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We can do without UK- Mkullo

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by Njowepo, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Njowepo

    Njowepo JF-Expert Member

    Nov 18, 2011
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    [TABLE="class: MsoNormalTable"]
    [TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Written by YAKOBE CHIWAMBO
    [TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Friday, 11 November 2011 08:31
    [TD="bgcolor: transparent"]
    IF Britain decides to withdraw its budgetary support to Tanzania as intimated recently by that country's prime minister, David Cameron, the economy will still be able to pull through without feeling much of a pinch, observers say.

    Cameron sparked off considerable controversy when he categorically stated that (Commonwealth) countries which did not tolerate and legalise human rights – specifically including same-sex relationships – would have official development aid (ODA) and other support from Britain peremptorily cut off!
    The prime minister was speaking on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (ChoGM) which ended in Perth, Australia, on October 30 this year.

    That proposition was presumed to include countries like Tanzania which are professedly against same-sex relationships.

    However, the British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Dianne Corner, later sought to clarify her prime minister's remarks, stating to the general effect that Tanzania would not be one of the countries directly affected by the Cameron 'conditionality' vis-a-vis developmental support.

    In any case, experts in their chosen fields of operations who spoke to Business Times on the matter in telephony interviews this week were unanimous that “Tanzania's economy cannot be adversely affected” by withdrawal of Britain's support.

    This, they said, is largely because the country's annual general budgetary support (GBS) is only about five per cent of the Government's total budget. The remaining 30 per cent or so of the GBS is financed by loans from Tanzania's other development partners worldwide!

    “Tanzania’s stand on homosexuality is clear – as (Foreign Minister) Bernard Membe has already said. Membe’s statement is the statement of the Government,” said Mustafa Mkullo, the minister for Finance & Economic Affairs.

    Following Premier Cameron's remarks, Membe reiterated Tanzania’s stand on same-sex relationships: that the Government in Dar would never accept homosexuality based on any grounds whatsoever – even if doing so meant losing Britain’s portion of the GBS.

    The minister said this in a Dar es Salaam Press statement soon after arriving back in the country from the Perth CHOGM.

    “What I can tell my fellow Tanzanians,” Mkullo went on to say, “is that Britain cannot withdraw its support (overnight); we do have an agreement with it and all the other countries which support us – and the issue of homosexuality is not in that agreement!”

    Mkullo confirmed that the general budget support (GBS) which Tanzania is getting from all is development partners is currently pegged at five per cent of the national budget. In the ongoing financial year (2011/12), this amounts to Tsh675 billion out of the Tsh13.5-trillion national budget.

    Nearly 30 per cent of the support is pumped into Tanzania in the form of loans, and no such strings (including legalising homosexuality) are tied to them, Mkullo explains.

    “We advance by ensuring that Tanzania tremendously reduces the GBS – to five per cent – while nearly 30 per cent comes from institutions and other countries in the form of loans; and the loans have no ties,” Mkullo stresses.

    “It is normal for a country to borrow... Even the developed countries themselves do borrow,” Mkullo said, adding that, “in total, there are twelve countries and two organizations that support Tanzania” under the GBS scheme.

    Commenting on what will be the effect on the economy in case Britain (and other donors) withdraw from the GBS arrangements, the director of Policy at the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Hussein Kamote, said “the country’s economy might be affected – although not much.

    “Since we have been getting the aid for a long time, if they withdraw it now, then we might be somewhat affected – but only for a short time,” Kamote said.

    “If that happens, then the country will only need to take some measures to mitigate the impact. Some of the measures which Dar should take include scrapping unnecessary expenditures; promoting domestic manufacturing to produce more than what we are producing now, and cutting back on unnecessary imports while, at the same time, promoting home-made products.”

    For her part, a female entrepreneur, gender activist and economist, Rhoda Mwamunyange, said “Tanzania can still do well even if the donors pull their support. But, there are a number of issues that need to be taken seriously. For one, there is a need to do more in promoting agriculture – and, especially, irrigation farming.

    “”The developed countries achieved their economic goals by promoting agriculture. Relying on donors is not always a good thing... For how long will we be dependent upon others for our own development?” Mwamunyange rhetorises.

    According to her, “accepting every string that donors attach to their handouts is a sign of weakness. In any case, there is no way that Tanzania can be adversely affected if it prudently utilises all the local resources that are at the country's disposal for socio-economic

    Is withdrawal of GBS and related aid as threatened by Britain a chance for the Government in Dar to go back to the Arusha Declaration on Socialism & Self-Reliance?

    According to CTI's Kamote, while it is generally good to be self-reliant, the idea of going back to the Arusha Declaration could be counterproductive. This is in the sense that, although the Arusha Declaration was a good idea in principle, it nevertheless made the fundamental mistake of practically going “against the principals of business.”

    Going back to the Declaration is not a good idea, the director stated, noting that,“if you go back to it, you will face a lot of challenges related to free enterprise concepts!”

    As a parting shot, Ms. Mwamunyange said that, “as much as Tanzania needed to be self-reliant, this does not mean that the country should detach itself from the global economy.”
    Natamani aseme we can do without donors bse with fully exploited resources for the nation benefit its possible