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World Bank hesitates to fund Tanzanian Southern
tourism circuit on concerns of hydro-power project

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Thursday the World Bank was hesitating to fund the east African nation’s southern tourism circuit in protest against the implementation of the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric project in the Selous Game Reserve, a World Heritage Site.

Hamis Kigwangalla, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said donors were worried that implementation of the hydroelectric in the southern tourism circuit through the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism Growth (REGROW) project will affect the ecosystem of the game reserve.

The southern tourism circuit comprised of Katavi, Kitulo, Mahale, Mikumi, Ruaha, the Udzungwa Mountains National Parks, the Selous Game Reserve and two rift valley lakes of Nyasa and Tanganyika.

Kigwangala said the government was determined to ensure protection of the environment and the Selous Game Reserve, adding that the REGROW project will be implemented regardless of delays in securing funding.

The minister was reacting to members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources who had advised the government to fast track talks with the World Bank for acquisition of a 150-million-U.S.-dollar loan to improve tourism in the southern circuit.

They said talks to finalize the release of the loan were delayed by the World Bank following the Tanzanian government’s decision to implement the 2,100-megawatt Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower project at the Selous Game Reserve.

Tanzania had requested for a World Bank loan to improve the country’s tourism in the southern corridor through the REGROW project.

The project was expected to help improve management of natural resources and tourism assets in priority areas of southern Tanzania and to increase access to alternative livelihood activities for targeted communities.

The Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric project has drawn criticism from environmental NGOs, both for its effect on the core area of the Selous Game Reserve and the downstream ecology of the Rufiji River.

But Tanzanian President John Magufuli has dismissed concerns about the effect the hydroelectric project would have on the game reserve.


Tanzania government and Bharti Airtel sign agreement

DAR ES SALAAM (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania and Bharti Airtel Limited, an Indian global telecommunications services company based in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday signed an agreement including raising the East African nation’s shareholding in the mobile phone operator to 49 percent from 40 percent.

A statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said the agreement was signed between Tanzania’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Palamagamba Kabudi and Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal and witnessed by President John Magufuli.

Before the agreement, the global telecommunication company owned shareholding of 60 percent.

The statement said Bharti Airtel has also agreed to give dividends to the government of Tanzania to the tune of 10 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 4.4 million U.S. dollars) that Tanzania had not received for the past 10 years.

According to the statement, Bharti Airtel has written off a debt amounting about 1 trillion Tanzanian shillings that Tanzania owed the telecom firm.

Bharti Airtel will also contribute 2.3 billion Tanzanian shillings to social corporate responsibility.

"The agreement has opened a new cooperation chapter between Bharti Airtel and Tanzania.

This agreement has written new history," said Mittal.

"This is the kind of investment that we prefer. Airtel has been in Tanzania for the past eight, nine years but the country was not benefiting," Magufuli said.

Tanzania ready to sell food surplus to Malawi: president

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli said on Wednesday his country was ready to sell its food surplus to Malawi when the southern African country was in short supply.

President Magufuli made the remarks shortly after he had received credentials from Malawi’s new envoy to Tanzania, Glad Chembe Munthali, at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania has a surplus and it is ready to sell it to Malawi, a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication quoted Magufuli as saying.

The president also assured the new Malawi envoy of Tanzania’s continued cordial bilateral relations, said the statement.

Early this month, the Minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga, said the country has about 3 million tonnes in surplus food.

Hasunga said Tanzania has continued to help several neighboring countries with food supplies, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi.

He said Tanzania Revenue Authority data showed that Tanzania exported a total of 64,477.95 tonnes of maize and 99,434.45 tonnes of beans to these countries between June 2017 and June 2018.

Tanzania’s communications regulator introduces system to trace fraudulent traffic

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) said on Thursday it has fixed a telecommunication traffic monitoring system (TTMS) aimed at tracing fraudulent traffic.

James Kilaba, TCRA Director General, said the TTMS will officially be handed over to President John Magufuli on Friday at TCRA’s headquarters in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Kilaba said the system has been useful in identifying fraudulent traffic as well as mobile money transactions, data that would have been difficult to access accurately without such a system.

The state-of-the-art technology has also enabled TCRA to ascertain the quality of services given by mobile phone operators to their customers, he added.

"Economic activities related to information and communication technology (ICT) have grown and continue to grow tremendously in our country hence the need for robust monitoring system," he said.

Kilaba added that ICT should continue to contribute in economic development.

In April 2016, President Magufuli sacked the then TCRA Director General Ally Simba and disbanded the entire TCRA Board of Directors for failing to oversee the monitoring of the industry.

Baby elephant rescued from gorge in western Tanzania

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A baby elephant which lost its herd and plunged into a deep gorge in western Tanzania’s district of Sumbawanga has been rescued, a senior official said on Tuesday.

James Wakibara, Director General for the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) said that the baby elephant believed to have come from one of the game reserves in western part of the country was found trapped in a gorge on Sunday and was later airlifted to safety by conservationists aboard an airplane.

He said that the exercise to airlift the young elephant from Sumbawanga to the Makoa Farm’s elephant orphanage, located in Kilimanjaro, was performed jointly by TAWA and the Friedkin Conservation Fund.

The official said: "It took about three hours to transport the baby elephant from Rukwa to Kilimanjaro by plane.

The Jumbo was escorted by wildlife and veterinary officers."

He said that if the young elephant could have died if it had stayed longer in the precipice.

"After spotting it, our officers reported the matter and we took efforts to rescue the animal," he said.

According to Wakibara, the little elephant will stay for a while at the Makoa Farm in Kilimanjaro where wildlife and veterinary officers will be checking its progress, before being released back into the wild to join its herd.

One of the stakeholders in conservation, Joram Laizer praised the joint efforts of Friedkin Conservation Fund and the TAWA in rapid act of ensuring the jumbo’s safety, especially at the time when wild animals face serious threats from poachers, diseases and being the underdog in human-wildlife conflicts.

Wildlife officials reveal here that the baby elephant was still in suckling stage and when it fell head-on into the gorge.

It badly injured both its trunk and mouth area, making it difficult for the jumbo to feed.

Still, it is being hoped that the baby elephant will recover in time to be sent back to join its family.

Due to drop in poaching cases, the number of elephants is on steady increase throughout the country and many of the jumbo are currently roaming freely across the landscape, with some, like this baby jumbo, accidentally falling into valleys.


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