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Tanzanian News Uncategorized

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hires Tony Blair to Handle Fight vs COVID and Rebuild Country’s International Reputation

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made two official visits to Tanzania since Samia Suluhu Hassan assumed the presidency in March this year after the sudden death of her predecessor, John Magufuli.

Government officials say that the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has been hired by President Samia to handle two of her administration’s key projects: the fight against Covid-19 and rebuilding Tanzania’s international reputation.

In July, Blair paid his first courtesy call to Tanzania where he and President Samia discussed how to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Blair said his institute is responsible for facilitating the testing and distribution of vaccines, and may help Tanzania to access top vaccine producers.

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Tanzanian News

Tanzania’s President @SuluhuSamia’s Speech at UNGA76 Named Among 7 Most Important

Tanzania’s first female president stepped onto the scene.

By Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer and columnist at Foreign Policy

When Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan finally took the stage to deliver her speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, she presented a distinctive contrast to the endless stream of all-male speakers who had preceded her to the podium on the third day of the General Debate. Even more sharply, she stood in clear contrast with the man who preceded her as president of Tanzania.

Suluhu previously served as vice president under President John “The Bulldozer” Magufuli, a man who brooked no disobedience, including on his insistence that COVID-19 didn’t exist in Tanzania. Under his presidency, data on the country’s mounting death toll was suppressed, doctors were gagged, and all coronavirus-related drugs and vaccines were banned.

Then, in February, Magufuli abruptly disappeared from public view—and for the first time, on Feb. 27, a physician gave a nationally broadcast speech warning Tanzanians of the new plague. On March 17, Magufuli died.

Suluhu acceded to the presidency, telling the nation her predecessor had “died of a heart condition”—a statement she has not amended despite it being widely suspected that his cause of death was COVID-19. Days later, South African scientists reported discovery of a “super-mutant” strain of the novel coronavirus unlike any other circulating in Africa, carried by three Tanzanian travelers to Angola. Regional political pressure on Suluhu rose, and over the next several months, she created a COVID-19 scientific advisory council and joined global efforts to obtain vaccines and drugs for her nation.

In her U.N. remarks, Suluhu repeatedly praised multilateralism and the United Nations system. She noted her nation’s dependency on technical and financial support from external sources and admonished that “multilateralism cannot and should not succumb to the virus.”

Far from following Magufuli in denying the presence of the virus in the country, Suluhu acknowledged that “Tanzania has not been spared by COVID-19” and said the pandemic had already radically reduced Tanzania’s economic growth, from 6.9 percent a year to 5.4 percent, primarily due to loss of tourism. This, in turn, has wiped out the country’s ability to finance climate change adaptation.

As the first female leader of her nation, Suluhu pointedly noted that “COVID-19 is threatening to roll back the gains that we have made” in gender equity and said she plans to implement policies aimed at female economic development and political and social advancement.

The world still lacks verifiable COVID-19 data from Tanzania, including on cases and death tolls. But Suluhu started vaccination efforts in July, and with her U.N. speech, she joined the majority of her African peers in strongly denouncing the inequities in global vaccine distribution, with merely 245 million doses distributed as of earlier this month to poorer nations through the U.N.’s COVAX mechanism and 81 percent of all doses having been administered in the wealthiest nations.

Even looking to 2022, the wealthy world is backtracking on promised vaccine donations to COVAX, and nearly 80 percent of African nations will miss not only their short-term COVID-19 control targets but also those set for attainment next year.

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Tanzanian News

A Deeply Divided Nation: Two Contrasting Videos Showing How Tanzanians in USA Received President Samia

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Diplomacy Tanzanian News

Tanzania: President Samia Suluhu Leaving Today for US to Attend UN General Assembly

The President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan is leaving today September 18, 2021 for New York in the United States to attend the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations, where on the 23rd she is expected to address the council.

Along with the Summit, President Samia will also attend summits to discuss climate change issues, food security and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In addition, she is also expected to meet with other heads of state and leaders of international organizations with the aim of strengthening cooperation and relations between Tanzania and their countries and institutions.
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African Politics

Tanzania: President @SuluhuSamia’s Government Suspends Private Newspaper for 30 Days After it Linked a “Terrorist” Gunman to Country’s Ruling Party.

The Tanzanian government on Sunday suspended a private newspaper for 30 days after it linked a “terrorist” gunman who killed four people to the country’s ruling party.

Police said the assailant who had shot dead three police officers and a private security guard in a rampage in the diplomatic quarter of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam last month had been radicalised through the internet.

But on Friday, the Raia Mwema newspaper linked the gunman — named as Hamza Mohamed — to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Government spokesman Gerson Msigwa said in a statement the paper was suspended for publishing misleading stories and violating the law and journalistic ethics.

“This is a violation of licence conditions and a threat to national security by promoting stories that create hatred among the communities,” he said.

Last month, the government suspended a newspaper owned by CCM for 14 days for publishing a “false” story about Hassan which said she was not considering running for president in elections in 2025.

After Hassan took office in March, there were hopes she would turn the page on the increasingly autocratic rule of her late predecessor John Magufuli, also of the CCM.

But concern about the state of democracy in Tanzania has heightened after the arrest in July of the leader of the main opposition Chadema party, Freeman Mbwowe, who faces trial on charges of terrorism.

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English News Politics Tanzanian News

Tanzania’s First Ever Female President Lambasted For Her Remarks On Female Footballers Having “Flat Chests” And Being “Unattractive For Marriage.”

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan is being criticised online for her remarks on female footballers having “flat chests” and being unattractive for marriage.

The president was speaking at state house in Dar es Salaam to receive a trophy won by the national under-23 football team for the season’s Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) challenge cup.

She said while women were making the country proud by winning trophies, some of them did not stand a chance at getting married because of the way they looked.

“If we bring them here and line them up, for those with flat chests, you might think they are men – not women,” she said of the women’s football team.

She said while some of the sportswomen were married, most of them were not, “and for the way they are, a life of marriage… is a just a dream”.

The president said sportspeople were living a tough life after their career in sports and asked the authorities to ensure their future was well taken care of after retirement. She noted that it was particularly harder for women “where their legs are tired, when they have retired from the sport”.

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Economy | Business Politics Rich People

Tanzania: President @SuluhuSamia Won Accolades From @AlikoDangote, Africa’s richest man, and fellow billionaire Mohammed Dewji (@moodewji) For Her Business-friendly Noises. But Her Government’s Crackdown On Opposition Leaders is Raising Some Concern.

👉Economy could get boost from $30 billion natural gas project.
👉The government still has much work to become business friendly.

Tanzania’s new President Samia Hassan won accolades from Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, and fellow billionaire Mohammed Dewji for her business-friendly noises. But her government’s crackdown on opposition leaders this week is raising some concern.

Since she took office on March 19, Hassan — Africa’s only female head of government — has signaled a new business-friendly era, pledging to reverse her predecessor’s policies that antagonized investors and hit foreign investments. Hassan, 61, promised to dismantle barriers put up by former President John Magufuli and resurrect a $30 billion natural gas project, prompting Dangote and Dewji to say Tanzania seems to be opening for business again.

On Monday, however, Tanzanian authorities dragged Freeman Mbowe, the leader of the main opposition party, to court over terrorism and economic sabotage charges. That came after he and other party officials were arrested the week before, just hours before they were to hold a meeting on constitutional reform — demanding a reduction in presidential powers and amendments to the electoral process. The arrests cast a shadow over what was turning into a post-Magufuli, good-news story for Tanzania.


The “arrest will obviously give ESG-conscious investors some cause for concern,” said Connor Vasey, an analyst at Eurasia Group. “That said, Hassan has publicly discarded the constitutional debate in favor of focusing on economic reforms. The lack of policy distraction could be taken as a positive by some in the investment/business community.”

Like Dangote and Dewji, investors began to give Tanzania another look after the death on March 17 of Magufuli, who tore up agreements his predecessors signed with companies, demanded usurious taxes from businesses and denied the existence of Covid-19 in his country. Foreign direct investment as a percentage of gross domestic product steadily declined from 2015. Nicknamed the “Bulldozer,” for bluntly speaking his mind and his uncompromising stance on corruption, Magufuli’s reign saw Tanzania slip 10 notches in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings to 141 out of 190 countries last year.

Hassan has swiftly moved to fast-track several large projects that had been stalled. They include the liquefied natural gas terminal planned by Equinor ASARoyal Dutch Shell PlcExxon Mobil Corp. and other partners and a $3 billion joint venture with China’s Sichuan Hongda Co. for an iron ore and coal mine. In June, she said her government has resumed talks on a planned $10 billion port project backed by China, suspended by Magufuli in a disagreement over terms.

“We are reviewing around 88 laws that were identified as not being business friendly,” Minister for Industry and Trade Kitila Mkumbo said in an interview. “There is concern that there are too many regulatory authorities in this country. We are looking at the possibility of reducing them. We want civil servants to see themselves as business facilitators rather than business controllers, and that is really a question of changing mindsets.”

Hassan’s moves are aimed at luring sorely needed investments to add jobs in a country where 44% of the people are below the age of 15 years. Her decision to revive the gas project could make it one of Africa’s largest producers of the cleaner energy by 2028, with the central bank estimating that the start of the construction of the LNG terminal in 2023 could add 2 percentage points to economic growth.

“Hassan is promising a transformative agenda in economic policy after five years of economic quagmire and lack of clarity in economic philosophy” said Bravious Kahyoza, an economics lecturer and analyst based in Dar es Salaam.

For all her moves to reverse Magufuli’s economic legacy, Hassan seems to be doing little to turn her back on the political-freedom constraining steps taken by her predecessor. Magufuli’s rule resulted in the erosion of Tanzania’s civil society, prompting comparisons with neighboring Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who while earning praise for stamping out graft, quelled any form of dissent.

Hassan, who like Magufuli, comes from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, is close to Magufuli’s predecessor Jakaya Kikwete, who conceived, initiated and passed some of those restrictive laws.

“She’s had this opportunity to redress how regressive Magufuli’s presidency was,” said Oryem Nyeko, a researcher at Human Rights Watch in Uganda. “The arrest and the timing of it really just doesn’t look good as far as the hopes that many people had for change. Attacks on opposition was a major part of Magufuli’s presidency. It appears that she’s following in that direction.”

Tanzanian government spokesman Gerson Msigwa dismissed any suggestion that Mbowe’s arrest was politically motivated, saying everyone “will be subjected to the law if they are suspected and accused of criminal conduct.”

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights voiced its concern, saying in a statement that the “lack of strict adherence to the right to due process of the law enunciated in Article 7 of the African Charter leads to abuse of the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and creates an atmosphere of fear on the part of opposition parties.’’

Meanwhile, Hassan’s ties with Kikwete could give the former president and his confidants an outsize influence over economic decision-making, Eurasia Group’s Vasey said. On his watch, the country recorded some impressive FDI growth figures and had a much more cordial public-private sector relationship, he said.

“She’ll be balancing Kikwete and Magufuli-era policies and it’s unclear how the private sector will ultimately digest that,” Vasey said.

Tanzania’s economy has fared better than most in the region since the onset of the pandemic, with the the International Monetary Fund estimating it grew by 1% last year when most economies shrank, while forecasting it to expand by 2.7% this year. The government put last year’s growth at 4.8%. That’s still far short of the near 7% growth rates it enjoyed over much of the last decade.


For now, Hassan — who was educated at Mzumbe University (then called Institute of Development Management) and the University of Manchester — seems to be taking economy-bolstering steps. In addition to seeking the resurrection of projects, she has started vaccinating her people and has approached the IMF for an emergency loan to boost Africa’s third-largest gold producer and top exporter of cashew nuts.

“We have more open discussions and more willingness from the government to work collaboratively,” said Jens Reinke, the IMF’s resident representative in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital. “There are a lot of indicators that point the right way.”

While the LNG project won’t be a silver bullet, it would help shore up government finances, Reinke said. The planned LNG facility would be about 130 kilometers (80 miles) from a similar project in neighboring Mozambique, where TotalEnergies SE has indefinitely halted work because of an escalation in insurgency linked to Islamic State. That may provide Tanzania the opportunity to tap a fast-shrinking window in a world that’s increasingly moving away from fossil fuels, according to Shani Smit, an economist at NKC Africa Economics in Paarl, South Africa.

Equinor said it was encouraged by Hassan’s recent comments on the LNG sector, and was ready to start negotiations on what’s known as a host government agreement that’s critical for the project to proceed. Shell said it’s pleased the government is prioritizing the project, and is looking forward to more talks.

“There is still a lot of work to do and a long way to go,” Ola Morten Aanestad, an Equinor spokesman, said. “Before we can progress this project any further, we need to get a commercial, fiscal, and legal framework in place that demonstrates a viable business case.”

Source: Bloomberg

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Diplomacy

Biden’s Top Diplomat Victoria Nuland To Meet President Samia, To Hold Roundtable with Opposition

The Biden administration is dispatching a top diplomat to four African countries where she will meet with three presidents to strengthen bilateral ties.

The administration said in a statement on Sunday that the U.S. State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland will travel to South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, and Niger from July 31 to August 6.

She will meet with the presidents of Botswana, Tanzania and Niger and top South African officials.

“In South Africa, the Under Secretary will meet with senior South African officials and co-chair the Working Group on African and Global Issues to advance shared priorities. She will welcome the United States’ donation of 5.66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to South Africa, and meet with civil society and business leaders,” read a State Department statement detailing her trip.

In Botswana, the Under Secretary will meet with President Mokgweetsi Masisi to advance the partnership between nations on democracy, the climate crisis, economic prosperity, and security in southern Africa, while in Tanzania, the Under Secretary will meet with President Samia Suluhu Hassan and hold a roundtable with opposition leaders.

SOURCE: Today News Africa

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Diplomacy English News

President Samia Suluhu’s Remarks After Meeting with President Kagame at Village Urugwiro in Kigali

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Diplomacy English News

President @SuluhuSamia To Visit Rwanda on Monday, Islamist Insurgency in Mozambique Expected to be among Key Agenda in Talks between her and President @PaulKagame

  • Tanzanian President Samia Suhulu will on Monday arrive in Kigali for her first visit state to Rwanda. 
  • One of the most crucial topics of interest between the two countries now is the instability in Mozambique, where Rwanda has deployed 1000 soldiers and policemen to fight Islamist insurgents.
  • President Suluhu’s first trip was to Uganda in April, followed by Kenga in May.

Tanzanian President Samia Suhulu will on Monday arrive in Kigali for her first visit state to Rwanda.

During the two-day visit, she is expected to hold private talks with President Paul Kagame.

President Suluhu’s visit follows recent high-level meetings between top officials from the two countries.

The most recent meeting occurred on July 16, when Rwanda’s Minister of ICT, Paula Ingabire, met her Tanzanian counterpart, Faustine Ndugulile, to review submarine cable infrastructures in Tanzania that support communication services to Rwanda.

On July 9, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Major General Charles Karamba, met Tanzania’s Minister of Defence Elias Kwandikwa in Dodoma, where they discussed “mutual interest” topics.

One of the most crucial topics of interest between the two countries now is the instability in Mozambique, where Rwanda has deployed 1000 soldiers and policemen to fight Islamist insurgents.

Tanzania also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Mozambique – signed in November 2020 – to jointly battle against Islamists in Cabo Delgado Province.

Rwanda’s deployment of troops to Mozambique was not entirely supported by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), with reports indicating that the bloc expressed concern over a non-member deploying soldiers to the region without its approval.

Suluhu’s visit now provides Rwanda with an opportunity to woo one of SADC’s core members – Tanzania – on her side on matters related to the instability in Mozambique.

High on the agenda for talks between Suluhu and Kagame will also be the Isaka-Kigali standard gauge railway line, which has experienced delayed construction due to lack of funds.

The 532km railway line linking Rwanda to Tanzania and DRC is expected to cost up to $2.5 billion, with Tanzania paying $1.3 billion and Rwanda $1.2billion.

Rwanda and Tanzania have enjoyed cordial ties since 2015.

Before that both countries had a tumultuous past, at the height of which Rwanda accused Tanzanian officials of supporting rebels, while Tanzania also expelled thousands of Rwandan settlers in 2013.

They have been largely on the same page since 2015.

The most recent notable point of contention came in mid-2020 over disagreements on how to control border crossings during the coronavirus pandemic.

After back and forth interactions, the impasse was solved in May when Rwanda agreed to draw back its proposed swapping of drivers at Rusumo border, a proposal that had angered Tanzania’s truck drivers’ association.

Both countries also agreed to mandate the testing of truck drivers at their starting point in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19 across borders.

President Suluhu’s first trip was to Uganda in April, followed by Kenga in May.

Earlier in July, she visited Burundi, and with her visit to Rwanda, she will have visited all members of the East African Community – except South Sudan – within the first four months of her presidency.

This also means that she has visited more countries than her predecessor, John Pombe Magufuli, did in his first full year as president.

Source: The East African