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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Tanzania addresses faults raised by African governance initiative

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Wednesday they have started addressing shortcomings raised by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the continent’s self-monitoring mechanism.

The mandate of the APRM is to encourage conformity in regard to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among African countries.

Launching APRM’s country review report for Tanzania, the east African country’s Vice-President, Samia Hassan Suluhu, said the APRM initiative was relevant to the country given its massive potential in deepening democracy and citizen participation.

“For ARPM, as an instrument for the transformation of the African governance architecture has renewed hope and enthusiasm for our people,” said Suluhu.

Tanzania acceded to the APRM process on May 26, 2004, providing the country with a platform where the government and its people could sit together as one in determining their country’s destiny collectively.

In implementing the ARPM, she said Tanzania has started strengthening institutions charged with good governance, democracy, reducing poverty, the industrialization drive and delivery of social services in the education, health and water.

She said one of the focus areas in the country’s industrialization drive was reinforcement of the power and energy sector.

Suluhu said the government has continued with its zero tolerance policy on corruption by taking relevant measures, including strengthening institutions responsible for corruption oversight and raising awareness campaigns on corruption and money laundering.

Suluhu said through the APRM initiative, Africa has shown the world that it can dictate its own course of development and address poverty afflicting its citizens.

“Through this mechanism we have been able to showcase to the world our collective strength in improving democracy, peace and stability, rule of law and good governance in general,” said Suluhu.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Maize disease ravages 340 hectares in northern Tanzania

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The deadly Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease has wreaked havoc in northern Tanzania’s district of Arumeru, subjecting hundreds of growers to unimaginable losses, authorities said Friday.

Grace Solomon, an agricultural officer in Arumeru District said five wards (with more than 30 villages) have been affected with MLN.

The official said that about 340 hectares of maize farms have been destroyed by the deadly disease in the areas located on the slopes of Mount Meru, the second tallest after Kilimanjaro.

MLN landed in Tanzania a few years ago from neighbouring Kenya, hence posing a major food security threat in the east African nation and the region at large. The disease arises from the interaction of two viruses: maize chlorotic mottle virus (MSMV) and a virus from a group named potyviruses, often sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV). 

“We’re encouraging farmers to venture into crop rotation farming technique, which is one of the solutions being proposed to reduce the pain of MLN,” she said, adding: “Other farmers are being told on their need to go into other crops, but, farmers are reluctant to change, arguing that other crops are not as lucrative as maize.”

Crop rotation, according to Grace, helps to break the virus in the soil as the disease is most rampant in maize plantations.

“We’re also encouraging farmers to set on fire the remains of the maize plants because if they are left in the field, the disease will remain as the virus will also remain in that to infect another crop in the next farming season,” Grace said.

Mrisho Gambo, Arusha Regional Commissioner, called upon agricultural experts in the region to work closely with farmers and advise them on how to deal with the disease.

“As a government, we’re working hard to find a sustainable and widely applicable solution to the new maize challenge, which is now posing a food security concern, particularly in the affected areas,” Gambo said, directing extension officers to carry-out regular visits to farmers and collectively address MLN.

Jeremiah Nkatisi, one of the affected farmers in the district said farmers in the area were disappointed by the disease, which seems not easily contained using pesticides.

Like many farmers on slopes of Mount Meru, Nkatisi’s hopes vanished in a thin air, as nothing remained on his five-acre farm because of the disease.

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Tanzania, China pledge to consolidate cultural relations

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The governments of Tanzania and China on Friday pledged to consolidate cultural relations between the two countries for the benefit of their peoples.

Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Lu Youqing said the already cemented bilateral relations have enabled more interactions among the peoples of the two countries in sharing skills and experiences towards exploitation of available opportunities.

The Chinese envoy was speaking at the launch of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Week at the Chinese Cultural Center in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

“Our people have been sharing knowledge in sectors of education and economy through trainings, exchange programs and so on, and the results of this have been beneficial to both countries,” said Lu.

Lilly Beleko, an official from the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, said Tanzania has been benefiting from scholarship programs that benefit up to 200 Tanzanians annually to acquire higher education in China.

“This has enabled Tanzanians to learn Chinese cultures, technologies, and skills which have been applied in different fields of development in the country as they returned home,” she said.

Beleko said the cultural relations were aimed at creating communities that respected the other society’s cultures and became able to live together peacefully and interact for economic development. 

           

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