The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – November 20, 2023

In our briefing today: Meet brave Zanzibari men and women taking on child sex trafficking: ‘We’ve got children too’; China dominated FDI in Tanzania with USD 614 million in investment between July and September 2023; Tanzanian held hostage by Hamas has died, govt confirms; People driving in V8s have no authority advising Tanzanians on balanced diets.

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

Meet brave Zanzibari men and women taking on child sex trafficking: ‘We’ve got children too’

Beneath pristine beaches, cute stray cats, a customers-filled pizzeria, and daring sports beautifying the coveted Forodhani Garden, mesmerising and dumbfounding its visitors, lies a secretive criminal ring that lures unsuspecting and runaway boys under the age of eighteen and forces them into prostitution.

It is a well-connected network involving multiple actors, including recruiters, agents, sellers and buyers. It targets vulnerable boys who spend their day and night at Forodhani, located inside Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, who find refuge there after quarrelling with their parents, oblivious of the risks they run into.

The Chanzo investigation, which involved discussions with victims, their parents and volunteers working to disrupt the criminal ring, revealed that recruiters present themselves to the boys in the dead of night as Good Samaritans, welcoming their soon-to-be prey to their homes, promising them food and shelter.

Full story here.

China dominated FDI in Tanzania with USD 614 million in investment between July and September 2023

The latest report from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) shows that China has dominated foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tanzania, contributing USD 614 million between July 2023 and September 2023. Following China, Singapore invested USD 138.9 million, Germany invested USD 118.6 million, India invested USD 42.29 million, and Mauritius invested USD 24.83 million.

One of the notable Chinese investments during this period was the Sapphire Float Glass (Tanzania) Company Limited, with an ambitious investment of USD 310 million. Covering 169 hectares, it stands as the largest glass production facility in Eastern and Central Africa. The factory is anticipated to generate an annual direct tax revenue of Sh. 42.7 billion and has already employed 750 people.

In total, Tanzania registered 137 projects between July and September 2023, marking a 67 percent increase compared to the same period last year, which recorded only 82 projects. The capital invested in these projects amounted to USD 2.06 billion, representing a decrease from the USD 2.41 billion recorded last year.

The sectors that attracted the most investment were manufacturing (58 projects), followed by transportation (24 projects), commercial building (17 projects), agriculture (15 projects), and tourism (14 projects).

Dar es Salaam saw the highest number of registered projects (54 projects) valued at USD 486 million, while the Coast region registered 20 projects valued at USD 499.27 million.

Tanzanian held hostage by Hamas has died, govt confirms

Tanzania announced Friday that its citizen held by the militant group Hamas in occupied Palestine has died, describing the news as “deeply saddening.”

Clemence Felix Mtenga was one of the two Tanzanian nationals who were among several people taken hostage by Hamas during its October 7, 2023, attack, which killed around 1,200 people.

Mtenga and his compatriot Joshua Loitu Mollel were in Israel as a part of an agricultural internship program. 

The two were part of a group of 260 Tanzanians who were in Israel to attend practical training on modern agriculture under the Tanzania-Israel cooperation framework.

Full story here.

People driving in V8s have no authority advising Tanzanians on balanced diets

My memories were pricked when reading about the ‘well-meaning’ advice that the government has thoughtfully prepared for us. Of course, such advice is relevant for those who have the means to choose. 

Yes, I can choose a mango over a beer. Many irresponsible people damage their health because of poor nutrition choices. But telling everyone they should eat more fruits and vegetables without considering their conditions takes us back to the Corrie poem.

When the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, in collaboration with UNICEF, began a big drive to reduce malnutrition in the 1980s, they did not only talk about eating more and better. They recognised that malnutrition was a manifestation of a deeper problem.

Full analysis here.

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