Posts tagged as: development

IMF Leader Touts for More Stable Tax Regime

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang has hailed Tanzania for managing to boost tax collection to finance infrastructure development but cautioned the country needs a more stable tax regime to remain an attractive investment destination.

The visiting IMF leader said it was vital to mobilise more private and public resources by strengthening tax collection but unpredictability of tax regime remained a challenge as the country strive to develop an industrial economy as envisaged in the second Five-Year Development Plan.

“So it is crucial to mobilise more private and public resources within Tanzania, especially by strengthening tax collection under a fair and predictable tax regime. This is an area where Tanzania has fallen behind its neighbours,” he said at a public lecture he gave in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

He described Tanzania as a strong performer in terms of economic growth and macroeconomic stability but argued the country needed to strengthen the role of private sector to sustain its impressive growth which has remained strong for over two decades.

He said the second Five-Year Development Plan would succeed if Tanzania would make optimal use of its comparative advantages, particularly the potential from agricultural and mining and possibilities of becoming a trading and logistic hub for East Africa.

Tanzania should also strengthen the business climate for local and foreign firms to attract investments, he said. The business community have been complaining of an unpredictable and complex taxation system which make doing business in Tanzania much harder and as a result discourage investment.

The government has restated its commitment to work on complaints from investors and business people of nuisance taxes ensure the country’s tax system does not stifle the private sector.

Touring industrial exhibitions at Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) grounds in December last year, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango had urged investors and the business community to forward to his ministry their tax recommendations so that they can be evaluated and incorporated into next year’s financial budget plans.

And speaking at a meeting with members of the private sector under the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) at State House in Dar es Salaam early this month, President John Magufuli said his government was ready to work with the private sector which he described as the engine of the economy.

The meeting washeld in the wake of reports of weakening investor confidence due to concerns about the economy, policy unpredictability and tax crackdown targeting big companies.

Magufuli dispelled sentiments that his government was “anti-business,” saying he was pro-business, but his administration would not tolerate tax dodging, which was rampant in Tanzania in previous years.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

U.S. Embassy Partners With Zanzibar Film Festival

History was made yesterday, with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the US Embassy and the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

The new partnership will manifest itself in this coming July’s 20th episode of the event, in Stone Town, with a week-long cultural exchange programme.

Within this agreement, the US Embassy will bring the American film director, Judd Ehrlich and their film expert, Debra Zimmerman, to conduct workshops during the festival.

“These workshops, which we’re looking forward to doing, will focus on promoting and training for documentary film making, marketing and distribution. For the first time ever, we’re going to have a workshop dedicated specifically to women and that is women who make movies here,” The Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires, Virginia Blaser, said on the occasion.

She also mentioned that within the partnership it has been scheduled for the screening of “Keepers of the Game,” which has been directed by Eh rlich. This film follows a team of indigenous American girls, as they seek to win a regional championship in the sport of lacrosse, which is traditionally reserved for men and boys.

Through this partnership, Ehrlich and Zimmerman will be working directly with emerging Zanzibari filmmakers, throughout this edition.

The two visitors will also be conducting a series of workshops on documentary filmmaking, together with marketing and distribution of films. Added to this they will be holding workshops specifically for women in the film industry.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

By Bernard Lugongo

Dodoma — The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the country’s industrialisation drive further.

The ministry, yesterday, asked Parliament to endorse a proposed budget of 122 billion/- for the next financial year, out of which 80bn/- will be set for development projects and the remaining 42bn/- for recurrent budget. In the current financial year, the development budget stands at 40bn/- and 41.8bn/- was for recurrent budget.

Comparatively, the recurrent budget for 2016/17 and that of 2017/18 has remained almost the same with a slight increase of 0.2bn/- , but there was a significant increase of 40bn/- in development funding.

When tabling the budget, the Minister for the docket, Mr Charles Mwijage, pointed out that the budget allocation indicates the government’s commitment to realise industrialisation vision come 2025.

Some of the development projects to be undertaken during the coming year as endeavours to build an industrial-economy base, establishment of special economic zones, developing the industrial area in Kibaha (TAMCO), developing researches for the development of industries, and to increase capital in the National Entrepreneurship Development Fund (NEDF).

He said that 200m/- from the development budget will be spent for developing flagship projects, such as in coordinating and monitoring works for the Liganga and Mchuchuma coal projects in Njombe Region.

Furthermore, about 2bn/-, equivalent to 2.8 per cent, of the development budget, will be used for financing building of a base of industrial economy, including Soda Ash project at Engaruka Valley and revival of General Tyres industry in Arusha.

Giving statistics of the industries established so far, Mr Mwijage said the country has 49,243 factories whereby 85 per cent of them are very small industries, small industries account for 14 per cent, middle industries (0.35 per cent) and big factories (0.5 percent).

“These figures give a picture that industrial development in Tanzania, like it is the case in other countries, comes as a result of putting more strength on small and very small industries as well as middle -level factories,” he argued.

Since the Fifth Phase Government took power, over 390 big industries worth 5tri/- were registered by last March and are expected to provide at least 38,862 job opportunities to Tanzanians.

These industries are at different stages of implementation, while some of them are at the final stages, ready for production. The Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment asked for timely disbursement of funds to the ministry so that it could undertake development projects within the planned timeframe.

Meanwhile, the Committee appealed to the government to lift the ban on coal importation into the country.

The Committee Chairperson, Mr Stanslaus Nyongo (Maswa East-CCM), told Parliament that the current local production of coal does not meet the required demand, especially that of cement manufacturers.

According to Mr Nyongo, as the government gears up to boost local production of coal by attracting major investments in the area, it should allow manufacturers to import the commodity. “Apart from low production of coal, manufacturers are facing a major challenge in transporting the commodity from Ruvuma to their plants.

The roads around the coal mine areas are in bad state and are impassable during rainy season. The nearby railway line can’t handle heavy load. Currently, coal amounts to 70 per cent of entire production cost of cement,” he said.

When contributing to the proposed budget, some MPs expressed anger over privatised industries whose owners have failed to develop them and as a result they collapsed.

The Mtama lawmaker, Mr Nape Nnauye (CCM), and Special Seats MP Mwanne Mchemba (CCM) unanimously proposed that the government should immediately repossess those collapsed industries from investors and give them to others.

Dar es Salaam, Arusha Rule the Roost As Fakes Rock Insurance Sector

By Hazla Omar

Arusha — Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the country’s two cities reported to be notorious in having the highest number of vehicles with counterfeit insurance cover stickers glued on their windscreens.

A statement from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) explains that more than 10 per cent of all vehicles cruising on the country’s roads and landscape do not have genuine insurance covers, but cleverly faked replicas, which is against traffic regulations and national laws.

TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware stated in the statement that the influx of forged protection comes from a network of racketeers including underwriters of local insurance firms.

“Usually, motorists and car owners collude with officers of insurance firms so that they can be given cheap faked stickers or use single cover for multiple vehicles, sometimes motorcycle insurance is used on motor vehicles and even stickers for small private cars are glued onto heavy commercial vehicles,” pointed Dr Saqware.

With the number of active motor vehicles being estimated to be around 400,000, it seems more than 40,000 cars are running around full of risk, without the necessary or valid insurance covers, in the wake of myriad road accidents.

According to the recent World Bank (WB) Collection of Development Indicators, the number of car distribution in Tanzania places the country at seven cars per every 1,000 people and at the estimated population of 50 million residents; the number of vehicles should be around 400,000.

Dar es Salaam Region, with around 120,000 vehicles roaming the city, accounts for 30 per cent of the country’s total number of cars but also leads in having the highest number of fake insurance stickers followed by Arusha, according to TIRA.

To serve the vehicles, there are 31 insurance companies in Tanzania, and between them, over 100 brokers and 500 agents. The national coffers reportedly collect more than 700 billion/- revenue from insurance firms every year, despite the lost returns from fake vehicle covers.

TIRA, other than conducting thorough inspection of motor vehicles here, was on the other hand launching their new digital portal known as Motors Insurance Stickers (MIS) mobile application or ‘TIRA-MIS’ which has been hatched to manage motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes and therefore solve the influx of fake covers.

According to Mr Eliezer Rweikiza, the TIRA Northern Zone Manager, local insurers, brokers and agents will be able to use this portal to complete and submit relevant information regarding motor insurance stickers and their affiliated cover note, issued at a particular time on-line.

Mr Aaron Mlaki, the Manager in-charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for TIRA, said that all vehicle owners and motorists will be able to verify details right from the palms of their hands.

Using the ‘TIRA-MIS’ portal, all stakeholders are able to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line by clicking the link ‘Validate Motor Insurance Sticker’ or sending a short message to 15200 with a word STICKER followed by the respective ‘Motor Insurance Sticker Number.’

The verification can also be done online upon signing onto the MIS-TIRA website at this link ‘mis.tira.go.tz’ and following instructions.

Ghana: Fishermen Apologize to Minister

press release

The Greater Accra branch of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council has apologized to the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the behavior shown by their fellow fishermen during the inauguration of the Fisheries Watch Volunteers at Ada.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, yesterday, the Secretary of the Council, Nene Tetteh Siaw IV of New Ningo, described as appalling the attitude portrayed by some fisher folks at the event, adding that they could have used a different medium to address their displeasure.

A statement read by Nene Siaw indicated that the fishing sector employed over 2.7million people who represented 10 per cent of the country’s population and that it was worrying that some fishing activities posed danger to the sea.

It observed that some fishermen used light, DDT and carbide as bait to catch fish from the sea, a situation, he said, had led to long hours as well as many days to get the current low catch.

According to the statement, the Council, over the years, had collaborated with Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission to come up with policies and strategies that would engender responsible and sustainable fishing practices and commended the Ministry for their continuous support.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council for Greater Accra, Nii Akpo Djamlodja VI, disclosed that the Council employed Ghanaians to report fishermen who sold fishes that were caught with light or chemicals to help stop such menace.

Nii Djamlodja, therefore, urged the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to intensify patrol operations and seize canoes used for light fishing.

Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo & Aliyah Bayali)

Ghana

New Task Force to Inspect Fishing Vessels Launched

An eight-member Task Force that will enforce fisheries law and regulations has been inaugurated in Accra. Read more »

Let’s Pursue Dodoma Dream Quest Seriously

editorial

A couple of years ago, a young, foreign schoolgirl fascinated many people – via a video clip – by the speed and accuracy at which she mentioned the capital cities of all African countries.

Cynics may dismiss that as pointless, arguing that she had merely crammed the names, and that, therefore, she didn’t deserve any credit. Semantics aside, though, the girl’s response to what the capital city of Tanzania was, is, important.

She cited Dar es Salaam and Dodoma as a two-in-one answer. That set-up is most probably intriguing for many foreigners, who may be wondering why a country should have two capital cities.

Included in the group may be some who may merely shrug off the entire thing and say that it is none of their business but exclusively of Tanzanians themselves.

They certainly would have a point, against which backdrop we should ponder President John Magufuli’s dissolution of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Monday. Some compatriots may be as curious as some foreigners, over the rationale behind Tanzania having two geographical power centres.

They would similarly have a point, and a very big, may be, gigantic one.

For them, foreign and short-term visitors, plus longer-term residents on tourism, business, and other engagements, Dar es Salaam and Dodoma’s shared ‘capital city’ status is confusing, and even hilarious. Pinning the ‘political capital’ and ‘commercial capital’ on Dodoma and Dar es Salaam, respectively, hasn’t been very helpful.

For, the labels notwithstanding, Dar es Salaam is literally running the show either way, as it hosts the Executive and Judicial branches of the State.

But even on the legislative front, Dodoma does, for most part, spring into beehive-like life during parliamentary sessions, commemorative events like the latest Union Day on April 26, and high-level meetings of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi. What’s more,Dodoma – whose choice as the presumed future capital city was largely influenced by its geographical centrality is overwhelmingly overshadowed by Arusha and Mwanza cities.

Very little headway has been made to transform Dodoma as the country’s nucleus, largely because CDA’s performance over the past 44 years has been below par. For the sake of fairness, though, the successive management teams of the Authority haven’t been wholly to blame.

Some of its problems have stemmed, for instance, from structural arrangements that bred overlaps. Remedial measures have been set in motion, the most significant, so far, being transferring hitherto CDA activities to the Dodoma Municipal Council.

We earnestly hope that, it will discharge its responsibilities to the best of its abilities, and avoid the all-too-familiar pattern of slipping into lethargy after a few months or years of enthusiasm. Tanzanians are anxious that the long-elusive Dodoma dream comes true– and fast !

Who Is to Blame for Underage Drinking?

opinionBy David Talima

In 2014, the Straight Talk Foundation carried out a baseline survey in four districts focusing on underage drinking.

The survey, carried out in the four districts of Adjumani, Soroti, Nwoya and Kitgum revealed that four per cent of parents interviewed consumed alcohol in their homes.

In Uganda today, it is illegal to sell alcohol to children and persons under the age of 18. However, it is common practice for parents to send their children to the local pub to buy them alcoholic beverages and bartenders and shopkeepers also sell the alcoholic beverages to the children without question.

Where then do you draw the line between a child that is buying alcohol for their parents and one that has moved on to purchasing it for themselves? Those on social media have been exposed to horrifying images of adults giving alcohol to their children and even to toddlers.

Further, the Straight Talk Foundation survey revealed that a good number of teachers in the mentioned areas teach while under the influence of alcohol. School-going children spend most of their time at school with peers and under the guardianship of their teachers.

As influential figures in society, what kind of example are these teachers setting for the learners if they are openly abusing alcohol?

Another study, done in March and April of 2014 in select slums around Kampala, by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL), found that 46 per cent of the youth aged between 12 and 18 take alcohol.

Among the adverse effects that this study unearthed was that alcohol consumption among the underage led to a rise in school dropouts, health problems and worse, in many cases, engaging in sexual behavior.

It is very easy to blame alcohol beverage companies for underage drinking or blame it on adolescence and unruly teenagers, but when you look back, the adults closest to these teenagers have played a huge part in shaping the perceptions of these children about alcohol and in initiating the children into alcohol consumption at an early age.

In more advanced economies, the age limit for alcohol is strictly adhered to with all bars and stores requiring identification (to ascertain age) before they serve customers suspected to be under the legal purchasing age.

Now, with national identity cards available in Uganda, it is imperative that an ID check is strictly observed, especially for consumers that look suspiciously underage.

We have seen self-regulation of alcoholic beverage companies like Uganda Breweries Limited in terms of not placing advertising content during family shows, not advertising on radio until late in the evening and actively advocating zero tolerance to underage drinking.

These need to work hand-in-hand with deliberate actions starting at home in the family unit and community level to reduce exposure of their children to alcohol .

So, while both government, from legislation and enforcement perspectives, and the alcohol companies have their responsibilities to play in terms of minimizing exposure and access of underage children to alcohol, parents, teachers and guardians play a bigger role in ensuring they are the first gatekeepers between their children and alcohol.

The author is the director of programs at Straight Talk Foundation Uganda.

Zimbabwe: ‘Livestock Population Declines’

By Abigail Mawonde

The livestock population has fallen by nearly 40 000 beasts since last year, the Department of Livestock Production and Veterinary Services has said. Addressing delegates attending a workshop on livestock production organised by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, the department’s principal livestock officer Mr Passmore Nyamadzawo emphasised the need for restocking to ensure food security as spelt out in the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster of Zim-Asset.

The workshop brought together stakeholders in livestock production and was the first of its kind.

“The unpredictable weather patterns being experienced in the region leave livestock as the way to go due to its resilience and potential for growth,” he said. “However, there are numerous challenges and opportunities in the development of the livestock sector in Zimbabwe.”

Mr Nyamadzawo said there was need to take livestock farming as a business. “There is, therefore, a need to have a shift of mind in the way the livestock industry is operating,” he said. “The thrust of Food Security and Nutrition cluster is to create a self-sufficient and food surplus economy and see Zimbabwe re-emerge as the bread basket of Southern Africa.”

Added Mr Nyamadzawo: “Cattle population decreased marginally by 0.69 percent from 5 528 242 in 2016 to 5 489 720 in 2017.

“The national herd building exercise will enable families to increase household food, income and nutrition security through commercialisation of an integrated and sustainable smallholder livestock sector as enunciated by Zim-Asset.”

Mr Nyamadzawo said livestock, particularly cattle, were an integral part of the smallholder farming system in Zimbabwe and were important for provision of cash, draught power, meat, manure and milk. He said although livestock production was central to smallholder farmers’ activities, most of the communal herd was now comprised of small cattle breeds with low weights.

Zimbabwe

Work on Robert Mugabe University Begins

The government has begun the process of setting up the Robert Mugabe University with the University of Zimbabwe expected… Read more »

Bank of Kigali’s Interest-Free Credit Scheme to Benefit Eight Businesses

By Julius Bizimungu

Eight businesses are set to benefit from Bank of Kigali’s ‘Urumuri Initiative,’ designed to facilitate select entrepreneurs to access interest-free credit to help them grow their businesses.

This was announced, yesterday, in Remera, Kigali, where the bank started a mentorship training that will see selected 50 individuals or group entrepreneurs equipped with business skills for seven months.

BK announced the Rwf60-million interest-free loan in partnership with Inkomoko Business Development as part of the bank’s plan to continue supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem as it celebrates 50 years of service.

“We are marking 50 years of serving Rwandans. We looked at what else we can do to continue contributing to the sustainable development, and so we came up with this Urumuri Initiative to facilitate the entrepreneurs to access credit,” Dr Diane Karusisi, the chief executive, said.

Karusisi added that throughout the period of training, they hope entrepreneurs will be able to understand the principles of business, business management, accounting, financing, and market.

Many banks are reluctant to consider giving start-up loans because they don’t have track records or credit records. Also, some individuals are at times scared of using loans in starting businesses since this seems a risky decision.

“Entrepreneurs say starting a business or even expanding one with a loan is risky. But this is because most upcoming businesses don’t have efficient skills. We hope that we will be able to learn more about how to generate income so that we can be able to pay back,” said Jean Baptiste Nyabyenda, the head of Yeejo, an online storytelling platform.

Assoumpta Uwamariya, an entreprenuer, said she would use the money to expand her beetroot wine production business.

“I started small with only Rwf20,000 from personal investments, but today I’m doing quite good. Getting an interest-free loan would help me set up a small factory,” she said.

For Karusisi, banking with these businesses will enable them keep their track records but also use it as a way to ensure they pay back the money.

She said BK will be giving the select businesses advisory services on how to generate more income.

Julienne Oyler, the chief executive of Inkomoko, said more than 350 applications were received and only 50 businesses were selected after three rounds of vetting to come up with the finalists who will have a chance to access the mentorship training.

Oyler said 29 businesses are technology-based, 11 in agro-processing, and the rest are from other sectors.

At least 28 people have existing businesses, while 22 have new ideas.

Cooperatives Urged to Enhance Service Delivery

Members of cooperatives have been urged to improve service delivery to meet the target of improving lives.

The call was made Monday during the launch of the seventh week of Nkuwikorera, a Rwanda Governance Board campaign aimed at improving service delivery in all sectors.

The launch took place at Kigali Regional Stadium, Nyamirambo Sector, Nyarugenge District.

This week will be focusing on improving governance and management of cooperatives.

Activities will be dedicated to addressing challenges facing cooperatives, most of which are caused by poor management.

The function brought together public officials and members of cooperatives in Kigali, who had the opportunity to raise different concerns they face.

There are 350 cooperatives in Nyarugenge District with more than 12,000 members involved in services, trading, agriculture, technology, transport, and manufacturing, among other sectors.

Nyarugenge Mayor Kayisime Nzaramba commended members of cooperatives for their commitment to overcome poverty through working together and urged them to improve services.

“Working in isolation cannot take us anywhere. It’s good to work together but it’s better to work efficiently because good service delivery is the backbone of our development,” she said.

Mayor Kayisime cited monitoring, sharing of information and capacity building of members as a mechanism to improve services in cooperatives.

Cooperatives are credited with not only improving livelihoods but also playing a big role in reconciliation. However, poor management still hinders their progress.

Members of cooperatives appealed for support from the Government in punishing those who embezzle their funds.

Deogratias Bizimana, who represented Rwanda Cooperative Agency, said inept leadership remains the main hurdle to the progress of cooperatives.

“Cooperatives are the key to poverty eradication and national development, yet there are still poor services, which hamper progress. Cooperatives should employ educated accountants, external auditors as well as increase trainings to overhaul their operations,” he said.

Dr Félicien Usengumukiza, head of research, governance and monitoring at Rwanda Governance Board, reiterated that improving service delivery in cooperatives is the key to their success.

“Delivering efficient services requires no money, but change of mindset. Many problems in cooperatives are induced by bad leadership and we hope to solve many of them throughout this week,” he said.

A similar launch took place in other districts countrywide.

There are over 8,000 cooperatives in the country with the capital of Rwf38 billion.

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