Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
German President Steinmeier in Tanzania for a three-day state visit to improve ties
President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is expected to arrive in Tanzania today, October 30, 2023, to begin his three-day state visit to the East African nation at the invitation of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
According to a statement released yesterday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, January Makamba, Mr Steinmeier’s visit will focus on strengthening economic ties with a focus on trade and investment.
“President Steinmeier will be accompanied by a delegation of business leaders from top German companies who will participate in a Business Forum with their Tanzanian counterparts and officials in Dar es Salaam on the 31st of October,” Mr Makamba stated.
During the visit, Mr Steinmeier will hold official talks with his host, President Samia, at the State House. He’ll visit the Maji Maji War Museum in Songea and speak with the descendants of the victims of the war.
Mr Steinmeier becomes the first high-ranking politician from Germany to visit the centre.
Between 1905 and 1907, thousands of locals rose up against the oppressors from the German Empire. The colonial rulers brutally suppressed their uprising, and up to 300,000 people died as a result; the exact number is still unknown.
The Chanzo also understands that during his visit to Tanzania, Mr Steinmeier will meet and speak with representatives from the media and civil society aimed to enrich his understanding of the state of press freedom in the country as well as that of overall human rights.
Tanzania and Germany enjoy excellent relations and work together in a wide range of sectors and areas of common interests.
These include biodiversity, water security, peace and social cohesion, social security, demographic policy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and particularly the advancement of women and gender equality.
According to information from the German government, the bilateral volume of trade between Tanzania and Germany is around EUR300 million.
The main imports from Germany are machinery, chemical products and food, and Tanzania’s main exports include drinks, tobacco, raw materials and food.
Israel confirms Hamas holds two Tanzanian national hostages
Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed Sunday that two Tanzanian nationals, Joshua Loitu Mollel and Clemence Felix Mtenga, are among about 230 hostages held by Hamas, a political and military organisation governing the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian territories.
The group took the hostages during its October 7, 2023, attack on Israel, leading to a war with the Middle Eastern nation, which has so far left thousands dead and injured.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on a ceasefire to prevent a “humanitarian catastrophe,” a call that other world leaders and humanitarian organisations have endorsed.
According to a statement by Israel’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Joshua Loitu Mollel and Clemence Felix Mtenga were in Israel as a part of an Agricultural Internship Program.
“They were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and are being held hostage in Gaza,” the ministry said in an X, formerly Twitter, statement. “Please join us in praying for their safe and immediate return.”
Yesterday, Tanzania’s Government Spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi said the government was following closely on the development in coordination with the Tanzania Embassy in Israel, in his statement Mobhare said they are yet to confirm if the two Tanzanians are missing.
Foreigners from 25 countries in all are being held by Hamas, Israel says. They make up 135 of the 224 being held – the largest number, 54, are from Thailand.
Israel has since retaliated with air strikes on Gaza, which the Gaza health ministry says the attacks have killed almost 6,500 people.
Tanzania cuts down maternal mortality rate by 80pc
The maternal mortality rate in Tanzania went down from 530 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015/2016) to 104 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2022, a reduction that President Samia Suluhu Hassan described as “a very huge step,” adding that “80 per cent drop is a big relief.”
The development was revealed on Saturday during the launch of the new Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey (2022 TDHS-MIS), for which President Samia was the guest of honour.
Maternal mortality includes deaths of women during pregnancy, delivery, and within 42 days of delivery, excluding deaths that were due to accidents or violence.
“This is a remarkable achievement,” President Samia said. “The results encourage us that the efforts we are putting on improving health services are bringing about positive changes.”
The 2022 TDHS-MIS survey indicates that 90 per cent of women aged 15–49 with a live birth or stillbirth in the two years before the survey received antenatal care (ANC) from a skilled provider.
Skilled providers include doctors, assistant medical officers (AMOs), clinical officers, assistant clinical officers, nurses/midwives/public health nurses B (PHNBs), assistant nurses, and maternal and child health (MCH) aides.
The report also indicates that 81 per cent of live births are delivered in a health facility, and the majority (75 per cent) are delivered in a public sector facility.
However, 18 per cent of all births are delivered at home. Overall, health facility deliveries have increased over the last three decades, from 52 per cent to 81 per cent, and home deliveries declined from 47 per cent to 18 per cent.
By region, the range of live births delivered in health facilities is from 56 per cent in Manyara to more than 99 per cent in both Dar es Salaam and Iringa.
The first target of Goal number three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.
Devastating rains leave over 150 people homeless in Rukwa
Kalambo District Commissioner Lazaro Komba told the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Saturday that more than 150 people have been left homeless in the district, located in the Rukwa region after heavy rains demolished 30 houses.
Mr Kalambo said the rains, coupled with strong winds, pounded Chitete village on Thursday beginning at 4 PM, causing disastrous consequences.
“People could not save property kept in the demolished houses. They lost all they had,” he said. “Measures are being taken to provide the victims with basic necessities, including food.”
He said some of the victims have taken refuge from their relatives while others have been accommodated in public schools.
Erasto Sima, the Bukoba district commissioner, identified the Rwamishenye Kashai ward as the most affected area.
The district authorities are still assessing the number of households affected by the heavy rains and the destruction caused to property, including houses and farm crops.
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