Tanzania

Tanzanian President John Magufuli holds up a ceremonial spear and shield to signify the beginning of his term on Nov. 5, 2015, in Dar es Salaam. (AP)

Over the past month, Tanzanian politics has been making international headlines. Journalists representing the Committee to Protect Journalists were detained in Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital. The government expelled pregnant girls from school. Paul Makonda, the regional commissioner for Dar, announced plans to round up LGBT people. Eventually, the rest of the government distanced itself from Makonda, but the damage was done. Donors have withdrawn aid. The European Union and the United States condemned these human rights abuses.

What’s going on? Since 1961, Tanzania has been ruled by the same party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). While it has never been a democracy, Tanzania had been better known as a safari tourism destination and as a donor darling.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli: policing women’s bodies. Photograph: Emmanuel Herman/Reuters

In Tanzania, teenage girls who become pregnant are not allowed back in school; female MPs are forbidden from wearing fake eyelashes and nails; now, a senior government official has called on the public to report gay people so that they can be punished.

This infantilisation of women and homophobia is all part of President John Magufuli’s “morality crusade”. When he was elected in 2015, he was seen as a decisive figure determined to run a frugal government, stamp out corruption and deliver better services in the east African country.

However, in a flash, he turned from cracking down on corrupt government officials to evoking redundant colonial laws in order to police women’s bodies, reinforce discrimination against girls and now, in this latest move, to hunt down homosexuals.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace poco hablé por teléfono con una periodista y activista por los derechos humanos tanzana a quien conozco bien; respondió a muchas de mis preguntas con un silencio atípico en ella. Mi amiga es una persona valiente, desinhibida y por lo general locuaz. Pero en esta ocasión, hablar de política era demasiado peligroso para ella. En momentos en que los periodistas de Tanzania son blanco de amenazas, ataques y secuestros, nuestra conversación tuvo que limitarse a temas mundanos.

Tanzania, una de las democracias más estables de África, está cayendo en el autoritarismo. El presidente John Magufuli lleva meses atacando a opositores y periodistas y cerrando medios de prensa.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man in a control center of the NTV channel, which was shut down by the Kenyan government because of coverage of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s symbolic presidential inauguration, at the Nation group media building in Nairobi on Feb. 1. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Imagine paying over $900 to a government agency just to be allowed to blog.

This is what the government of Tanzania wants to require of its citizens. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority has given all online content providers until May 5 to submit massive amounts of documentation to earn state approval for what the Internet has always given for free. If you can’t pony up details of shareholders, share capital, citizenship of owners, staff qualifications, training programs and a tax clearance certificate, you risk a fine of at least $2,200 and/or a year-long prison sentence. While the rest of the progressive world is considering blockchain technology or investing in robots, Tanzania’s big idea this year is licensing bloggers.…  Seguir leyendo »

A popular rapper was arrested and then released this weekend in Tanzania for releasing a song that criticized President John P. Magufuli. In the track, rapper Nay wa Mitego asks whether freedom of expression still exists in Tanzania, calls out the double standard in holding public officials accountable, and wonders whether the president considers himself Jesus Christ’s relative.

Although Mitego’s arrest has raised alarms about declining rights and civil liberties in Tanzania, it fits a larger pattern of the president ruling with impunity. After the elections in late 2015, Ruth Carlitz and I warned that Magufuli’s regime leaned toward authoritarianism.

Just last week, the president fired his information minister, Nape Nnauye.…  Seguir leyendo »

Plans for a 1,410-kilometre heated pipeline from Hoima in western Uganda to Tanzania’s deep water port at Tanga have been chosen to carry Uganda’s oil to international markets, over the initially favoured ‘northern route’ through Kenya. Heavy lobbying by international oil companies, changes in regional politics and Kenya’s fragile security situation seem to be major reasons behind Kampala’s change of heart. But by engaging a member long seen as a hindrance to integration efforts, a cross-border project with Tanzania could also help spur the development of the East African Community (EAC).

How the Kenya deal fell through

On 10 August 2015, the presidents of Uganda and Kenya publically agreed to jointly develop a pipeline, depending on Kenya meeting a number of conditions.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demasiadas enfermedades prevenibles, que van desde el SIDA hasta la fiebre amarilla, han afectado desde hace ya mucho tiempo atrás al África subsahariana. No obstante, para erradicarlas se requiere de una comprensión de la enfermedad en cuestión, de dinero, educación, apoyo gubernamental, planificación, y, finalmente pero no por ello es menos importante, se requiere que la comunidad y el mundo en general tengan interés en la solución del problema.

Considere la posibilidad de una enfermedad prevenible, sobre la cual la mayoría de las personas no ha oído hablar nunca antes: Konzo, un trastorno de la neurona motora superior que es irreversible y permanente, un trastorno común en las zonas rurales de África subsahariana cuya alimentación básica depende de una variedad amarga de la planta de yuca.…  Seguir leyendo »

Odd as it may sound, American trophy hunters play a critical role in protecting wildlife in Tanzania. The millions of dollars that hunters spend to go on safari here each year help finance the game reserves, wildlife management areas and conservation efforts in our rapidly growing country.

This is why we are alarmed that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the African lion as endangered. Doing so would make it illegal for American hunters to bring their trophies home. Those hunters constitute 60 percent of our trophy-hunting market, and losing them would be disastrous to our conservation efforts.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Melanie Reid (THE TIMES, 26/05/08):

Lazing around this Bank Holiday, we should raise a glass to Atta Sherpa, the Nepalese guide who has just broken all records and reached the summit of Everest for the 18th time.

For while we battle with bedding plants, Atta dallies in the death zone, hoisting a constant stream of fat, unfit, oxygen-starved Westerners into one of the most hostile environments on the planet. However reluctant the lobelia, they cannot really compete with that.

We may mourn the vulgar circus that Everest has become – with wealthy egotists queuing like ants to conquer it – but we should feel justifiably happy for 48-year-old Atta, who is fêted as a result of his exploits on the mountain.…  Seguir leyendo »