Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Samia in Oman for a three-day official visit
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Sunday left for the Sultanate of Oman for a three-day official visit on an invitation from the western Asian nation’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.
During the visit, the two leaders are expected to exchange points of view about ways to realize the aspirations of the two countries and elevate joint cooperation towards broader horizons, according to the Omani press.
There was no mention of the specific objectives of the visit including ministers for energy, works, foreign affairs and tourism and natural resources.
But Tanzania and Oman enjoy historical relations that date back to the 19th century. Oman is the only country outside Africa where Kiswahili, for instance, is spoken as the first language. Many Omanis also have blood relations with the people of Tanzania.
The amount of bilateral trade between Oman and Tanzania, however, is considered to be lower than the social relations between the two nations. For example, Oman exported goods to Tanzania worth more than $36 million in 2021. The volume of imports from Tanzania was more than $9.5 million.
This perplexes analysts given the two countries’ geographical proximity and shared history.
To correct this, some Omani analysts have recommended the formation of a group of Swahili-speaking countries, similar to Francophone, Spanish and Portuguese groups, which would help in penetrating African markets and Tanzania in particular.
“The group can address the real issues of the citizens of the region, [and] utilise their potential in trade and investments for the development and growth of those countries,” wrote one analyst.
In 2013, Tanzania and China signed a framework agreement, and later a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Oman’s General State Reserve Fund (GSRF) and the China Merchants Holding International (CMHI), for the $10 billion Bagamoyo port. President Samia has committed on reviving the stalled Bagamoyo project, its yet to be seen if this would be one of the outcome of the project.
Optimism runs high as over $30 billion LNG deal finally signed
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Saturday witnessed the signing of the initial agreements for the construction of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant worth $30 billion, calling the project “lucrative.”
The deal announced on Saturday foresees a final investment decision by 2025, and a start of operations by 2029-2030 at a liquefied natural gas plant to be built in Tanzania’s southern coastal town of Lindi.
According to the signed agreements, the project will be implemented by Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and International Oil and Gas Companies (IOCs), which include Shell, Pavilion Energy Tanzania, Medco Energy, Equinor and ExxonMobil.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held at the State House in Dodoma on Saturday, the Head of State said the national interests should be a top priority as she argued the parties implementing the project to be flexible in the future negotiations.
Samia said she was optimistic that TPDC will gain the ability to manage such huge projects in the future and directed, directing energy and finance ministries to meet and figure out how to support TPDC in this project for effectiveness.
“LNG is a lucrative business and investment that involves a high level of expertise,” President Samia. “This type of business and investment requires us to strengthen our public institutions such as the regulatory authorities, tax, defence and even the laws. We are the guardian of this project, not investors.”
She stressed the importance of involving the private sector in the project for a successful implementation of such projects, saying: “Experience has proved that when the government runs such projects on its own they don’t become good, the private sector must be part and parcel.”
The project will be implemented between four to five years after its commencement after the conclusion of ongoing talks, according to reports.
LHRC calls out govt’s ‘violations of human rights’ in Ngorongoro
Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) said Sunday that it has observed “excessive human rights violations” in the government’s exercise to ‘relocate’ indigenous people of Ngorongoro to Simanjiro, Manyara and Handeni, Tanga.
In a statement published on its Twitter account, the Dar es Salaam-based organisation called out what it called the lack of participation on the part of the native people by authorities, calling on the government to undertake the exercise in the scope of human rights and good governance.
LHRC’s call follows heightened tension in the Ololosokwan village in Loliondo where police reportedly used live bullets to disperse community members who were protesting the erection of beacons to demarcate 1,500 km2 of village land that authorities want to be turned into a protected area.
The government said Friday that the exercise seeks to evict nobody and it only aims at protecting the area used for wildebeest migration and animal reproduction from human and livestock activities, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told lawmakers.
Despite Mr Majaliwa’s insistence that there was no fighting going on in Loliondo, tragic photos and videos have been circulating on social media since Friday last week, showing the native people reeling from injuries.
“LHRC condemns these events,” the acting LHRC’s executive director Fulgence Massawe said in a statement. “We want the beacons’ erection exercise to stop immediately because it is not participatory and it has lacked transparency in the course of its implementation.”
Mr Massawe also called for the accountability of all people responsible for the violence in Loliondo that led to multiple people being injured.
Zanzibar vows to end child labour as it marks World Day against Child Labour
Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for Labor, Economy and Investment in Zanzibar Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga said Sunday authorities there are doing whatever they can to end child labour as they marked the World Day Against Child Labour.
Mr Soraga said that since 2005 authorities have been taking measures aimed at curbing child labour.
“The government has enacted laws that provide for the protection of children against child labour,” Mr Soraga told a press conference in the isles o Sunday.
He said there are about 25,803 children aged between five and 17 that are experiencing child labour in the Zanzibar archipelago.
About 2,256 children, including 840 girls, have been rescued from child labour in different parts of Zanzibar’s twin islands of Unguja and Pemba, said Soraga.
The International Labour Organization started observing World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to highlight the plight of children who are the victims of child labour.
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