Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Tanzanian scholar scoops prestigious environmental award
A senior lecturer at the Tumaini University Makumira Dr Elifuraha Laltaika has been selected as the winner of this year’s Svitlana Kravchenko Environmental Rights Award for his “broad impacts in the law while working to support local communities.”
Dr Laltaika, who also serves as the director of research and consultancy of the Arusha-based higher learning institution, becomes the eighth person to win the award since its launching and the only African scholar to have ever been nominated for it.
Named after a Ukrainian law professor Svitlana Kravchenko, who subsequently became a US citizen, the award honours scholars from across the world who display “exquisite qualities of both head and heart, mixing academic rigour with spirited activism, and speaking truth to power, while exhibiting kindness towards all.”
It is organised by students at the University of Oregon’s Environmental and Natural Resources Program and Dr Laltaika will receive the award during the 40th virtual annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), considered the largest environmental conference in the world.
Reacting to the news during an exclusive interview with The Chanzo, Dr Laltaika, who has been working for fifteen years around activism for the protection of rural livelihoods for pastoralists and hunter-gathers in Tanzania, said he was “humbled” by the decision of the award committee.
“It’s a profound honour for me to join highly distinguished past recipients who have made tremendous contributions to protecting the environment and community rights,” said Dr Laltaika who has trained high court judges and practicing lawyers on the local community’s natural resources rights.
Dr Laltaika also said he feels humbled to be associated with Prof Kravchenko’s work whose academic contribution to the intersection of human rights and the environment he described as “still so insightful.”
While sharing his perspectives on the status of the local communities’ natural resources rights in Tanzania in the wake of an eviction threat against the Maasai of Ngorongoro, Dr Laltaika, who in 2016 served as a Harvard Law School Visiting Researcher to examine community rights in extractive resources under international law, said all is not well on the ground.
“We have a long way to go until we are finally able to convince [Tanzanian] policymakers about modern conservation practices that must embed local community rights,” says Dr Laltaika who teaches Natural Resources Law, Human Rights Law, International law and Jurisprudence/Philosophy of Law.
“Gone are days when conservation objectives must be attained by wanton violations of human rights,” urges the don who once served as a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. “The Ngorongoro and Loliondo issues are towering examples.”
The issues of natural resources rights among Tanzania’s indigenous communities preoccupy Dr Laltaika’s most scholarly and activist works. He has spent several months among the Barbaig, the Akie and the Hadza communities in an effort to understand their unique vulnerabilities.
Recently, the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study in South Africa engaged Dr Laltaika to propose innovative legal solutions for protecting hunter-gatherer communal land rights in Africa.
Envoy: Diplomacy is the best way to end Russia/Ukraine crisis
Tanzania’s Ambassador to the United Nations Prof Kennedy Gaston said on Wednesday that the ongoing conflict between the two Eastern European countries of Russia and Ukraine could be properly resolved through diplomatic means instead of condemnations.
Prof Gaston made the remarks when he was debating the UN resolution on Ukraine that demanded Russia to stop its offensive in Ukraine, voting 141 to five with 35 abstentions. Tanzania, plus other 16 other countries abstained from the vote.
“[Tanzania is] are convinced that there was a need to adjust the draft resolution,” Prof Gaston debated. “The United Republic of Tanzania believes that diplomacy is the best way to end this conflict.”
Other African countries that abstained from the vote that though not legally binding but can reflect and influence world opinion include South Africa, Algeria, Uganda, Burundi, Senegal, South Sudan, Mali and Mozambique.
Others were Sudan, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania and Congo. Eritrea was the only African country that voted against the resolution. Uganda said it abstained from the vote to uphold “neutrality” as the incoming chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
“To this end,” Prof Gaston submitted to the assembly, “[Tanzania] appeals to all parts to the disputes to uphold human rights and obligations under international law and humanitarian law to de-escalate the conflict and give peace a chance.”
Meanwhile, four Tanzanian students who were in Ukraine when the war broke out landed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, saying they had been worried since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Tanzania said recently that it was planning to evacuate its nationals stranded in Ukraine and so far a number of Tanzanians have reportedly managed to escape into neighbouring countries with some making it back home using their own means.
RAHA Liquid Telecom rebrands into Liquid Intelligent Technologies
One of Tanzania’s leading internet providers RAHA Liquid Telecom on Thursday unveiled its new acquired identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, calling the step a part of a broad business transformation from being just a telecommunications service provider to a full one-stop-shop technology group for local businesses.
RAHA’s rebrand to Liquid Intelligent Technologies highlights the organisation’s commitment to digitally transform the continent through its Cloud business, Cyber Security services in addition to its existing telecoms and connectivity capability, said the company’s CEO Denny Marandure, calling the development a step towards the creation of a digitally-led economy.
“Liquid has always believed that Public-Private partnerships are critical for economic development, and our organisation has successfully partnered with governments across the continent,” said Marandure in a statement. “We are looking forward to partnering with the government to help reach the ambitious goals set that are the foundation of Tanzania’s long-term success.”
Liquid Intelligent Technologies recently launched its Cyber Security business unit, which uniquely delivers security at its core, protecting your business’s data throughout its lifecycle.
Commenting on the rebrand, Adil Youssefi, Regional CEO for Liquid Intelligent Technologies East African Markets, said the step is the company’s reaffirmation to its customers in Tanzania that the company is a one-stop-shop technology service provider bringing intelligent services such as Cloud Computing, Managed Services, and Cyber Security.
“We have brought intelligent technologies to the rest of the continent,” said Youssefi in a press release yesterday, “and we are confident that our presence in Tanzania will ensure a digitally connected future for all Tanzanians.”
In 2020, Raha Liquid Telecom was fined USD 5 million for violation of communication regulations, the regulator said the company used radio communication frequencies in the range of 1452-1482 MHZ without possessing a valid license
Artisanal miners in Tanga threaten protected Amani Nature Reserve
A chief conservator with the Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS) Fikiri Maiba has said that the Amani Nature Reserve, established by Tanzanian authorities in 1997 to preserve the unique flora and fauna of the East Usambara Mountains, is threatened by gold mining activities.
Speaking to environmental journalists who visited the area on Wednesday, Mr Maiba said that over 20 hectares of natural forest cover has been destroyed by artisanal miners in recent years.
The Amani Nature Reserve is a source of water for more than 200,000 people living in the Tanga region, Maiba said.
He said the youth are actively involved in gold mining activities in the nature reserve, adding that TFS has formed a task force that conducts frequent patrols to protect the reserve.
According to the official, the small-scale artisanal miners have invaded the forests, causing severe environmental destruction by felling valuable old indigenous trees to dig up gold.
An influx of gold diggers from across the country rushed to the nature reserve in recent years after gold was discovered in the East Usambara Mountains along with a stream running adjacent to one of the forest reserves.
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