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[The Economist] Promises, promises

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Alpha, Oct 29, 2010.

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    Alpha JF-Expert Member

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    Tanzania's election: Promises, promises | The Economist
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    Alpha JF-Expert Member

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    dutcheconomist wrote: Oct 28th 2010 10:28 GMT
    These elections are very important not only for Tanzania itself, but also for the wider continent. As a donor-friendly country it is a democratic country; Kikwete might not be such a bad choice...

    Under his Presidency the East African Community was installed which later might be remembered as a sort of European Community, which has led to peace and better economic performance of backward regions. Although Kenya is indeed stronger as the newspaper points out, supporting the rural areas with elecrticity and new roads can foster competition, and bring welfare. Kikwete wants Tanzania to enter the world market, something that does not need donor support.

    What has gone unmentioned is that he will also build a large highway straight though the Serengeti (world's largest wild-life reservation) and that his party is full of corrupt practices, and has started a greater divide between rich and poor (although the party claims to uphold socialistic appeals). If the President cannot unite the rich northern Christians and turns his eyes away from Zanzibar, things could get nasty. Lets hope all the mining does not give rise to another example of a resource curse.

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    mwendah wrote: Oct 28th 2010 11:58 GMT
    While the comparison between Kenya and Tanzania is neither here nor there,the two countries, members of the East African Community, have a lot to learn from each other. Most importantly, Kenya needs to observe and absorb lessons on harmony; peace and a more egalitarian (or at least efforts towards this) society from Tanzania. If Kenya would be more harmonious (where everyone, swords drawn, is not watching their back and on the look out for his/her opportunity to "eat") its economy would even be bigger and more prosperous than it is. On the other hand, Tanzania can learn quite a number of lessons on economic vibrancy; enterprise and more competitive politics from Kenya. If either learns from each other, the better for the region. Development in East Africa does not have to be a zero sum game any more--it can and should be a positive sum game.

    As for the pretend rapper in Uganda, he's beyond salvage. I doubt he can learn anything that would be of use to Ugandans. However, other more reasonable leaders in Uganda can also learn a number of lessons from Kenya and Tanzania as well as Rwanda. And soon, the biggest student of them all, Southern Sudan.

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    Aly-Khan Satchu wrote: Oct 29th 2010 6:35 GMT
    Julius Nyerere famously called Kenya 'A Nation of Waiters'. Kenyatta's riposte was that Tanzania was a 'Man eat Nothing' Society.
    The Price exacted for Nyerere's National Cohesion was an Economy that fires on one Cylinder whereas it could fire on many more.
    Aly-Khan Satchu
    Welcome to RICH.CO.KE - Authorised Nairobi Stock Exchange Data Vendor

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    Ben_Mtega wrote: Oct 29th 2010 7:15 GMT
    I know Tanzania very well, having lived here for 10 years, and I can't remember a single Economist article on the country that hasn't disappointed. There haven't been many, which just makes it all the more frustrating that when Tanzania is covered the analysis is so consistently one-sided. It seems the writer has once again been taken under the spell of CCM's smooth talkers, Makamba in this case, Kikwete in the past, and gives very little room for alternative views.

    The classic of the genre is at Tanzania: President Kikwete's hard road ahead | The Economist, but this piece here this week - on the eve of a general election - is hardly any better.

    Some specifics:
    1. The claims on Chadema's tribal affiliations are perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the article: this is demonstrably untrue, and exactly what CCM would want the Economist to write just a few days before the election. Chadema's power base lies predominently in young, urban, educated sections of society, and looks set to win seats all over the country this year. The article comes across as having been been fed the point by Makamba (or someone else in CCM) and reproduced it unquestioningly. CCM has been pushing this line regularly during the campaign and it's a very serious accusation in a country that prides itself on having avoided the pitfalls of tribalism that have affected so many of its neighbours.

    2. The focus on January Makamba is journalistically justifiable - his emergence in Tanzanian politics is a very interesting development - but surely some balance is needed. The CCM stalwart he ousted was an anti-corruption campaigner, and his well-funded campaign (see Politics, Society & Things: Sneak Preview: Road to Victory Documentary for an example) has some analysts worried about his connections and his ambition. Is he really as different from Kikwete as he seems, as the article suggests?

    3. The article gives only passing references to some of the serious problems Tanzania is facing: corruption, crime, dubious businessmen, low standards of education, etc. But where's the analysis of President Kikwete's lenient treatment of grand corruption, to the extent of stumping for some of the main alledged culprits during the current election campaign. This issue goes very deep, yet the article prefers to skim over it.

    I could go on, there's much more in the article that does not stand up - Why on earth include a map of Kenya, for example? - but let me instead point interested readers in the direction of more Tanzanian responses to the article at The Economist and Tanzania's Election.

    Rarely does the Economist cover Tanzania, so much so that when it does, it's words are picked over in forensic detail by politicians, activists, donors and businessmen within the country. It's such a shame that the articles so rarely do the issues justice.

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    Imenibidi ni-sign up kwenye The economic immediately. Craps like this should not be left unreciprocated. Hata ivyo kuna vijana wakakamavu wamesha-comment in there, lakini naamini I also need to play my part.