Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, November 2, 2023.
Tanzania’s women entrepreneurs seek alternatives from Predatory ‘blood-sucking’ loans
Women entrepreneurs across Tanzania continue to explore alternative lending schemes as they report distress and dissatisfaction from the predatory and ‘blood-sucking’ loans that do them more harm than good.
A recent survey by this publication in major cities across the country revealed that most women entrepreneurs rely on self-help groups operating as Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) and michezo, or games, where participants contribute and rotate funds to raise capital for their small businesses.
The survey’s results coincide with those of the latest Finscope study, indicating that a majority of Tanzanians access loans from individuals (67 per cent), followed by savings groups (17 per cent), mobile money (six per cent), microfinance institutions (four per cent), banks (three per cent), employers (three per cent), and other sources (three per cent).
Both findings – from the Finscope study and The Chanzo’s random survey – show that most financing occurs within the informal sector rather than through official channels. Women entrepreneurs shirk banks and other formal financial institutions as their terms and conditions make many women unqualified for their loans.
Full story here.
Mr Steinmeier, thanks for your apology. Now, let’s talk about reparations
While Mr Steinmeier’s apology seemed sincere and heartwarming, it fell short of addressing the elephant in the room: reparations for the descendants of the victims of the Maji Maji War.
I understand the president’s hesitation, given that Germany and Namibia signed a Reconciliation Agreement in 2015 acknowledging Germany’s responsibility for the Namibian genocide of 1904-1908 and agreeing to pay EUR1 billion over 30 years.
While I did not expect President Steinmeier to offer a specific figure for reparations during this trip, I did expect him to state publicly that reparations were on the table.
I understand that the German government is hesitant to open a Pandora’s box and set a precedent that could lead to demands from other countries. However, I believe that a viable arrangement can be reached that avoids the word ‘reparations’ so as not to create any legal precedent.
Full analysis here.
EAC, Tanzania to partner in advancing competition policy, law
The East African Community Competition Authority (the EACCA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tanzania’s Fair Competition Commission (FCC) aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two authorities in the advancement of competition policy and law in the East African Community (EAC).
The MoU, signed in Arusha, will ensure that the implementation of EACCA and FCC mandates and activities enhance regional integration and facilitate cross-border trade. The MoU sets out modalities through which the two institutions will cooperate and coordinate their activities in regard to cross-border competition and consumer protection matters in the region.
In addition, the MoU facilitates information sharing, particularly during joint investigations, which shall be prioritised so as to safeguard the competition process and protect consumers in the region while respecting each other respective laws and policies.
Further, the MoU provides for cooperation and coordination in carrying out market inquiries and studies and a platform to pursue technical assistance and capacity building, including staff training.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the EACCA Registrar, Lilian Mukoronia, said in order to support the regional EAC strategy of developing a vibrant, competitive Common Market that works for all citizens of East Africa, it is important for EACCA to work with FCC in regulating competition to enhance intra-regional trade and foster sustainable economic growth in the region.
“Today, while respecting our jurisdictional independence, our two institutions are committing to collaborate in effectively implementing the East African Community Competition Act, 2006, which is aligned to the objectives of the EAC Customs Union and Common Market Protocols, through which among others, protect market participants from anti-competitive business practices,” a statement quoted Ms Mukoronia saying.
“With the signing of the MoU, we look forward to engaging in more comprehensive, profound and fruitful exchanges and collaboration with our counterpart,” she added.
On his part, William Erio, the Director General of the FCC, said Tanzania and the EAC share an unbreakable bond that stems from the same common roots, culture and economic inter-connectedness.
“I commit FCC’s determination to work hand in hand with the EACCA to bring to life the cooperation initiatives outlined in the MoU, which will help bring ample development opportunities for businesses in Tanzania and the region, foster their innovations, and propel them to the forefront of the global market,” said Erio.
Under the MoU, the two institutions have set up a working group tasked with implementing the prioritised activities through annual work plans. The two Institutions have committed to, among other things, review various complementary regulations and guidelines to ensure they are fit for implementation.
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