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[The Economist] The president is trying, without much luck

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Alpha, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    What's the hurry?
    The president is trying, without much luck, to gee things up

    Jun 3rd 2010 | DAR ES SALAAM

    THE World Bank now ranks Tanzania a lacklustre 131st in the world, dropping steadily down the league as a place for doing business. Neighbouring Uganda comes in at 112th, with Kenya in 95th place. Well ahead of the region’s big three, at 67th, is little Rwanda, a relatively late aspirant as a serious competitor. Tanzania is the laggard in a poor field. A local brand of socialism first promoted by Tanzania’s founding president, Julius Nyerere, helped give its 44m people a sense of unity but failed to equip them for the 21st century. The country still feels elephantine, its infrastructure is rickety, its electricity patchy, most of its roads unpaved and potholed.
    President Jakaya Kikwete knows how it is. On a recent trip he had to change cars twice in a day when they broke down on rutted roads. He used the waiting time to chat to locals. That may help him in elections due in October. He will probably run again for another five-year term. If he does, he is almost certain to win.
    His party, the Chama cha Mapinduzi (Party of the Revolution), has run Tanzania in various guises since the country was founded in 1964 after Tanganyika on the mainland merged with the island of Zanzibar. The ruling party has a small reform-minded wing and a much larger body that harks back to old-style liberation movements. Mr Kikwete stands carefully in the middle. He recently warmly welcomed in Dar es Salaam both Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and the Swiss-based World Economic Forum, a club of capitalists.
    Mr Kikwete may use a second term to try to integrate Tanzania and its neighbours into a revived East African Community. With rural voters behind him, he can afford to be tough on groups that might threaten him. He has denounced recent attempts by the trade unions to strike for a higher minimum wage. He may also have persuaded the president of autonomous Zanzibar, Amani Karume, to share power with the island’s opposition. That should head off violence in the election run-up.
    Tanzania’s economy is ticking along. This year it may grow by 6%. Inflation is edging down. Foreigners still help pay for health care and education. Dar es Salaam’s once-chaotic port is a bit better run. High gold prices boost the budget. New laws to end tax breaks for mining companies and to raise royalties may bring in more cash. Tanzania has plenty of water and abundant farmland still to be developed.
    Mr Kikwete has at least tried to give the appearance of curbing corruption. A Bank of Tanzania official was acquitted of puffing up the cost of building a bank from $73m to $357m but found guilty of “abusing power”. Visiting businessmen, however, say they are still deterred by red tape, a weak legal system and a lack of skilled labour. Above all, they say, Tanzanians seem to lack a sense of urgency.

    Elections in Tanzania: What's the hurry? | The Economist
  2. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    OUUUUUUUCH!!!!!! this is one hurts

    If I had had wanted to describe what has happened I couldn't have found a better phrase!!
  3. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    Also some interesting comments about the article:

    christopher haslett wrote:
    Jun 4th 2010 11:18 GMT

    Almost an idyllic portrayal of the country. It really is a nice place in so many ways, and a wonderful place to visit. (Dream job: correspondent based in Tanz!)
    I think the biggest threat to stability is the overhang of unemployed young men. They flock to every large town and bum off tourists or just lie under trees.
    Militant Islam is also a threat as it finds an audience among angry young men, especially near the coast.

    Recommend (9)

    La Negresse wrote:
    Jun 5th 2010 10:50 GMT

    Nothing 'almost' about that idealism. But right on, Mr. Haslett. It is a lovely place. Yet in this article I detect a failure to look a the systems supporting the functions and creating the dysfunctions of Tanzania.
    Ain't nothing passive about Tanzania. Those who cannot distinguish between suppressed ambitions and lethargy have their lessons coming to them. I admit I was hoping for a keener, more insightful write up in the Economist, but even giants have their off days.
    The young men? Frustrated by a lack of jobs and a laughable education system, frustrated by the same incumbent who promised them jobs during his campaign and promptly made life ludicrously difficult for petty traders (a massive source of urban employment for young men). The religious are just exploiting this circumstance. Economic growth? You've got to be kidding. Sure, it is there and it is tearing us apart as class politics get entrenched. Everyone knows that growth isn't quite coupled with redistribution in any meaningful way. Anti-corruption campaign? Come now. No one important has been accused let alone convicted. Liyumba is a sad palliative.
    President Kikwete could do better in his second term. We're all waiting to see if he will follow the Tanzanian tradition of shrewd and benevolent long-term presidential legacy. Or I should say, we're hoping...

    Recommend (5)

    Samaki wrote:
    Jun 5th 2010 7:53 GMT

    I lived in this beatiful country 8 years. Nice people, beatiful nature. However managing an industrial company, we had to cope most of the time without electrical power, without water and many other amenities which are taken for granted in developed countries. Every day, when I was driving to the factory, I saw thousands of scool children, in blue/white, gray/white uniforms, flocking to the schools. I was always asking myself, where are jobs for them when they grew up. Many times, I asked the same my tanzanian friends and I couldn`t understand that they were not worried at all!
    The great achivement of the late Nyerere was the creation of the only real subsaharan nation in comparison to other tribally divided countries. However, his kind of african socialism (ujama) probably destroyed the effective governance of the country. Let us hope, Tanzanians will get some leader in the mould of Paul Kagame from neighbouring Rwanda to pull them out of the present lethargy.

    Recommend (2)

    ndabita wrote:
    Jun 6th 2010 8:16 GMT

    Since i started to read your newspaper in August 2003, i have missed no single issue. First you write about Tanzania an avarage of one article per year, then all your articles about Tanzania with exception of one or two find it heroic to bash on Nyerere.Nyerere inherited a collection of tribes and created a nation out of it. Those countries you praise most are still tribally divided as it was during their independence time 50 years ago. There are reform minded Tanzanians, a group of young people who see the urgency of reforming the public service, business environment and economic system. Mining reforms have been initiated and completed by this group and Kikwete had to concede. Now, a strong move to reform the electricity sub-sector whereby Pension Funds will be heavily involved to end once and for all the shameful power shortage.
    What you forget is, Tanzania is still a single party dominant country and reforms with that kind of system whereby elite group is rewarded not for work but for stability, reforms are near to impossible. Next elections shall see more opposition MPs in parliament with a group of 20 forward looking young people in the house to be an engine of reforms. You predicted rightly in your EIU of March that Tanzanian economy will double by 2011. British Gas and Ophir Energy are bringing in USD 7bn FDI (Largest single FDI into the country since independence) in the period of four years starting this year for natural gas exploitation and Tanzania will be the biggest natural gas exporter in Africa. With Dodoma University with capacity of 40,000 sttudents! Tanzania is going to be the power to reckon with in the region.

    Recommend (1)

    Ben_Mtega wrote:
    Jun 6th 2010 1:23 GMT

    An idyllic portrayal indeed, but naively so. Corruption remains a serious problem in Tanzania, with efforts both to prevent corruption and to prosecute corruption cases both going nowhere. This is despite regular public statements by senior politicians against corruption and several high profile scandals getting extensive media coverage, both of which simply serve to give the impression of serious efforts being made while allowing the real problems to continue unchecked.
    As a long-term Tanzanian resident, I have been disappointed on numerous occasions by the Economist's uncritical analysis of Tanzania, and this article is no different. I continue to be surprised that the paper, so perceptive and on the mark in the vast majority of its output, should continue to get Tanzania so wrong.

    Recommend (1)

    Takbor wrote:
    Jun 7th 2010 4:58 GMT

    Tanzania seems to be gradually improving in the ranks. But the Tanzanian government still has a lot of work to do. High gold prices are helping out the budget. The royalties from ending tax breaks for mining companies was a good idea. But the best idea will be the development of all the untouched farmland. The reoccurring problem in Tanzania is the lack of jobs in the country. Developing farmlands and harvesting crops calls for a fair amount of employees. Slowing industrializing the country would also call for more jobs. Government jobs to help repair the roads could employ many citizens and slowly distribute wealth throughout the nation. Tanzania is headed in the right direction. It just needs the nation to work as a whole.

    Comments on Elections in Tanzania: What's the hurry? | The Economist
  4. m

    mwanatown Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    lets give our president points for trying. And lets admit that our president for all his shortfalls has his heart in the right place. Having said that let us stop dwelling on the problems we are quite aware of what they are let us now look to the solutions. Lets face the facts we have 5 more years with the same president we can point out all his shortcomings in this period or we can help him help us. Let's provide intelligent meaningful suggestions on how to move on from where he has gone wrong so far if not to help him then just for our own sake. Because when it's all said and done when we are each asked what we have done individually to help make OUR Tanzania (not just Kikwete's) a better place, how many of us will come up with an accomplished list?
  5. Nyambala

    Nyambala JF-Expert Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    Just wondering if the highlighted can be compatible!
  6. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    The first thing he need to decide not to run this year to spare another five years of failure and incompetence.