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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – March 22, 2023.

In our briefing today: Marburg Virus Disease: Tanzania identifies disease that killed five people in Kagera; Zanzibar: Calls for police to prioritise electronic evidence in sexual assault investigations intensify; Businesspeople from 100 Chinese companies to tour Tanzania; Tigo, Selcom and Mastercard partner to launch new payment solution in Tanzania; Airtel Tanzania launches first eSIM card services.  

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Marburg Virus Disease: Tanzania identifies disease that killed five people in Kagera

Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu on Tuesday identified the mysterious disease that has killed at least five people in Tanzania’s northwestern region of Kagera as a Marburg Virus Disease.

It comes four days after Chief Medical Officer Tumaini Nagu said on March 16, 2023, that the government was investigating the disease, whose symptoms included fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding through various body openings.

Cases of the disease have been reported from Kagera’s district of Bukoba, particularly in the villages of Bulinda and Butayaibega.

During a press conference in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, Ms Mwalimu revealed that lab tests on eight samples collected from the villages had confirmed the presence of the Marburg virus in the country.

“Tests conducted at our national public health laboratory have confirmed the presence of Marburg virus, which causes the Marburg Virus Disease,” Ms Mwalimu, who doubles as Tanga Urban MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM), told reporters.

Full story here.

Zanzibar: Calls for police to prioritise electronic evidence in sexual assault investigations intensify

Activists working to protect children from sexual abuse here have intensified their calls on the archipelago’s law enforcement authorities to prioritise electronic evidence while investigating sexual assault cases, saying the approach will see many victims get justice.

The activists reiterated their call on March 15, 2023, during a workshop to commemorate the 2023 International Women’s Day, celebrated worldwide under the theme DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.

Ms Asha Abdi is the chairperson of the Tanzania Media Women’s Association – Zanzibar (TAMWAZNZ).

She explained during the workshop her organisation organised that the children who suffer from sexual assaults fail to get justice because of difficulties existing in collecting evidence.

“During the collection of evidence, a child may admit today but deny tomorrow thanks to threats and intimidation,” said Ms Abdi. “But if we record [electronically] this child’s first attempt to testify, this problem becomes solved.”

Violence against women and children is rampant in Zanzibar. For instance, the Office of the Chief Government Statistician reported on January 17, 2023, that incidents of gender-based violence in Zanzibar increased from 1,222 in 2021 to 1,360 in 2022.

Despite the big problem, Zanzibar fails to convict many perpetrators of sexual assault against children under the pretext that no evidence exists that would allow judges to do so, something activists think can change if police record evidence electronically.

Full story here.

Businesspeople from 100 Chinese companies to tour Tanzania

A delegation from 100 Chinese companies is expected to visit Tanzania from September 20, 2023, to explore investment opportunities and seek partnerships with local companies.

The companies will come from Zhejiang, a province in eastern China.

Mbelwa Kairuki, Tanzania’s ambassador to China, announced on Tuesday on Twitter immediately after meeting with the chairperson of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade – Jinhua Jin Zhengfeng.

While in Dar es Salaam, the businesspeople will meet with their Tanzanian counterparts to discuss collaboration in various opportunities, including business and trade collaboration.

On Tuesday, Tanzania’s Embassy in China announced that Tanzania businesspeople were allowed to freely showcase and sell their products at the China-Africa Trade and Commodity Expo.

The expo will take place in Jinhua, China, from November 13 to November 15, 2023, and traders from Tanzania will be given opportunities to display their products and accommodation service free of charge.

Tigo, Selcom and Mastercard partner to launch new payment solution in Tanzania

Tigo Tanzania, Selcom, and Mastercard Inc. on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership that will see the three companies revolutionise the digital payment ecosystem by enabling convenient online payments globally through the Tigo Mastercard virtual service via Selcom’s card-as-a-service (CaaS) platform.

Thanks to the partnership, Tigo Pesa customers can now transact on global payment platforms and benefit from Mastercard’s technology. This enables new digital commerce opportunities through simple and secure payment experiences for consumers and merchants.

A statement released yesterday said that the launch of the virtual card would ensure Tigo’s ability to provide its customers access to products and services previously a preserve of physical credit card holders while diversifying its mobile money portfolio.

The partnership will also introduce a wide range of cutting-edge digital payment solutions in Tanzania, connecting Tigo customers in Tanzania to a global online marketplace across multiple digital payment use cases and providing access to Mastercard’s global network of merchants.

Tigo’s Chief Officer for Mobile Financial Services (MFS), Angelica Pesha said as a leading digital lifestyle company in Tanzania, Tigo is always on the lookout for such partnerships.

“Our customers will now be able to complete online transactions that require Mastercard credentials while using funds from their Tigo Pesa wallets,” a statement quoted her as saying. “We hope this partnership will improve user experience and accessibility to a vast array of MFS services.”

Selcom’s Executive Director, Sameer Hirji said the company takes pride in its unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence in the payment industry.

“We are thrilled to join forces with esteemed partners like Tigo Pesa and Mastercard to unveil our state-of-the-art mobile money wallet-linked virtual card,” Mr Hirji said. “By constantly investing in our infrastructure and refining our market presence, we aim to deliver cutting-edge, dependable solutions that foster growth and success for our partners and customers.

Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President of Digital Partnerships EEMEA, Mastercard, said: “With our deepened relationships with the telecommunications industry players, this partnership with Tigo furthers our commitment to expand customer choice and access to digital commerce.”

Airtel Tanzania launches first eSIM card services

Airtel Tanzania has introduced embedded SIMs to give customers the same functionality as a physical SIM.

The company’s director of communications, Beatrice Singano, as said that Airtel has become the first eSIM provider in Tanzania.

She explained that customers wishing to switch their current physical SIM cards to an eSIM could visit any Airtel Shop in the country for service or add a new number to the eSIM while using the existing physical SIM.

It comes almost a month after Airtel Kenya brought out embedded SIM cards on February 24, 2023, which Airtel Africa Group CEO Segun Ogunsanya said then will provide convenience and flexibility.

Airtel has already started providing eSIMs in Nigeria and plans to eventually bring them to fourteen African countries.

This is it for today, and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or following us on Twitter (here), or joining us on Telegram (here). And in case you have any questions or comments, please consider dropping a word to our editors at

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