Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
Masauni wants UN nations to back Burundi repatriations
Speaking at a UN refugee agency meeting in Switzerland on Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Hamad Masauni said Burundi needed support to encourage and facilitate voluntary repatriation, according to a report by the BBC.
“In order for this plan to be successful, all has to be restored in Burundi,” the BBC quoted Mr Masauni as saying. “The most important thing is to support Burundi and make it a favourite for those who seek refuge in Tanzania.”
In 2006 and 2007, Tanzania granted citizenship to 160,000 Burundian refugees.
The more than 120,000 Burundian refugees currently live in two camps in western Tanzania’s Kigoma region near the Burundi border.
While humanitarians say conditions there may be better than at home, there have been allegations by rights groups and the UN that Burundian refugees have suffered abuses including arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances at the hands of Tanzanian officers in cooperation with Burundian authorities.
Neither Tanzania nor Burundi has commented on those allegations.
Committee formed to investigate massive failure at Law School
Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Dr Damas Ndumbaro on Wednesday announced the formation of a seven-man committee that will look into the reasons for alleged mass student failure at the Law School of Tanzania (LST).
Wednesday’s development follows a public uproar over the massive failures of students at the school. According to a report by The Citizen newspaper, for example, out of 633 candidates, only 26 passed, 342 will retake the exams, while 265 failed.
Former minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe will chair the committee which comprises retired Judge Sirillius Matupa, Rashid Asaa, Gloria Karabamu and Alice Mtulo. Other members of the committee include Mary Mniwasa and John Kaombwe who is one of this year’s LST graduates.
Addressing journalists in the capital Dodoma on Wednesday, Dr Ndumbaro hinted that reports circulating on social media alleging massive failure at the Law School aim at tarnishing the good image of the school.
He complained about why only reports of failures are spread while about 53 of the students at the school have performed since it was established.
“The committee will be given the terms of reference by the Deputy Minister of legal and constitutional affairs, Mary Makondo tomorrow, October 13, 2022, and will have to present their findings in 30 days,” Dr Ndumbaro said.
UN Agencies launch joint programme to accelerate women’s empowerment in Tanzania
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Women on Wednesday launched a five-year programme, the Accelerating Progress Towards Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment project.
Funded by Norway and Sweden, the $5 million project is expected to benefit more than 8,000 rural women in Singida, Dodoma and Zanzibar by helping to secure their livelihoods, through resilience, in the agriculture sector, according to a press statement.
According to the press release, in Tanzania, food is produced by smallholder farmers, with women accounting for the majority of the labour force and earning 80 per cent of their income from subsistence farming.
But gender inequalities, rooted in discriminatory patriarchal systems and social norms, hinder women from accessing agricultural extension services, markets, land and formal financial services, the statement noted.
Speaking at the launch which took place in Zanzibar, the archipelago’s Minister of Blue Economy and Fisheries Suleiman Masoud Makame said gender equality is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Tanzania recognises this and has adopted policies that advance gender equality,” Mr Masoud said. “As a government, we recognise and appreciate the continued partnership by the UN in Tanzania to support our efforts towards advancing gender equality, especially in the agriculture sector. This joint programme is a demonstration of this continued support.”
The programme is expected to build women’s capacity on climate-smart agriculture to respond to climate crisis challenges which disproportionately affect women due to their reduced access to agricultural resources, lack of decision-making authority and weak adaptation strategies.
“It is clear that rural women are facing a number of challenges that are impacting their ability to increase their productivity and incomes,” said Sima Bahous, Executive Director, of UN Women during the launch.
“We need to step up our support both now and into the future to help address these challenges and support rural women’s pathways to progress,” added Bahous.
Ubongo launches ‘Girl Champion Campaign’ toolkit in celebration of the Day of the Girl Child
Africa’s leading creator and producer of children’s educational media, Ubongo has launched the Ubongo Girl Champion campaign toolkit as a resource to inspire action for the Girl Child, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The toolkit has been hailed as “a one-of-a-kind opportunity” to amplify African girls’ voices and experiences in a fun and educational way, according to the press release.
The Ubongo Girl Champion campaign toolkit invites the public to partake in hosting screenings of Ubongo’s girl-power episodes for girls and boys ages 7 to 14. The screenings can take place in both formal and informal settings, such as, at home, at school, in girl-focused programs and at the community level.
Those who take part in hosting the girl-power episodes will stand a chance to win an Ubongo Girl Champion award in recognition of the incredible work being done to celebrate and champion girls.
Ubongo’s Outreach and Communications Manager Tamala Maerere-Kateka said in a statement that girls’ voices should always be amplified no matter the day.
“Today simply marks the start of a journey to empower the general public to become advocates for the girl child,” Maerere-Kateka said in a statement. “Through the campaign toolkit, we are leading a movement to celebrate girls in all of their glory and invest in a future that believes in their agency, leadership and potential.”
Research shows that girls learn as much as boys from Ubongo edutainment. The episodes will introduce viewers to the five remarkable girls of Ubongo Kids (Kibena, Kiduchu, Amani, Nina and Tabasamu) who navigate and overcome challenges while learning STEM and 21st-century life skills.
“We are already elevating learning for over 31 million African kids, and our vision is to equip the 500 million kids in Africa with the educational foundation, critical skills, and mindsets to change their lives and the world,” the statement quoted Mrs Kateka.
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