Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
Govt withdraws amendments to key natural wealth laws
Speaker of Parliament Tulia Ackson announced Tuesday that the government decided to withdraw proposed amendments to the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act of 2017 and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act, 2017 (No. 6 of 2017).
Dr Ackson told lawmakers that following the decision, the law-making body remained with the remaining four pieces of legislation contained in the Written Laws (Misc Amendment) No. 2 Bill, 2023, announcing that amendments to the two laws designed to give Tanzania authorities over its natural resources “have been scrapped” from the bill.
“It is therefore announced that no changes have been made to these laws,” Dr Ackson announced during the just started parliamentary session in the capital Dodoma.
Tuesday’s announcement comes almost a week since the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee, Joseph Mhagama, told The Chanzo that it was seeking further clarification from the government about the proposed changes that have raised some eyebrows among observers of the country’s affairs.
The bill was first read in the parliament on June 28, 2023, and the Parliamentary Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs invited public opinions on the sought amendments before the bill returned to the parliament later in August. The committee heard stakeholders’ opinions on August 16, 2023.
Part IV and V of the amendment bill proposes an amendment to ensure the said laws are not applicable to projects related to ports improvement, with the government citing the changes is to ensure that the implementation of those laws does not prejudice the performance of sea, dry and lake ports in the country.
The government says the amendments aim to enable Tanzania’s ports to “operate at international level and to attract more ships and large cargo to be served by ports.”
The now-cancelled amendments to the laws come as a huge national debate is occurring around the necessity of an inter-governmental agreement between Tanzania and Dubai allowing the latter’s DP World to operate the Dar es Salaam port.
On June 10, 2023, lawmakers unanimously endorsed the controversial deal that continues to polarise the nation, with division in opinion between its supporters and critics appearing as clear as day.
On Tuesday, Speaker Ackson told lawmakers there would not be any debate over the deal in the parliament as the legislative body had already done its duty concerning the issue.
“Regarding the port issue, let’s continue listening to the people because we, as parliament, have finished our part, and since the parliament has already made its decision, then our time will come when we need the agreements to be brought to the parliament to be reviewed,” Speaker Ackson urged lawmakers.
Tanzania’s coffee sector faces severe effects of climate change
The severe effects of climate change currently threaten coffee production in Tanzania, which calls for timely and collective interventions from the relevant stakeholders from both the public and public sectors.
While most of the plantations are failing to thrive due to drought, compelled by climate change, it has been unveiled that poor access to inputs, extension services, low productivity, and poor adoption of good agricultural and climate-smart practices stand tall among the factors that thwarting the smooth metamorphosis of the economic sector across the country.
The country’s coffee stakeholders shared these concerns during a special forum organised to discuss the performance of the cash crop, as well as setting viable future mechanisms for the bright future of the sector.
The one-day forum, held in the capital Dodoma over the weekend under the auspices of Solidaridad, an International Civil Society Organization, is part of implementing the Passport to Coffee Export (PACE) project.
Full story here.
UK’s Scirocco Energy extends deadline for sale of Tanzania’s asset
Scirocco Energy PLC on Tuesday said it had extended the longstop date for the Ruvuma transaction to September 30.
Scirocco Energy is an investing company targeting assets within the European sustainable energy and circular economy markets. Its shares were up 3.8 per cent to 0.54 pence each in London on Tuesday afternoon.
In August 2022, Scirocco agreed to sell its 25 per cent interest in the Ruvuma asset to ARA Petroleum Tanzania.
On Tuesday, the company said that “significant” progress has been made concerning the Ruvuma transaction.
Further, to allow additional time to complete the transaction, Scirocco and ARA Petroleum Tanzania have agreed to extend the longstop date of the proposed transaction. The longstop date has been extended to September 30 from August 31.
Final approval is expected in “due course.”
“The extension of the longstop date by a month allows additional time to complete the divestment of our interest in the Ruvuma asset,” the company’s Chief Executive, Tom Reynolds, said.
“While the process has taken longer than originally envisaged, we continue to be encouraged by our dialogue with the relevant authorities in Tanzania and believe we are on track to complete this transformative transaction within this new timeframe,” he added.
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