Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, 18 August 21.
Global Fund approves over $100 million support to Tanzania’s efforts against COVID-19
The Global Fund, the international financing and partnership organization that aims to invest resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, on Tuesday announced the approval of $112 million to support Tanzania’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement was made during a virtual launch ceremony attended by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Global Fund Executive Director Mr Peter Sands. The new funding for COVID-19 comes on top of $608 million that was approved for the 2021-2023 implementation period. The grants seek to support Tanzania’s efforts to build resilient and sustainable systems for health and expand access to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria services.
“Tanzania welcomes Global Fund’s renewed commitment to back our fight against COVID-19, HIV, TB and malaria and support our efforts to build resilient systems for health,” a statement released by Global Fund on Tuesday quoted President Samia as saying. “Global Fund’s support in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria in Tanzania goes back to two decades ago and together we have achieved remarkable results. We are committed to continuing working together to tackle this new pandemic and mitigate its knock-on effects.”
Since 2003, the Global Fund has signed over $3.5 billion in investments to accelerate the end of HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics and strengthen systems for health across Tanzania. Between 2015 and 2019, for instance, Global Fund-supported programs coupled with the government’s efforts led to a 14 per cent decline in new HIV infections, a 23 per cent decline in TB incidence and a 20 per cent decline of confirmed malaria cases.
“We commend President [Samia’s] strong leadership in the fight against COVID-19,” Mr Sands said during the virtual launch ceremony. “We celebrate the remarkable efforts that have brought Tanzania this far in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and we look forward to working closely with the government of Tanzania and our partners to beat COVID-19, protect our hard-won gains against HIV, TB and malaria and achieve the ambitious targets of the new grants.”
EAC boss urges Tanzanian, Kenyan traders to boost cross-border trade
East African Community (EAC) Secretary-General Mr Peter Mathuki has called on Kenyan and Tanzanian investors to take advantage of bilateral engagements between partner states to boost cross-border trade, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.
Mr Mathuki said that Kenya’s imports from Tanzania between January and June grew by about 70 per cent as compared to a similar period last year as a result of regular bilateral engagements that focused on the resolution of trade disputes.
“The trade volumes at the Namanga (Kenya-Tanzania border) increased sixfold last month, compared to a similar period last year,” Mr Mathuki said.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya the value of goods imported by Kenya from Tanzania stood at Ksh18.2 billion (about 167 million U.S. dollars) in the first six months of 2021 while Kenya’s export to Tanzania stood at 157.7 million dollars in the same period.
Mathuki called upon the business community in the East African region to push for public-private partnerships, citing the increased trade flows between Kenya and Tanzania, resulting from public and private bilateral dialogues in the recent months.
He said that the EAC Secretariat is at an advanced stage of deploying a 24-hour working system at the border points, among all partner states, and fully integrating the one-stop border post systems to boost trade.
Two oil and gas companies win extension for Ruvuma joint venture
Tanzania has granted two international oil and gas companies, Scirocco Energy PLC and Aminex PLC, an extension to the Ruvuma gas license, Scirocco Energy PLC reported yesterday.
The license is valid for two years from August 15, 2021, and will allow for drilling the Chikumbi-1 well, which is expected to start in the third quarter of 2022; acquisition of 200 square kilometres (surface coverage) of 3D seismic data; and conclusion of negotiations of the Gas Terms for the Ruvuma Production-Sharing Agreements.
“This is a very positive update for the Ruvuma [Joint Venture] partners as the license extension adds significantly more clarity to the project going forward,” Tom Reynolds, CEO of Scirocco, reacted to the extension. “With a clear licence position, work programme and associated timeline, we are able to present a well-defined pathway to development to prospective purchasers. We look forward to progressing those discussions and providing updates to the market as appropriate.”
Charlie Santos, executive chairman of Aminex, commented on the extension to Proactive Investors: “We are delighted to receive the extension to the licence and appreciate the Ministry of Energy’s steadfast support. We are also thankful for [ARA Petroleum Tanzania Ltd’s] diligent efforts to secure the extension and look forward to updating shareholders on further progress in due course.”
The project is operated by ARA Petroleum Tanzania Ltd. Both Scirocco and Aminex hold a 25 per cent interest.
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