Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
AfDB boss Akinwumi Adesina in Tanzania for three-day official visit
The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr Akinwumi Adesina began his three-day official visit to Tanzania where he’s today expected to join President Samia Suluhu Hassan for the foundation stone laying ceremony for the 112.3 km Dodoma City Outer Ring Road co-financed by the pan-African lender.
AfDB approved funding for the Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project in 2019 where it is funding 64 per cent of the project’s total cost of $214.69 million, which is an equivalent of $137.3 million.
The government of Tanzania’s contribution is $34.5 million, while an additional $41.8 million comes from the Africa Growing Together Fund, financed by the People’s Bank of China.
The circular highway forms part of a master plan to transform greater Dodoma into a thriving, sustainable city for its 2.4 million people. It is expected to shore up Dodoma’s reputation as an academic city and tourist destination.
Meeting with international development partners on Monday, Adesina said: “Tanzania is making good strides in infrastructure development as it continues to construct roads linking to highways as in Dodoma and other parts of the country.”
The African Development Bank’s Director-General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo, said: “Improving the lives of the people of Tanzania is our key mandate, and this visit reinforces the importance that the African Development Bank places on the country. The Bank remains a trusted partner of Tanzania.”
With more than 4.9 trillion loans to Tanzania (2020), Afdb remains one of Tanzania’s biggest concessional lenders behind the World Bank at sh17.7 trillion (2020).
NBS reports slight increase of food prices in January
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported on Tuesday an increase in the prices of food and nonalcoholic beverages up to 6.3 percent in January 2022 from 4.9 percent in December 2021.
Some food items that contributed to an increase of the index include rice that increased by 2.9 percent; maize grains by 8.1 per cent; wheat flour by 1.7 percent; and maize flour by 3.7 per cent.
Other food items include vegetables by 1.8 percent; round potatoes by 5.8 percent; sweet potatoes by 4.8 percent; cooking bananas by 4.6 percent; and dried beans by 2.5 percent.
Despite the increase in food and beverage prices, the annual headline inflation rate for January 2022 has decreased to 4.0 per cent from 4.2 percent recorded in December last year.
The report points out falling prices of non-food items in the consumer basket has counterbalanced the effects of rising food and beverages prices in the annual headline inflation rate for January 2022.
Scholars attribute price increases of food items to the drought that has been reported to affect about two million people in Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga for the past four months. As well as other causes such as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
National postcode system launched
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday launched the national postcode system during Regional Commissioners’ Working Session in the capital Dodoma, directing authorities to use the system to identify online business dealers in order to boost the country’s revenues.
President Samia also ordered the Ministry in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Governments (PO-RALG) to use postcodes to improve system delivery and enhance the security of the available infrastructures.
“Postcode system is very important for the sustainable development of our country,” the Head of State remarked. “It should be completed as soon as the country set to execute census exercise August, this year.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology Dr Jim Yonazi told the meeting participants that Tanzania will be the “most accessible country in East Africa” by May, this year; as the government works on improving postcodes countrywide.
Dr Yonazi said in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (41R), the system is important since it will boost the country’s uptake in digital economy, e-businesses as well as help to take part in the global economy.
Tanzania launches ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’ to tackle youth unemployment
Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Office Labour, Youth and Employment Patrobas Katambi said Monday that the government has launched ‘Building a Better Tomorrow,’ a new program aiming at improving youths’ agricultural skills as it attempts to address the unemployment rate among the key population group in the country.
He was responding to a question by a Special Seats Member of Parliament Thea Ntara who wanted to know if the government has any program in place aimed at resolving unemployment facing the country’s young graduates.
Mr Katambi said that through the ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’ program, the prime minister’s office will be charged with training participants, while the Ministry of Agriculture will be responsible for ensuring the youth acquire the needed land, capital and infrastructures.
“Also, the ministry for agriculture will be coordinating markets for agro-produces,” Mr Katambi was quoted as saying.
He also explained that the government is also implementing other programs including the National Skills Development Program that provides training and experiences through block farming techniques. A total of 12,580 youth have so far been trained, according to official figures.
UN court to return ex-ICTR detainees to Tanzania
A judge at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (the Mechanism) on Monday ruled in favour of a return to Tanzania of eight Rwandans who had been relocated to Niger in late 2021, it was reported on Tuesday.
The eight men – Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, Protais Zigiranyirazo, Andre Ntagerura, Alphonse Nteziryayo, Prosper Mugiraneza, Anatole Nsengiyumva, Tharcisse Muvunyi, and Innocent Sagahutu – are considered to be among the masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
In his ruling, Judge Joseph E. Chiondo Masanche said that the men – who include convicts who completed their sentences and those who were acquitted by the UN court – will return to Arusha on a temporary basis until their transfer to another state.
Some of the former detainees were convicted by the UN court for masterminding the Genocide against the Tutsi, while others were acquitted of the same charges by the court, according to Rwanda’s The New Times newspaper.
The judge asked the government of Niger to provide all necessary assistance in order to execute the terms of his decision, and instructed the mechanism’s Registrar to “file a submission within seven days to inform me of the actions taken in the execution of this Decision.”
The ruling comes after, among others, the government of Niger, on December 27, 2021, ordered the men to leave the West African country where they had arrived on December 5.
Many countries, including those where their families live and those from where they were arrested, have denied them residence owing to their role in the genocide, The New Times observed.
A total of 792 Tanzanians have died of COVID-19 since March 2020
Tanzania’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Aifello Sichalwe said Tuesday that a total of 792 Tanzanians have died of COVID-19 since the deadly disease was first reported in the country in March 2020.
A total of 33,482 Tanzanians tested positive for the disease, which is an equivalent of 7.6 per cent of all 442,566 of all people who tested for the disease, Dr Sichalwe said in a statement.
Between January 29 and February 6, a total of 252 new positive cases were reported from a total of 8,529 people who tested for the disease, an equivalent of three per cent.
Dar es Salaam leads in having more COVID-19 cases by having a total of 184 cases, it was reported.
“Seventy-eight people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 between January 29 and February 6, 76 of them, an equivalent of 97 per cent, were unvaccinated,” Dr Sichalwe said. “On February 6, a total of nine serious cases were reported and all of them concerned unvaccinated people.”
Until February 6, 2022, a total of 9,845,774 doses of COVID-19 had been distributed across the country, 2,117,387, an equivalent of 3.67 per cent, were fully vaccinated.
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