Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Going broke? Study reveals 66 percent of Tanzanian struggle with regular expenses
The new Finscope study (2023) has revealed that 66 percent of Tanzania’s adult population often struggle to pay for their daily regular expense. This is equivalent to 22.5 million adults who struggle to pay for their expenses.
A similar study was conducted in 2017 and only 51 percent of Tanzanian adults reported that they are struggling to make ends meet, meaning the situation has even got tense.
The study reveals that business owners, farmers, and fishers struggle the most with expenses compared to other groups. It was also noted women are now less likely to face these struggles compared to their male counterparts.
The study which was conducted between March-April 2023, with a sample size of 10,005 has related the situation to the changes in the global economy especially the contraction of the economy due to COVID-19.
When asked what they do when struggling to pay for their regular expenses majority responded that they work even harder, borrow, ask for a hand or take on casual labor, this is different from the findings in 2017 which revealed that when Tanzanian struggle to pay expenses majority will cut down expenses.
This change in behavior is interesting to watch, while the study has not analyzed what might be the cause, there are several probable answers such as there is a possibility of getting an additional job in 2023 compared to 2017 or the expenses are in the need category that one can not cut them down.
It was also noted that the majority of Tanzanians borrow or save to survive, that is 84 percent of Tanzanians who save do that to smoothen their cashflow, and 72 percent of Tanzanians who borrow do that to also meet their immediate need. Few percent borrow and save for investment of asset building.
Getting to know Archbishop Protase Rugambwa
Pope Francis announced Sunday, July 9, 2023, that he would elevate Coadjutor Archbishop Protase Rugambwa of the Archdiocese of Tabora and 20 other Archbishops from various countries to the College of Cardinals. The ceremony to install them, known as a consistory, will be held on September 30, 2023.
In view thereof, Archbishop Rugambwa becomes the third Cardinal in Tanzania, preceded by Cardinal Laurean Rugambwa, who breathed his last on December 8, 1997, and His Eminence Policalp Cardinal Pengo, who retired in 2019.
Archbishop Rugambwa will, consequently, be eligible to choose Pope Francis’s successor in a papal conclave after his death or resignation.
But who is Archbishop Protase Rugambwa? Read more here.
Embracing the orchestra of voices: Ensuring inclusive dialogue on Tanzania’s DP World deal
As our beloved country stands at the precipice of a transformative economic venture – the DP World deal – ensuring that the national discourse is not a solo performance but an orchestra of diverse voices is crucial.
Any attempts to drown out dissenting voices in this significant dialogue is a profound disservice to the democratic ethos we, as a nation, cherish.
Let me draw your attention to an unsettling event that unfolded recently. A notable former spokesperson for a famous Tanzanian football team sought to repress voices by recalling historical land transactions during the colonial era. The Port of Dar es Salaam, the nerve centre of the DP World deal, is located on this said land.
His contention was straightforward but disconcertingly misleading – because the port was located on land once sold to the Arab community, only voices from certain regions, specifically Dar es Salaam, had the legitimacy to participate in discussions about the port’s future.
This misguided attempt to muffle a national dialogue is alarming and ill-suited to the democratic principles we hold dear.
Full analysis here.
Classes at IIT Madras campus in Zanzibar commence in October. See courses offered
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), the top-ranked educational institute in the Asian country, announced Monday that classes at its recently-established campus in Zanzibar will commence in October 2023, with applications for the 2023 batch being currently open.
Prof V Kamakoti, IIT Madras’ director, revealed this during a press conference Monday, outlining that the campus will offer two full-time academic programmes: a four-year Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and a two-year Master of Technology in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. The total student intake will be 70.
“It is indeed a major milestone in this history of IIT Madras that we are establishing a Campus at Zanzibar,” Prof Kamakoti said, according to a report by India Today. “Through this, we look forward to active participation in the future higher education initiatives at Zanzibar.”
Talks of a possible establishment of IIT Madras’ campus in Zanzibar have been going for some time but were concluded on July 6, 2023, after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Zanzibar, paving the way for its establishment.
The signing of the MoU was part of the activities undertaken by India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s four-day visit to Tanzania to strengthen the relations between the two countries.
IIT Madras explained Monday that faculty at its Zanzibar campus will be deputed from IIT Madras or recruited from India during the initial days of this campus. Activities to ensure local talent is developed and can be employed as faculty are also underway.
Prof Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras, described the campus establishment in Zanzibar as “the most significant step forward in the internationalisation efforts of IIT Madras.”
“A detailed strategic plan that includes increasing the number of international students, fostering meaningful and synergistic joint degree programmes with international academic institutions and enhancing faculty/student mobility has been laid out,” he said, according to India Today.
The IITM Zanzibar campus will have a structure with degree programmes hosted by schools. The first school is the School of Science and Engineering, which will host both the planned degrees for the 2023-2024 academic year. A detailed evolution plan for academic programmes is under development, with inputs from expert members in India and Zanzibar/Tanzania.
The Office of Global Engagement, IIT Madras, will coordinate the student entrance process, including a screening test developed by faculty experts at IIT Madras and an interview per the IITM Senate-approved admission process for international students, India Today reported.
This campus will leverage the broad expertise of IIT Madras faculty in interdisciplinary education, research, and technological innovation and is on an accelerated development and growth plan. With strong support from the local government, IITM Zanzibar is planned as a one-of-a-kind international campus.
The campus will have the ability to accommodate students in dorms and provide dining facilities. Scholarships to defray tuition costs for deserving students are being worked out with various stakeholders.
Barrick defends its human rights records in Tanzania
Barrick Gold president and chief executive Mark Bristow Monday defended the Canadian-based mining company’s human rights records at its two gold mines in Tanzania, North Mara and Bulyanhulu, pointing out that the company is committed to expanding its presence in the East African nation.
Mr Bristow was speaking during a visit to one of the mines operated by Twiga Minerals, the joint venture between the Tanzanian government and Barrick Gold Corporation. Barrick took control of the mines in 2019 following authorities’ misunderstanding with Acacia Mining, the company that operated the mines.
“We have fixed the environmental, land claims and human rights issues that destroyed these mines’ reputations and have restored their social licence to operate as an integral member of their communities,” a press statement quoted Mr Bristow.
“Since its establishment, Twiga has invested more than $12.5 million in landmark projects — identified in collaboration with the community development committees we established at the mines — to provide access to quality healthcare, educational facilities, potable water and alternative sources of income,” he added. “Among these is an irrigation system, expected to improve production for 2,356 farmers substantially.”
Bristow’s remarks come hot on the heels of accusations of human rights abuses that rights groups have been directing at Barrick recently, with the UK-based corporate watchdog Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) being the loudest in levelling the accusations.
On May 4, 2023, for instance, during the company’s Annual General Meeting in South Africa, RAID told the company’s investors that reports on the alleged human rights abuses “should be of utmost concern to investors.”
RAID claimed that since Barrick took control of the North Mara mine in September 2019, most of its documented incidents occurred in 2022. Of 32 shootings, incidents of torture, and other assaults by police, 20 were in 2022.
“We’re calling on responsible investors to press upon the gold mining company the urgency of conducting a credible, transparent and independent investigation into human rights abuses at the mine and redressing the harm suffered,” RAID stated on Twitter.
Also, UK lawyers acting on behalf of Tanzanian human rights victims have sued the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) for wrongfully certifying gold from Barrick’s “deadly” North Mara gold mine as being “responsibly sourced.”
In 2022, twenty-one Tanzanian nationals filed a legal case against Barrick for “grave human rights violations at the company’s North Mara gold mine.
The action by the plaintiffs, who are members of the Indigenous Kurya community amongst whose villages in northern Tanzania the mine has been built, concerns brutal killings, shootings and torture that they allege were committed by police engaged in guarding the mine.
Barrick denies any human rights violations at its mines in Tanzania. In a statement on Monday, the mining giant’ said its operations in Tanzania have revitalised the country’s gold mining industry through a partnership that should serve as a model for similar operations, particularly in developing regions.
“We settled the dispute and established Twiga as a 50:50 economic benefits-sharing partnership, which also vested a 16 per cent shareholding in each mine with the government. We reinvented the mines, which now, as a combined complex, produce gold at a Tier One level, in other words, one which can produce at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years at the lower half of the industry cost curve,” Bristow said.
“So successful are these operations that, since Barrick’s buyout of the minority shareholders, they have contributed more than $2.8 billion to the Tanzanian economy in the form of taxes, levies, dividends, salaries and payments to local suppliers,” he added.
Helium One Global buys its own rig for Rukwa project
UK-based exploration company Helium One Global Ltd’s shares soared Monday after telling investors that it has now secured an alternate drill rig for its proposed Tai-C well programme in Tanzania, which is still slated for the third quarter of 2023.
In a statement, the company said it had already acquired an Epiroc Predator 220 drilling rig – an oil and gas rig capable of drilling to depths more than 2,000 metres – in Tanzania and is being mobilised to Helium One’s Rukwa project.
It described the deal as a “significant achievement” and highlighted that ownership of the rig provides the opportunity to move quickly into further exploration drilling.
Moreover, subject to results, the company expects to advance the appraisal of the Tai prospect without additional costs related to keeping a rig on standby or the challenges of mobilising rigs to the country.
“We are delighted to finally have reached this significant milestone of securing a rig for our Q3 drilling programme in Rukwa,” said Helium One chief executive Lorna Blaisse.
With the rig now en route, Helium One noted that other work streams are underway to ensure drilling can commence in September – civil works are underway, ordering remaining well equipment and sourcing an experienced rig crew.
“This has been an exceptional effort by the team to ensure we had an executable option after recent disappointments and setbacks to fulfil our Q3 drilling target still,” Blaisse said.
“I am very thankful to them for their tireless efforts over the past few months, and I’m confident we have an excellent team in place to deliver the next phase of the project as well as any appropriate follow-on campaigns,” he added.
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