Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, March 13, 2023.
Top aviation stakeholder criticises Mwinyi’s decision to grant Dnata exclusive rights
Tanzania Aviation Operators Association (TAOA) Chief Executive Officer Lathifa Sykes on Monday spoke out against the decision by the Government of Zanzibar to grant an Emirati ground handling firm Dnata a monopoly of operations at the Terminal 3 of the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.
Speaking with eTurbonNews, Ms Sykes pleaded with the Zanzibar Government to refrain from enacting policies that favor foreign or local companies in investment prospects, as they would be deemed discriminatory, and thus illegal under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
“We explicitly appreciate and support the ongoing reforms by the Zanzibar Government under the President, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, albeit with reservations on the way the Zanzibar Airports Authority had awarded exclusive rights to a foreign firm to render ground handling services at Terminal III,” the news outlet quoted Ms Sykes as saying.
On September 14, 2022, the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) issued a directive granting Dnata exclusive access to the $120 million worth state-of-the-art Abeid Amani Karume International Airport new terminal in a manner that has caused controversies over the whole issue.
The ZAA also ordered all ground handling firms that used to operate at the Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport until December 1, 2022, to vacate the newly constructed Terminal III, instructing airlines to make arrangements to work with Dnata.
Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi has been defending his government’s decision on the basis of revenues collected, noting that since Dnata launched operations at the airport the government has been collecting a lot of revenues.
But in her interview with eTurbonNews, Ms Sykes said the granting of exclusive rights to the firm is shrouded in controversy.
“There was no transparency in the tendering process. We are not even sure if it was advertised, in the first place, for both local and foreign companies to bid in a fairground,” Ms Sykes argued.
“We are worried because the ground-handling firms that used to operate have since been locked out of Terminal III and just a fortnight ago, they have embarked on laying off 200 workers as a measure to cut overhead costs. The penalties for non-compliances with WTO rules are extensive,” she added.
“Zanzibar needs to establish a transparent, broad and effective enabling policy environment for investment and to build the human and institutional capacities to implement them in a bid to create an inclusive economy that leaves no one behind,” she emphasized.
US Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Tanzania
U.S Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Tanzania as part of her Africa’s tour where she will also visit Ghana and Zambia from March 25 to April 2, 2023, the White House said in a statement on Monday.
While in Tanzania, VP Harris, who will be accompanied by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, will meet and hold talks with President Samia Suluhu Hassan to discuss regional and global priorities, including our shared commitment to democracy, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, food security, and the effects of Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, among other issues.
“The Vice President will strengthen people-to-people ties and engage with civil society, including young leaders, business representatives, entrepreneurs, and members of the African Diaspora,” the White House said in a statement.
VP Harris’ Africa tour comes a few months after the conclusion of the recent U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that US President Joe Biden hosted in Washington in December 2022.
The trip is expected to strengthen the US’ partnerships throughout Africa and advance our shared efforts on security and economic prosperity.
In a statement, the White House said that throughout the trip, in partnership with African governments and the private sector, VP Harris will advance efforts to expand access to the digital economy, support climate adaptation and resilience, and strengthen business ties and investment, including through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the economic empowerment of women.
How FAO is helping women fish processors reduce losses from fish harvests
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Monday that small-scale fishers and fish processors in Tanzania account for a large share of the workforce in Tanzania’s sardine, sprat and perch fisheries, a sector that employs 27 000 fishers and 11 000 processors in total.
Although the men still do most of the fishing, it is the women who dry and process the fish for selling. Nearly 90 percent of the fish processors in Tanzania are women and many work as roadside vendors, restaurant owners, wholesalers and retailers, the organisation said.
While two-thirds of the catch is consumed locally, exports of Lake Tanganyika’s sprat, sardine and perch are worth almost US$1 million a year.
However, FAO assesses that poor fishing methods, climate change impacts and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing have all contributed to declining yields in recent years. Furthermore, fish processors in the region lose much of their harvest due to poor refrigeration, inadequate handling or poor processing techniques.
The organisation is implementing a FISH4ACP programme, which is aimed at addressing post-harvest challenges, as well as declining yields by implementing more sustainable value chains for sardines, sprat and perch, while contributing to the conservation of Lake Tanganyika’s natural resources.
An initiative of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, FISH4ACP contributes to food and nutrition security and prosperity and job creation by safeguarding the economic, social and environmental sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture value chains.
FAO’s FISH4ACP is funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and, in Tanzania, the programme is implemented in partnership with the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute.
Through the FISH4ACP programme, participants have learned new methods for handling and processing fish, such as how to build and use drying racks and solar tent dryers, as well as how to better market their fish products. These new methods help reduce food losses and increase revenue for the fish processors.
Through FISH4ACP, women have learned that there is power in numbers. Over the years, female fish processors have suffered from poor access to capital and microfinance and complained of sexual harassment, workplace abuse and robberies.
They are now forming cooperatives and associations to advance their interests, gain greater access to finance and improve their trade and marketing. Suzana joined the local chapter of the Tanzania Women Fish Workers’ Association, which was launched by FISH4ACP last year. She and others have joined forces to build their businesses and expand trade, as well as learning from each other and raising awareness about their rights.
FISH4ACP has also analysed the entire value chain and has proposed further improvements in improving processing techniques, increasing participation by women, better coordinating access to urban markets and complying more fully with legislation to ensure the sustainable use of fishery resources.
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