Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
A free press is vital for Zanzibar’s development
Deus Valentine Rweyemamu, a social justice activist and governance researcher and advisor, thinks that Zanzibar can not fulfill its full potential without taking the necessary measures to create a conducive environment for thriving media, information, and creative sectors as stipulated in the Zanzibar Development Vision 2050.
Rweyemamu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Strategic Litigation, an independent non-profit dedicated to promoting a vibrant democracy in Tanzania, was responding to The Chanzo’s question on how a free press can help Zanzibar’s development efforts.
“An open and vibrant media sector is key to Zanzibar’s ambition to grow its tourism,” Mr Rweyemamu said. “Without such media, Zanzibar’s tourist attractions and potential remain largely unadvertised while foreign media takes up the role of branding and advertising the isles.”
“President Hussein Mwinyi’s signature anti-corruption drive would be impossible to fulfill without incorporating open government principles, including the free flow of information,” he added.
Rweyemamu said that one of President Mwinyi’s signature moves, “Sema na Rais,” which grants citizens direct access to him, currently has no policy or legal backing, while it is one of the most innovative moves by his administration.
“It is an initiative that could easily be scaled to involve other leaders at the national and local government but remain untapped due to the absence of a supportive legal and policy framework,” he noted.
On the other hand, Rweyemamu thinks that Zanzibar’s unemployment problem requires rapid development, which can best be achieved with the free flow of information to allow innovation to thrive.
“Meanwhile, the creative sector is suffocated by a significant appetite for censorship by the broadcasting commission, the registrar of books, and the film board, all of which predate the current pluralistic dispensation,” Mr Rweyemamu pointed out.
“Beyond the change of law and policy, therefore, Zanzibar is pregnant for a critical debate of the role of the three sectors (information, media, and creative) in unleashing the isles’ full potential,” he added.
Full story here.
TPDF signs ‘cooperation agreement’ with UAE-based firm
The Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) on Wednesday signed what has been described as a “cooperation agreement” with the Abu Dhabi-based technology and defence company EDGE that will see the two “cooperating on strategic opportunities of mutual benefit,” according to reports.
It is reported that the agreement will allow the TPDF to further develop and provide for Tanzania’s defence, security, and technology needs. The agreement was signed yesterday between EDGE’s CEO Mansour AlMulla and General Jacob John Mkunda, Tanzania’s Chief of Defence Forces.
According to reports, the agreement responds to TPDF’s plans to enhance industrial capacity through its defence industries so as to be self-sustained in the manufacturing and production of industrial products for military and civilian use in Tanzania.
The agreement also is said to support TPDF’s industrial capacity by facilitating various programmes and projects in the field of automotive technological innovations undertaken at the Tanzania Automotive Technology Centre.
CDF Mkunda is on an official visit to the Gulf states whereby on February 11, 2023, met and held talks with Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik Al Said at the latter’s office.
Launched in November 2019, EDGE describes itself as one of the world’s leading advanced technology groups, “established to develop agile, bold and disruptive solutions for defence and beyond, and to be a catalyst for change and transformation.”
Aga Khan University teams up with TAWIRI to improve research on wildlife
The Aga Khan University (AKU) said on Wednesday that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) in an attempt to support research development and informed policy decision making in Tanzania.
According to a statement, the partnership will see the two institutions leverage on AKU’s land in Arusha for studies on wildlife, including pollinators, beekeeping and bee research for livelihood improvement and environmental conservation.
Dr Carl Amrhein, AKU Provost and Vice President Academics, said following the agreement, knowledge will be flowing from TAWIRI to AKU and vice-versa.
“AKU will be sharing its Arusha campus land to enable researchers to investigate a number of important conservation issues, and document research findings,” Dr Amrhein said. “We look forward to bringing our future students to TAWIRI to learn more about your ongoing work, your interventions, and your approach to research.”
The university said in its press release that it is currently working with TAWIRI staff to implement research projects around pollinators and their role in fostering sustainable agriculture in Tanzania.
TAWIRI Director-General Dr Eblate Mjingo said the parastatal organisation has been working with many other collaborators to implement various research projects – both national and international projects.
“Currently, TAWIRI is managing more than 20 research projects in various thematic areas,” Dr Mjingo was quoted as saying. “Through research, TAWIRI has managed to contribute significantly to the growth of the tourism industry and livelihoods among the communities especially those living in adjacent protected areas.”
AKU said in a statement that the signing of the agreement was facilitated by AKU’s Global Engagement office.
TAWIRI is a parastatal organization under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism responsible for conducting and coordinating wildlife research in Tanzania.
AKU recently established its 3,700-acre Arusha climate and environmental research station in Tanzania, the university said in a statement.
The site is meant to be a “living laboratory” for studies related to climate change, environmental stewardship, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, community engagement and other fields.
UAE opens a consulate in Zanzibar
The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday officially opened a consulate in Zanzibar, marking a significant milestone in the relationship between Zanzibar and the UAE.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi and Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of State.
The consulate will serve as a focal point for UAE citizens visiting Zanzibar and for the growing number of people travelling between Zanzibar and the UAE for business, trade, arts and culture, and tourism opportunities.
“The opening of the consulate in Zanzibar underscores the UAE’s commitment to further enhancing the bilateral relationship with Zanzibar,” Sheikh Shakhboot stated during the opening ceremony. “The UAE and Zanzibar have had a long-standing relationship that has spanned decades.”
“The opening of the UAE consulate in Zanzibar is a testament to our strong and enduring relationship,” added Sheikh Shakhboot. “The consulate will serve as a vital link between the UAE and Zanzibar, and will facilitate the exchange of ideas, culture and business between our two nations, which will lead to further enhancements in our bilateral relationship.”
The consulate is expected to provide a platform for promoting cultural and business ties with the aim of further bolstering social, economic and cultural ties.
The establishment of the new consulate will also allow the UAE and Zanzibar to further engage and enhance mutual collaboration for the benefit of both peoples.
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