Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Tanzania ‘deeply concerned’ with security situation in Sudan
Tanzania said Tuesday that it was “deeply concerned” with the “deteriorating” security situation in Sudan, “condemning in the strongest terms the ongoing armed conflict” in the country.
According to the United Nations (UN), the armed conflict between warring generals in the Northeast African country has left around 185 people dead and more than 1,800 injured in three days of fighting in Sudan.
The fight broke out on Saturday, April 15, 2023, between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in what has been described as the battle for control of the country’s capital Khartoum.
The conflict has forced many civilians to shelter in their homes amid fears of a prolonged conflict that could land the country in deeper chaos. Khartoum has seen air strikes, shelling and heavy small-arms fire.
In a statement on Tuesday, Tanzania’s Government Communication Unit described the development as “a setback to [the] peace process in Sudan.”
It urges the parties concerned to “exercise restraint and refrain from any action that may further escalate violence, casualties, and humanitarian crisis.”
Tanzania said the parties to the conflict “without demands to engage in a dialogue to find a solution to their differences through peaceful means.”
The East African nation reported that no Tanzanian national had been affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan. It called on Sudanese authorities to “ensure the safety of all people, not only the Sudanese but also all the foreigners in Sudan.”
It joined the African Union (AU) in rejecting any external interference “that could complicate the situation in Sudan.” Tanzania said it stands ready to support efforts by regional and international actors to find a lasting solution to the crisis in Sudan.
A statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General noted the UN chief called for the warring parties in Sudan to “immediately cease hostilities, restore calm and initiate a dialogue to resolve the current crisis” and for Member States in the region to support efforts to restore order and return to the path of transition to civilian rule.
The fighting in Sudan comes after weeks of tensions between the RSF and the SAF over security force reform during negotiations for a new transitional government. The RSF and SAF jointly overthrew Sudan’s transitional government in October 2021.
US Chamber of Commerce visits Tanzania to strengthen commercial ties
A delegation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce visited Tanzania and met with Tanzanian and U.S. government officials to fulfil a key commitment in the action plan established by the U.S. Chamber and the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) to build business linkages between the United States and Tanzania.
The business delegation, led by the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center, comprised more than 30 private-sector executives who met with U.S. and African public- and private-sector leaders and participated in roundtable discussions facilitated by the U.S. Chamber in Kenya and Tanzania.
The visit comes almost five months after the conclusion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the Business Forum, which signified an important expansion of U.S.-Africa economic relations.
The Summit also demonstrated that the U.S. is ready to be meaningfully counted among Africa’s allies.
The visit also comes almost three week since U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris concluded her trip to Tanzania, where she underlined her country’s commitment to partnering with Tanzania in areas of business, technology, and democracy, among others.
As part of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s first official visit to Washington in April 2022, the Head of State witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding signing between the U.S. Chamber and TanTrade to grow the U.S.-Tanzania commercial partnership through several activities, including a U.S. Chamber-led business delegation to Dar es Salaam.
During the U.S.-Tanzania Trade and Investment Roundtable held during the trade mission, government leaders, including Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S Elsie Kanza, U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Camille Richardson, and Tanzania’s Deputy Permanent Secretary of Finance Lawrence Mafuru identified opportunities for increasing business engagement, committed to work with industry to expand the commercial partnership and make their leaders proud.
In a statement, the U.S. Chamber said it was committed to remaining a steadfast partner to the U.S. business community and the East Africa region and furthering efforts from both sides to create mutually beneficial prosperity through investment and two-way trade.
It also said that it stands ready to be an engaged advocate urging East African governments to continue harmonising policies and regulations and advancing reforms conducive to attracting investment and bolstering trade—and is confident that our business delegation to the region was but the first of many.
New study outlines recommendations to address post-harvest loss
A new study has outlined ways farmers in Tanzania can use to address post-harvest loss, with researchers noting that “ultimately systemic problems need systemic solutions,” according to a statement released Tuesday.
The study, from the Institute for Sustainable Food at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, investigated the reasons for post-harvest loss of crops produced in Morogoro.
Led by Dr Pamela Abott from the university’s information school, the study focused on three perishable or semi-perishable crops: onion, tomato and sweet potato.
It surveyed farmers on multiple stages of food production, including harvesting, primarily by hand; transportation, mainly through head-carrying and motorcycle; storage, processing, and handling crops.
In collaboration with a team from the University of Dodoma in Tanzania led by Dr Kalista Higini, the study assessed post-harvest loss at various stages of the food production cycle. It highlights different causes, the available technology and information and knowledge sources applied, and proposed recommendations to reduce crop losses.
The reported reasons for loss differed depending on the crop. For example, in the harvesting stage, respondents attributed the crop loss in tomatoes to weather (77.27 per cent), a delay in harvesting (56.82 per cent), and damage when harvesting (55.27 per cent).
The research shows how farmers are caught in a vicious cycle of continuous harvest and post-harvest loss, leading to poor profits and a subsequent inability to invest in innovations or improved techniques.
This is complicated by a lack of knowledge of the market, poor storage, transportation and handling facilities caused by insufficient investment and dependence on middlemen trying to profit from seasonal crops with a short shelf life.
Commenting on the study’s findings, Dr Abott said:
“The project is a good example of a global North-South cross-disciplinary collaboration to address a challenge local to the Morogoro region of Tanzania but which has far wider consequences.
Smallholder farmers are thought to produce much of the food consumed across Sub-Saharan Africa while disadvantaged through persistent systemic challenges, like the post-harvest loss problem, due to circumstances beyond their control that keep farmers in a persistent state of poverty. Our study sought to use an interdisciplinary approach to shed light on the problem.”
“We found that ultimately systemic problems need systemic solutions—solutions that need buy-in from farmers, ensuring farmers are supported to transition from traditional subsistence methods to more commercialised ones and be backed up by a plan to provide supporting institutions and infrastructures in the food system as well as movement towards balancing indigenous and ‘improved’ practices in the farming community.”
Solutions recommended by the report included improved storage technologies such as more efficient locally-developed storage solutions or alternative storage technologies such as charcoal coolers or refrigeration, which can be considered superior alternatives to the traditionally used Kihenge.
Recommendations from the research highlighted the advantages of using IT-based solutions such as sensor technologies and mobile phone networks to monitor and report on key indicators of current storage efficiency.
Conclusions also indicated that farmers would benefit from connecting with buyers via online markets and engaging with the farming community via mobile phones and apps.
Veteran CCM MP Nimrod Mkono dies aged 79
A veteran Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) politician Nimrod Mkono died on Tuesday, aged 79, while receiving treatment in the United States.
Founder of the prestigious law firm Mkono & Advocates, Mkono was a lawyer, representing several high-profile clients in their cases, including the Bank of Tanzania.
He served as CCM MP for the Musoma Rural constituency between 2000 and 2015.
He was also the founder and chairman of Bank M, a medium-sized financial institution that in 2019 was put under the BoT’s receivership.
Mr Mkono held a law degree from the University of East Africa, University College, Dar es Salaam, and a Master’s degree in business law from the Council for National Academic Awards of the United Kingdom.
He was once a fellow of London’s Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
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