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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – September 18, 2023

In our briefing today: Samia: Let girls go to school; Paul Rupia: Remembering the highly distinguished diplomat one year since his death; Welcome to Tanzania, where El Kura is more important than El Nino; Fostering intergenerational dialogue for a democratic future: The vital role of youth; Iran plans exclusive exhibition in Tanzania. 

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.

Samia: Let girls go to school

President Samia is continuing her tour in the southern part of Tanzania. On Sunday, she concluded her visit to Mtwara and began engagements in the Lindi region. The tour, which has drawn massive crowds in every scheduled area, focuses on agriculture and social services.

One of the prominent issues that arose during President Samia’s visit to Nanyamba and Tandahimba was girl-child education. President Samia urged the protection of girl children and emphasized the importance of allowing them to complete their education.

“Let girls study; this is how we will nurture women engineers, teachers, and doctors. If you continue to hinder their education, they will not achieve their potential,” underscored Samia.

The southern regions are known for their cultural practices where young girls, after initiation, are often encouraged to enter into marital relationships. President Samia addressed and discouraged these negative cultural practices.

“I urge women to stop the practice of girls initiation after harvests and subsequent encouragement that they are free, let protect our girls. The next Samia might come from Nanyamba,” emphasized President Samia.

In 2022, approximately 5,763 secondary school students dropped out of school in Mtwara, with girls accounting for 49 percent of the dropouts. Various reports indicate that negative cultural practices not only hinder girls’ education but also contribute to serious issues, such as the increased risk of HIV/AIDS transmission.

According to the UNAIDS report titled “Dangerous Inequality,” adolescent girls and young women (aged 15 to 24) are three times more likely to contract HIV compared to boys and men of the same age group in sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, the HIV prevalence rate is higher among women aged 15 to 49 at 5.7 percent, compared to men aged 15 to 49, which stands at 3.2 percent.

Paul Rupia: Remembering the highly distinguished diplomat one year since his death

September 16, 2023, marked the first anniversary of the passing of Paul Milyango Rupia, Tanzania’s Fifth Chief Secretary, who also had the privilege to serve as the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Mr Rupia was snatched by the cold hands of death in the early morning hours of September 16, 2022, at the age of 86, in South Africa, where he was undergoing specialised treatment. It is, indeed, one year since that gloomy Friday when news of his passing filtered through.

The late Ambassador Rupia was a jovial man and once invited me to his beautiful house in Oysterbay, Dar es Salaam, where we had a lengthy tete-a-tete just a few months before he succumbed to death.

On that day and thereafter, through telephonic conversations, I learnt a lot from him and concluded that he was a walking encyclopedia regarding the history of Tanzania.

On the first anniversary of his passing, my lifelong love of writing has propelled me to craft this special article in honour of the departed Ambassador I considered a friend.

Full analysis here.

Welcome to Tanzania, where El Kura is more important than El Nino

Who remembers El Nino of 1997? In that year, it really lived up to its name of the Christ Child – El Nino means the boy in Spanish–, as it was around Christmas that Tanzania was inundated with serious floods.

I still remember pictures of train passengers walking long distances along the railway line as it was impossible to continue their journey, and both sides were flooded.

This was just one example of widespread flooding, which even overloaded dams such as Mtera. People were left homeless, and large portions of infrastructure were badly damaged. In the long run, agriculture was also affected as crops were washed away, and water-borne diseases and malaria flourished.

I also remember because I and others expressed concern that the national response was inadequate. It was Christmas time that year and Eid el Fitr was also approaching. Therefore, religious leaders seemed more concerned with religious festivals than the crisis facing large population sectors surrounded by floods.

Full analysis here.

Fostering intergenerational dialogue for a democratic future: The vital role of youth

In the past week, our nation has borne witness to two significant events that have the potential to reshape the course of democratic leadership.

The Special Meeting of the Council of Political Parties and Democracy Stakeholders, themed ‘Strengthen Democracy Preserve Peace,’ focused on evaluating Task Force Proposals and assessing the current political landscape.

Simultaneously, the Commemoration of Democracy Day revolved around empowering the next generation for reconciliation, resilience, reforms, and rebuilding.

Fortunately, I had the privilege of being actively engaged in both events as a participant or through my office colleague.

Upon reflection on the outcomes of these meetings, two compelling questions emerged in my mind. Can we genuinely envision and discuss the future without placing the youth at the centre stage, guiding the discourse? Can we manifest this future without fostering meaningful intergenerational conversations?

Full analysis here.

Iran plans exclusive exhibition in Tanzania

Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) plans an exclusive exhibition in Tanzania in collaboration with the Iranian Trade Center to showcase the Islamic Republic’s trade and export capacities.

Ra’ed Mousavi, the head of the Iranian Trade Center in Tanzania, told Iran’s news agency IRNA that the exhibition is the most appropriate platform to increase the knowledge of East African countries, especially Tanzania, about Iranian companies’ products, services, and technological advancements.

“In the first exclusive exhibition of the export capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tanzania, companies active in various fields, including the agricultural sector, mines and industrial machinery, construction, as well as medicine and medical equipment, will participate,” Mousavi said.

He added that the exhibition is expected to strengthen economic relations between the two countries. The first exclusive exhibition of the export capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran is going to be held in Tanzania from November 21 to 24, 2023.

The announcement comes a few weeks after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited three African countries: Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The leader of the Islamic Republic also met and held talks with President Samia Suluhu Hassan during the BRICS summit in South Africa.

Raisi’s visit to Africa aimed at increasing Iran’s presence in the 60-billion-dollar economy of the African continent and is expected to increase the level of activity of Iranian traders and businessmen in this continent.

This is it for today, and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or following us on Twitter (here), as that is the best way to ensure you do not miss any of these briefings.  And in case you have any questions or comments, please drop a word to our editors at editor@thechanzo.com.

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