Issues related to tax and residence permits are frustrating Chinese investors interested in doing business in Tanzania, the Chinese ambassador, Ms Wang Ke, has said.

Ms Wang was speaking during a forum aimed at promoting investment and trade partnerships between Chinese and Tanzanian companies held in the city yesterday. It brought together 136 companies from Tanzania and 70 from China.

The envoy stressed the need for increasing efforts to improve the business environment in the country. The business community has repeatedly complained about overstated tax estimates and multiple taxes and absence of a one-stop centre that makes it convenient for foreign investors to register and apply for residence permit in one place.

"We understand that the government has noticed and attached great importance to this by taking measures to make improvements," she said.

According to the ambassador, China has increased its investments in the country, overtaking the UK as the number one source of investments in Tanzania. She said Chinese Investment volume has reached $7 billion in sectors that include energy and infrastructure and that Chinese companies were ready to invest in other areas including the cashew nut sub-sector.

For his part, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director Godfrey Simbeye said it was important that the government worked to improve the business environment to attract more investors. "The government is trying but... it is discouraging that a Chinese investor producing tiles has to compete with fake products for markets," he said.

For his part, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Joseph Kakunda, said the government has noted all the concerns raised by the ambassador and they were being addressed. He said the government was willing and ready to provide the required support.

He said the government has introduced an online portal where foreign companies can apply and register from their countries of origin before coming to Tanzania for final processes.

On trade between the two countries, the minister said: "We have been experiencing a huge trade imbalance by importing more of value added products and that is why we are looking for investors in agro processing, manufacturing and other vital sectors," he said.

He said the country produces 275,000 tonnes of cashew nuts annually and has the capacity to add value to 127,000 tonnes. However, he noted so far only 30,000 tonnes are processed for value addition.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the China Council for Promoting South-South Cooperation Lyu Xinhua said they have launched an English website for international trade where different countries can reach partners for possible investments.

 

Credit: Citizen

A NEW commercial bank formed by China's state owned and private enterprises open doors in Dar es Salaam Monday next week to tap into growing Chinese trade and investment in Tanzania and boost use of Chinese currency, Yuan.

China Dasheng Bank Limited, a fully-fledged commercial bank will become the newest entrant in the Tanzania's banking sector and targets to support China funded projects in Tanzania and provide credit for individuals and enterprises doing business with China, according to the Board Chairman Ji Jiaqin.

He told reporters in Dar es Salaam that with initial capital of 40 million US dollars, the bank would also establish RMB clearing and settlement centre with a focus on the East African region to enable clients to trade directly in Renminbi, the official currency of China.

"There are a large number of Chinese enterprises in Tanzania, including government and private enterprises, he said at the meeting with media personnel.

"We have plans to actively participate in the construction of RMB clearing centre in East Africa, strive to become the RMB clearing/settlement centre in Tanzania and reduce the exchange losses in trading between the two currencies."

Chinese nationals are coming en-masse to Tanzania to do business and work on construction projects funded by the Chinese government and other private enterprises while Tanzanians have been making trips to the Asian country to purchase Chinese merchandise.

The Chairman said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that they provide all round financial services for all kinds of enterprises and individuals in Tanzania as well as enterprises and individuals who work with China.

The bank will provide all usual banking products such as demand, call and time deposit accounts, overdrafts, and loans in local currency and all major foreign currencies, he said.

Additional services to be made available to customers would include trade finance for both imports and exports including letters of credit, bill for collection, foreign exchange dealings and bank guarantees, he said.

Other services would include asset finance, insurance premium financing, treasury products, construction financing and syndicated loans. China is Tanzania's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to 3.88 billion U.S. dollars in 2 016 .

The Asian global economic powerhouse is also Tanzania's second-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and about 72 4 Chinese companies are registered with the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), according to Executive Director, Geoffrey Mwabe in an interview with X inhua.

Chinese investment in Tanzania has increased by more than 40 per cent in recent years, reaching $ 4 billion in 2016 , chief commercial representative at the Chinese embassy, Lin Zhiyong was quoted by media as saying.

 

Daily News

Reductions in malaria cases have stalled after several years of decline globally, according to the new World malaria report 2018

To get the reduction in malaria deaths and disease back on track, World Health Organisation, WHO and partners are joining a new country-led response, launched today, to scale up prevention and treatment, and increased investment, to protect vulnerable people from the deadly disease.

For the second consecutive year, the annual report produced by WHO reveals a plateauing in numbers of people affected by malaria: in 2017, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria, compared to 217 million the year before. But in the years prior, the number of people contracting malaria globally had been steadily falling, from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015.

“Nobody should die from malaria. But the world faces a new reality: as progress stagnates, we are at risk of squandering years of toil, investment and success in reducing the number of people suffering from the disease,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“We recognise we have to do something different – now. So today we are launching a country-focused and -led plan to take comprehensive action against malaria by making our work more effective where it counts most – at local level.”

Where malaria is hitting hardest

In 2017, approximately 70% of all malaria cases (151 million) and deaths (274 000) were concentrated in 11 countries: 10 in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania) and India. There were 3.5 million more malaria cases reported in these 10 African countries in 2017 compared to the previous year, while India, however, showed progress in reducing its disease burden.

Despite marginal increases in recent years in the distribution and use of insecticide-treated bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa – the primary tool for preventing malaria – the report highlights major coverage gaps. In 2017, an estimated half of at-risk people in Africa did not sleep under a treated net. Also, fewer homes are being protected by indoor residual spraying than before, and access to preventive therapies that protect pregnant women and children from malaria remains too low.

High impact response needed

In line with WHO’s strategic vision to scale up activities to protect people’s health, the new country-driven “High burden to high impact” response plan has been launched to support nations with most malaria cases and deaths. The response follows a call made by Dr Tedros at the World Health Assembly in May 2018 for an aggressive new approach to jump-start progress against malaria. It is based on four pillars:

  • Galvanizing national and global political attention to reduce malaria deaths;
  • Driving impact through the strategic use of information;
  • Establishing best global guidance, policies and strategies suitable for all malaria endemic countries; and
  • Implementing a coordinated country response.

Catalyzed by WHO and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, “High burden to high impact” builds on the principle that no one should die from a disease that can be easily prevented and diagnosed, and that is entirely curable with available treatments.

“There is no standing still with malaria. The latest World malaria report shows that further progress is not inevitable and that business as usual is no longer an option,” said Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership. “The new country-led response will jumpstart aggressive new malaria control efforts in the highest burden countries and will be crucial to get back on track with fighting one of the most pressing health challenges we face.”

Targets set by the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 to reduce malaria case incidence and death rates by at least 40% by 2020 are not on track to being met.

Pockets of progress

The report highlights some positive progress. The number of countries nearing elimination continues to grow (46 in 2017 compared to 37 in 2010). Meanwhile in China and El Salvador, where malaria had long been endemic, no local transmission of malaria was reported in 2017, proof that intensive, country-led control efforts can succeed in reducing the risk people face from the disease.

In 2018, WHO certified Paraguay as malaria free, the first country in the Americas to receive this status in 45 years. Three other countries – Algeria, Argentina and Uzbekistan – have requested official malaria-free certification from WHO.

India – a country that represents 4% of the global malaria burden – recorded a 24% reduction in cases in 2017 compared to 2016. Also in Rwanda, 436 000 fewer cases were recorded in 2017 compared to 2016. Ethiopia and Pakistan both reported marked decreases of more than
240 000 in the same period.

“When countries prioritize action on malaria, we see the results in lives saved and cases reduced,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO and global malaria control partners will continue striving to help governments, especially those with the highest burden, scale up the response to malaria.”

Domestic financing is key

As reductions in malaria cases and deaths slow, funding for the global response has also shown a levelling off, with US$ 3.1 billion made available for control and elimination programmes in 2017 including US$ 900 million (28%) from governments of malaria endemic countries.  The United States of America remains the largest single international donor, contributing US$ 1.2 billion (39%) in 2017.

To meet the 2030 targets of the global malaria strategy, malaria investments should reach at least US$6.6 billion annually by 2020 – more than double the amount available today.

 

Source: NAN

The government will provide free land to investors who would be interested in establishing industries involved in making building and construction materials, a cabinet minister has revealed.

Opening the 21st Buldexpo yesterday, the minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr Wlliam Lukuvi, told the business community that the offer will last until December, aiming at attracting more investors in the building and construction sector and reducing imports.

Buldexpo is Africa's building and construction tradeshow whose 21st edition is currently going on in the country for three days. It comprises more than 200 manufacturers and exporters from around the world, covering a variety of sectors in construction, ranging from building and construction materials, aluminum steel profiles, granite, ceramics and pipe fittings to mining tools and hardware.

So far, at least 800 plots have been set aside at Kibaha area, according to him, but the offer is for the whole country.

"I am happy that you (exhibitors) are here to showcase your modern construction materials, but I wish you could install plants for manufacturing them locally instead of importing them," he told the exhibitors. To ease the process, Mr Lukuvi has announced the government would provide them with land free of charge.

"Whoever is interested should come to my office from tomorrow (31st October) and I will give you a well surveyed piece of land," he said, adding that although the offer targeted manufacturers of construction and building materials, investors in other sectors would also benefit from the offer.

The minister also promised to assist investors to communicate with other ministries and regulatory bodies related to industrial investments, for further procedures.

"I know some of you have not tried the Tanzanian market before, but I assure you that you will not regret investing here. No company has operated at a loss in this country as the market is huge and the business environment is conducive," he noted, reiterating the available opportunities in constructing affordable houses.

"We currently demand at least 50,000 housing units for public workers and other individuals. The government cannot afford to build them alone and seeks your (private sector) support," he said.

He urged them to either build the houses on their own or collaborate with local companies.

Kenyan ambassador to Tanzania Dan Kazungu echoed Mr Lukuvi's call, saying that the investments would also benefit Kenya and other East African countries.

"We (EAC) have common market agreements that encourage countries to do business with each other. So, constructing these industries in Tanzania will help you to access the Kenyan and other EAC countries' markets," he said.

 

Credit: Citizen

Twenty people have been arrested as police press a manhunt for Africa’s youngest billionaire who was kidnapped in Dar es Salaam two days ago, a minister said Saturday.

Mohammed Dewji, who at 43 is Africa’s youngest billionaire, was snatched by gunmen as he entered a hotel gym in Tanzania’s economic capital on Thursday morning.

“Up until now, 20 people have been arrested,” Interior Minister Kangi Lugola told reporters, without giving any detail on their identities. “Security forces are working day and night” to find him.

Officials have implicated the involvement of foreigners, saying he was taken by “whites”. Dewji is chief executive of the MeTL Group which operates in some 10 countries and has interests in agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry.

According to Forbes, he is worth $1.5 billion (1.29 billion euros) and ranks 17th on the list of African billionaires. Between 2005-2015, he served as a member of parliament and in 2013, he became the first Tanzanian to grace the cover of Forbes magazine. Two years later, he was named Forbes’ Africa Person of the Year.

Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba FC football club.

 

- AFP

Tanzania is known for its tapestry of lush forests, expansive grasslands and tropical beaches, and abundant and diverse wildlife. Its coastal forests are part of the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa biodiversity hotspot – a place recognised for its wealth of wildlife but threatened with destruction, making it a high priority for conservation efforts.

These forests are home to hundreds of endemic plant and animal species – ones that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. For example, there are five endemic mammals – including the Zanzibar Red Colobus – five endemic birds, six endemic amphibians and three endemic reptiles, as well as 325 endemic plants. More than 300 other species are shared only with the nearby Eastern Arc Mountains.

In our paper we found that biodiversity – and the level of endemic species – is exceptional by global standards. We show that many endemic species are threatened with extinction. This is due to increasing human-use pressures as well as emerging mining, gas and oil exploration. Habitat loss and degradation has continued and the space remaining for the endemic species is shrinking. It’s now often confined to government protected areas and lands managed for conservation by villagers.

The region epitomises the challenges of conserving forests in a developing country with a rapidly expanding population, many of whom are dependent on subsistence farming and biomass for cooking. Both have a direct impact on forest habitats.

Forest loss

The forest habitat where these endemic species are uniquely found has continued to be lost and degraded over the past two decades. Between 1990 and 2007, coastal forest cover decreased by more than a third, and has continued to decline ever since. This is largely as a result of agricultural expansion, charcoal production and logging for timber and firewood.

Endemic species are only able to survive in forest. The loss of their habitat is therefore a direct threat to their survival.

By mapping forest loss we can see that there are areas that are some distance from the major coastal towns – Dar es Salaam and Lindi. The lack of recent forest loss closer to these cities is because it’s already been cleared and replaced with urban areas or farm land. Clearance of forest has spread like a wave from these cities into more rural areas.

Areas of forest loss (red) and remaining tree cover (green) close to larger cities in coastal Tanzania (black) and protected areas (pale brown). Data covers the period 2000-2012. Author supplied

Millions of people in Tanzania rely on natural resources – clean freshwater, healthy forests and abundant wildlife – for food and income. And, the destruction of Tanzania’s coastal forests to support the growing population is putting huge pressure on the natural environment.

The main use of forests by people has been as a source of farmland. Tanzania’s economic development in the coastal region is highly dependent on agriculture. Freshly cleared forest is more fertile than established farmland. This has led to more clearance of unprotected forest patches. The need for fertile soil that is close to water courses puts coastal forest patches under even more pressure. Now, almost no forest patches remain in the coastal areas of Tanzania unless they are protected in government – or village-managed reserves, or are within sacred forest or burial sites for local villagers.

The forests and woodlands in the coastal areas have also been used as a source of timber and poles for construction, and as a source of energy – either as firewood in rural areas or converted to charcoal for transport to the growing cities and urban areas. About 90% of Tanzania energy generation comes from wood and charcoal and is a vital source of income to some rural villages. But this has an impact on many of the endemic species.

The challenge

To deal with these challenges – protecting this unique habitat while ensuring people have the resources they need to survive – reserved areas have been created by central and local governments, as well as local communities who are promoting better management. There is also a gradual movement towards private ownership of land.

Between 1995 and 2014, the total area of protected lands increased by more than 20% and now covers 1,233,646 hectares. Much of this is community managed village-land forest reserves – over 140 of these reserves have been developed in recent years, covering many important habitats.

In comparison, the state managed reserve network has not expanded much over the past two decades, and the forested areas within these lands have become more degraded – especially close to major cities.

Reserve managers working along the coastal region of Tanzania are using a simple score card to determine how well their reserve is managed. We also found that the best managed reserves in this area are national parks and village-land forest reserves. This means that these are the places where forest habitat, and hence the endemic species confined to that habitat, are most likely to survive.

What does the future hold?

These challenges will only be solved if the right framework – from policy through to on-the-ground actions – is put in place. Building partnerships with global communities, national stakeholders and involving local communities could improve the effectiveness of managing forests and biodiversity, as well as supporting the country’s development priorities.

Peter Sumbi, independent environmental consultant and Isaac Malugu, former forest officer were co-authors on this article.The Conversation

Neil Burgess, Professor at the Center for Marcoecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The government, through Tanzania Roads Agency (Tanroads) has set aside a total of $4.4m to proceed with the construction of a road that links Tanzania to the neighbouring countries of Zambia and Malawi, the Parliament heard on Monday, June O4, 2018.

The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Mr Elias Kwandikwa told the House that the government understands the importance of the Mpemba-Ileje Road to Tanzania's economic fortunes, noting that currently, construction of the Mpemba-Isongole section was underway.

Mr Kwandikwa was responding to a question from Mr Frank Mwakajoka who wanted to know what the government was doing to build the Mpemba-Ileje Road, saying it was strategically positioned to link Tanzania to the neighboring countries.

According to Mr Kwandikwa, during the 2017/18 Financial Year, the government set aside $1.9m for the Mpemba-Ileje section and that in the 2018/19 Financial Year, some $4.4m will be spent on the project.

 

Credit: The Citizen

The government has allocated Sh1 billion ( $440,000) to upgrade Handeni - Singida road through Chemba to the tarmac level.

The road joins the three regions of Tanga, Dodoma and Singida in which the East African crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani in Tanzania passes through. 

Deputy minister for Works, Transport and Communications Mr Elias Kwandikwa said the preparations for compensations have started. He also asked the residents in that area to stop settlement development in areas marked.

Mr Kwandikwa was responding to a question from Mr Juma Nkamia (Chemba-CCM) who wanted to know when the construction of the tarmac road from Handeni through Kiberashi, Chemba and Kwamtoro to Singida would start.

 

Source: The Citizen 

Tanzania’s economy grew around 7.1 per cent last year, beating the government’s own revised forecast, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said.

In November, the country trimmed its gross domestic product (GDP) to 7.0 per cent from 7.1 per cent. That forecast had also been revised from 7.4 per cent. But Majaliwa said East Africa’s third-largest economy grew faster than expected last year owing to an increase in mining activity.

“Latest data ... shows that the country’s gross domestic product grew 7.1 per cent in the period between January and December 2017, compared to a GDP growth of 7.0 per cent in 2016,” Majaliwa said in the parliamentary presentation obtained by Reuters.

The session on Monday was held behind closed doors.

Full-year GDP growth in 2017 was driven by mining and quarrying (17.5 per cent), transport and storage (16.6 per cent) and construction (14.7 per cent) activities, he said.

The World Bank cut its forecast for Tanzania’s full-year GDP growth in November to 6.6 per cent due to slowdowns in public spending and growth of credit to the private sector. Tanzania has pledged to boost public investment in infrastructure projects, including a standard gauge railway, new roads and an expansion of ports.

But some investors have been unnerved by some policies from the government of President John Magufuli, who is nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for his governing style.

“There appears to have been an overall deterioration in business sentiment due to the perceived risks resulting from the unpredictability of policy actions,” the World Bank said in its economic update on Tanzania in November.

Tanzania’s central bank last week revoked the licenses of five “critically undercapitalised” community banks to protect financial stability in East Africa’s No. 3 economy.

There are about 40 commercial banks and a dozen community banks, which target savings from specific communities or sectors such as farming, but the financial sector is largely dominated by just a handful of big banks.

The central bank said it would liquidate the Covenant Bank for Women (Tanzania) Ltd, Efatha Bank Ltd, Njombe Community Bank Ltd, Kagera Farmers’ Cooperative Bank Ltd and Meru Community Bank Ltd.
“The aforesaid banks are critically undercapitalised,” the central bank said in a statement.

It said continuation of operations of the banks in their current capital position was “detrimental to the interests of depositors and poses a risk to the stability of the financial system.”

The closure of the banks comes after President John Magufuli ordered the central bank to take action against failing financial institutions. This brings to eight the number of banks whose business licences have been cancelled since 2017.

Analysts said a steep increase in bad loans coupled with a sharp decline in credit to the private sector are threatening to undermine economic growth. The central bank announced new rules last June for capital buffers, a move that will force banks to hold more capital to withstand financial shocks following a sharp rise in non-performing loans.

Tanzania’s economy grew at an annual rate of 6.8 percent in the first half of 2017 from 7.7 percent in the same period in 2016. The International Monetary Fund said last month Tanzania’s banking sector was well-capitalised, but some small and mid-sized banks faced a sizable reduction in capitalisation ratios.

 

- Reuters

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