Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, January 30, 2023.
FM Tax meets with Tanzania’s development partners following ‘civil unrest’ reports
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Stergomena Tax on Monday held talks with Tanzania’s development partners to assure them of the state of national security in the East African nation following reports of civil unrest that have been going on for the last three days.
Dr Tax met with the development partners in the capital Dodoma with the goal of making sure that they understand the government’s perspective as well as the efforts it’s taking to address the reports.
“I met with the representatives of Tanzania’s development partners this morning [of January 30, 2023,] and we had a very fruitful discussion that was aimed at assuring them that our country is safe and that there are no security threats,” Dr Tax told a press conference.
“Because of the panic that ensued, all embassies [in Tanzania] could have closed down and instructed their people not to come to Tanzania because of security issues but none of them did so,” Dr Tax added.
“[Tanzania] values the contribution [of development partners], we value them as our development partners and we are ready to work with them on all areas of importance,” she noted.
Full story here.
NECTA’s decision to no longer announce best school, student stirs debate
The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) announcement that it will no longer announce the best-performing school and student has drawn mixed reactions among Tanzania’s education stakeholders.
On Sunday, while announcing the results of the 2022 Certificate of Secondary Education Exam (CSEE) in Dar es Salaam, NECTA’s acting executive secretary Mr Athumani Amasi said the council will no longer announce the best-performing school and student in the exams.
“Why announce the top schools while there are more than 18,000 schools in the country?” Mr Amasi asked rhetorically during a press conference. “It is like you are marketing the schools [and] I don’t think it is productive.”
With regards to the best student, NECTA thinks there is no benefit in doing so as one cannot announce one student out of all the students in Tanzania who may also have different study environments.
“You mention a person who has led a group that despite having taken the same exam but did not study in the same environment, then you give credit to one person,” Mr Amasi explained.
But the announcement was received with mixed reactions from education stakeholders and the public in general, with some commending the move while others criticising it.
Full story here.
UN Women: Strengthening the voice and agency of women with disabilities in Tanzania
UN Women in Tanzania is implementing two key programmes seeking to address the needs of women with disabilities, by strengthening their voice and agency, advancing their rights and reducing inequalities, a statement released on Monday stated.
The newly launched programme on “Strengthening Women’s and Girls’ Meaningful Participation, Leadership and Economic Rights” (WLER), supported by the Government of Finland, aims to increase the number of women, including women with disabilities, in leadership and decision-making positions, including by increasing accessibility to gender and disability disaggregated data and enhancing their economic justice and rights in line with Tanzania’s Generation Equality commitments.
With UNFPA, UN Women is implementing a joint programme to “Advance the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the United Republic of Tanzania” under the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), to support disability-inclusive policies, legislation, plans and budgets; and improve the implementation of disability-inclusive SDGs at the country level.
“Our aim is that through our various programmatic interventions, we will see accelerated action for disability inclusion, and for gender equality,” says Nuru Awadh who is the chairperson of the women’s wing for the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People’s Organizations (SHIVYAWATA).
In 2022, the WLER programme partnered with the Prime Minister’s Office and ADD International to support MOWADITA to organize its first national dialogue for women with disabilities on the sidelines of the International Day of People with Disabilities commemorations.
“This was an incredible milestone for us as a movement,” Ms Awadh explains with pride. “Where we were able to stand in front of a high-level government official, share our challenges and what we feel needs to be done – from the need for better employment policies to the need to address violence against women with disabilities.”
With the double burden of being a woman and due to their disability, the perspectives of women with disabilities often aren’t included in key national processes. The UNPRPD programme enabled women with disabilities to take part in several key consultative meetings, organized specifically for people with disabilities by the government and UN Women.
This included consultations on the five-year National Plan of Action on Violence against Women and Children ending in 2022 and the development of the second phase, the development of the National Disability Policy and the National Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Being included in these processes has been critical to ensuring that the national policies and plans adequately respond to our needs,” says Ms Awadh. “I am seeing incredible changes in my lifetime, the Government has made it clear that addressing the needs of people with disabilities is a priority, and through our discussions, we have also been able to see the progress that has been made, which is very encouraging.”
Going forward, Ms Awadh plans to continue her leadership roles in SHIVYAWATA and MOWADITA, and to continue pursuing a career in politics.
“I often get asked what women with disabilities want, and it’s quite simple. We want our rights to be respected. We want an end to discrimination, and to be valued as human beings and citizens contributing to the nation’s development. We also want greater independence, and for this, we need greater accessibility, in terms of infrastructure, healthcare and other essential services,” she says.
“As a decision-maker, I will be able to advocate for these things, and I will not stop until we can achieve even more progress in these areas, for Tanzanian women, and all people with disabilities.”
LSF launches ‘Wanawake Tunaweza’ project aimed at empowering Maasai women
Legal Services Facilities (LSF) in partnership with the Luxembourg-based North-South Cooperation on Monday launched a two-year project titled ‘Wanawake Tunaweza’ that will run throughout 2023 and culminate in 2024 in Longido district in Arusha aimed at empowering Maasai women socially and economically.
According to a press release, the women will be assisted in forming small economic groups, imparted with business and entrepreneurial skills as well as finding markets for the diverse products and handcrafts they will make.
In ensuring the local communities, especially women and girls, are sufficiently equipped, the ‘Wanawake Tunaweza’ project will also improve opportunities for girls’ education by constructing dormitories, establishing girls’ clubs in schools and providing sanitary towels made locally by women’s groups.
Speaking during the launching ceremony in Arusha, LSF’s Executive Director Lulu Ng’wanakilala said that the organization has joined forces with other partners for the sole purpose of uplifting Maasai women and girls who have largely been left outside of decision-making circles, property ownership including land and livestock and educational opportunities.
“The Maasai community is unique with regard to the way it has for time immemorial preserved its culture and customs. Its economy overwhelmingly relies on livestock rearing which accounts for 85 per cent of all economic activities,” a press release quoted Ms Lulu as saying.
“However, the primary means of economic production are owned and controlled by men, a tradition that leads to the serious infringement of the rights of women and girls. The implementation of this project in this district will address some of these challenges and consequently empower Maasai women socially and economically,” Ms. Ng’wanakilala insisted.
Representative of the Longido District Administrative Secretary who graced the launch as chief guest, Hassan Ngoma lauded LSF and the North-South Cooperation for cooperating for the ultimate prosperity of the communities of Longido, adding that the construction of girls’ dormitories at Lekule and Namanga secondary schools will extensively alleviate overcrowding and encourage more girls to attend school thus directly impact the educational environment and improve students’ performance.
He additionally pointed out that empowering women’s economic groups will enable them to undertake activities that will strengthen their economic status, help them to take better care of their children and improve the fortunes of their broader communities.
“I call upon the wider community to take full advantage of this esteemed opportunity to preserve the infrastructure that will be put in place through this project. I assure you of the government’s support in improving conditions here including the availability of electricity at Lekule Secondary School so that the school can also benefit from ongoing efforts to improve the educational environment of this district”, said Ngoma who is also a Councilor of Namanga ward.
Expressing appreciation via video link, the North-South Cooperation representative Roberto Marta highlighted that implementation of the Wanawake Tunaweza project follows a long, detailed consultation process between the organization and LSF, expected beneficiaries in Loliondo, local government authorities at the district and ward levels, and paralegals.
“We will implement this project in partnership with LSF through funding commitment from the Government of Luxembourg under the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Directorate of Development Cooperation. The project responds directly to Luxembourg’s international development strategy which looks to 2030 prioritizing gender equality and women’s empowerment as foundations for combating poverty and achieving sustainable development,” Marta said.
According to the organization implementing the project, during its two years of implementation the Wanawake Tunaweza project will act as a catalyst for social and economic development particularly among Maasai women and girls by facilitating entrepreneurial skills for women and formal education for girls, and the project is expected to directly benefit 209 women and 1,214 girls through awareness initiatives, while comprehensively reaching an estimated 2,500 people across Longido District.
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