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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzania state mining firm gears up
for viable business opportunities

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) said on Tuesday its main focus in 2019 will be on looking for viable business opportunities, continually improving the state-owned firm’s balance sheets, and meeting its shareholders’ and customers’ expectations.

"These goals can only be attained through continued teamwork, hard work and dedication while keeping our priorities right," Sylvester Damian Ghuliku, STAMICO’s acting managing director, said in a statement.

He added the company will strive to be an agent for change through innovative solutions, while continuing to develop good relationships with surrounding communities by fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities through projects.

He said the corporation was looking forward to 2019 while positioning itself to increase its capacity to generate revenue.

"This optimism is fuelled by financial projections indicating that in 2019, the prices of most metals are expected to be higher on average than the previous year," Ghuliku said.

Looking back on 2018, he said the past year was vibrant because of some positive and significant developments in the corporation’s projects despite unstable global market conditions.

He said during 2018, STAMICO successfully re-operationalized mining operations in its Kabulo coal project, using a new mining contractor to start producing about 18,200 tonnes of coal per month to meet market demands for coal fuel.

At the same time, STAMICO rehabilitated a coal crusher at its Kiwira Coal Mine using own resources, with the aim of increasing its capacity to meet customer demands for different types of coal products, said Ghuliku.

He added that STAMICO has reached in the final stages of negotiations with the most responsive bidder towards starting implementation of gold tailings processing at its brownfield project at Buhemba Gold Mine.

However, Ghuliku said 2018 was not favorable in terms of securing drilling contracts and consultancy services, attributing this mainly to slow market conditions and low metal prices.

He said STAMICO has signed memorandums of understanding with some potential investors who are technically and financially capable of implementing a number of projects planned for year 2019.
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UPDATES:

United Nations condemns killings of children in southern Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The United Nations in Tanzania on Tuesday condemned the recent suspected ritual killing of 10 children in the east African nation’s southern highland region of Njombe.

"The United Nations in Tanzania offers its deepest condolences to the families and communities of children who have been brutally murdered in Njombe over the last few weeks," the UN said in a statement.

The statement said the attack and murder of children is unacceptable.

"Children have a fundamental right to be safe and be protected from violence so that they can enjoy their childhood and reach their full potential," the statement said.

"The UN joins the government of the United Republic of Tanzania in condemning these heinous acts.

"As the UN, we stand ready to support the government in their efforts to address the issue," said Alvaro Rodriguez, UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania.

"Additionally, we call upon all stakeholders to join hands to ensure that homes, schools and communities are safe spaces for children," added Rodriguez.

The statement said children were exposed to extreme forms of violence and exploitation in many parts of the world.

"This has to stop," said Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative in Tanzania, adding that no form of violence or abuse against a child is acceptable or permissible for any reason and such act is an outright violation of their basic human rights.

Ruth Msafiri, Njombe District Commissioner, said on Monday a total of 10 children’s dead bodies were discovered in different parts of the town, some being slaughtered and their body parts removed.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, swore that the government will hunt all the killers and bring them to book.
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Tanzanian government suspends four officials over corruption allegations

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania announced on Tuesday the suspension of four government officials over corruption allegations.

Japhet Hasunga, the east African nation’s Minister for Agriculture, told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that the ministry in collaboration with security organs was investigating some officials in the Ministry of State in the President’s Office responsible for Regional Administration and Local Government on similar allegations.

"We are aware of corruption allegations leveled against government officials in the cashew nuts verification exercise.

"We have suspended four officials who will soon be arraigned in court," said Hasunga, when responding to a question by Mtama Member of Parliament, Nape Nnauye.

He said the government has so far paid 59 percent of cashew nuts it bought from farmers.

Earlier, Mtwara Urban Member of Parliament Maftah Nachuma wanted to know government strategies to eliminate challenges facing cashew nuts farmers including marketing and payments.

The lawmaker warned of damage of cashew nuts stored at different warehouses across the country, insisting on the need to quickly process and sell them since they did not have a longer shelf life.

Last week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure they concluded the ongoing cashew nuts verification exercise and paid bona fide farmers their dues by Feb. 5, 2019.

According to Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank managing director Japheth Justine, a total of 133 million U.S. dollars have been paid out to cashew nuts farmers by Jan. 16, 2019.

In November 2018, President John Magufuli said that his government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers at a flat price of 3,300 Tanzanian shillings per kilogram.

The decision was reached after the government issued a four-day ultimatum to traders to buy cashew nuts.

This was after cashew nuts farmers had rejected prices offered by private dealers, which were very much lower than the previous harvest season’s prices.
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Tanzania to assess fish stocks in Lake Tanganyika: official

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania plans to conduct an assessment of fish stocks in Lake Tanganyika, the second oldest freshwater lake in the world, an official told the country’s National Assembly on Friday.

Abdallah Ulega, the east African nation’s Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, said the assessment will be done by state-owned Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) in collaboration with neighboring countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia and Burundi.

The last fish stock assessment in Lake Tanganyika was conducted in 1998 where there were only 295,000 tonnes of fish stocks, Ulega told the House in the capital Dodoma.

He was responding to a question posed by Kigoma Urban Member of Parliament, Zitto Kabwe, who had wanted to know why the government was restricting Tanzanian fishermen from conducting purse-seine fishing while their counterparts in Burundi, Zambia and DRC practiced it.

Kabwe wanted the government to speed up the fish stock assessment to allow big investors to establish fish processing factories.

The legislator also called for review of export levies as well as the number of licenses that fishers paid annually.

"Completion of the assessment will give us a clear picture of the stock of fish in the lake.

"Research findings will help us make decisions on whether to allow large scale commercial fishing in our waters," said Ulega.

Ulega said his ministry will soon meet with stakeholders to discuss the various challenges facing the fishing industry in Tanzania.

Luhaga Mpina, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, said the government will issue the national fishing guidelines on July 1 this year aimed at helping to fight illegal fishing in all the lakes across the country.
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Tanzanian MPs appeal to government to improve country’s ports

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian lawmakers on Monday appealed to the government to allow the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to retain 40 percent of its annual collections for improvement of other strategic harbors in the east African nation.

Members of the Parliamentary Committee for Infrastructure said the government should allow the TPA to retain 40 percent of its 117 million U.S. dollars annual collection to improve efficiency of Dar es Salaam, Mtwara, Kigoma and Kalema ports.

"Almost all TPA collections are remitted to government coffers, leaving the ports authorities without funds" for its ports improvement, said Moshi Kakoso, chairman of the committee.

He was presenting in the National Assembly the committees’ activity report for January 2018 to January 2019.

Kakoso said Dar es Salaam port has a number of challenges that affect its performance, including inadequate capacity to handle big vessels.

Dar es Salaam and Tanga ports required deep berths to enable big ships to dock, Kakoso told the House in the capital, Dodoma.

"Most of the infrastructures at our ports are dilapidated. We can hardly compete with Mozambique’s Beira port, Durban port of South Africa and Mombasa port in Kenya," he said, adding that there is also need to improve roads to the ports.
.

Tanzanian government has purchased 215,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania has bought 215,000 tonnes of cashew nuts from growers worth 306 million U.S. dollars until January 30, 2019, a senior official told the National Assembly on Monday.

Omary Mgumba, the east African nation’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture, said the country’s cashew nuts production projection for the 2018/2019 farming season was more than 240,000 tonnes of raw cashew.

Last week, Mgumba told the House in the capital Dodoma that the government was now holding talks with international buyers of the cash crop.

He was responding to a question raised by Mtwara Urban Member of Parliament Maftaha Nachuma who had wanted to know why the government was buying the cash crop at a snail’s pace.

Mgumba said: "The government is in talks with international buyers and we will soon be able to sell 200,000 tonnes to markets across the world."

The minister admitted that the farmers were facing challenges, including price instability in the global market due to lack of value addition to their products as well as inadequate use of agricultural inputs and poor storage.

"To address these challenges, the government is doing all in its capacity to strengthen the crop’s value chain, increase distribution of agricultural inputs and provide education on value addition," said Mgumba.

Last week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure they concluded the ongoing cashew nuts verification exercise and paid bona fide farmers their dues by Feb. 5, 2019.

On Nov. 12, last year, President John Magufuli had said that his government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers at a flat price of 3,300 Tanzanian shillings per kilogram.

The decision was reached after the government issued a four-day ultimatum to traders to buy cashew nuts.

This was after cashew nuts farmers had rejected prices offered by private dealers, which were very much lower than the previous harvest season’s prices.

           

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