Soma habari hii from This Day, Friday, October 12 2007
Beer worth more than gold?
BY the grace of God, Tanzania is a country endowed with vast and abundant natural resources, perhaps rivaled by only a few among its neighbours and the rest of the African continent. It is covered with great agricultural land and wildlife; awash with enormous water bodies complete with a complexity of aquatic and marine life; and the land is replete with an unquantifiable variety of precious minerals. Yet in terns of economic growth, Tanzania is one of the Least Developed Countries and among the poorest in the world, in terms of income disposable to its people and other economic indicators.
The country is also beset by other serious development challenges such as poor health; its people are dying young due to poverty and ailments while many lives of its children and women are lost annually through avoidable or preventable antenatal health challenges.
However, Tanzania's leaders say they have been trying hard to pull the country from this intractable quagmire. The country has embraced serious economic reforms since the 1980s, believing that the impact of those reforms would eventually stimulate economic development through the trickle-down effect, and bring a better life to the ordinary population.
But we believe that apart from ongoing efforts, certain things need to be done, including more reforms, to enable this country make the best use of its natural resources to advance her socio economic development. And one such area that needs further reforming is the mining sector.
Yesterday, this paper ran a front-page story revealing that the country's largest gold mines paid a combined total of $258.8m (approx. 336bn/-) to the government in all royalties and taxes since 1998. The mines included in this analysis are those mainly owned by multi-national companies including Resolute Limited, Ashanti Goldfields, AngloGold and Barrick Gold Corporation. At the same time, they were reported to have exported out of the country gold worth more than $2bn (over 2.6 trn/-) since they began serious operations in the late 1990s.
In the meantime, the country's major brewer, Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) paid taxes amounting to 472bn/- between 1997 and March 2005, a figure much higher than the combined amount paid by the six largest gold mines!
These figures speak volumes in terms of analyzing the way in which our natural resources are being utilized to further national development and rid this country out of the squalor of poverty. It is unconceivable that Tanzania should be earning more money out of beer as compared with gold; and definitely something must be wrong somewhere.
We think a review of the mining sector is necessary; because as the things stand now, something seems amiss with taxation in the mining sector, and its contribution to national development is way long incommensurate with the sector's true potential. While we support President Kikwete's directive on renegotiating new mining contracts, we think the efforts should go a step further by reviewing the whole mining sector with a view to coming up with a new mining policy that would bring about the desired win-win situation between the government and the investors.
We believe this country can make gigantic leaps in her development endeavors if only these abundant natural resources, including gold, are utilized in a more effective manner to bring about national development. A country so endowed with natural riches does not deserve to be this poor. www.thisday.co.tz/News/2864.html
"Barrick Gold for example made totals sales of $1.9 billion in 2004, $2.4 billion in 2005 and $5.6 billionin 2006!
For sure sehemu kubwa ya kodi itakusanywa kutoka kwa Walalahoi wa Tanzania, huku Walalahai, Muungwana na timu yake wakiendelea kutanua na kuwa-deceive Wadanganyika kuwa Wasubiri Paradiso ya hapa Duniani" . Maliasili tulizonazo zimeshindwa kuwakomboa Watanzania. Nakubaliana na usemi wa MC, kwa Viongozi(wa Chama Twawala), baada ya dhiki faraja, lakini kwa walalahoi, baada ya dhiki ni dhiki kuu"