Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, February 14, 2022.
Samia meets Macron, woes French investors
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday met and held talks with her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée State House in Paris during the former’s ongoing state visit to the European nation.
According to reports, the two leaders held a dialogue on mutual economic agreements between Tanzania and France.
Earlier yesterday, President Samia met with the French business fraternity MEDEF International where among other things she reiterated her resolve to improve investment climate in Tanzania in a bid to attract more French investors to Tanzania.
French investment in Tanzania is said to be modest. French foreign direct investment stock, for instance, was estimated at €23.6 million in 2015. Also, the 40 or so French companies in the country are mainly active in the energy, logistics, transport and construction sectors.
During their meeting, the two leaders also reaffirmed their common commitment to gender equality, the deepening of economic exchanges and the development of political dialogue, according to reports.
While in Paris, President Samia also had an opportunity to meet with the Tanzanians living in the city as well as the Director-General of UNESCO Aundrey Axoulay.
President Samia left Tanzania on February 9, 20222 for France and Belgium.
Acute food insecurity observed in some parts of Tanzania
About 437,000 people are estimated to be experiencing a high level of acute food insecurity in Tanzania, which is an equivalent of 13 per cent of a population of 3.4 million that the food security watchdog Integrated Food Security (IPC) analysed for the period of November 2021 and April 2022.
Amongst the 14 councils that the IPC analysed, four councils of Handeni, Longido, Mkinga, and Monduli have been classified in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), with 20 per cent to 30 per cent of their population experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (Phase 3 or above).
The rest of the councils are classified in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed).
“The recent poor harvest resulted in limited food availability and a reduction of casual on-farm labour opportunities related to post-harvest activities,” the IPC, part of the national food security and nutrition forum (MUCHALI), said in a statement.
It notes that unusually high commodity prices have been recorded in all councils it analysed, with some of the households continuing to deplete their assets and the majority of households applying consumption-based coping to moderate large food consumption gaps.
“Limited casual labour opportunities and high staple food prices were observed in most of the councils analysed, playing a major role in driving food insecurity,” it added.
BoT: Tanzania’s current-account deficit has widened
Tanzania’s current-account deficit widened to $962.1 million in the first half of the fiscal year beginning in July compared with $380.0 million in the prior-year period, due to an increase in imports of goods, the Bank of Tanzania said Saturday.
“The rise in imports of goods was dominated by capital goods and intermediate goods, particularly oil,” the bank said in its February monetary policy statement for the fiscal year 2021-2022.
Imports of goods and services were $6.58 billion during the July to December period compared with $4.70 billion the year before.
“All categories of goods imports increased, consistent with the continued recovery of economic activities from the effects of the pandemic,” the bank said.
Oil imports, which accounted for about 21 per cent of goods imports, increased by 77 per cent to $1.18 billion due to price and volume effects, it said.
Exports of goods and services amounted to $5.74 billion in the period compared with $4.60 billion a year before.
Exports of goods amounted to $3.85 billion, largely due to a good performance of manufactured goods, horticulture, and fish and fish products, the bank said.
However, gold, which is Tanzania’s largest export earner, amounted to $1.35 billion compared with $1.63 billion the previous year due to a decline in the price of gold on the world market, consistent with the improvement of global financial markets, the bank said.
Tanzania orders Chinese wagons for standard gauge network
Tanzania Railways Corp has ordered 1,430 wagons from Chinese state-owned rolling stock manufacturer CRRC International for use on the country’s embryonic 1,435 mm gauge network, Railway Gazette International reported Monday.
The US$127·2m contract was signed by TRC Director General Masanja Kadogosa and CRRC International’s Assistant General Manager Tang Yunpeng on February 8, at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam attended by Minister of Works & Transport Makame Mbarawa.
The order includes 600 container wagons, 400 covered vans for bulk cargoes such as sugar, cement, salt, cotton, tobacco and coffee, 190 tank wagons for carrying fuel, 70 wagons for hauling pipes, timber and metals, 60 cattle wagons and 50 wagons for conveying road vehicles.
Deliveries are due to be completed by February 2023, coinciding with the completion of the second phase of the line between Morogoro and Makutupora.
Kadogosa reported that this section was now 81 per cent complete, with work on two other phases of the project progressing apace. The first stage between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro is 95 per cent complete, while phase five from Isaka to Mwanza is 4 per cent complete.
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