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Tanzanian economic outlook remains bright: Bank report

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s economic outlook promises to be sound, said a new report released on Tuesday by UK-based Exotix Partners in collaboration with the Kenya-based Equity Investment Bank.

The report released in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said there is light at the end of Tanzania’s economic tunnel.

The report said most of the bad performance of the banking sector and, by extension, of the private sector could be directly attributed to President John Magufuli’s anti-corruption and anti-tax evasion drive, which have proven disruptive in the short term but could prove productive in the long term.

“In our view, this reformist agenda has proved painful but should these policy actions be sustained they could act as a long-term positive catalyst for the efficiency of Tanzania’s public sector institutions,” the report said.

Some of the actions and policy directives that President Magufuli took and which could have proven disruptive include summary dismissal of a dozen of heads of key public institutions and a crackdown on phantom workers as well as other cost-cutting measures. 

The report said the anti-tax evasion, however, has had positive results, adding: “Developments around tax evasion have been welcomed for their ability to increase tax collections and according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this should culminate in an increase in government revenues as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product from 15.1 per cent in 2015 to 16.9 per cent in 2021.”

The report said economic forecast by the IMF and other institutions also painted a positive picture. 

The IMF is forecasting real GDP growth will average 6.7 per cent between 2016 and 2021 after growing at an average of 7 per cent in the last two decades. 

The report said the IMF expected Tanzania’s GDP to increase from an estimated 46.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to 70.7 billion U.S. dollars by 2021.

“Encouragingly, inflation is expected to remain stable at 5.0 per cent throughout the forecast period,” added the report.


Low yields feared as stalk borers hit northwestern Tanzania

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Farmers in northwestern Tanzania are in fear that there will be low maize and sorghum harvest this year following a fresh invasion of maize stalk borers, which have so far destroyed more than 200 hectares of farms.

Local leaders said Wednesday that the highly affected farmers are those located in Busega District in Simiyu Region and Tarime district in Mara Region.

Juma Chacha, Busega District’s Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperative Officer, confirmed the invasion into maize and sorghum farms, describing the pests as the most dangerous for maize and sorghum.

"We have dispatched experts to the affected areas where they have started educating farmers on how to kill them," the official said.

He said the pests had caused a serious damage to the maize plants in Busega district, where 111 hectares of farms have been completely destroyed.

Dalai Kaloya, a 58-year-old farmer, claimed to have used all types of insecticides but the pests still spread to all the farms in the village.

"Our fear is that if nothing happened, these pests will completely destroy our crops ... putting us into serious hunger," he said, imploring the government to assist them with proper insecticides so that they can kill the pests and replant the farms before the rains end.

Julius Nestory, chairman of Sanga village, said the government should take immediate measures to control the worms since they pose hunger threat to the people of Busega district.

Isack Lugembe, Ngasamo Ward Councilor, said some farmers tried to fight stalk borers by spraying traditionally made insecticides, hence the need to educate and provide them with proper pesticides.


Former Tanzanian president Kikwete forms health, education foundation

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Monday inaugurated his foundation aimed at serving his fellow countrymen in health care, education and governance.

Kikwete said he will use the foundation, named the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation (JMKF), as a vehicle for continuing to serve Tanzanians.

Launching the foundation in the east African nation’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam, Kikwete said: “My foundation will focus on four areas of health care, education, youth and governance.”

Kikwete, who ruled Tanzania for 10 years from 2005, said his foundation will closely work with the government and other stakeholders in addressing challenges facing ordinary Tanzanians. He retired from the presidency in 2015.

Born on October 7, 1950, President Kikwete is a graduate of economics from the University of Dar es Salaam. At the university, he was a student leader and active participant in African liberation politics and youth movements.

Kikwete later sharpened his leadership skills in the military, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel before retiring from the army in 1992 to concentrate on politics. 


Tanzania’s ruling party approves constitution amendments to make it more vibrant

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) on Sunday approved the party’s 16th constitution amendments which ushered in major changes on the party structure and systems.

The constitution amendments were approved by over 4,000 CCM delegates attending the party’s congress chaired by President John Magufuli in the political capital Dodoma.

Opening the congress, President Magufuli said the changes were aimed at improving efficiency of the ruling party so as to enable it face the opposition which was now growing.

“The changes stems from long time CCM culture of self assessment. From the assessment we made after the General Election, we realized the need for introducing these changes,” said Magufuli.

He said the changes also target improving the structure and operating systems within the party with the aim of, among other things, reducing operation costs.

President Magufuli said the CCM evaluation established a number of shortcomings including establishment of leadership cadres within the party that were not in the constitution.

He said unfortunately, in some cases, these new leadership cadres wielded so much power and started to create confrontations within the party.

Magufuli said the changes were also aimed at bringing people closer to the party, adding that CCM was formed as the party for the oppressed but along the way some people with money hijacked it.

“We should return to our roots and basics. This party is for poor and the oppressed,” he said. 

In its extraordinary meeting, the CCM congress also approved proposals by the party’s national chairman, President Magufuli, to fill three vacant posts of members of CCM secretariat.

In the new appointments, Abdallah Juma Abdallah was named the party’s deputy secretary general for Zanzibar, Pereira Ame Silima was named new secretary for Organization and Frank George became the new secretary for Finance.



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