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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – October 20, 2023. 

In our briefing today: East Africa Press Council launched in Arusha; U.S-Tanzania commercial dialogue launched to boost trade relationship; Two Tanzanian nationals nabbed in India for smuggling cocaine;; Tanzania receives nine nationals fleeing Israel-Hamas war

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, October 19, 2023.

East Africa Press Council launched in Arusha

Associations of the media councils in East Africa was launched yesterday in Arusha.Dubbed East Africa Press Council, the association’s main aim is to promote regional media pluralism, diversity, independence, and professionalism.

Speaking during the launching of the council, the Director of Social Sectors of the East Africa Community, Irene Kisaka underscored that a vibrant media is essential for the attainment of social justice, rule of law, accountability, equality, and protection of human rights.

Some of the challenges that the new council will face include advocating for the protection of journalists in the region, as there a several cases of threats, arrests, and violence toward journalists.

There is also a case of shrinking revenue in the media sector, a situation that has continued to hamper the growth of the industry.

The chairperson of the council is Kajubi Mukajanga from the Media Council of Tanzania, Vice Chairperson is David Kasanga of the Media Council of Uganda,  Secretary is David Omwoyo of the Media Council of Kenya and Treasurer is Emmanuel Mugisha of Rwanda High Media Commission.

U.S-Tanzania commercial dialogue launched to boost trade relationship

Tanzania and the United States on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the U.S.-Tanzania commercial dialogue with the goal of building a stronger, more robust, and equally beneficial trade relationship between the two nations.

Signed during a function held in Dar es Salaam, the MoU is expected to allow US and Tanzanian companies to provide input and advice on how the two governments can better prepare, assist, and bolster the private sector to expand and conduct trade.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, the Confederation of Tanzania Industries, the Association of Tanzania Oil & Gas Service Providers and the CEO Roundtable graced the signing ceremony.

Minister for Industry and Trade Ashantu Kijaji said during the function that business between the two countries has not been good because of the laws that govern trade and the business environment.

“The private sector should use this opportunity well, including stating areas that are challenging in doing business and having a dialogue with their counterparts to see what needs to be improved, especially as we know that Tanzania is endowed with many resources that have potential for investment in industries,” she said.

Kijaji added that areas of dialogue include the digital economy, market access that will enable businesses in Tanzania to export their products to the US and vice versa, regulatory and business climate reforms, trade exhibitions, and missions.

On his part, US Ambassador to Tanzania Michael Battle said the dialogue will give the parties the tools to identify challenges and implement solutions effectively.

“Together, with technical experts, we are going to collaborate to ensure that the next chapter of this relationship is even more dynamic than the last,” Mr Battle said.

“Today may be the official start of this new chapter, but it is by no means the end,” he added. “We are going to be meeting on a more regular basis, enabling the private sector to lead on growing our bilateral economic and trade relationship.”

U.S. goods exports to Tanzania in 2022 were US$260 million, down 7.9 per cent (US$22 million) from 2021 but up six per cent from 2012, according to figures by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

U.S. goods imports from Tanzania totalled US$164 million in 2022, up 67.5 per cent (US$66 million) from 2021 and up 43 per cent from 2012.  The U.S. goods trade surplus with Tanzania was US$96 million in 2022, a 47.9 per cent decrease (US$88 million) over 2021.

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tanzania – stock– was US$1.4 billion in 2022, a 3.5 per cent increase from 2021.

Two Tanzanian nationals nabbed in India for smuggling cocaine

Indian authorities announced Thursday that it has arrested two Tanzanian nationals for allegedly smuggling around 1.5kg cocaine worth by hiding it inside their bodies.

Indian press quoted the country’s Directorate of Revenue of Intelligence (DRI) as stating that on October 6, 2023, it intercepted sixty-two-year-old Mussa Mgonja and twenty-three-year-old Rashid Zamiru, who had gone to Mumbai from Addis Ababa.

“While their personal search didn’t yield any results, upon admission to a hospital, Musa purged 79 capsules from his body and Rashid 33 capsules,” the report said. “Further probe revealed that the duo were carriers of the drug mafia. Mussa said this was his second trip; earlier, he had smuggled 125 capsules with the same modus operandi in Delhi.”

According to the DRI, this is the seventh case in the last month.

On August 23, 2023, India found a 34-year-old Tanzanian national, Ashraf Mtoro Saphy, guilty of possessing about 4.6 kg of heroin on his arrival at the Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, on July 12, 2021.

He was arrested on July 12, 2023, and remanded in judicial custody in Viyyur jail. The investigation revealed that he had travelled to India using fake documents.

Saphy is said to have started his journey from Zanzibar and was holding an e-medical attendant visa. He arrived at Nedumbassery via Dubai by Emirates Airlines.

Tanzania receives nine nationals fleeing Israel-Hamas war

Tanzania Thursday received its nine nationals who were in Israel for studies following an outbreak between the Middle Eastern nation and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that has ruled the occupied Gaza Strip since 2007.

Some 3,000 Palestinians have reportedly been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since Hamas’s October 7 attack inside Israel, which killed more than 1,400 people, triggering a destructive war that continues to attract the world’s attention.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Community Stephen Byabato received the citizens at the Julius Nyerere International Airport.

Mr Byabato said that the homecoming of the nationals was part of the government’s initiatives to ensure that their people are safe worldwide.

On Saturday, the government announced a plan to evacuate its citizens living in Israel and neighbouring areas amid the escalating violence in the region.

In a statement, the government said that through its embassy in Israel, it set up a procedure to return all Tanzanians who would like to return home, but we are still persuading other Tanzanians who are still in Israel to see the need to return home until the situation there stabilises.

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

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