Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
Stakeholders resolve to proceed with minimum constitutional reforms ahead of elections
Key stakeholders in Tanzania’s movement for the New Constitution resolved here Wednesday to proceed with minimum constitutional reforms, arguing that the remaining time is too short to start a constitution-writing process and finalise it before the civic and general elections in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
The stakeholders, which include the government, political parties, civil society organisations, and development partners, reached the decision during the just-concluded two-day gathering in Dar es Salaam that the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) organised to reflect on the state of multiparty democracy in Tanzania.
Reading the resolutions to over 200 participants of the gathering, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, the chairperson of TCD, a non-profit political parties’ membership organisation working to enhance multiparty democracy in the country, said the stakeholders agreed that they’d be lying to themselves to think that they can have the New Constitution before 2024.
“This conference has, therefore, resolved that there is a need for minimum reforms to be undertaken in the  constitution, which would expand the democratic space in the country before the elections,” Lipumba, who doubles as the national chairperson of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party, said. “Those reforms will ensure wider citizens’ participation in the elections.”
Full story here.
Business leaders pledge innovation, collaboration in driving Tanzania’s digital future
Members of the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania (CEOrt), an umbrella organisation representing business leaders of over 200 companies, have pledged to increase innovative and collaborative efforts to accelerate digital transformation in the East African nation.
This commitment emerged during a recent dialogue session facilitated by the CEOrt, whose mission is to enhance impact in leadership and drive sustainable socio-economic growth. The meeting occurred between August 15 and 21, 2023.
During the dialogue, discussions focused on ‘Digital Transformation Through Innovation and Collaboration,’ engaging stakeholders from the public and private sectors and highlighting the attained milestones while addressing the next measures required to actualise comprehensive digital integration, ensuring its accessibility across all segments of society.
Full story here.
DP World saga reflects Tanzania’s struggles with its socialist past
The past few months have been nothing but trying for the government. The public has not received well the agreement between the Dubai-based company DP World and the government of Tanzania for investment in the country’s ports.
It has produced arguably the loudest public uproar since the current regime was installed in 2021. This is partly because the leak about the current bilateral agreement came when the deal was advanced, or probably, as some speculate, it was already sealed!
Whether the agreement is a professional fumble or an outright theft scheme, it all lies in Tanzania’s communist-style politics. Since the early years of independence, Tanzania has tried to lean more towards politics of isolation, secrecy, centrally-run systems, and less public involvement in state matters.
Full analysis here.
Ecobank, AMREF Flying Doctors partner to ease emergency air and ground evacuation of Patients in East Africa
Ecobank Kenya Limited has partnered with AMREF Flying Doctors to offer Maisha Membership, an air and ground ambulance scheme to the Bank’s clientele.
A press release stated Wednesday that under the partnership, Maisha membership will provide the Bank’s customers with convenient access to fast, affordable, and quality air and ground evacuation services in the event of a medical emergency in East Africa.
Members of the AMREF Flying Doctors’ Maisha plan, including customers, will have access to emergency evacuation flights annually for medical emergencies, ground ambulance transfers within Kenya, and AMREF Flying Doctors’ 24-hour control centre.
At the premium membership level, clients will have access to air medical evacuations and up to US$200,000 of post-evacuation hospitalisation benefits in Nairobi or South Africa and return flights home.
The Maisha Emergency Medical Evacuation Plan is available in five packages – Maisha Bronze, Maisha Silver, Maisha Gold, Maisha Platinum and Diamond for as low as KES3,100 and is designed to cover evacuations within the Eastern Africa region.
Countries covered under the deal include Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Members can include other family members to enjoy the same benefits per the package’s prescribed tariffs.
Ecobank Kenya Managing Director Mrs Josephine Anan-Ankomah said that access to medical emergency evacuations across Africa remains a big challenge partly due to prohibitive costs, infrastructural challenges, and lack of skilled resources.
“We are greatly pleased to partner with AMREF Flying Doctors to help our customers and other Kenyans to easily access emergency ground and air evacuation services for proper medical treatment in Nairobi and elsewhere in the region,” she said.
Dr Joseph Lelo, the Medical Director of AMREF Flying Doctors, lauded the partnership, stating that the organisation was delighted to partner with Ecobank Kenya to ensure that their clients have the necessary coverage during medical emergencies.
“Healthcare emergencies continue to stress families emotionally and financially, especially in our part of the world,” he said. “Maisha Membership will provide peace of mind that the affected person will have timely and professional medical transport in an emergency.”
Zanzibar, Mastercard partner to spur digital transformation
Mastercard has partnered with the Zanzibar e-Government Agency (eGAZ) to support and expedite the semi-autonomous archipelago’s ambitious journey towards digital transformation.
A statement said that the collaboration is set to catalyse growth across various sectors in Zanzibar, most notably in tourism, by facilitating the digitisation of payments, poised to play a pivotal role in bolstering economic vibrancy.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed Tuesday at the unveiling of the Zanzibar Digital Government Strategy for 2023 to 2027, which was graced by Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi.
The strategy aims to propel Zanzibar towards its aspiration to become a dynamic digital economy characterised by robust digital systems, innovative information and communication technology solutions, and specialised digital governance training, culminating in a reimagined public service landscape.
Its partnership with Mastercard will see the company extend technical expertise and assistance to reinforce the endeavours of the Zanzibar government.
It’ll involve establishing a dedicated digital transformation team, synergising with the government’s payment platform, ZanMalipo, to facilitate seamless digital transactions and a significant stride by introducing two million government cards.
These cards aim to streamline access to services and boost tourism, engendering enhanced convenience and expediency.
Shehryar Ali, the Country Manager for East Africa at Mastercard, extolled the symbiotic nature of this collaboration, saying that the like-minded collaboration will help power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone everywhere in Zanzibar.
“It is a testament to the profound impact of digitisation and builds on Mastercard’s global experience in enabling digital transformation and demonstrating the value of fostering cross-sector collaboration, fuelling economic growth and facilitating financial and digital inclusion,” he said.
Said Seif Said, eGAZ Managing Director, said collaboration affirmed Zanzibar’s commitment to harnessing innovative technologies for service delivery enhancement.
“We believe that by working with Mastercard, a trusted partner, we can significantly accelerate the realisation of our digital strategy and provide invaluable benefits to our citizens,” he said.
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