By Hildebert B.MauriceTherehas been a lot of talks in politics about plans and programmes to lift Tanzaniaout of poverty and to the catch-up withmiddle income countries like South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.That ambition, when it is related to what is being done, it definitely becomeimpossible to connect the two.Allpeople involved in running this country are in consensus on one thing to bringdevelopment but unfortunately, it is a misleading one. They want to doeverything but exclude human power which is brain.Politicians,planners and managers of national development believe that we can becomeprosperous depending on animals in parks of which we do not even visit, stoneslaying beneath earths surface, the mountain or some hydrocarbon deposits as aresult of decomposition of our ancestors and their plants that died with them.Many people believe in that concept but the truth is that such things alone hasnever developed any country and have even brought curse to dwellers of suchnations. Examples are abundant. Iraq, the third oil producing country tells thestory. With that wealth, it must be capable of defending itself against enemiesbut that was not the case as it was easily defeated and lost its sovereigntyand occupied. Looking at photos of Iraq and the way its people lived, theirhouses, food and level of civilization, they are just like Tanzanians, the poorof the poor. Another example is our friends South Africa Botswana and Ghana.They are rich in stones beneath earths surface and they have been digging themup for over fifty years let alone animals. The life of their citizen is not anybetter than ours. We can mention Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, many others inEurasian countries and South America. Ithink memories are still fresh for Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.Whatabout tourism based on wildlife, mountains and islands? It will never bringenough money to make us rich. Tourists can see those animals in their owncountries zoos. Why should one pay or take a credit to come to Tanzania towatch a lion or an elephant or a mountain? It is not convincing enough. Up tothis moment about eight hundred thousand tourists visit our country and thenumber is almost the same to our neighbours. This does not compare favourablyto tourism in developed nations. For example, France receives about 80 milliontourists per annum, Germany receives about 60 millions, United Kingdom about 50million and US receives about 50 millions as well and these visitors reallyspend in those countries. St. Peters basilica in the Vatican receives 17,000tourists every day and this means that this single building receives about6,205,000 tourists every year, which is about 8 times than Tanzania as a whole.When do we think that we can attract at least 10 million tourists in thiscountry? Under present conditions and structure, it will never happen. How canthis be explained? The explanation is that tourists want to see something thatchallenges their brain. Things like a sliding bridge in Cardiff, launching ofsatellite into Mars, the tallest building in Dubai, Taji Mahal in India, newshopping experience in Europe, partying with celebrities in Hollywood, theflying boats on the shores of Australia, medical tourism and so forth and most of them are man-made.This again is in concordance with the argument that we need to develop thingsthat are uniquely Tanzanian and to achieve that we need to improve ourtechnology and knowledge and that can be via research and development.Instead,these so called natural resources have generated suffering to mankind thatanything else. These things, once found, can be easily obtained. Because manypeople are interested and if given an opportunity they can collect them then acompletion sets in. In these days, when there is competition, the powerfulshould prevail. To prevail in such circumstances things like manipulation ofthe poor and weak, corruption to authorities, concessions to the rich and ifall this fails, war becomes inevitable. Examples are everywhere for one to seeeven in our own country. We have not seen even a drop of oil but people inpositions have already received billions to stash in foreign banks. What hasbeen of ordinary people? Disastrous power rationing schemed by thieves inoffice. So what will happen when oil starts to flow? Danger? Of course yes. Therehas been a lot money wastage directed to agriculture and the basis for this ismany are depending on it and itself has not brought best results as it promisesin speeches and working papers as it is a wrong approach. To succeed inagriculture we need research and development. We need even to embracegenetically enhanced crops and animals as well to improve productivityInessence, we forging one bad policy after the other and results are clear thatwe have not gone anywhere. What should we do? We have to adventure in researchand development which will result into technology, which will propel us intoindustrialization and hence development. I know again that most of our policymaker will prefer industrialization in another way. The Nyerere style, wherebyyou buy the machinery and start manufacturing batteries or clothes. This isunsustainable because your competitor who rely on research and development willbeat you on the quality of their products. It is understandable that the demiseof these industries was a culmination of so many factors including lack of goodmanagement but the main factor is their products could not compete. If theseindustries were results of R and D or even supported by it, we would have themeven now. One industry cannot sustain R and D on its own but through the use ofuniversities, private companies and research institutions.Evenin Europe right now, countries that did not invest in research and developmentare the ones in big economic trouble because they have nothing to sell and cannotcompete. Countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal had very little activitiesresearch and development and have been vulnerable to economic crisis. Europeancountries that invest in research such as Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden andfew others are relatively stable.Evenoutside Europe, India has been exemplary because it investment in biotechnologyand information technology has brought wealth to that country. China followed adifferent path whereby Chinese were allowed to go to study and work indeveloped countries. When working there, they train in research, understand thetechnology of certain industry and once they have mastered, they back to theircountry to start-up a business and compete. After tasting the benefits ofresearch and development, Chinas investment in research and development is thesecond in the world after that of the US. Americas economy has been on the declinebecause those investments made research and development in 1960s and 1970shave been declining except for military and have relied on private sector toinvest in the rest which means that country have surrendered the centraldevelopment strategy which brings in disorganized results and hence aslow-down. There other countries that have increased funding in research anddevelopment and that input is reflected in their economic growth are SouthKorea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.Inthe ranking of countries spending in research and development, only 72countries spends about or over US$100 million each. In Africa, south of thesahara there is South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Botswana and Ethiopia. In this rankings, there is no Tanzania,Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Angola and the like who are busy enjoying their naturalresources. The other surprise is the absence of Equatorial Guinea in the list whosepresident Nguema Obiang sponsors a US$ 3 million UNESCO prize for the bestscientist and is named after him of which nobody from his country will ever winbecause he not giving them money to carry out best research. As it has been inthe past this leader is following in the footsteps of Mobutu, Ghadafi whothinks are bigger than their own countries and people. Another irony is SaudiArabia which is the biggest oil producer in the world but spends only US$ 270million superseded by South Africa over 10 times at US$ 3.7 billion and 20times by Iran which spend about US$ 6.2 billion which is the fourth largest oilproducer in the world. Itis unbelievable that our leaders do not understand these simple concepts and itmay be tempting to think that they are avoiding this open truth purposely becausebenefits of research and development do not come very quickly and thereforeinvesting in it will not deliver to them politically. After all, many of themare not researchers and therefore it is impossible to have the recourse to thatmoney as they do to other funds. If anybody followed the budget parliament thisyear for the ministry of Communication, Science and Technology will bedisappointed. The total money allocated for this ministry were 70.107 billionshillings out of which, 30.275 billion shillings are for salaries and fuel andthe rest to buy telecom traffic monitoring system. No single coin was allocatedfor research and development. Also, there was a serious lack of interest fromthe MPs. Then you can ask yourself on where we are heading to in this 21[SUP]st[/SUP]century. In conclusion, true and sustainable development can come about byusing peoples brains and to achieve this, is to train them and eventuallycommit them into research and development. For natural resources to work, ithas first to be harnessed to human brains. Even when we have depleted thisnature, these brains will keep us moving on.