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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Construction of Tanzania Bagamoyo port to start in June: minister

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian government minister said on Monday construction of the much awaited Bagamoyo port in the east African country’s Coast region will begin in June this year.

Makame Mbarawa, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, said the government was in final talks with investors of China Merchants Holdings International Limited (CMHI) and the government of Oman.

Mbarawa told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that on its completion, the Bagamoyo port was expected to boost the country’s economy and attract major investments to the country, the second largest economy in the East African region after Kenya.

The minister admitted that the project has been hit by delays, saying: “The talks took too long to be completed for benefit of the nation. We had to ensure that every project has wider impact to the country’s economy.”

Mooted in 2013 by retired President Jakaya Kikwete, construction of the port has been hit by delays over acquisition of investors.

When fully developed, the Bagamoyo Special Economic Zone will become a strategic investment zone in East Africa.

The Bagamoyo port and its affiliate industrial zone is meant to address congestion at the old Dar es Salaam port and support Tanzania to become East Africa’s leading shipping and logistics center. 

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Israel minister says ready to help transform Tanzania’s agriculture sector

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Israel on Monday said it is ready to help transform Tanzania’s ailing agriculture sector and turn the country into Africa’s breadbasket.

Visiting Israeli Minister for Justice Ayelet Shaked also pledged to cement cooperation in a number of other areas, including security, pharmaceuticals and information, communication and technology (ICT).

“Israel is a superpower of technology while Tanzania has vast natural resources. We believe that the relationship will make a great combination of mutual benefit,” Shaked said.

Shaked was leading a delegation of Israeli businessmen here attending a business and investment forum.

The forum, themed “Industrialization through strategic partnership and value-based principle,” was attended by senior government officials led by Tanzanian Minister for Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage and the Tanzania business community led by their umbrella body, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF).

“This is an opportunity for us here to make use of the Israeli know-how to maximize our ability to conduct businesses as well as investments,” said Felix Mosha, a TPSF representative.

Ties between Tanzania and Israel, severed in the 1970s, were reestablished in 1995, but Israel is still conducting diplomatic services with Tanzania through its office in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Mwijage, the Tanzanian minister for industries, trade and investment, said the strategic diplomatic cooperation will help boost Tanzania’s industrialization drive under the government led by President John Magufuli.

The minister noted that a group of youths from Tanzania have been sent to Israel for training in various fields, especially ICT and agriculture.

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Tanzanian manufacturers eye Kenya’s industrial market

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian manufacturers are targeting Kenya’s rapidly growing market for industrial goods, a diplomat said on Friday.

Pindi Chana, Tanzania High Commissioner to Kenya, told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya has one of fastest growing middle classes in the East African region with disposal income to purchase manufactured goods from Tanzania.

“Tanzanian firms are therefore seeking wider and broader markets opportunities in Kenya,” Chana said during a media briefing on the upcoming Made in Tanzania Week Expo that will be held from April 25 to 28 in Nairobi.

The four-day event will provide a platform for Tanzania’s industrial sector to showcase their products to Kenyan consumers.

“The exhibition aims at creating more awareness of Tanzanian products and services to the Kenyan private sector and the general public at large,” she added.

The event will feature industrial products and services in the tourism, technology, agribusiness, culture, arts and craft sectors of Tanzania.

The conference is being organized by Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Marketing and the Tanzania Private Sector.

The expo is part of Tanzania’s effort to implement the country’s foreign policy which focuses on economic diplomacy with much emphasis on the development of sectors like trade, manufacturing, investment and tourism.

The conference will also create market linkages for Tanzania products with major supermarkets and other consumer supply chains in Kenya.

The Tanzanian envoy noted that in 2010 the East African Community Partner States signed an agreement on the Common Market Protocol and hence “Made in Tanzania Week in Kenya” will be amongst the government initiatives to promote regional integration.

Chana noted that Tanzanian producers and private sector are keen to connect with their counterparts in Kenya in order to pursue joint projects for mutual benefit.

The Tanzania official noted that the conference will also create a platform for investors of the two neighboring states to explore room for further partnerships.

Chana said that the event also aims to assist her nation in promoting Tanzanian tourist destinations to the Kenyan community.

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Tanzania to launch massive campaign over counterfeits

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is conducting a two-month massive awareness campaign on counterfeits amid increasing substandard products imported into the country.

A joint statement issued Friday by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and the Fair Competition Commission (FCC) said the campaign was aimed at educating the general public on the functionalities of the two government institutions in checking the influx of substandard goods.

Frank Mdimi, the FCC senior communications officer, said the FCC and TBS officers will work closely during the campaign.

“We intend to reach the general public through community radio and television broadcasts and meetings with business communities,” said Mdimi.

He added: “There has been an outcry from the public regarding the influx of substandard and counterfeit products in Tanzania which needs to be fully addressed by the responsible institutions.”

Roida Andusamile, the TBS senior communications officer, said consumers generally have little knowledge on how TBS and FCC played their central role in providing Tanzanians with protection against counterfeit and substandard products.

Both institutions are under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and they are mandated to facilitate trade through fair competition and quality products.

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Tanzanian government orders bloggers to register in two weeks

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s communications watchdog on Saturday issued a two-week deadline for all bloggers to register their platforms under tough new online content rules.

The online content regulations, passed in March, made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums, to register their services and potentially pay up to 2.1 million Tanzanian shillings (about 924 U.S. dollars) for registration and license fees.

The state-owned Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) said in a statement that all online content providers are required to complete their application process before May 5.

TCRA opened the registration process for blogs, online television stations, online radio and other online forums on Saturday.

TCRA said applicants were required to provide documents, including details of shareholders, share capital, citizenship of owners, a tax clearance certificate and staff qualification and training programs.

“Bloggers convicted of failure to comply with the new rules could face a fine of at least 5 million shillings or a prison sentence of a minimum of 12 months or both, according to the new regulations, said the statement.

President John Magufuli on Friday ordered authorities to take legal actions against anyone posting misleading anti-government statements on social media.

The number of internet users in Tanzania rose 16 percent in 2017 to 23 million, with the majority of those using their mobile phones to go online in the nation of around 52 million people.

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Tanzania fights diabetes as cases keep on rising

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania said on Monday it has set aside 800,000 U.S. dollars to buy insulin drugs for treating diabetes as the number of diabetic patients was on the increase.

The east African nation’s Deputy Minister for Health, Faustine Ndugulile, told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that at least 13 percent of Tanzanians were suffering from diabetes.

“The rate of children suffering from diabetes is also rising,” Ndugulile told the august House, attributing the increase of diabetes and other communicable diseases to poor lifestyles.

“As the government is working hard dealing with the disease which until now has no cure, people are reminded to change their lifestyles such as poor eating habits, excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking cigarettes that lead to increased infections,” said the official.

Ndugulile said the rate of prevalence of diabetes has doubled compared to the situation in the last ten years.

“People living in urban areas are mostly at risk of the deadly disease as opposed to those living in rural areas,” he said.

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