Posts tagged as: energy

Sending Money to Tanzania From UK ‘Most Costly in East Africa’

Photo: Vice-President’s Office/The Citizen

Delegates listen to Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa Conference in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam — Sending money to Tanzania is the most expensive in the Eastern and Southern Africa, a London based consultancy organisation, Developing Markets Associates (DMA) June global report shows.

According to new analysis which was presented by Mobile 360 conference in the city, the average cost of sending £120 from the UK to Tanzania is 14 per cent, the highest average cost in the region.

This is when contrasted to other countries in the region like Ethiopia (13 per cent), Zambia (13 per cent), Rwanda (13 per cent), Mozambique (12 per cent), Uganda (9 per cent), and Kenya and Zimbabwe with seven per cent rate have the lowest cost.

The event, hosted by GSMA, who represent 800 mobile network operators across the world, was set to show evidence as to why Tanzania has the highest cost of sending money from the Diaspora.

“More than £44 million is sent each year by more than 38,500 Tanzanians living in the UK. But the cost of sending money is twice as much as sending to neighbouring Kenya or Zimbabwe,” reads part of the report.

The analysis shows that the average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 10 per cent, compared to the global average of just over seven per cent. Yet the UN Sustainable Development Goals say that by 2030 the global average price for remittances should not exceed three per cent of face value, with even the most expensive countries not being more than five per cent.

The report urges international development donors to support a pilot project to enable UK based remittance service providers to access Southern Africa through Sadc’s integrated regional electronic settlement system, through which 95 banks serve 11 countries.

Mr Leon Isaacs, CEO of DMA, was quoted as saying that: “Sending money home is very expensive compared to the relatively low incomes of migrant workers and the small amounts they typically send.

“The real challenges contributing to higher costs of sending money from the UK to Africa are not fixable by new technologies alone. Instead, we need to be focusing on scaling existing technology, creating the regulatory environments for those technologies and on changing consumer behaviour to send money digitally from ‘end-to-end,” he argued.

“It’s more expensive to send money to Africa than elsewhere. But it doesn’t have to be like that. The way we stay in touch, do our shopping, and even find love, have all gone digital. Yet, for the vast majority of people sending money home, they are still doing it the way they have always done it: in cash,” said Juliet Munro, director of Inclusive Finance in a quoted statement at FSD Africa.

Tanzania

Airtel’s Initial Offering Pegged At U.S.$1,1 Million

Airtel Tanzania is expected to raise about Sh25 billion through its planned initial public offering (IPO), The Citizen… Read more »

Mother in Custody Over the Death of Her Son

By Beldina Nyakeke

Musoma — Police in Musoma are holding a woman with connection to the killing of her son.

Mara regional police commander Mr Mohamed Jaffari said the 22 year old women who is a resident of Rwamlimi street (name withheld), allegedly committed the crime on June 28.

He went on by saying that after one day the child died in undefined circumstances the situation that forced the neighbors to become suspicious, that the death of the child was caused by the punishment from his own mother.

Commander Jafari added that the neighbors then reported the incident to police, linking the mother with the death of her son. Thus led to her arrest her and holding her for some days while the police exams the source of the death.

“The body of the deceased child is being preserved at Mara regional government hospital for medical examinations, so that we can prove without a doubt what the cause of the death of that child was,” he explained.

Speaking to The Citizen on the condition of anonymity some neighbors said that the death of the child was caused by his own mother, as she caned him so much the circumstance led to the death of the child as he cried nonstop until he died.

They said that it was not true that the child died after one day, but he died a few hours after the punishment. Therefore alleging that the mothers source of the punishment, was that the child without being canned he would not eat the food that his mother prepared for dinner.

He said that since the child died at undefined circumstances they decided to report the incident at the police post so that thorough examination can be conducted, there after measures to be taken upon the mother to find the source of the death of her son.

Tanzania

Embattled Miner Acacia Serves Govt With Notice of Arbitration

ACACIA Mining has now served the government with notices of arbitration on their lingering dispute over the export of… Read more »

Digital Money Accounts Boost Diaspora Remittances

Photo: Daily News

Worldremit mobile money platform.

By Masembe Tambwe

Tanzanians living in the Diaspora have hit a milestone of 10,000 unique monthly transactions using WorldRemit, a digital money transfer service.

In an exclusive communication via email, the WorldRemit founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ismail Ahmed said that there has been a 150 per cent year on year growth in Tanzania last year, driven primarily by the rapid expansion of mobile money accounts as the preferred receive method.

“Our Mobile Money partnerships combined with existing services for bank deposits and cash pick-up will give more choice to Tanzanians, further supporting the transition from costly offline remittances via high street agents to faster, cheaper and safer online transfer methods,” Mr Ahmed said.

Remittances play an important role in the economy of Tanzania where in 2015 the country received a total of 390 million US dollars according to the World Bank, almost ten times the amount received in 2010.

WorldRemit customers can send money to Tanzania via Mobile Money to TigoPesa, Vodacom M-Pesa and Zantel EzyPesa Mobile Money accounts, as well as bank deposit and cash pick up.

The money transfer service early this week added Android Pay to its service, offering a new way for WorldRemit’s Android Pay users to send money internationally and reach millions using mobile money accounts.

Pioneering a mobile-first approach to the $600bn a year remittance industry, the move sees WorldRemit bringing together the leading players in mobile payments from Silicon Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launching the global rollout of the service at MoneyConf 2017, WorldRemit will enable Android Pay users to safely and securely send money to +112 million mobile money accounts accessible via its network.

The integration will make WorldRemit the only remittance provider offering international payments through Android Pay around the globe. By connecting directly with Android Pay, WorldRemit customers can transfer money instantly across continents in just five taps – without entering credit card or 3DS details.

Tanzania

335 Tax Defaulters’ Properties to be Auctioned

Tanesco is among the 335 companies and individuals, whose properties will be auctioned in July at the Dar es Salaam… Read more »

Public Debt Crosses Sh4 Trillion Mark As State Eyes More Loans

By Brian Ngugi

Kenya’s public debt crossed the Sh4 trillion mark at the end of March this year, reflecting the Jubilee government’s sharp appetite for loans.

This has raised fears of the country’s future ability to repay the mounting credit.

The latest Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review report released Wednesday by the Treasury shows that total public debt has now risen to an equivalent of more than half (52.6 per cent) of the gross domestic product (GDP), on the back of massive increase in borrowing since the Jubilee administration took power four years ago.

The public debt comprises 51.9 per cent foreign and 48.1 per cent domestic loans.

“The gross public debt increased by Sh782.3 billion from Sh3.26 billion as at the end of March 2016 to Sh4.04 trillion, equivalent to 52.6 per cent of GDP by March 31, 2017,” says Treasury in the report tabled in Parliament.

“The overall increase is attributed to increased external debt due to exchange rate fluctuations, disbursements from external loans and more uptake of domestic debt during the period.” The rate of increase in the debt load, however, does not correspond with growth in revenue generation, indicating the widening gap and mounting pressure on government’s capacity to repay loans.

The ability to generate and grow tax revenue is a strong indicator of future ability to repay debt.

The Treasury report shows that the government’s cumulative revenue collection for the period July last year to March this year amounted to Sh984.6 billion against a target of Sh1.05 trillion.

“This represented an under-performance of Sh65.9 billion mainly due to shortfalls in income tax, (fees, charges and court fines) collection, Investment Income and Imports Declaration Fee (IDF),” says Treasury in its documents.

The total external debt stock including the international sovereign bond stood at Sh2.1 trillion at the period ending March 2017.

The debt stock comprised multilateral debt at 38.4 per cent, bilateral debt at 32.8 per cent, commercial banks debt at 28.3 per cent including international sovereign bond and suppliers’ credit debt at 0.5 per cent.

Corresponding to the rising debt load, foreign interest payments rose to Sh38.2 billion in the period compared to Sh26 billion in the same period of the 2015/16 financial year. On the other hand interest payments on domestic debt totaled Sh145.8 billion, which was higher than the Sh122.6 billion paid in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

According to the budgetary review, Kenya’s loan repayment to China stood at Sh18 billion over the period representing over half of the total bilateral loans (Sh32.8 billion) highlighting the country’s growing appetite for Chinese loans.

Kenya this week committed to borrowing additional billions of shillings to finance the ongoing construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) line indicating that the borrowings could soon take the debt load past 60 per cent of GDP level.

On Monday the government announced it is seeking an additional Sh370 billion ($3.59 billion) Chinese loan to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu, pushing the construction cost to Sh847 billion.

The country has in the past four years borrowed billions of shillings to finance power generation and road construction projects.

In addition to Sh327 billion spent on the first phase between Mombasa and Nairobi and Sh150 billion that the emerging Asian economy extended recently for the Nairobi-Naivasha section, the Chinese will have pumped a total of Sh847 billion in the venture.

This excludes interest on the loans that would push the overall cost beyond Sh1 trillion.

Hawkers Threaten to Return to Nakuru Town Streets

By Magdalene Wanja And Reitz Mureithi

Tension is rising in Nakuru town after hawkers threatened to return to the streets.

Residents woke up to a dramatic scenes on Wednesday morning after the hawkers demarcated parking lots along the town’s Kenyatta Avenue, Gusii and Neru Pundit roads, with some writing their names on the tarmac using white chalk.

The hawkers then put pieces of sack on the sections they had demarcated to show seriousness of their intentions.

It was not clear who could be behind the looming return of the hawkers who were driven out of the streets by the county government two years ago.

But the business community in the town suspect a political hand could be behind the turn of events, given that their eviction had been politicised.

CAUGHT UNAWARES

Shop owners in town were caught unawares by the Wednesday morning scenes. Shocked and confused, they stood outside their shops in small groups conversing in low tones.

The battle between the hawkers and the county government has quietly been simmering since January 2015 when they were forcefully evicted from Nakuru Central Business District following a directive issued by Governor Kinuthia Mbugua.

According to the governor, the hawkers’ presence on Nakuru streets created disorder, making it difficult for visitors to navigate their way around the town.

The hawkers were then moved to the bus terminus area where stalls were hurriedly erected and allocated to individuals.

Traders in food produce were taken to the town’s Wakulima market where a temporary structure was established to accommodate them.

CAMPAIGN AGENDA

The hawkers’ eviction quickly formed a campaign agenda for candidates who were seeking various elective posts in the August 8 polls.

Depending on whether one was for or against the eviction of hawkers, two teams were formed.

The opposing team was led by Nakuru East MP David Gikaria and backed by his Nakuru West counterpart Mr Samuel Arama.

Governor Mbugua took reigns of the proposers’ team and was publicly supported by Biashara Ward representative Stephen Kuria.

As news came in on April 27 that Mr Mbugua had lost the Jubilee nomination to Mr Lee Kinyanjui, residents quickly concluded that it was the eviction episode that prematurely killed his political dream.

ANTICIPATED DEFEAT

Vendors in Wakulima and Nacha markets said they had anticipated the defeat as they had vowed to send the governor home.

However, during his campaigns Mr Kinyanjui went on record saying his administration would look into the plight of the hawkers.

During the just concluded Jubilee Party primaries, leaflets warning business owners against nominating Mr Lee Kinyanjui because he ‘intended’ to bring back the hawkers to the streets, were circulated in the town a day before the nominations.

Mr Kinyanjui dismissed the claims terming them as “kicks of a dying horse”.

He said he said he has never made any promises to return the hawkers back to the streets despite being against their forceful eviction.

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Photo: Daily News

Capital Development Authority building.

By Alvar Mwakyusa

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), stressing that the purpose for its establishment in 1973 had long gone.

“CDA was formed to serve its purpose at that time. Things have changed and we need to move with time. Its dissolution is a significant step towards development,” the senior citizen remarked in response to an inquiry by ‘Daily News’ on the disbandment.

Mr Msekwa hailed President John Magufuli for the bold move to disband the authority, remarking further that; “every generation must write its own book.”

In a previous interview with this paper last year, the former Speaker revealed how he and other leaders at that time played an instrumental role in establishing CDA, to foster the transfer of the capital city from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

“I remember attending a meeting chaired by the then President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, which agreed on forming an entity that would spearhead the transfer and it came out to be CDA,” he said then, during the interview at his home.

And, in another interview towards the end of last year, former Prime Minister Cleopa Msuya recalled how the government was determined to shift its seat to the central region.

“The late George Kahama was the first Director General of CDA and he is the one who developed the master plan for Dodoma,” the former PM explained.

In a related development, the chair of a taskforce formed by Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Jordan Rugimbana to work on grievances of residents against the now defunct CDA, Mr Aron Kinunda, echoed the views by Mr Msekwa, noting that the objectives for its formation had been met.

“The dissolution of CDA, by President Magufuli, is a good step for the development of Dodoma; it is now apparent that land conflicts arising from differing legislations covering CDA on one hand and Dodoma Municipal Council on the other, will be no more,” he explained.

According to Mr Kinunda, residents in the designated capital received the news with a sigh of relief, since the authority had turned out to be “a menace to the society.”

Tanzania

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the… Read more »

Work, Not Complaints Makes the Perfect Women Police Officer – Vice President Samia

The Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged women police from Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) to participate actively in various operations taking place in the region as an effective measure to curb criminal acts.

Ms Samia threw this challenge in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the inaugural opening of three-day training session for women police from SARPCCO member states.

She further challenged the women police officers to work hard and dedicate their time, a key element in rising through the ranks– as do their male colleagues at their workplaces- stressing that there was “no time to complain” in order to be promoted; instead, the women officers should also “show their ability and skills at their best.”

“Positions do not just come… we show that our women police can earn promotions and leadership positions in the Armed Forces.

“Promotion and high ranks do not come out of the blue … you have to work hard to fulfill that desire in your life,” she said Regarding the performance of women police, Ms Samia has urged them to make use of the three-day summit to discuss in detail how to overcome such challenges that affect their performance.

Expounding, she said if women police stopped pulling each other down and allowed unity and peace to prevail among them, they would accomplish their goals especially in participating actively in the fight against crimes such as drug abuse.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, said he strongly believed that the training would help to significantly improve the performance of women police.

Masauni also encouraged women who receive the training to pass the knowledge gained to their colleagues SARPCCO embraces 15 member countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

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 »

Why Nairobi County Budget Is in Limbo

By Lillian Mutavi

Nairobi County Assembly has ordered the republishing of the county’s Appropriation Bill, 2017 which could render the devolved unit’s 2017/18 budget null and void.

The assembly has also faulted the committee executive for finance Gregory Mwakanongo for the passing of Sh35.9 billion 2017/18 budget un-procedurally.

The budget could be rendered null and void since the executive published the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2017 before the passing of the 2017/18 budget estimates.

However through communication to the chair, speaker Alex Ole Magelo has ordered that the Bill be republished in accordance with Public Finance Management Act, 2012 section 129(7).

“Upon approval of the budget estimates by the county assembly, county executive committee member for the finance executive shall prepare and submit a County Appropriation Bill to the assembly of approved estimates,” reads Section 129(7) of the Act.

The County Government’s Sh35.9 billion 2017-2018 budget was un-procedurally passed after county treasury published the Appropriations Bill, which is meant to authorise expenditure, before MCAs approved the budget estimates.

It was published on April 4 before the assembly had even passed the budget estimates for the financial year 2017/18.

The assembly considered and passed the report of the select committee on finance, budget and appropriation on the submitted budget estimates for the 2017/18 budget on April 5 and passed the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2017 a day later.

“There was no authority from the County Assembly for the decision to publish the Appropriation Bill which as shown earlier should be entertained once estimates have been passed,” said Ole Magelo.

Mr Ole Magelo has blamed the finance department for contravening the Public Finance Management Act which requires the county executive member for finance to submit budget estimates and other documents to county executive committee for approval before publishing an Appropriation Bill.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

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 »

Faza Hospital Conducts First Caesarean Section

By Kalume Kazungu

Faza Sub-County hospital in Lamu East has conducted its first caesarean section operation.

The successful surgery was done on a 23 year-old first time mother from Tchgundwa village who had an obstructed labour on Wednesday.

For decades, the facility has been offering basic medical services due to infrastructural challenges.

For the past two years, however, the Lamu County government, in partnership with the national government, has equipped the hospital with modern medical equipment.

Addressing journalists in Lamu on Wednesday, Health Executive Mr Mohamed Kombo said the Sh480 million rehabilitation of the facility was now complete.

FIRST CAESERIAN SECTION

“Faza hospital started in mid 1970s. Before 2013, the facility was operating like a health centre but now we have renovated it to a fully-fledged level-four facility. In fact, today (Wednesday) we were able to conduct a successful caesarean section for the first time since independence at the facility,” said Dr Kombo.

He said most of the patients in Lamu East have always been referred to the Lamu King Fahad County Hospital in Lamu Town, which is miles away across the vast Indian Ocean.

Dr Kombo said the newly refurbished Faza Sub-County hospital will serve hundreds of locals in Faza Island and other adjacent islands in Lamu East including those at the border of Lamu with Somalia like Ishakani, Ras Kamboni, Kiunga, Mkokoni, Kiwayu and Ndau.

“For a long time, pregnant mothers in Lamu East have succumbed to childbirth related complications since the hospital wasn’t well equipped for safe deliveries. Locals now have an hospital to rush to instead of spending days on the road and ocean as they seek treatment in Lamu,” said Mr Kombo.

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Dr Kombo praised the national government for giving Faza Sub-County hospital equipment for Radiology, X-ray, ultrasound, operating theatre and other medical equipment worth Sh380 million on loan.

He said the county government has spent Sh100 million to upgrade the facility.

“As county government, we have invested on the operating theatre, laundry, kitchen, perimeter wall, salaries, emergency hospital generator and electrification of the entire facility,” said Dr Kombo.

Mrs Asha Bunu, a Faza resident, said the renovation of the Faza hospital was timely.

PREGNANT WOMEN

“Residents, especially pregnant women would go all the way to Lamu for ultrasound, we thank God that such services will now be available at Faza,” said Mrs Bunu.

Mr Bwanamkuu Abdalla said the upgrading of the Faza facility has come as a big relief to residents since it will save them the high charges they had to pay for speed boats to ferry patients across the Indian Ocean to Lamu Hospital.

The cheapest a speed boat would charge to ferry a patient from Lamu East to Lamu Island is Sh15,000.

“Most people here are poor and hiring a boat at Sh15,000 or Sh20,000 just to get to hospital is difficult. We have lost many mothers and babies but we are glad this will now be over with the refurbished Faza Sub County Hospital,” said Mr Abdalla.

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