Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, June 26, 2023.
Bunge approves govt’s Sh44.39 trillion budget
Lawmakers yesterday approved the government’s Sh44.39 trillion budget for the 2023/2024 financial year, after a week of debate over proposed plans that some have described as tactic rather than strategic.
National Assembly Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson announced that 354 MPs, or 95 per cent, voted to support the budget, with 20 MPs abstaining from their votes and none voting against it.
On June 16, 2023, Finance and Planning Minister Mwigulu Nchemba tabled the government’s Sh44.39 budget for the 2023/2024 financial year, which is a seven per cent rise compared to the Sh41.5 trillion in the ending 2022/2023 financial year.
Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is expected to collect Sh26.73 trillion in revenues, while non-tax revenue is expected to be Sh4.66 trillion. About Sh5.44 trillion would be borrowed from domestic non-concessional sources, and Sh2.1 trillion would be borrowed from external non-concessional sources.
The government’s key priorities for the coming financial year appear to be developing its mega projects that remain unfinished, which include the construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project, and revamping the national airline ATCL, to name but a few.
Speaking on June 19, 2023, during an event organised by The Chanzo, Twaweza Executive Director Aidan Eyakuze criticised the budget proposals, saying it focuses more on economic growth than lifting people out of poverty.
Mr Eyakuze criticised the budget for allocating very few funds for sectors that play a critical role in improving the welfare of Tanzanians, including education (13 per cent), health (5.4 per cent), and water (three per cent). On the other hand, administration gets 41 per cent and economic production 21 per cent.
“The question is this, why do we prepare the budget for?” Mr Eyakuze asked rhetorically. “Is this a strategic or a tactical budget? There is a big difference between the two. What is our national strategy? Is it just to grow our economy, even at the expense of mass poverty of almost half of the population?”
Govt in robust initiative to improve Tanzania’s wine processing sector
Tanzania’s wine processing sector is inching towards a bright future after introducing two globally acclaimed wine grape seed varieties, a move that key players in the industry have welcomed.
Though placed second after South Africa for brewing the best wines within the continent, there were only two wine grape varieties grown in Tanzania, namely, Makutupora Red and Chenin White, thwarting the country’s ability to produce many types of wines.
Globally, there are more than 360 types of wine grapes. The new best wine grape seed varieties, imported from South Africa, have been inspected and certified by the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI). They are the Syrah and wine raisin grapes (Ruby seedless).
Dr Cornel Masawe, the Director General for the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Makutupora Centre, told The Chanzo during an exclusive interview that the introduction of the new varieties will help the country to place itself in a more comfortable status to compete highly and benefiting from the world’s wine making and marketing industry.
Full story here.
Muungano: A much-needed renewal of vows
The Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar has always been a thorny issue, especially on the part of Zanzibaris. However, following the recent controversy surrounding the potential contract between the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and an Emirati multinational logistics company DP World, the subject has evoked feelings even among Mainlanders.
I must declare my bias; I am a unionist vehemently opposed to any actions that may lead to its breakup. As imperfect and flawed as it may be, if I can borrow the phrase used by The Remainers during the referendum for Scottish independence in 2014, we are stronger together!
The grievances surrounding Muungano stem from each side feeling that it is being shortchanged. Zanzibaris complain that Muungano infringes on their sovereignty and right to self-rule. Mainlanders feel like they are carrying the majority of the union’s weight.
The structure of Muungano is at the core of every other grievance. The current structure provides for the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanganyika’s government ceased to exist after Muungano.
Full analysis here.
African philanthropy’s transformative role in driving collective action for sustainable development
Philanthropy in Africa is deeply embedded in the rich tapestry of cultural traditions and encompasses many forms, including indigenous mechanisms, foundations, corporate philanthropy, and individual giving.
This diverse philanthropic ecosystem paves the way for innovative approaches to addressing complex social challenges and creating meaningful change. The power of African philanthropy lies in its ability to empower local communities and drive sustainable development from within.
Research across the continent highlights inspiring examples of community-led initiatives addressing key development priorities, such as education, healthcare, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and social justice.
African philanthropy is vital in supporting and amplifying these grassroots efforts, providing resources, expertise, and networks to foster lasting change. African philanthropy has evolved beyond traditional charity models, embracing a systems-wide transformation approach.
Full analysis here.
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