Posts tagged as: tgnp

NGOs Plead for State Rescue Out of Financial Crisis

By Sauli Giliard

DWINDLING donor funding has forced some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to scale down or completely close their operations in the country.

Gender activists have as a result asked both the government and private sector to support the gender equality movements.

Speaking at the TGNP Mtandao-organised 2017 Gender Festival in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Director for Women Fund Tanzania, Ms Mary Rusimbi, implored all stakeholders, including the government to financially support the transformation movements to foster development.

“Funding is dropping globally and locally… some NGOs have closed because they cannot afford even rent,” charged the director.

She said because the right groups work with local government authorities, public funding is critical to support NGOs, advising gender activists to change the techniques of raising funds by involving the private sector in the emancipation of women.

According to Ms Rusimbi, most of the funds are currently directed to Latin American countries and India, affecting the right groups in the country.

An activist, Ms Ussu Mallya said that 740 NGOs receive 106 million US dollars (about 240bn/-), which is not equally shared among regional and local groups, saying local sources of raising funds are inevitable.

At the festival themed: “Transformation of Oppressive Systems for Gender Equality and Sustainable Development,” a TGNP Mtandao member, Ms Gema Akilimali, appreciated the government for dealing with mineral thieves and tax evaders.

She said the government is working on the issues that activists have been raising for many years, proposing that the resources being generated be returned to the ordinary citizens, including women who are the marginalised.

Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan opened the Gender Festival early last week, with activists urging the government to come up with inclusive policies that will leave nobody behind.

Tanzania

Ex-Unicef Project Coordinator Arraigned

FORMER Coordinator of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-funded project Lawrensia Massawe was arraigned here… Read more »

Kishapu,Kisarawe Districts Excel On Menstruation Hygiene Management in Schools

By Salome Gregory

Dar es Salaam — Kishapu and Kisarawe Districts have been awarded for setting aside money from their own sources to buy sanitary pads as a way of supporting girls in education.

The awards is organized by Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP) and it has been given today, September 7, during the at the 14thedition of gender festival. The festival is themed ‘The transformation of oppressive systems for gender equality and sustainable development’.

On receiving the award, Mr Joseph Swalala, the KishapuDistrct Community Development Officer said they spend Sh4.7 million every year to buy sanitary pads for the girls as a way of keeping them in school.

“After some meetings at the district level we realised majority of the girls miss classes for about 3 to 4 days a month just because they cannot afford sanitary pads. In a year this goes into 36 to 48 days. It affects girls education as no one goes back to teach them what they missed,” saidMr Swalala.

He noted that Kishapu pays attention on women’s development from grassroots levels by promoting income generating activities for women who are the main bread winners in most African countries.

Just last year, Kishapu District gave 72 land ownership title deeds to women to invest in agriculture. The move would enable them manage to feed their families and sale surplus harvests.

Commenting on the award, TGNP Director, Ms Lillian Liundi, said it was a recognition for a job well done and a motivation to other districts to follow the footsteps.

Tanzania

Police Shoot Child Kidnapping Suspect

With information deemed critical in unravelling the killing of two kids recently kidnapped in Arusha, the prime suspect… Read more »

Tanzania: We Won’t Shutdown Women’s Bank – VP

By Salome Gregory

Dar es Salaam — The government has insisted that the Tanzania Women Bank (TWB) would not stop operations despite facing a number of challenges.

Speaking yesterday when opening the 14th edition of the gender festival at the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) in Dar es Salaam, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said due to various challenges, which include that of capital, have caused TWB to miss the goal of empowering women. “Tanzania received a gender award from Africa Union due to the existence the bank. If we allow the bank to stop its operations, we will be pulling ourselves down,” said the Vice-President.

She, therefore, explained that it was every one’s responsibility to ensure they all worked together to expand the lender’s capital.

“Whoever knows where we can obtain funds to boost the capital, let them communicate and see how we can rescue our bank,” she said.

She called for transparency from the bank’s management and its board of trustees. Controller and Auditor General (CAG) had warned that TWB had lost credibility to operate as a bank as its capital has fallen below the legal threshold.

In a latest report that was tabled in Parliament in April, CAG observed that audit found out that the bank’s core capital had fallen below the minimum requirements contrary to Regulation 5 and Regulation 9 of the Banking and Financial Institutions (Capital Adequacy) Regulations.

This was just one of the several flaws that the CAG unearthed around operations of TWB.

Among other things, CAG audit established that loans amounting to Sh655 million were disbursed by the bank without confirming existence of the borrowers. Meanwhile, the Vice President called upon men and other gender stakeholders to support TGNP’s efforts in stopping violence against women in the country.

During the opening remarks, Dr Vicensia Shule, the TGNP Board Director, said statistics showed that 33.4 per cent of the people in rural setting were extremely poor compared to 4 per cent of the people in Dar es Salaam. And the most affected people were women who also suffer from gender based violence.

She said the gender festival also aimed at revealing such issues and the discrimination they go through in different areas including the right to education, health, female participation in politics and employment market.

Tanzania

Give Compensation in Airport Project, Govt Told

The government has been challenged to compensate residents, whose houses have been earmarked for demolition to pave the… Read more »

Encourage Public to Solve Problems, TGNP Urges Govt

Dar es Salaam — People should be encouraged to take action to solve problems. TGNP Mtandao executive director Lilian Liundi told editors during a one-day meeting on gender reporting on Saturday that the public should be encouraged to solve problems as the government budget is inadequate to meet all their needs.

She said over the years the national budget has increased problems such as water shortages, poor health services, challenges in education persisted since the allocation of funds have been made with little participation from the public.

She said, “We have always been campaigning that there should be thorough analyses on real situations on the ground before allocating budgets. The analyses would help identify problems which budgets should seek to address.

She added that campaigns for the government to mainstream gender responsive budgets should continue to tackle challenges facing women and other marginalised groups.

TGNP executive board member Alexander Makulilo said to achieve gender responsive budgeting, the media has a great role to play in influencing women to become leaders.

“We understand that we still don’t have a system that supports this but the media can influence political parties and even the government to have policies in place that clearly address gender equality,” he said.

Tanzania

Jakaya Kikwete Hits At Violence in Zambia Polls

Former President Jakaya Kikwete, who is leading the Commonwealth’s observer mission to Zambia elections, has said they… Read more »

Why Small-Scale Farmers Are the Real Heroes – Two

columnBy Prof Marjorie Mbilinyi

The Female Food Heroes campaign is a significant effort to raise awareness about the contribution of women small-scale producers and the barriers they face. The campaign highlights the individual initiatives of women farmers and livestock keepers coming from all over Tanzania, and joins them in calling for more government and private sector support for the small scale sector, and for women in particular.

In a previous article, I explored contextual factors which oppress and exploit small-scale producers in general, and women in particular. One of the main implications of this analysis is that the campaign will have to confront broad structural issues which affect the entire community, both women and men, as well as those more specific to women. They call for collective as well as individual action and empowerment. Here I would like to explore examples of rural community organising and action in Mbeya, Kishapu and Morogoro to improve their situation and to demand their rights to land and livelihoods.

Intensive movement building cycle

With the support of TGNP Mtandao and partner organisations, rural women and men have become actively involved in a process of assessing their situation, analysing basic causes, and based upon their prioritisation of key issues, acting to address the problems – Triple A. Working through local grassroots organisations, women animators share the results of their analysis with local government leaders at ward and district level, and together, in many cases, plan concrete strategies to address the problems. At the same time women’s knowledge centres link up with local Press Clubs and publicise their issues to the community and the nation.

They have found that District authorities pay more attention to local demands when tv programmes display pictures of muddy water holes, health centres which lack piped water and electricity, and crops rotting because of the lack of local markets [TGNP Mtandao Muhtasari wa Utafiti Raghbishi, Mbeya, Kishapu na Morogoro – 2016].

Knowledge centre animators also track district budgets and delivery of basic services such as health, education, water and agricultural extension, and bring their concerns to the national level through a participatory gender budget review process.

In the past, communities expressed outrage over land and water grabbing by big investors. Kishapu animators demanded a review of the ‘poor investment’ policy. This year both women and men deplored the lack of adequate resources for small-scale agriculture and a bias in the budget for large scale producers. They listed the following main priorities in agriculture: fair markets, so as to free them from middle trader exploitation; access to quality and timely farm inputs, including good seeds; and fair prices for farm inputs. Rural women also prioritised improved delivery of services in health, education and water.

Similar concerns and demands have been made every year since 2010 when this process began. Local government responses are piece meal, and do not address the structural issues of inequalities in power and wealth, and a neoliberal policy which supports the corporate sector rather than local small scale producers. One outcome is the steady impoverishment and dispossession of small scale producers not only in Mbeya, Kishapu and Morogoro, but in many other areas of the country. This has led to growing resistance and struggle against investors.

Community resistance to large-scale investment

Nearly every day there is media coverage of local community resistances against large scale investment in different parts of Tanzania. Land conflicts have become a major source of debate in Parliament.

The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism recently reported that the government has documented 289 land conflicts in the country [“289 land conflicts registered” The Citizen, June 4, 2016]. This figure is indicative, and surely an underestimate. They include conflicts between communities and large-scale investors, national conservation parks and game reserves, as well as pastoralists and cultivators.

Local protest makes a difference. In a recent GRAIN report, the recent decline in foreign investment in large scale agriculture projects in Africa and elsewhere was attributed in part to citizen opposition to evictions from land and waterways [cited in Keith Schneider, “Water scarcity, public protest slow foreign farmland purchases” Circle of Blue June 24, 2016].

As shown above, these struggles are over more than land, water and other natural resources. There is a strong link between small scale producer demands for protection of community [and women] land rights, and their demands for access to markets, transport and communications, farm inputs and equipment and public support systems. Rural people are defending their rights to a sustainable livelihood.

Tanzania: Why Small-Scale Farmers Are the Real Heroes – Two

columnBy Prof Marjorie Mbilinyi

The Female Food Heroes campaign is a significant effort to raise awareness about the contribution of women small-scale producers and the barriers they face. The campaign highlights the individual initiatives of women farmers and livestock keepers coming from all over Tanzania, and joins them in calling for more government and private sector support for the small scale sector, and for women in particular.

In a previous article, I explored contextual factors which oppress and exploit small-scale producers in general, and women in particular. One of the main implications of this analysis is that the campaign will have to confront broad structural issues which affect the entire community, both women and men, as well as those more specific to women. They call for collective as well as individual action and empowerment. Here I would like to explore examples of rural community organising and action in Mbeya, Kishapu and Morogoro to improve their situation and to demand their rights to land and livelihoods.

Intensive movement building cycle

With the support of TGNP Mtandao and partner organisations, rural women and men have become actively involved in a process of assessing their situation, analysing basic causes, and based upon their prioritisation of key issues, acting to address the problems – Triple A. Working through local grassroots organisations, women animators share the results of their analysis with local government leaders at ward and district level, and together, in many cases, plan concrete strategies to address the problems. At the same time women’s knowledge centres link up with local Press Clubs and publicise their issues to the community and the nation.

They have found that District authorities pay more attention to local demands when tv programmes display pictures of muddy water holes, health centres which lack piped water and electricity, and crops rotting because of the lack of local markets [TGNP Mtandao Muhtasari wa Utafiti Raghbishi, Mbeya, Kishapu na Morogoro – 2016].

Knowledge centre animators also track district budgets and delivery of basic services such as health, education, water and agricultural extension, and bring their concerns to the national level through a participatory gender budget review process.

In the past, communities expressed outrage over land and water grabbing by big investors. Kishapu animators demanded a review of the ‘poor investment’ policy. This year both women and men deplored the lack of adequate resources for small-scale agriculture and a bias in the budget for large scale producers. They listed the following main priorities in agriculture: fair markets, so as to free them from middle trader exploitation; access to quality and timely farm inputs, including good seeds; and fair prices for farm inputs. Rural women also prioritised improved delivery of services in health, education and water.

Similar concerns and demands have been made every year since 2010 when this process began. Local government responses are piece meal, and do not address the structural issues of inequalities in power and wealth, and a neoliberal policy which supports the corporate sector rather than local small scale producers. One outcome is the steady impoverishment and dispossession of small scale producers not only in Mbeya, Kishapu and Morogoro, but in many other areas of the country. This has led to growing resistance and struggle against investors.

Community resistance to large-scale investment

Nearly every day there is media coverage of local community resistances against large scale investment in different parts of Tanzania. Land conflicts have become a major source of debate in Parliament.

The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism recently reported that the government has documented 289 land conflicts in the country [“289 land conflicts registered” The Citizen, June 4, 2016]. This figure is indicative, and surely an underestimate. They include conflicts between communities and large-scale investors, national conservation parks and game reserves, as well as pastoralists and cultivators.

Local protest makes a difference. In a recent GRAIN report, the recent decline in foreign investment in large scale agriculture projects in Africa and elsewhere was attributed in part to citizen opposition to evictions from land and waterways [cited in Keith Schneider, “Water scarcity, public protest slow foreign farmland purchases” Circle of Blue June 24, 2016].

As shown above, these struggles are over more than land, water and other natural resources. There is a strong link between small scale producer demands for protection of community [and women] land rights, and their demands for access to markets, transport and communications, farm inputs and equipment and public support systems. Rural people are defending their rights to a sustainable livelihood.

Lifelong Learning for Industrialisation and Transformative Development

opinion

A dynamic economy in the 21st Century depends on developing a labour force which is capable of lifelong learning. The soft skills required for lifelong learning, such as curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, logical analysis and innovation are also the prerequisites for industrialization and transformative development.

They ought to be nurtured within the formal schooling system, not as an end in itself, but as the foundation for lifelong learning processes which continue outside of the classroom. Lifelong learning, moreover, is not just a wise economic choice – it provides intellectual fulfillment, and the joy of creativity and problem solving. Lifelong learners are more able to engage in political processes at all levels, and to contribute to policy and budget issues as informed citizens – thereby strengthening democratic processes. What is lifelong learning? Where are lifelong learning opportunities found?

What is lifelong learning?

According to Wikipedia, lifelong learning “is the ‘ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated’ pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, rather than competitiveness and employability.”

“During the last fifty years, constant scientific and technological innovation and change has had a profound effect on learning needs and styles. Learning can no longer be divided into a place and time to acquire knowledge (school) and a place and time to apply the knowledge acquired (the workplace). Instead, learning can be seen as something that takes place on an ongoing basis from our daily interactions with others and with the world around us. It can take the form of formal learning or informal learning, or self-directed learning..”

Where are lifelong learning opportunities found?

Although lifelong learning is not new, the number of spaces and opportunities have mushroomed during the last few decades in tandem with the growth of modern information and communications technology (ICT). Young children with access to a smart phone explore the web for entertainment and information, ranging from thought-provoking puzzles and games to facts and figures. Professionals (doctors, lawyers, teachers, researchers, engineers and so on) are expected to ‘keep up with the literature’ – in other words, to study latest developments in their field. Sources of information are numerous, but the most accessible source today is information on the web, given our under-stocked libraries in and out of education institutions.

In addition, there are numerous open spaces emerging for collective learning which provide not only information and knowledge, but also employment for the facilitators/educators. To me, these have the most exciting transformative possibilities. They partly have their roots, historically, in participatory action research programmes initiated during the 1970s by the Institute of Adult Education, the Jipemoyo Project [co-sponsored by the Tanzanian and Finnish governments] and the Elimu ya Ufundi [Vocational Education] project of the Christian Council of Tanzania. Employing ideological principles and participatory pedagogy informed by Education for Self Reliance and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, grassroots women and men learners were encouraged to assess their situation, analyse basic causes and plan/implement strategies for change. The CCT and Jipemoyo processes became highly politicized as villagers organised themselves to challenge the status quo, armed by new knowledge which they generated themselves, working closely with activist facilitators from civil society and different wings of local government. Backlash was and often is inevitable, as those in power seek to defend their positions – but this is a central component of democracy.

The knowledge centres which TGNP Mtandao supports today in rural areas operate with a similar kind of outlook, and explicitly make use of animation methodology and philosophy [uraghibishi ] or participatory action research. Grassroots women animators support fellow women – and men – villagers to look for ways to solve problems for themselves, where resources permit, as well as to demand their rights as women/peasants and workers/citizens to resources controlled by others. Complex learning processes are involved, as well as the generation of new knowledge, as ‘ordinary’ people engage with policies and budgets at local and national level – not for its own sake, but integrated with action strategies to improve their situation and change their world.

Many other organizations and networks are using similar approaches in both rural and urban areas, and their endeavours ought to be recognized and supported – including Tamasha, Hakiardhi, HakiKazi Catalyst, some Friends of Education groups [readers are invited to add other examples and share their stories].

Several civil society organizations/networks have also created regular learning spaces similar to ‘seminars’ where presentations are made in a variety of ways, and discussed. These are most prevalent in urban centres, but ‘knowledge centre’ type formations provide space for similar endeavours in rural areas as well. Pride of place for me are the weekly Gender and Development Seminar Series [GDSS] run by TGNP Mtandao, which has a core group of 50-300 participants depending on the topic, and focuses on ‘hot’ issues of the moment – which have ranged from today’s debates on the Five Year Development Plan II and a gender responsive budget to women’s demands for the new constitution and the latest strategies to stop gender based violence. Space is provided for other CSOs to present, as well as GDSS participants themselves [organizations and individuals], and discussion often leads to planned action strategies carried out collectively.

Monthly seminars are run by Twaweza, Policy Forum, Hakiardhi and others, where research reports are presented on timely topics, related to the core constituencies. Periodic seminars are also hosted by policy oriented think tanks, the most recognized being those of Repoa and Esrf. In each case, participants are expected to go beyond analysis of issues and discuss together policy implications, and in some cases, strategies of implementation to get there.

Another exciting development is the use of the web for the creation of virtual study circles [not necessarily labeled as such].

These include email lists, as well as Facebook pages, Google groups, interactive blogs and many others too numerous to mention. Participants debate issues, share knowledge, provide references for further study, and network in a virtual space which remains fairly open. These provide a glimpse of the future knowledge society/economy propelled especially by young women and men.

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