not understand the meaning of terrorism. FRELIMO was armed. NRA was armed and fought a just war successfully," he said.

Regarding the issue of political borders, the President emphasized that they should remain the yardstick. "We should go by principle and accept colonial borders to remain rational. My Pan-Africa position still holds that there should be human integration," he said.

Commenting on former Vice-President Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe's vying for the post of the African Union (AU) Chairperson, President Museveni said that she is energetic and intelligent adding that given a good team, she is going to work very well.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sam Kuteesa and Uganda's High Commissioner to Tanzania, Dorothy Hyuha, attended the meeting.

Photos: igihe.com

June 2016: Tanzania in summary

Tanzania’s New Government Introduces Austerity Following Banned Opposition Political Rallies

On 8 June, the 2016/2017 National Budget was announced, the first by the government of President John P. Magufuli. The budget has been noted for its austerity measures. These include a hike in taxes on drinks and sugar, as well as on imports of cement and corrugated iron to help with Tanzania’s industrialization aims.

Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Philip Mpango asked Parliament to grant TZS8 trillion (US$3.7billion) to be used to reduce public debt, which increased 6.01%, from US$16.92 billion in June 2015 to US$17.93 billion in June 2016. The significant increase in public debt can be attributed to money spent on large scale infrastructure projects, including the expansion of Julius Nyerere International Airport and the Bus Rapid Transit System.

Meanwhile, the government is proposing to get rid of certain tax exemptions which are thought to cost countries in East Africa US$2.8 billion annually. With lyhe budget, an income tax has been introduced on the gratuity that Tanzanian Members of Parliament (MPs) receive after five years in office. Mpango has also discussed value-added tax (VAT) exemptions on aviation insurance charges, which will help Tanzanian airlines. The National Budget will also get rid of taxes that impact on small-scale farming and workers on low salaries.

On 20 June, the Parliament passed the 2016/17 Budget. The government will now begin to put in place the TZS29.5 trillion (US$14 billion) revenue and development expenditure plan. The budget has been met with a mixed reception. It is hoped that it will help to achieve the country’s predicted 7.4 percent economic growth in 2017. President Magufuli said that he hopes the budget will foster fiscal equality in the country.

In politics, there is greater tension brewing between ruling CCM and opposition parties, after the police banned political rallies. President Magufuli said that parties should deliver their policy ideas in government or at other official political venues, rather than in organized party rallies. Opposition party CHADEMA said that the decision was an “outright violation of freedom of expression”. Since 30 May, around 70 MPs from the opposition have refused to engage in debates, and have boycotted all National Assembly sessions which are overseen by Dr Tulia Ackson, Deputy Speaker. The opposition claims that she is biased against them.

There is no sign that the standoff will be resolved soon, as President Magufuli reconfirmed the ban at a launch event in Dar es Salaam for a new system of police surveillance. AML political sources in Dar es Salaam say that political tension is likely to increase in the short to midterm. They add that the country has an increasingly “repressed” political space under President Magufuli’s leadership. One incident was cited where on 21 June a Tanzanian citizen, Leonard Mulokozi, was charged for insulting President Magufuli on Whatsapp. Mulokozi was that latest civilian to be punished for contravening the controversial Cybercrime Law introduced in 2015.

In regional news, President Paul Kagame and President Magufuli continue to strengthen the relationship between Tanzania and Rwanda. On 1 July, President Kagame made a state visit to President Magufuli, as Tanzania and Rwanda bolstered relations in aviation and transport. President Magufuli committed Tanzania to ensuring that Dar es Salaam port was efficient. Many Tanzania watchers draw comparison between the two East African leaders and terms such as “Kagamecracy” and “Rwandanization” have been used across social media to describe characteristics of the current Tanzanian administration.

President Magufuli is not just seeking to improve cooperation in the East African Community. On 10 July, he will welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to discuss how the two nations can collaborate on areas of shared interest. AML sources confirm that President Magufuli is committed to building strong South-South relationships, which according to one source “fits with his values”. This is a departure from his predecessors’ focus on relations with Europe and the US. Nevertheless, we expect President Magufuli will not turn away from these important relationships as he recognizes the meaning of collaboration with these global powers to his reputation within his own party and for Tanzania’s development.

In other news, significant quantities of helium have been discovered in Tanzania’s Rift Valley, which is encouraging news for scientists who feared the gas could run out by 2035 or 2040. This is particularly alarming for the health sector which uses helium for numerous purposes, such as MRI scans. Helium One, an exploration company headquartered in Norway, was supported by academics from the Universities of Durham and Oxford. Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanzania’s Minister for Energy and Minerals, said that Helium One could commence drilling operations at their plant in Lake Rukwa. On 28 June, President Magufuli said that he hoped “such rare resources help in building our country”.

In energy news, the Tanzanian and Ugandan governments are trying to speed up the timetable for the crude oil export pipeline running from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga port in Tanzania, but the three oil companies involved are calling for a more patient approach. Although the governments previously estimated that construction would begin in August 2016, this date is probably too early, according to the three oil companies working on the project – Total, Tullow Oil and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (“CNOOC”). On 5 and 6 July, Ugandan and Tanzanian Energy Ministry representatives – led by Ugandan Minister of Energy Irene Muloni and Muhongo from Tanzania –meet in Hoima to discuss how the project is currently progressing.

To conclude, President Magufuli’s government announced its first National Budget that has introduced austerity measures, while alleviating taxes on some low income groups. The government will need to address Tanzania’s rising public debt as a matter of priority. Political tension in Tanzania rises as opposition political rallies were banned last month and Tanzania watchers express concern about the increasingly restricted political freedom in the country. Tanzania has made a significant discovery of helium, which the government in conjunction with Norwegian company Helium One will seek to develop. Meanwhile, Tanzania and Uganda are trying to accelerate the crude oil export pipeline construction – despite partner oil companies urging patience. Technocrats from both countries have met in Hoima to discuss the project’s progression. Our view is that a good deal more work will be required to get the project fast tracked.

Petroleum fund in Tanzania? Other alternatives may be better

Ragnar Torvik (2016)
Bergen & Dar es Salaam : Chr. Michelsen Institute & REPOA (CMI Brief vol. 15 no. 10) 4 p. PDF

The Government of Tanzania is looking for the best policies and institutional designs to turn future petroleum revenues into welfare, development and jobs. This Brief argues that the Tanzanian society will benefit more by investing in infrastructure, health and education, rather than establishing a petroleum sovereign wealth fund and investing in foreign assets.

Exploration for oil and gas in Tanzania started in the 1950s. The first discoveries were made in the 1970s, and commercial production started in 2004. Since 2010, additional huge reserves have been discovered offshore the southern coast. The size of the total confirmed gas reserves is currently standing at more than 57 trillion cubic feet. There are prospects for additional offshore, as well as onshore, reserves of both gas and oil. There is considerable uncertainty about the decision to invest in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, the total volume of petroleum reserves, and the future petroleum prices.

The challenge

On average, countries with abundant reserves of petroleum are claimed to have lower economic growth, less democracy, more social unrest, and an erosion of their institutional quality. Such outcomes have sparked an interest in policy solutions to deal with these possible adverse effects of resource abundance. A main challenge with the literature on the so-called resource curse, however, is that it mainly describes the economic and political outcomes resulting from resource abundance, but is rather short on offering policy advice. Politicians and bureaucrats in petroleum producing countries, in contrast, have put major efforts into policy solutions and institutional designs to cope with possible unfavorable consequences of petroleum income. One dominant institutional design, which more and more petroleum producers seem to adopt, is to establish a petroleum fund.

A possible solution

The first petroleum fund established was the Kuwait Investment Authority in 1953. Later petroleum funds include the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund in Canada, established in 1976, the Alaska Permanent Fund established the same year, and the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global established in 1990. In recent years, petroleum funds have spread to many petroleum producers, including several African countries. For example, Chad, Angola and Nigeria, have established sovereign wealth funds to manage their petroleum revenues.

The design of a petroleum fund depends on answers to the following three questions: First, how much of the petroleum income shall be channelled into the fund? Second, how shall the fund be managed? Third, how shall payments out of the fund be decided? Various sovereign wealth funds have provided different answers to these three questions.

It is important to distinguish between two different purposes of petroleum funds. Savings funds, on the one hand, are sovereign wealth funds with the aim of transferring petroleum wealth into long-term financial wealth. They are a vehicle for long-term management of petroleum revenues. Stabilization funds, on the other hand, are funds that aim to preventing short-term fluctuations in revenues to turn into short-term fluctuations in government spending. This can be done, for instance as in the copper fund in Chile, by spending less than the total revenues when the prices are high, and more when prices are low. In this brief, we are mainly concerned with savings funds, although it is important to acknowledge that also saving funds have short term stabilizing properties on the economy.

The establishment of a fund brings with it potential benefits, but also potential costs

The benefits

Before deciding to establish a fund or not, one has to trade off the benefits against the eventual costs. Turning first to the benefits, a petroleum fund makes policy more rules based, and less the object of day-to-day political decisions. This has the potential effect of ensuring a long-term perspective on policy. Such a long-term policy view on the petroleum assets is important for several reasons. First, what is often termed petroleum income is not really income in the conventional sense, but selling off one type of assets (non-renewable natural resource assets) and replacing them with another (dollars). The establishment of a petroleum fund is a way to manage this transition from resource wealth to financial wealth. Second, consuming too much of the petroleum proceeds in the short run induces a structural shift away from traded towards (public and private) non-traded sectors that is not sustainable. It has, at some point, to be reversed. Third, a petroleum fund may contribute to investment decisions being based on long-term economic criteria, and not day-to-day political decisions. Fourth, a petroleum fund ensures the decoupling of resource spending and resource income. Petroleum prices and production levels are volatile. A petroleum fund can transform such volatile income streams into more stable government spending. This has a stabilization effect on the economy, ensuring that the cycles in the resource sector are not magnified by pro-cyclical use of resource income. It also allows for more stable provision of public services. In conclusion, there are many attractive attributes of establishing a petroleum fund.

The costs

Turning to the costs, the potential drawbacks of establishing a petroleum fund can be illustrated by experiences from other African countries that have introduced such funds. Some of the initial experiences with these are not favourable. One particular example is Chad, which assisted by the World Bank established a “future generations fund” where petroleum revenues were set aside. The deal was that the fund was set up as part of an agreement with the World Bank that involved financing of the pipeline from land-locked Chad to the port in Cameroon. However, when political tensions erupted, the fund was raided by the president and spent on the military. As a response, the World Bank aborted their relations with the regime. Another example is Angola, which established a petroleum fund in 2008. In 2013, the son of President Dos Santos became the head of its board of directors. This questions whether the petroleum fund in reality is setting up a new way to manage the resource wealth, as well as its independence from the current political elite.

These examples bring with them some general lessons. In particular, a drawback with a petroleum fund in a weakly institutionalized setting is that financial assets are highly appropriable. This generates incentives for rent-seeking by political and private entrepreneurs with the aim of securing these funds for their own political or private purpose. Such rent-seeking is costly in itself, in that entrepreneurial talent is wasted in trying to appropriate income already created, rather than creating additional income. Such rent-seeking also brings with it negative externalities for the rest of society. In particular, there are three important negative externalities.

First, when more entrepreneurial talent is allocated to rent-seeking and less to productive activities, the income of each remaining producer falls. The reason is that when entrepreneurs shift from production to rent-seeking, then this is equivalent to a shift from activities with positive externalities for the rest of the economy (production that generates income and thus demand which benefits other producers), to activities with negative externalities (rent-seeking that generates costs for other producers since rent-seekers predate on producers). Consequently, the aggregate fall in production can be large.

Second, the presence of a lootable petroleum fund produces perverse incentives when it comes to investing in institutional capacity. Weak institutions are a prerequisite for politicians being able to loot a fund. Thus, a petroleum fund may bring with it political incentives to weaken, rather than to strengthen, institutions.

Third, the sum of the previous two channels makes it less attractive for private investors to invest. The future capital stock of the economy, and thus income, is lower than it otherwise would be.

In sum, establishing a petroleum fund in a weakly institutionalized setting brings with it considerable potential costs for the society.

The alternatives

Developing countries typically have low levels and poor quality of their infrastructure, and the human capital and health of their populations. Starting at such low initial levels, the potential return of investments in these areas are higher than for developed countries. Therefore, from the point of view of society, the return of investing in infrastructure, health and education is simply higher the lower the levels of such investments are in the first place. In contrast, the direct return from foreign financial assets in a petroleum fund is independent of the level of development of a country. In isolation, this means that, from the point of view of a developing country, a petroleum fund should be less attractive as compared with a developed country.

There are also additional arguments that pull in the same direction. We have already seen that a potential drawback with a petroleum fund is that its assets are lootable. Investments in infrastructure, education and health are, in comparison, difficult to loot. This has the implication that the perverse effects on incentives to invest in institutional capacity created by a petroleum fund are not present. They may even be turned on their head: higher levels of human capital, infrastructure and health empower the population, in turn increasing the demand for inclusive institutions.

The same three channels that produces negative externalities with a petroleum fund, may with the alternative use produce positive externalities: The incentives for entrepreneurs is shifted towards production and away from rent-seeking, the institutional quality may improve, and these two effects make it more attractive for private entrepreneurs to invest.

Policy implications

The direct financial return of a petroleum fund is the same for developing and developed countries. However, using incomes from petroleum to invest in infrastructure, education and health creates higher societal returns for a developing than for a developed country.

Establishing a petroleum fund in a weakly institutionalized setting may produce perverse incentives for entrepreneurs to engage in rent-seeking rather than in productive activities, and for politicians to weaken rather than strengthen institutional quality.

Investing in infrastructure, human capital, and health, on the other hand creates incentives for production rather than rent-seeking, and may improve institutional quality rather than deteriorate it.

The payoff for the Tanzanian society is most likely much higher by using petroleum revenues to invest in infrastructure, health and education, rather than to establish a petroleum fund to invest in foreign assets.

Recommended literature
  • Acemoglu, Daron, and James A. Robinson. 2012. Why nations fail: the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. New York: Crown.
  • Arezki, Rabah, Thorvaldur Gylfason, and Amadou Sy. 2011. Beyond the curse: policies to harness the power of natural resources. Washington D.C.: International Monetary Fund.
  • Ross, Michael L. 2001. Timber booms and institutional breakdown in Southeast Asia. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Torvik, Ragnar. 2011. ”The political economy of reform in resource rich countries.” Chapter 13 in Arezki, R., Gylfason, T. and Sy, A. (eds.). Beyond the curse: policies to harness the power of natural resources. Washington D.C.: International Monetary Fund.
  • van der Ploeg, Frederick. 2011. ”Natural resources: curse of blessing?” Journal of Economic Literature 49, 366–420.
This Brief is an output from Tanzania as a future petrostate: Prospects and challenges, a five-year (2014-19) institutional collaborative programme for research, capacity building, and policy dialogue. It is jointly implemented by REPOA and CMI, in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam.

Uganda, Tanzania to fastrack oli pipeline construction

image souce: pipeline-journal.net
Uganda and Tanzania have agreed on the fast-tracking of the crude oil export pipeline development project. The 1,443 kilometer pipeline will connect from Buseruka in Hoima district to Tanga port in Tanzania.

The resolution follows a meeting between Uganda and Tanzanian officials to discuss modalities of having construction of the pipeline done by the year 2020. The meeting, held in Hoima town last evening was also attended by officials from exploration companies Tullow, CNOOC and Total.

Energy and Mineral Development Minister Engineer Irene Muloni told journalists after the meeting that timelines have now been set to have the pipeline front-end engineering design launched in October this year. Muloni added that land acquisition and project funding equally need to be fast-tracked.

Construction of the Uganda-Tanzania oil pipeline is slated to start in January next year, according to Uganda’s Energy Minister Irene Muloni.

The construction of the pipeline, which will export Ugandan crude oil to the international market, will be complete in 2020.

Muloni told a press conference in Hoima, Tanzania, that following closed-door discussions with the Tanzanian delegation in Hoima, the two countries had agreed to fast-track the project which will cover 1,443 kilometres, reported the Daily Monitor.

Oil explorers have discovered more than 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves from about 40 percent of the Albertine basin in western Uganda.
Uganda’s new round of oil exploration licensing may see the country increasing its petroleum reserves, if the surveys prove positive.

She said the delegations from Uganda and Tanzania would meet again in Tanzania in October to launch the front-end-engineering-design for the project.

Muloni added that feasibility studies estimate the project to cost $3.55 billion. Land acquisition assessments, surveys, environmental and social impact studies will be conducted before construction starts.

A pipeline company will be set up and Uganda, Tanzania and other interested East African states will have shares in it.

Hoima — Construction of the Uganda-Tanzania crude oil export pipeline is planned to start in January next year, Uganda's Energy minister Irene Muloni has said.

Ms Muloni, who led a Ugandan team that held closed door discussions with the Tanzanian delegation in Hoima Town on Tuesday, told the media that the two countries had agreed to fast-track the project which will cover 1,443 kilometres.

The construction of the pipeline, meant to export the Ugandan crude oil to the international market, is planned to be finalised by 2020.

Oil explorers have discovered more than 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves from about 40 per cent of the Albertine basin in western Uganda. Uganda's new round of oil exploration licensing may see the country increasing its petroleum reserves, if the surveys prove positive.

"Every activity in respect to the project will be done in a fast tracking mode. We have agreed to meet in Tanga (Tanzania) in October this year to launch the front-end-engineering-design for the project," Ms Muloni told the press at Miika Eco Resort and Hotel, where the meeting was held.

She added that feasibility studies estimate the project to cost $3.55 billion. Land acquisition assessments, surveys, environmental and social impact studies will be conducted before construction starts.

She said a pipeline company will be set up and Uganda, Tanzania and other interested East African states will have shares in it.

"The pipeline is very attractive and viable. Securing financing will be explored in much detail. Contacts are being made to potential funders," Ms Muloni said.

Uganda and Tanzania political leaders and technocrats agreed to name the pipeline project reflecting the East African Community and the second ministerial meeting endorsed, "East African crude oil pipeline (EACOP)".

According to Ms Muloni, the meeting also endorsed the use of the colours of the East African community flag in the newly-created logo for the project since it is regional and it is open to other countries in the region to join.

"The ministerial meeting agreed to develop a project schedule and work modalities to expedite necessary approvals including; land access, environmental and social aspects, routing, project agreements and other activities requiring national or local government consents," a joint communiqué signed by Ms Muloni and her Tanzanian counterpart, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, reads in part.

Prof Muhongo said he had instructions from the Tanzanian President to ensure that the project is achieved in the shortest possible time.

"As we partner with Uganda in this project, we wish to assure our Ugandan brothers and sisters that we have the experience in pipeline construction. All our activities will be done in accelerated speed to achieve the project by 2020," Prof Muhongo said.

He cited the 1,710-kilometre Tanzama crude pipeline between Tanzania and Zambia and Mtwara-Dar es Salaam gas pipeline covering 560.56 Kilometres as some of the projects that the Tanzanians constructed. He said 95 per cent of the pipeline in the Tanzanian territory will be close to tarmacked roads and a railway line which will make it easier to mobilise materials during construction.

Out of the 1,443 kilometres of the pipeline, more than 1,100 will be on the Tanzanian side.

"Our side is not very steep and densely populated. The route is favorable for speedy construction," Prof Muhongo said.

He said it is the wish of the Tanzanians to use the pipeline to also export its huge gas resources to East African states. Since land in Tanzania is owned by the state, Prof Muhongo added, completing processes of land acquisition will be much faster.
  • Source: The MONITOR via allafrica.com written by Francis Mugerwa

Friedman: In Tanzania's World, it's the Past vs. the Future

Thomas L. Friedman – Professional Public Speakers | Motivational Business & Keynote Speakers – Royce Carlton (image/ screenshot from: oycecarlton.com)
Last week's events in Tanzania were earth-flattening, although we may not know for years or even decades what their final meaning is. What's important, however, is that we focus on what this means on the street. The media seems too caught up in worrying about their own skins to pay attention to how their people are doing. Just call it missing the fields for the wheat.

When thinking about the ongoing ethnic strife, it's important to remember three things: One, people don't behave like muppets, so attempts to treat them as such are a waste of time. Muppets never suddenly set up a black market for Western DVDs. Two, Tanzania has spent decades as a dictatorship closed to the world, so a mindset of peace and stability will seem foreign and strange. And three, freedom is an extraordinarily powerful idea: If ethnic conflict is Tanzania's curtain rod, then freedom is certainly its flowerpot.

When I was in Tanzania last January, I was amazed by the variety of the local cuisine, and that tells me two things. It tells me that the citizens of Tanzania have no shortage of potential entrepreneurs, and that is a good beginning to grow from. Second, it tells me that people in Tanzania are just like people anywhere else on this flat earth of ours.

So what should we do about the chaos in Tanzania? Well, it's easier to start with what we should not do. We should not let seemingly endless frustrations cause the people of Tanzania to doubt their chance at progress. Beyond that, we need to be careful to nurture the seeds of democratic ideals. The opportunity is there, but I worry that the path to peace is so poorly marked that Tanzania will have to move down it very slowly. And of course Dar es Salaam needs to come to the table.

Speaking with a local farmer from the large Catholic community here, I asked him if there was any message that he wanted me to carry back home with me. He pondered for a second, and then smiled and said, shad-farin-bin-yamin, which is a local saying that means roughly, "It takes one day to destroy a house but to build a new one will take months, perhaps years."

I don't know what Tanzania will be like a few years from now, but I do know that it will probably look very different from the country we see now, even if it remains true to its basic cultural heritage. I know this because, through all the disorder, the people still haven't lost sight of their dreams.

Centra Bank in Tanzania now monitors real-time transactions of bureaux de change

(image: Wikimedia)
Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has developed a system that monitors real-time transactions of the bureaux de change across Tanzania to enhance supervisions.

This new development comes amid concerns by stakeholders that some bureaus are violating transaction regulations including non-issuing of receipts to hide actual transactions.

So, To deal with this challenge, Bank of Tanzania has introduced the real-time transaction system to monitor the bureaus’ activities thus curbing some bookkeeping malpractices.

“(BoT) has developed Bureaux de Change Management System which will enable capturing real-time transactions and enhance effective supervision of bureaus,” BoT Monetary Policy Statement of June 2016 said.

Instead the report said the Foreign Exchange (Bureau de Change) Regulations, 2015 were translated into Kiswahili in order to broaden its understanding among stakeholders. In August 2014, BoT deregistered 15 bureaux de change in the last three years for operating illegally.

The central bank said the shops violated various provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulations of 2008 enforced under the Foreign Exchange Act, 1992. However, during the stated period, there was no bureau de change that was found to indulge in money laundering activities, according to the BoT.

According to the BoT data at the end of December 2012, the central bank had registered 222 bureaux de change across the country.

Meanwhile, the central bank continued to implement prudential measures to strengthen risk management practices in the financial sector. In line with intensifying BoT efforts of ensuring compliance to internationally acceptable standards, the central bank has started to develop rules and regulations for Basel II/III implementation in the country.
  • via DAILY NEWS

Tanzania to construct US$ 1.8 billion fertilizer plant

Fertilizer plant in Tanzania
Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation will be constructing a mega fertiliser manufacturing plant at Kilamko, Lindi Region. Construction of the US$ 1.8 billion fertilizer plant in Tanzania is set to commence in December this year. The fertilizer plant is likely to see the price of the farm input lower as a result of competition.

Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation will partner with three private companies. The companies will use natural gas as both feedstock for production and a source of energy

He named the companies involved in the business as the Denmark based Haldor Topsoe Company, Ferrostaal Industrial Project from German and Fauji Fertiliser Company based in Pakistan.

The corporation will hold a 20 per cent stake in the business while the foreign partners will own the rest.

Dr Wellington Hudson the Director of Downstream Operations at TPDC said that the plant will have a daily production capacity of 3,850 tonnes. He added that TPDC was in the final stages of compensating affected residents.
Employment opportunities

Dr Hudson added that the first plant would generate a number of employment opportunities. He adde that it would also earn the country foreign exchange from fertiliser exports.

Mr Ernest Mwakang’ata ,the Kilwa District Land Officer said the district’s administration has commenced the process of compensating 23 residents at the proposed site.

“The residents had encroached upon the area after TPDC failed to develop the area for a very long time,” the land officer told reporters. However, Mr Mwakang’ata said TPDC have agreed to pay compensation to the residents to vacate the area.

The corporation has also allocated 400 acres more to take care of residential needs of the villagers. A TPDC board member, Judge (retired) Josephat Makanja, said the plant would boost national development.

Taarifa ya habari ChannelTEN Julai 9, 2016

Jerusalem Post's Article - Diplomacy: Bless the rains down in Africa

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Ethiopian Parliament, July 7 2016.. (photo credit:KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Netanyahu had to enjoy himself on his African tour this week, where Israel’s stock is on the rise, the diplomatic process is just an afterthought, and no one seems to care about settlements.

Addis Ababa - From people lining the street holding Israeli flags and waving on the road from the Entebbe airport to the presidential palace nearby; to the “Karibu, We Welcome H.E. Benjamin Netanyahu” billboards on some Nairobi streets; to the Rwanda brass band and colorful honor guard that greeted him at the Kigali Airport – East Africa, or more precisely a good chunk of East Africa, clearly embraced Israel this week.

And what was so telling about this embrace is that it was done in public, in broad daylight, and with much enthusiasm.

Which leads to one major question. Why did it take so long? If leader after leader, from Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, all – in their own unique style – extolled the benefits of cooperation with Israel, and if Netanyahu, in numerous speeches and four press conferences, declared the strategic importance of Africa to Israel, then why did it take so long to move this relationship into high gear? Kenyatta supplied the answer: It’s now a different world.

“We think the world has changed,” he said in elegant British-accented English, standing alongside Netanyahu on a red-carpeted podium set before the entrance to State House in Nairobi, a palatial, White House-looking building with a massive black, red and green Kenyan flag flying from the rooftop. “The nature of the global problems that we now share are different from what they were some 30 years ago.”

Africa, he said, “cannot live in history,” an allusion to opposition from some on the continent to greater ties with Israel because of the relationship Israel had in the past with apartheid South Africa.

“We have to be able to live in the future, address ourselves to the challenges of today,” he said. “And the one clear fact is that [terrorism is] the biggest challenge we face, not only as a state and continent but as a community of nations threatened by deranged people who believe in no religion and threaten men, women and children around the globe.”

More than all the technological know-how that Israel can supply, more than the expertise it can provide in soil conservation and solar energy, Africa is opening up to Israel because of groups like the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabaab from nearby Somalia, threatening the peace and quiet of the continent’s eastern corridor.

All efforts to push a social agenda, all attempts to build infrastructure and improve the living standard of the people, all attempts to make life better for their citizens are being thwarted, Kenyatta said, by the threat of terrorism. It dwarfs everything else; it casts a cloud over everything.

And for that reason, he made clear, Africa needs Israel, as much as Israel needs Africa.

NOW WHILE ALL THIS may sound clear and logical to Israelis, the fact that Kenyatta – as well as Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn – said it openly is what is unique.

Israel is no stranger to discrete diplomatic ties; indeed, they continue to this day, both with states in Africa with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations – such as Somalia, Chad and Mali – as well as with Arab countries in the region.

And it is those ties with the Arab states, with Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states in particular, that has helped lead to a change in African attitudes. The public might not know much about Israel’s ties with the Gulf states – beyond the fact that they are taking place – but leaders around the world are aware of them, and their very existence is having an impact.

Kenyatta said that faced with the challenge of terrorism, it would be “foolhardy” for Africa not to cooperate closely with Israel, it would be “like an ostrich burying its head.”

He noted that Israel today has better ties with the Arab world than ever before, and asked – essentially – why Africa should be more Catholic than the pope. “Why should we on the African continent say we know better than those in the region?” Yoram Elron, the Foreign Ministry’s director-general for Africa, whose father was an ambassador in Zambia until he was kicked out in 1973 when most of Africa cut off ties with Israel under intense Arab pressure, and who himself served as ambassador to Cameroon and nonresident ambassador to South Sudan, termed this week’s events a “milestone” in Israel-African ties.

One of the elements that made it a milestone, he said, was Netanyahu’s summit in Uganda with the leaders of seven Eastern African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia, South Sudan and Tanzania.

That summit was unprecedented, he said, and its significance should not be downplayed.

At short notice, the leaders flew to Uganda for a three-hour meeting that Netanyahu described as the start of a strategic alliance among countries with many common interests. That meeting sent a message that those who attended were no longer afraid of bringing ties with Israel into the sunlight, no longer afraid of the reaction of Arab states, the North African states or South Africa.

The importance of the meeting to the African leaders who participated was evident in that Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame came to it even though it fell on the day marking the end of the genocide in his country in 1994. In Rwanda, that day is the equivalent of that nation’s independence day, and his showing up to the meeting would be like Netanyahu flying abroad for a meeting on Israel’s Independence Day.

Tall, razor-thin and soft-spoken – not elegant like Kenyatta or bombastic like Uganda’s Museveni – Kagame, in fact, is the force driving this alliance, pushing it forward, urging other countries to get involved. And Rwanda, despite its small size, has emerged as a key force in Africa in recent years, largely because the country’s military is strong and its economy is robust and growing rapidly.

Rwanda is also arguably – along with Kenya – Israel’s strongest friend in Africa. Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said recently that both those countries were instrumental in beating back Iranian attempts at the UN to keep Israel, for the first time ever, from gaining the chairmanship of a key UN committee.

Jerusalem hopes to replicate the type of summit it held in Uganda on Monday in the near future in West Africa, with countries like Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and others participating.

The impression is that Monday’s meeting will open the door and provide a strong “back wind” for replicating this type of event in West Africa.

Ironically, it is Nigeria – a country plagued by the terrorism of Boko Haram and which had very warm relations with Israel up until new elections there in 2015 – that is posing an obstacle. Israel’s relationship with Nigeria flowered under its Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan, but when he lost the election, the country’s attitude – and voting pattern in international forums – changed.

This phenomenon – of changing attitudes depending on who is in office – works both ways, however.

Just as Nigeria’s attitude cooled with the election of a Muslim president.

Muhammadu Buhari, Tanzania’s attitude improved with the election there in 2015 of a Christian president, John Magufuli, replacing his Muslim predecessor.

Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga was at the summit in Uganda and announced that his country would open an embassy in Tel Aviv. This will bring the number of African embassies up to 15, with four new ones opened in the last three years: South Sudan, Rwanda, Zambia and now Tanzania.

In addition to the Uganda summit, Netanyahu’s trip was significant on two other levels: It provided strong momentum to strengthen bilateral ties in each of the countries he visited – Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Some nine bilateral agreements, ranging from accords on tourism to those on agricultural cooperation and visa waivers for diplomats, were signed.

Furthermore, representatives from some 50 Israeli companies held business seminars in both Kenya and Ethiopia, giving a huge push to developing business ties.

Secondly, both Kenyatta and Hailemariam pledged to work to get Israel’s observer status at the African Union reinstated, a status that has been blocked since 2002 by the Arab states and South Africa.

The significance of this, Netanyahu said, is that it will further open Africa’s doors to Israel, as Israel will be involved in pan-African consultations and be able to present its case to the body. The Palestinian Authority has this status already.

Netanyahu clearly soaked in all the warm words and the pomp and ceremony surrounding his whirlwind visit to four states in just over four days. One reason he seemed to enjoy it was that he was not confronted at every turn by questions about the diplomatic process.

The Palestinians, according to one senior official in the prime minister’s meetings with the African leaders, barely came up.

“They have bigger fish to fry,” he said.

It was refreshing, another senior diplomatic source noted, that the main issue on the table on a foreign visit was not the Palestinians or the diplomatic process, but rather, how to grow more crops, how to more efficiently use more water, and how to use Israeli technology to fight terrorism.

Though Museveni, Kenyatta and Hailemariam all mentioned the need for peace in the Mideast in their speeches, they all just essentially pledged allegiance to the two-state solution and stressed the need for negotiations. By emphasizing the need for negotiations, they gently fell into line with Israel’s position that this is what is needed to move the diplomatic process forward, not additional international conferences.

In Africa this week, none of the leaders fixated on the Palestinian issue or cared overmuch about whether a few hundred more housing units will be built in Ma’aleh Adumim. That definitely would not have been the case had Netanyahu opted to spend the first week of July not in Africa but, rather, in the US or Europe – another reason he is eager to return to Africa, this time the western part, in the near future.

Awesome! Great photo: Kikuletwa Hot Springs, Tanzania

The following photos and description were cross-posted from, deviantart.com please contact the owner Steve Campbell. for copyright issues and any other query.

Kikuletwa Hot Springs, Tanzania

The Kikuletwa (aka Chemka) hot springs is an oasis located in the middle of a dusty barren landscape, dotted with Masai villages. Surrounded by fig trees, the water is crystal-clear, and runs continuously from underground caverns. The oasis is home to a large number of tiny fish that nibble at the dead skin from your feet - most assuredly a bizarre sensation. A place of surreal beautiful, it's one of the most stunning places I've had the great fortune of visiting. Pictured is our guide, who drove me and another volunteer through the unpaved, rocky landscape with all the style and luxuries afforded by two car seats loosely strapped to the open cargo area of an old pickup truck. As promised, more photos from my trip to come in the future.

Note: I uploaded this at full resolution (10.1 MP, 3888x2592) in case you'd like to download it as a wallpaper, or buy as a print

Another photo from my Tanzania trip, taken while on Safari:  Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

I shot this 7 years ago while doing some HIV work in Tanzania - our medical facility closed for a long weekend, and I took advantage of the free time to go on a brief safari. For some reason I never bothered to upload photos from that trip to Deviantart. Perhaps I'll get around to uploading more in the future.

Here's what wikipedia has to say about Ngorongoro:

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of the Arusha Region.

Job call for Tanzanians:Head, ICT Data & Statistics Division at ITU

The direct link to this job ad is: https://erecruit.itu.int/public/hrd-cl-vac-view.asp?jobinfo_uid_c=33683&vaclng=en

Taarifa na Ratiba ya zoezi la uhakiki wa watumishi wote SUA

Mi mwenyewe mgeni hapa...

Dah! Anakesha kuwalinda wanawe maalbino "kuna muda napatwa na machungu watoto wangu wanaponiuliza..."

Mwanje na mke wake Florence wakiwa na watoto wao maalbino.
Na Leonard Msigwa

Ni mwendo wa saa nne toka jiji la Kampala nchini Uganda hadi kuyafikia makazi ya bwana Mwanje na wake zake wawili Lynda na Florence. Ni katika makazi haya bwana Mwanje ndipo anaishi na watoto wake nane wanaokadiriwa kuwa na miaka mitano hadi kumi na tatu huku watano kati yao wakiwa na ulemavu wa ngozi.

Na watoto wote watano wenye ulemavu wa ngozi amezaa na mkewe mkubwa Florence, wataalam wanaeleza kuwa ulemavu wa ngozi unatokana na upungufu wa madini ya melanin yanayohusika kuweka rangi ya ngozi, macho na nywele.

“Mara ya kwanza kupata mtoto mwenye matatizo ya ulemavu wa ngozi niliogopa sana, sikujua nini nitafanya, mwishowe niliamua kumpenda, nilimpenda zaidi” alisema bwana Mwanje.

Katika familia nyingi kumpata mtoto mwenye ulemavu wa ngozi ni tatizo, wengi wao huwaficha ndani kwa kuogopwa kuchekwa na majirani, hii inatokana na imani potofu inayoenezwa dhidi ya watoto wenye ulemavu wa ngozi. Kuna baadhi ya wanaume ambao huwatelekeza wake zao baada ya kuzaliwa mtoto mwenye ulemavu wa ngozi” kuna mambo mengi yasiyo ya kweli katika jamii yangu kuhusiana na wanangu watano kuwa walemavu wa ngozi, wanasema nilimcheka mtu mwenye ulemavu wa ngozi nilipokuwa kijana na akanipa laana na ndiyo sababu ya wanangu kuwa na ulemavu wa ngozi” alisema Florence mke mkubwa wa bwana Mwanje.

Kumekuwa na imani potofu kuhusu watu wenye ulemavu wa ngozi katika nchi zote za Afrika Mashariki, wapo wanaoamini miili ya watu wenye ulemavu ina nguvu ya kutajirisha watu maskini na kuwa matajiri wakubwa. Pia wapo wanaoamini wao ni mizimu ya kweli na siyo binadamu.

Katika nchi ya Tanzania na Malawi kumekuwa na matukio ya mara kwa mara ya kutekwa na baadaye kuuwawa kwa watu wenye ulemavu wa ngozi na baadhi wakikatwa viungo vyao wa mapanga wangali wazima, kifupi watu wenye ulemavu wanaishi kwa hofu kubwa kulingana na imani hizo kandamizi na potofu.

Nchini Uganda hali tofauti na nchini Tanzania na Malawi lakini ubaguzi wa wazi wa watu wenye ulemavu nchini Uganda ni jambo la kawaida. Katika shule nyingi wanafunzi wanagoma kukaa na watu wenye ulemavu wa ngozi kwenye dawati moja.

“Nilitaka wanangu wapate elimu bora, nikaamua kuwapeleka shule bora lakini tatizo shule iko mbali na makazi yangu, hivyo nilihofia wanangu wanaweza kutekwa. Kwasasa wanasoma shule ya kawaida iliyo jirani na makazi yangu” alisema bwana Mwanje.

“Jambo lililowahi kunitia hofu zaidi, siku moja mwanagu Robert na wenzake walikuwa wakicheza jirani na shamba langu la mpunga. Mpaka jua linazama walikuwa bado porini wakicheza ghafla walimwona mtu kajificha na akaanza kuwafukuza hali iliyosababisha kila mmoja akimbilie uelekeo wake. Robert alikimbilia uelekeo wake na wenzake uelekeo mmoja, kutokana na kelele za watoto yule mtu naye alikimbia na mpaka leo hatutajua alikuwa nani na lengo lake lilikuwa nini.” Alisema bwana Mwanje huku akionesha hali ya huzuni na wasiwasi.

“Tangu tukio hilo litoke natumia muda mwingi kukaa jirani na watoto wangu kuhakikisha usalama wao. ” “Kuna muda napatwa na machungu watoto wangu wanaponiuliza kwa nini wako tofauti na sisi, nawajibu kuwa hakuna kitu kibaya, wote tupo sawa ndani ya miili yetu.

Taarifa ya kusimaishwa kazi Mhasibu Mkuu Polisi kwa kufanya udanganyifu kwenye malipo


Katibu Mkuu wa Wizara ya Mambo ya Ndani ya Nchi Meja Jenerali Projest Rwegasira amemsimamisha kazi Mhasibu Mkuu wa Jeshi la Polisi, Frank Charles Msaki kutokana na makosa ya kufanya malipo hewa yaani kulipa posho ya chakula kwa watu ambao si askari.

Kwa mujibu wa taarifa kutoka Wizarani hapo ambayo nakala tumeipata, Mhasibu Mkuu huyo Bw. Frank Msaki anasimamishwa kazi kwa kufanya malipo ya kiasi cha sh. 305,820,000 kama posho ya chakula kwa watu ambao sio askari kwa kipindi cha kuanzia mwaka wa fedha 2013/2014 hadi 2015/2016.

Meja Jenerali Rwegasira amesema kwa mujibu wa Sheria, Kanuni na Taratibu za Kijeshi anayetakiwa kulipwa posho ya chakula yaani ‘ration allowance’ ni askari peke yake na si mtu mwingine yeyote yule.

Meja Jenerali Rwegasira amesema anamsimisha kazi Mhasibu Mkuu huyo tangu leo tarehe 9 Julai, 2016 ili kupisha uchunguzi ufanyike juu ya tuhuma zinazomkabili.

Katibu Mkuu huyo amesema baada ya jalada la uchunguzi kufunguliwa na Ukaguzi Maalumu kufanywa na Mkaguzi wa Ndani wa Jeshi la Polisi imebainika kuwa mbinu mbalimbali zimetumika ili kufanikisha malipo hayo hewa.

Imetolewa na Kitengo cha Maawsiliano ya Serikali

Wizara ya Mambo ya Ndani ya Nchi