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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – January 26, 2022.

In our briefing today: Dar machingas present Samia with six urgent pleas; Tanzania, Mauritius sign agreement to boost cooperation; Barrick says Tanzania’s mines have advanced to tier-one status; TPDC, UK firm ink deal on LNG negotiations.

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

Dar machingas present Samia with six urgent pleas

Petty traders, popularly known as Machinga, from Dar es Salaam on Tuesday presented President Samia Suluhu Hassan with six pleas that they think if effectively dealt with they will go a long way to put many of the traders’ cries to a stop.

The traders submitted the pleas during a State House function in Dar es Salaam following an invitation by the Head of State who said she wanted to have a discussion with the traders’ representatives and see if they are on the same page with the government on the recently-concluded exercise of “arranging” the traders.

The controversial exercise, which has been criticized by some and lauded by others, involved removing the traders from areas that authorities saw unfit and taken to government-designated areas that authorities thought conducive for traders’ activities.

Tuesday’s meeting also came after two fires destroyed the traders’ businesses at the Kariakoo and Karume markets on July 10, 2021, and January 16, 2022, respectively whose real sources are yet to be confirmed as authorities continue to investigate.

Presenting the pleas on behalf of other Dar es Salaam petty traders, Yusuf Namoto, deputy chairperson of the traders’ association asked President Samia to intervene in improving the areas that authorities have taken them to, pointing out that some areas have unfriendly infrastructure that prevents traders from doing their activities properly.

“Some of the areas lack passable roads, they have no power, water and no toilets,” said Namoto. “Others are without customers at all for there are no bus routes in those areas. Worse still, other traders are yet to be relocated since they were removed from their previous areas.”

Namoto also asked the Head of State to make sure that desks designated for dealing with petty traders’ issues in each district government office are improved so that some issues can be solved at district levels instead of seeking national intervention.

“We also ask the government to formulate a specific policy and regulations that will recognize Machingas,” Mr Namoto said. “[These] will ensure that Machingas obtain representations in various representative organs just like how it is the case with other special groups.”

He said through their collectivism, petty traders in Dar es Salaam have established Machinga Saccos Limited as a solution to many financial challenges facing petty traders in Dar es Salaam. Namoto asked President Samia if she can be so kind as to boost the Saccos fund by contributing a few shillings to it.

The petty traders of Dar es Salaam also want to have a share in the 10 per cent of the municipal fund released as loans to special groups. Machingas want this fund, as well as the one expected to come from the mobile money transaction levies, to pass through the Machinga Saccos Limited so that they too can benefit from the loans.

“We assure you [President Samia] that we have the ability to lend ourselves this money and make sure that we pay them back,” offered Mr Namoto assuringly. “Because we have a good database, which comprises information of each one of us, which we have been using to lend our members in partnership with the CRDB Bank, Equity Bank and Maendeleo Bank.”

The traders also propose that the National Housing Corporation (NHC) change the use of some of its houses by turning some of them into Machinga Malls where the small traders can be arranged and who will pay on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

“We have held some preliminary discussions with NHC Director-General [Dr Maulid Banyani] and we are waiting for an approval [for the plan to go ahead],” said Mr Namoto. “We think that if the plan wins an approval, it’ll contribute to the increase of NHC’s revenues.”

President Samia, on her part, said that her administration cannot afford to ignore these pleas that aim at ensuring petty traders enjoy smooth conduct of their activities, admitting that the government alone is not capable of providing solutions to the country’s growing population of unemployed young people.

“The government now officially recognizes this group [of petty traders] as one among [Tanzania’s] special groups, among the special groups under the newly-formed Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women, and Special Groups,” said President Samia.

She admitted that the exercise to arrange petty traders gave birth to its own challenges, including those presented by the traders’ representatives, but assured them of her government’s commitments to work on them for the benefits of both the government and the traders.

President Samia said it was the government’s goal to improve Tanzania’s private sector, which involves the country’s group of petty traders. She said her mission as a president is to make sure that petty traders settle in conducive areas and do their activities properly so that they can graduate from being petty traders to becoming middle- or large-scale traders.

“The end goal is to widen [Tanzania’s] tax base,” she pointed out. “This is why the government understands the issues raised here and we will do whatever it takes to work on them to ensure smooth conduct of petty traders’ business in Tanzania.”

Tanzania, Mauritius sign agreement to boost cooperation

Tanzania and Mauritius have signed a General Framework Agreement (GFA) with the aim of enhancing collaboration between the two countries in traditional sectors and paving the way for new avenues of cooperation.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, the signing ceremony took place at the seat of the Mauritiusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade in Port Louis.

The signatories were the Mauritius Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Haymandoyal Dillum, and the High Commissioner of Tanzania to Mauritius, with residence in Harare in Zimbabwe Prof Emmanuel Mbennah,

Mauritius Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo; representatives of the private sector; and other personalities were present at the signing ceremony.

In his address, Minister Ganoo highlighted that the signature of the GFA marked the beginning of many new possibilities in bilateral cooperation.

“This Agreement,” he pointed out, “shows the two countries’ commitment to work together in order to prosper despite the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and demonstrates the determination to remain focused on common objectives.”

The agreement constituted an important stepping stone for increased overall cooperation while promoting collaboration between Mauritian and Tanzanian economic, scientific, technical and cultural institutions, and encouraging the exchange of experience as well as information in areas of mutual interest, added Minister Ganoo.

“It also paves the way for a Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation, and this instrument will facilitate regular dialogue and ensure proper follow-up on outstanding issues and agreements,” he said.

Furthermore, Minister Ganoo emphasised that with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area in 2021, there were prospects to expand businesses, attract investors and foster economic growth.

He observed that with its rich natural resources, including mines for the extraction of liquefied natural gas and vast agricultural land, Tanzania represented a land of real investment opportunities. He also expressed his conviction that both countries, through joint efforts, could find innovative ways to boost bilateral trade and investment.

For his part, High Commissioner Mbennah indicated that the signing of the GFA marked the beginning of an elevated level of cooperation between the two countries. He expressed appreciation for the good bilateral relations and for the educational opportunities that Mauritius was providing to Tanzania.

Barrick says Tanzania’s mines have advanced to tier one status

North Mara and Bulyanhulu, which were moribund gold mines when Barrick took over their management two years ago, delivered a combined production of more than 500,000 ounces in 2021, meeting a key criterion for membership of the company’s elite Tier One portfolio, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

A Tier One Gold Asset is an asset with a reserve potential to deliver a minimum 10-year life, annual production of at least 500,000 ounces of gold and total cash costs per ounce over the mine life that are in the lower half of the industry cost curve.

Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the mines’ performance had been supported by reinforced COVID-19 protocols and the roll-out of vaccines to its workforce, 26.45 per cent of whom have already been partially vaccinated and 20.25 per cent fully vaccinated.

North Mara is on track to become a fully integrated mine with the planned commissioning of the Nyabirama pit during the current quarter and the scheduled commencement of the Nyabigena pit in the third quarter of 2022.

Bulyanhulu has been re-established as a world-class, low-cost, long-life underground mine as it achieved steady state production on the successful ramp-up of its mining and metallurgical operations in December 2021.

Barrick also said that its mines continue to recruit and upskill Tanzanian nationals who now account for 96 per cent of the mines’ workforce, with 41 per cent drawn from the surrounding villages.

Referring to Barrick’s recently published Human Rights Report, Bristow said the environmental and other issues it had inherited from the mines’ previous operators had been or were being settled.

TPDC, UK firm ink deal on LNG negotiations

Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) signed an advisory service agreement with a UK-based law firm Baker Botts LLP on Tuesday seeking expert opinion over the ongoing negotiations with oil marketing companies to build a liquefied natural gas plant (LNG) in Tanzania.

Tanzania is reported to have an estimate of 57 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Unsettled disagreements, however, with oil corporations had slowed the country’s plan to advance into investing in a liquefied natural gas plant.

Energy Minister Januari Makamba said in Arusha shortly after signing the agreement that such co-operations are normal in international negotiation of major projects such as the LNG.

“As a country we are doing this for the first time” Minister of energy on the expected 70 trillion investment on the LNG project “we don’t have enough expertise in the country this is why we decided to look for an advisor.”

Makamba explained that the procurement process for the consultant was in accordance with the law and that the consulting work is expected to start today January 25, 2022.

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