In Tanzania, the disputes continue between government officials, some of them are saying that the vaccines are not friendly to humans but others asking for proof of why the vaccines are not friendly to humans. Many citizens have been shown to have differing opinions about the vaccines, some are fearing for their safety after receiving the vaccines and thus refusing to be vaccinated, but another group is of people who believe the vaccine is a help to protect themselves from Covid-19, but Another group of people are those who do not know whether to be vaccinated or not so they are waiting for those who have already been vaccinated to see the results before making decisions. The vaccines are now available in the country in various hospitals including government hospitals but also private hospitals, and some people are more considered of getting the Covid-19 vaccines especially those who are at risk of this disease such as a group of the elderly as well as people with Chronicle diseases. as well as health care providers. Some people, including Ms. Khadija, have asked the government to look on the effectiveness of the vaccine first as she does not understand why it has caused opposition for some people to reject it and even some of them are government officials. But also Mr. Masoud said that he is afraid of using these vaccines, but he will have to use them so that he can protect himself, but he really doesn’t want to get those vaccines but due to his health problems it is better to be vaccinated so that he does not suffer from Covid-19. Many citizens want to get the vaccines, but fear has overwhelmed them, and they do not know what is best for them at the moment. The government should provide genuine education on the usefulness of the Covid-19 vaccine to all citizens especially who are afraid to use this vaccine, now the vaccine has become more of a threat than even Corona itself as even some parents forbid their children do not go to school for fear of getting the vaccine.
Delta variant, a strain of Covid-19 that wreaked havoc during India’s second wave, has been identified in at least 85 countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the delta covid variant is the most transmissible of all the variants identified so far. Acknowledging the contagious nature of the delta Covid-19 variant that was first identified in India, the WHO on June 25 urged vaccinated people to continue wearing masks.
The delta variant, or B.1.617.2, which was first identified in India in October 2020, has now become the dominant strain in the UK, currently accounting for more than 90% of coronavirus cases there. Meanwhile, in the US, the delta variant accounts for more than a third of new cases, according to Financial Times analysis. The former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told ‘CBS News’ Face the Nation’ that the United States is likely to witness “very dense outbreaks” due to the delta variant.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that delta accounted for 20.6% of all Covid-19 cases between June 5 and June 19.
This surge has led Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the White House, to label the variant as the “greatest threat” to the country’s attempt to eradicate Covid-19.
Both the UK and US have high vaccination rates, and it remains to be seen whether their populations are protected against this Covid strain. But in much of the rest of the world, where Covid-19 vaccines have not been administered at the same level, the concerns are even greater.
Covid delta variant on WHO’s radar
On June 25, the World Health Organization’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove in a press conference said that the delta variant is a dangerous virus. “It is more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was extremely transmissible across Europe, across any country that it entered. The Delta variant is even more transmissible,” she explained during the conference.
Thus far, there are four “variants of concern” flagged by the WHO and seven “variants of interest.” Despite the strain being identified last year, the delta variant was tagged as a variant of concern only on May 11. This is because the WHO uses three parameters—increased transmissibility, more virulence, and decreased effectiveness of public health measures—to determine its seriousness.
The delay is also because there wasn’t enough genome sequencing data coming from India during its brutal second wave. Now, data from the Public Health England (PHE), the UK government’s health executive arm, have given scientists and public health experts around the world some ability to make sense of this Covid-19 variant.
What is the delta variant?
When Covid-19 infections broke out in Wuhan, China, that first strain was a “wild type” virus. This was the strain used by scientists across the world to develop testing kits, treatment plans, and even Covid vaccines.
It is in the nature of viruses to mutate, and it did. But not all mutations are serious, and usually do not require countries to reimagine their public health measures.
The variants of concern—Alpha (first identified in the UK), Beta (South Africa), Gamma (Brazil), and Delta—are different from all other countless variants for this very reason.
The delta variant has certain significant mutations in the spike protein of the virus—the pointy elements that give it the shape of a crown (which is why it’s called the coronavirus). These spikes are like hooks that have to find the receptors in a human cell to link with. Studies have shown that these spikes hook onto receptors called ACE-2. Once these spike proteins can unlock the cells, the infection spreads by replicating the genetic code of the virus.
Some key mutations in the delta variant—such as the E484Q, L452R, and P614R—make it easier for the spikes in the virus to attach to ACE-2 receptors. This means it can infect and replicate faster, and even evade the body’s natural disease-fighting immunity more efficiently.
The spike protein mutations make the delta variant the “fastest and fittest” variant yet, according to the WHO. The disease caused by this variant might also exhibit different symptoms than other viral mutations. Those infected with the delta variant develop symptoms such as headaches, sore throat, and a runny nose, replacing cough and loss of taste or smell like the most common symptoms.
Is the delta variant more transmissible?
“Most studies indicate delta is 50-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant,” says Dr. Bhramar Mukherjee, associate director for quantitative data sciences at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. “The Alpha variant itself was nearly 50-60% more transmissible than the original strain.”
This, according to Mukherjee, implies that if the reproduction number for the original strain was around 2.4-2.6, the one for Alpha is 3.6-4.2, and for delta, it is 5.6-6.7. In layman terms, if a person infected with the original strain could infect nearly two people, a person with the Alpha variant could infect four people. With delta, one person could infect nearly seven other people. It’s important to remember that these are averages, not absolute numbers; one delta carrier might infect zero people, or 25.
Its higher reproduction number is likely why entire families in crowded Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai were infected together. It would also explain the tsunami-like surge of cases in the country in April and May.
The other consequence of a higher reproduction number (denoted as R in epidemiological data) in an epidemic is that it increases the threshold for herd immunity. That is, more people will need to have the antibodies—either through infection or vaccination—to be protected as a community against the delta variant. “With an R of 2.5, the threshold for herd immunity is 60%, but with an R of 6, it is 83%,” explains Mukherjee.
Do vaccines work against the delta variant?
According to the CDC, studies show that the currently authorized vaccines which include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson or Janssen work on the circulating variants.
Dr. Gautam Menon, professor at the departments of physics and biology at Ashoka University in India said, “It is reasonably certain that the delta variant also exhibits some immune escape, although estimates vary as to the extent.” For instance, single doses of Covid-19 vaccines, according to data from the UK, are only 33% efficacious against the disease.
But there is hope that those who are fully vaccinated are reasonably protected against serious disease. According to data from PHE, Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine is 96% effective, and the AstraZeneca vaccine 92% effective against hospitalizations after two doses. These, PHE says, are comparable to efficacy against the Alpha variant.
This also means that getting a large part of the population fully vaccinated is crucial for countries where the delta variant is prevalent. For countries like the US, where nearly half the population is fully vaccinated, scientists suspect a varied impact of the delta variant. “I would expect some breakthrough infections and transmission happening even in highly vaccinated areas in the US, but would not expect a spike in hospitalizations and deaths,” Mukherjee says.
“We cannot be complacent with a large percentage only partially vaccinated, dropping masks and Covid-appropriate behaviors,” she adds. “We need full vaccination for a large fraction to fight the delta variant.” She also expects that in pockets of the US with lower vaccine coverage, cases of delta variant could rise.
Experts from WHO reiterated that the delta variant is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations. However, the health agency quickly noted that “vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the delta variants.
Can masks keep the delta variant in check?
Public health experts are investigating whether booster shots of vaccines will be needed to protect the population against the new variant.
Hence, the WHO is once again highlighting the need to wear masks. “Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission,” said Mariangela Simao, the WHO’s assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, during a briefing at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. “People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, [practice] hand hygiene, [maintain] physical distance, avoid crowding,” she said,
Although Covid cases in the US have been steadily declining as vaccination rates are going up, it might be reaching an impasse. Joe Biden had set a target of immunizing 70% of adult Americans by July 4, but the country will fall short, reaching 67% of all eligible adults. Some 20% Americans say they don’t want to get the vaccine.
What is the delta plus variant?
The delta variant has developed a new mutation of a type that was first found in the Beta variant. The new variant—which is being labeled delta plus, though not officially by the WHO yet—additionally has the K417N mutation in its spike protein, which is associated with increased immunity escape.
Shahid Jameel, a top virologist in India, has said that delta plus could also render cocktail antibody treatments—like the one given to former US president Donald Trump—ineffective in fighting the disease. This variant could also potentially lead to vaccines being less effective. India has officially flagged delta plus a “variant of concern,” though after a great deal of indecision.
Menon says the delta plus variant is not a cause for worry yet but would be “if it began to replace the existing variants.” “Currently, there is no evidence that this is the case,” he says, “so there is no cause for immediate worry, but this may change, and we should be watchful for this.”
Mukherjee warns that India, where 40% of the population is below the age of 17 and not eligible for vaccines, needs to adhere to strong public health interventions to control the coronavirus pandemic. Besides scaling up vaccinations, she suggests better studies around the variants, an area where India has been particularly slow. “We need to study properties of these variants: what the clinical manifestations are, whether our diagnostic tests work well to detect them, whether treatments work well.”
The delta plus variant has now been detected in at least nine countries, including the UK, US, China, and Japan.
After lagging behind the United States and United Kingdom on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines this spring, the European Union is on track to catch up by July. Following initial missteps, the EU has developed a better strategy on vaccine procurement. Even when in distress, the bloc has showed solidarity between its larger and smaller economies — limiting space for Russian and Chinese vaccine diplomacy in Europe — and towards the developing world, which will pay dividends in the future. By learning from its mistakes and capitalizing on international solidarity, Europe will be better equipped for future pandemics and increase its international soft power.
Europe fell behind the U.S. and other countries because of its slow negotiation process for procuring vaccine doses. The EU had no prior experience on the matter; health was a member state competence. The member states’ approval of the European Commission vaccine plan on June 17, 2020 — which set aside the vaccine “alliance” initiated by France and Germany, later joined by Italy and the Netherlands, for a joint procurement led by the EU’s largest economies — stemmed from the idea of avoiding competition over vaccines inside the EU. Yet, this put a huge burden on the unprepared commission, which then treated vaccines as a trade matter rather than an emergency negotiation, preferring lower prices over timely deliveries. Widespread vaccine skepticism was also a problem, and when negotiations were carried out last summer, Europeans thought they largely had the pandemic under control, so they were not desperate for a vaccine. But COVID-19’s variants proved them wrong and ultimately the EU fell behind in the rollout, especially compared to the speed of the United Kingdom or Israel.
Yet, recent facts suggest that the EU is learning from its mistakes. First, rollout has significantly improved across the continent. By early May, the daily pace of vaccine injection had increased by 60% in France, 90% in Italy, and 145% in Germany compared to a month prior, matching the U.K. The EU is now vaccinating more than 3 million people daily, nearly twice as many as the United States (albeit with a larger population). The majority of EU member states now have at least 30% of their population at least partially vaccinated, including the five largest: Germany (38.2%), France (33.3%), Italy (32.8%), Spain (33.3%), and Poland (31.3%). While the overall EU rate of 32.9% still lags behind Israel (60.1%), the U.K. (55.4%), and the U.S. (47.9%), infection and death rates are down across the continent and EU officials expect to catch up with the U.S. in July. While logistics improvements like enabling military facilities and family doctors to administer vaccines were crucial to this performance, the EU seems to have found a solution to its most important problem on the supply side.
After being criticized for lack of leadership, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced negotiations for and ultimately concluded a deal for over 1.8 billion doses through 2023 with Pfizer and BioNTech. Such deliveries will be facilitated by a scale-up in production in Pfizer manufacturing sites, while the commission’s diplomatic initiative is likely to set a precedent for a bolder EU role in future health crises. After the experience of unmet delivery promises with AstraZeneca, there has been substantial pressure from NGOs and debate between EU member states to buy and share the ownership of vaccine patents to disentangle European public health from the fortunes of a handful of private companies. While member states disagree over the U.S. proposal for a broader liberalization of COVID-19 vaccine patents — with Germany fearing a negative impact on intellectual property, while Italy and France support Washington — the EU holds a strong position at the negotiating table given its massive efforts in vaccine production and regulatory power, and therefore has an important role to play in worldwide response to future pandemics or similar crises. The European Council is currently assessing a temporary suspension of vaccine patents.
It is true that the advantages of shared European procurement seemed slim at the beginning given the slowness of the EU’s vaccine rollout. However, there were important benefits to an EU-led approach, from a geopolitical standpoint. If Brussels had not taken centralized action, it is fair to assume that larger European countries would have cooperated to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies from a stronger position. They would then have distributed vaccine doses to others after meeting their domestic needs, similarly to the United States. However, it would be wrong to assume that smaller European countries would have been patiently waiting. So far, Hungary is the only EU member state using the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. Yet fights over purchases or distribution of Sputnik V have led to government reshuffles in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Hungary also turned to the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm for additional doses, and Poland considered it. While the case of Hungary is not surprising, interest from other countries indicates that the absence of shared procurement may have led member states to turn to and rely on China and Russia for jabs, offering Beijing and Moscow an opportunity for greater influence in the EU.
Lastly, the EU has given proof of solidarity even in hardship, which will pay off in the future. Set aside the one case of blocking the export of AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia as the company had not fulfilled its commitment to the EU; since December 2020, the EU has exported more than 159 million doses to 87 countries and supported the global vaccine initiative COVAX with 2.2 billion euros. The United States, on the other hand, only started to unlock 60 million doses of unutilized AstraZeneca vaccines in April after the rapid deterioration of the situation in India. It is true that the EU also pushed AstraZeneca to supply the EU market first, but this did not result in an export ban; instead the EU used these doses to assist the developing world. Perhaps these EU efforts are too little too late, given how the delays impacted both lives and economies across Europe. Perhaps they will never be acknowledged by the EU citizens, who are also unhappy with their national governments’ management of the vaccine rollout. But it is still remarkable how the EU was able to adapt in an area that had been a national responsibility. Improving its capabilities by learning from past mistakes and investing in solidarity will set Europe up well for tackling these challenges more effectively in the future, domestically and globally
Other Africa countries have prioritized the pandemic and the accompanying lockdowns measures that have worsened the severe food insecurity problem, increasing the population of people living in extreme poverty. While Tanzania has opted for a different approach. Though Tanzania’s unconventional approach to COVID-19 may be slow in response ad seem to lack in direction, its uniqueness illustrates the need for government to form context-specific smart containment strategies and recovery plans. The Tanzania government’s expenditure was to maintain multiple competing priorities, so far the government did not ignore the pandemic by increase public health funding. Tanzania’s interest was to contain the transmission of the virus along all its borders and coordinate closely with its partners, maintain diplomatic relationships, ensure trade is not severely disrupted, and invest in formal small-holder farmers to produce for domestic economy.
How did it work?
Tanzania used its government expenditure to refocus on financial services which makes them among 14 African countries that did not introduce any social safety measures, such as cash transfers. Instead, the government focused on responding with some economic measures through the Bank of Tanzania with various policies to ease liquidity and safeguard the stability of the financial sector. The bank reduced the discount rate, lowered the minimum reserve requirements ratio, incentivised the restructuring of loans for severally affected borrowers, and relaxed limits on mobile money use.
Tanzanian government expenditure focused on increasing its capacity to maintain and manage the virus, while pursuing sustainable economic development. In other words, Tanzania can learn to adapt and live with the virus in a way that is not detrimental to the economy, but not overwhelming the health system. They fund health centres and witness the Covid-19 emergence facilities and also Government built special covid-19 health centres to combat it and increase public health funding to local health centres to implement mass testing, enforce social distancing, and sanitation measures.
Tanzanian government expenditure uses the Strategic Cities Project for Tanzania development objectives to facilitate the Additional Financing (AF) which enhances the development impact and sustainability of the investments financed by the original project by investing in equipment and operation, and maintenance capacity for existing infrastructure, and deepening local government capacity for urban management. These initiatives enable the government to maintain multiple competing priorities, managing the transmission rate, while ensuring food security creating and protecting jobs.
The COVID-19 pandemic will have short-, medium-. and long-term effects on territorial development and sub-national government functioning and finance. One risk is that many governments respond to focus only on the short term. But the Tanzanian government use it’s expenditure to longer-term priorities must be included in the immediate response measures in order to boost the resilience of regional socio-economic systems. Much effort of Tanzanian government redirected to growth of economy during pandemic so as government expenditure was driven by strong public investment and export earnings. The government’s firm focus and commitment during this pandemic have been to avoid a complete halt of economic activities.
The International Growth Centre – COVID-19 in Tanzania: Is business as usual response enough?
Coronavirus (COVID-19), identified in 2019 as a deadly respiratory illness which spreads through droplets in the environment through an infected person’s breathing has caused a global pandemic. It has collectively affected the entire world and amongst many other sectors, tourism and travelling remain one of the most affected zones.
Due to pandemic, traveling is restricted to contain the spread of disease. Because of the travel ban, the tourism sector has a long way to go in order to recover back to its original state. This means that the tourism economy along with travel restrictions has led to global recession.
However, it is hoped that tourism will soon continue as significant measures such as air corridors gradually opening and thorough COVID-19 testing is being held in place in order to make it safer to travel again. Due to the pandemic, we are well familiar with the quarantine and COVID-19 tests which were made mandatory in order to travel. This highly affected tourism in 2020 which followed into 2021.
Statistics showed an 85% decrease in tourism in the beginning of 2021 in Europe. For the past year or two, people have been in the process of quarantine in their homes in accordance with the safety protocols. This is why it can be said that as soon as the restrictions lift, they will be more eager to go out on trips and adventures as a means of ‘escape’. As reported by Euro News, global research showed that 70% of the people in 2021 had made arrangements to travel on trips or take a break.
If people were encouraged to plan a road trip in 2020, 2021 was going to be the year they traveled overseas. But of course, there are still certain apprehensions regarding restrictions. With the vaccination criteria and road blocks still intact and the rise in the number of infected in populated areas like Europe, these can play a huge role in difficulty of crossing the borders.
Therefore, it cannot be said for sure whether tourism will restart any time soon and recover to how it once was back in 2019 as only 46% of the total amount in 2019 is set to travel in 2021. In accordance with the Swiss Economic Institute, it is assumed that the complete recovery will not be possible until at least 2024. However, there is still hope.
Europe is making attempts towards controlling the pandemic and accelerating vaccination programs which might enable people to travel in the summer of 2021. The European Tourism Trends and Prospects reported by the European Tourism Commission (ETC) highlighted that although there were some hindrances related to the vaccination, these programmes were still essential to continue traveling. The ETC calculated that 56% of the European population was willing to travel from August 2021.
Policies regarding tourism and travelling
In order to restart travelling and tourism in 2021, the European Union’s Digital Green Certificate is set to take effect before summer.
This program will work towards safer travelling procedures between citizens comprising the data whether the person has been vaccinated and holds a negative test or if he or she has recovered from COVID-19. Eduardo Santander, Executive of ETC, stated that despite the distressing 12 months prior to the vaccines, it can be optimistically said that although the vaccination programme went through a bit of ups and downs, it is functioning with much more stability now and it has been proved to be effective. He continues that it gives people hope for the summer of 2021.
Moreover, he also discussed how the EU Digital Green Certificate will restart the traveling of EU citizens and international travelers sooner than expected depending on better communication between people implementing the travelling rules as well as the fast distribution of travelling certificates.
European Destinations see major decline in 2021
Based on the latest statistics, a major decline of tourism in Europe was witnessed in the 1st quarter of 2021 estimating up to 90%. One of the deeply affected countries was Austria which experienced 99% decline with strict traveling restrictions placed for those who planned to enter. Iceland experienced -97% where only vaccinated individuals were allowed to travel. In addition, Cyprus, Slovenia and Finland were affected with an average of 93% decline.
The only placed that didn’t go below 50% was Monaco. Most of the areas that were increasingly affected by the lockdowns and traveling restrictions were Southern and Mediterranean parts of Europe which were highly dependent on international travelers, whereas, the Central and Eastern parts got by with domestic travelers.
Prospects for Travelling
Despite all the complications caused by COVID-19, there are still prospects set in place to restore travelling. The British Government arranged to lift traveling restrictions on the 17th of May 2021 which immediately caused an increase in travelling as people started to plan their trips to European destinations such as Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey etc. As more American citizens are getting vaccinated, (though gradually, but increasing nonetheless) it gives hope to the European tourism economy.
As travelers will look towards minimum contact with the population, the Government also plans to work towards alternative accommodations to minimize public contact.
These alternatives replace bigger hotels in populated destinations such as in Italy and Croatia with agriturismos which are farm houses that are aimed to facilitate travelers and guests.
Other alternatives include sleeping on boats or yachts during a sailing trip to avoid contact in populated areas. In 2021, it is also anticipated that travelers may aim towards staying on holidays for longer periods of time to enjoy maximum experience of their choice of destination.
Moreover, hotel prices are expected to fall and mountain railways’ fares could increase depending on the number of people. Statistics also proved that 9 out of 10 Europeans chose to travel inside Europe in the summer of 2020 and this continues in 2021 as the most booked places remain inside Europe by 60%.
Abiding by the rules
Understandably so, travelers nowadays are more cautious to travel and they usually expect assurance from the governments before setting out to travel in the current year.
People rely highly on the reviews and experiences of other people who have traveled as a means of research to establish whether their destinations are safe before traveling. Restaurants that take restrictive measures will automatically be more approached by people and as for the traveling sector, measures are being taken at the airports. COVID testing and quarantining for 2 weeks before entering the premises will enable a sense of safety assurance amongst people which will hopefully boost tourism back up in the current year.
Due to the restrictions and limited travelling destinations, it can be established that the rate of tourism will not sky rocket back to its original state as it once used to be. However, it is understood by the majority that there is no need to hurry as the mandatory requirement right now appears to be the health and safety of the people. Moreover, people who do travel nowadays aim to stay in a place for longer periods of time as they can easily work digitally due to the pandemic and enjoy their holidays simultaneously.
COVID-19 has had a great impact on the global economy but it does not mean that the current population will cease to travel. People will still continue to plan holidays, only this time, with more safety precautions. As of now, most of the European destinations include tourist spots that are either safe to travel to or have recovered from COVID-19. We may also witness a change in the trend of longer vacations being replaced with shorter trips but nonetheless travelling will always remain a norm.
By Dilyara Shantayeva – Art in Tanzania internship
Tourism is an important economic sector for Africa. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Africa received 71.2 million international arrivals in 2019 amounting to about US$ 40 billion in revenue. This represents a 4 percent growth in arrivals over that of the previous year. Tourism has witnessed sustained growth on the continent as governments continued to pursue it as a viable economic option due to its contribution in terms of jobs, revenue, foreign exchange, and infrastructure.
Africa is increasingly becoming a preferred destination for many international tourists looking to enjoy its sunny beaches, ecotourism products, national parks and safaris and exotic culture and food. Unfortunately, the projected growth of between 3 to 5% in international arrivals for the continent cannot be realised: like every continent, Africa’s tourism industry is shattered, and the inflow of the tourist dollar has ceased due to the impact of COVID-19. The highly contagious spread of the coronavirus ultimately stopped most of the traveling to many touristic destinations is still causing many discrepancies these days as well. This article will overview the main effects of COVID – 19 on African tourism.
“We live in very challenging and uncharted waters at the moment,” says Nigel Vere Nicoll, President of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA), an organization which he founded 25 years ago. ATTA has around 700 members in Sub-Saharan Africa, split relatively evenly between buyers – such as tour operators – and suppliers (hotels, lodges, and transportation companies). In the interview with the journalist from the Africa Outlook, he mentioned that one of the biggest problems currently facing the industry is confusion over cancelled bookings. Travellers who’ve already booked the tours and tickets and the situation have changed very rapidly, they have loads of questions concerning refunds, re-bookings, and other related issues.
He also mentioned the economic issues that Africa had encountered during the pandemics: “Take one small boutique lodge in Africa with, say, 10 rooms,” he says. “They would employ about 50 people, but their extended suppliers – so, the person who does the laundry, or brings in the eggs every day – probably equates to around 1,000 extra people. If that lodge packs up, then 1,000 people have no income.”
There are also other, less obvious effect: In Kenya, for example, many conservancies have been established on land belonging to the Masai Mara peoples. They remove their grazing cattle from the land and lease it to organisations building safari lodges that conserve it for wildlife, the revenue from tourists providing an income to the Masai people.
“That model works fine until there’s a nonessential travel warning, and then no money is coming in and they can’t pay the Masai,” Vere Nicoll adds. “One my closest friends has just been to see one of the chiefs and explained the situation, telling him ‘we’re going to go on paying you out of reserve funds, but we don’t know how long this is sustainable for.’
“If this goes on for a long time, all this work on conservancies will be put in jeopardy, because if the Masai don’t get revenue then their livelihood is at stake.”
So, what is the solution? How can the African tourism industry keep going?
Vere Nicoll believes the answer lies in domestic tourism. As there are such low levels of COVID-19 within many African countries now, travel is still possible.
“It’s not possible to cross borders within Africa, because they all have the same warning on, but it is possible to create domestic tourism,” he explains. “In fact, this is an amazing opportunity to create cashflow for survival with the local market. Kenya, for example, has a huge number of Europeans living within the country, who could become domestic tourists.”
Another saving grace is that it’s currently low season in East Africa, so tourism companies and hotels in that area anticipate having fewer customers this time of year. Some smaller safari lodges are even closed, ready to reopen for summer’s high season.
“What we are hoping is that tourism will recover in the English autumn, and they’ll have the chance to get some bookings in the late season, leading up until Christmas,” Vere Nicoll says. “If it lasts any longer, we’re in a totally different ball game.”
However, he concludes our conversation on a note of optimism. “The bottom line is that the tourism industry is very resilient. It always has been. We’ve been through many problems over the years, especially in eastern and southern Africa, and we’ve always come through in the end.
“I think the industry will come out of it much stronger. A lot of relationships will be built up. And I think that once the coronavirus goes, if it’s a short-term thing, then the industry will bounce back tremendously.”
In general, the tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic as people’s economic lives are halted and their freedom of movement curtailed. Chiefly among these impacts on African economies is the reduction in foreign income. With the closure of the world economy and the associated redundancy as well as closure of international borders, international tourist inflows into Africa have ceased.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) indicates that international tourist arrivals to Africa decreased by 35% between January to April 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Countries such as Gambia, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and a host of others that are heavily dependent on the expenditure of international tourists have witnessed dwindled injections of tourism-based foreign income. Equally, and associated with this, is the closure of tourism businesses. Tourism businesses are forced to close either because of internal measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus or directly because of the absence of tourists.
Either way, the closure of tourism businesses such as hotels, attractions, travel and tour operations, food and beverage services, and other support businesses have resulted in massive job losses across the tourism industry in Africa. Both direct jobs that are primarily targeted at serving tourists and those in the value chain have all been impacted.
Ultimately, the closure of tourism businesses coupled with massive job losses have resulted in the reduction of corporate and individual income tax revenue to African governments and thereby affected their abilities to provide the required public services and infrastructure. Such tourism-dependent African economies are therefore compelled to increase their borrowing, thereby spiraling their debt burden and potentially perpetuating their poverty cycle. For instance, South Africa, a country with a significant tourism sector, for the first time in its history took a loan of US$ 4.3 billion from the IMF. Interestingly, this amount is less than its annual foreign income from the tourism industry.
Similarly, countries like Ghana that has tourism as its fourth foreign income earner, contributing more than over US$ 1 billion a year, have contracted a US$ 1 billion loan facility from the IMF. This has become an all too familiar story across the continent with many African countries with significant tourism industries losing out on tourist dollars.
While tourist dollars have stopped flowing to the continent, for the time being, there is hope, with the UNWTO indicating that confidence in recovery in Africa remains very strong compared to other world regions.
To achieve this, there is the need for the gradual easing of lockdown measures, including the opening of international borders, to allow the inflow of international tourists. Also, African governments should institute safety protocols to guarantee the safety of both tourists and employees at the ports of entry into individual countries, and at tourism facilities and attractions. And African governments through their national tourism organizations can begin to bundle their tourism products to reduce the cost of travel.
The bundling can be done to cut profit margins on individual tourism elements and therefore reduce the overall cost. This will also have the advantage of compelling tourists to visit many attractions and stay longer and thereby spend more at destinations. Tourism facilities can also offer discounts or complementary services to entice customers, especially domestic tourists at the initial stages of re-opening.
Further, there should be aggressive marketing of African destinations in international circles to re-assure Western and, to some extent, Chinese tourists about visiting Africa once more. Lastly, African governments can offer tax exemptions and holidays to tourism businesses to help them recover from the consequences of the pandemic. Such tax holidays and exemptions will help them grow back their earnings into their businesses to recover and grow in the short term.
B Nyamboge Mwema Nyawangwe – Art in Tanzania internship
As well as it is known COVID-19 is a global pandemic in the whole world today. Tanzania is among one of the many countries that has been affected in many ways and one of the major areas is in the economic sector. Since last April to May 2020 there was a huge rise of cases regarding COVID-19 which led to lockdowns including shutting down of various public places like schools. The average has reduced highly since last year since and people are no longer quarantined, despite that, the recently new president ordered for more research/investigation with regard to COVID-19 and measures to prevent it from spreading are still taken. Despite Tanzanian boarders being still open several measures are still undertaken by the government and individuals to protect against the spread of COVID19. Some of these measures include the one’s set by WHO like wearing face masks, social distancing in public places and washing hands or using hand sanitizers.
Given the fact that majority of Tanzanian’s are backward economically and can’t afford means of protections such as hand sanitizers, face masks etc., this people are forced to stay at home as to avoid crowds, hence a lot of people have failed to keep up with their daily jobs. This is especially to rural people who are self-employed hence when they don’t work means no income generated and therefore reduction of expenses reducing general revenues. Some companies also have been forced to deduct workers’ salaries and also expel some workers as to keep up with the financial flows.
Despite the rate of COVID-19 gradually falling but other countries are still highly affected by the disease which is more likely contributing to affecting Tanzania economy, currently and the future. Some of the major areas directly linked with the economy have shown this impacts.
In Public financing/ Government.
The government is facing and will continue facing problem in public budgeting and social services delivery to its people, this is because it has increased demand for public expenditure mainly in procuring tools needed due to COVID-19 such as sanitizers, medical equipment’s and so forth. The government revenues are expected to keep failing due to variety in cash flow obtained in direct and indirect taxes, levies and fees. As it is known with COVID-19 most of companies decreased workers and also most of workers payments were declined also others were forced to stop working naturally due to factors within.
In tourism sector;
One of the major sources of the government income in Tanzania is through tourism. Which has far more tattered, very few tourists are coming to the country due to restrictions set in countries hence the demand has quite declined. The government has reckoned that this year probably only few tourists will come to Tanzania for the holidays which is about a quarter of the normal rate. Places like Zanzibar has been so much affected since most of their economy depend on tourism. The chain that links from the places that tourist visited and stayed like hotels to the people working there and the suppliers of products or services their jobs have frozen due lack of tourist.
Tanzania mostly depends on exported products and very few are made within. Trade global chains are disrupted, and some factories have been shut down, most of products are running out hence sellers lack products to sell and money circulation has been declining. Most of the country boundaries have been closed not allowing products to go out or come in for some time. This has also led to rise of prices of some products causing some people not to afford them which leaves these products unsold especially those that are not basic needs or that are luxurious products. Export and import of products has been generally affected due to shutdown of some factories which has highly affected the economy.
In banks and financial institutions;
This are among major helpers of the economy that have been highly affected due to COVID-19, there has been reduction of bank deposits given all factors generated that has causes slow generation of income, Foreign financial flows have fallen due to no transactions of money from other countries due to the lockdown hence lack of foreign currency within, also there has been deterioration between the customers and bank relationships since it has been hard to establish a common ground due to operational challenges from both sides.
As for Tanzania as long as COVID 19 continues to exist despite it being within the country or outside its impact on the economy will always be valid and continue to affect the major sectors of the economy, which will keep causing decline of general income gained by individuals and the government at large. Such hard times require hard decisions on best measure as to what should be undertaken as to try and maintain the economy to avoid great depression.
Already some measures have been taken as to help overcome the economic problems generated due to COVID-19 for example in banks and financial institutions follows the Bank of Tanzania policies measures, this is by issuing relief packages towards their customers especially the small and medium enterprises which include payment holidays ranging from 3-6 months and restricting of loans to extend repayment periods.
PAINT AND PREVENT A VISUAL ARTS-BASED HANDWASHING WORKSHOP
Welcome to carry out a Paint and Prevent workshop! This workshop framework introduces an evidence-based, piloted day of fun, mixing visual arts and facts about the importance of handwashing in infection prevention.
The workshop you are about to carry out aims at teaching the participants handwashing skills and knowledge. It consists of two parts: first, engaging the participants in a conversation about handwashing, and second, strengthening their memory with a painting session.
The framework was created as a part of two Global Health and Crisis Management Master’s students’ thesis project in Finland. The workshops will be carried out for the first time in March 2021. The outcomes of these first workshops will be studied by comparing before and after intervention surveys from the participants.
This is the first version of the framework. The partners of the project are Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland, and Art in Tanzania, Tanzania and Finland. This study is organized by Global Health and Crisis Management students Emmi Hamara and Noemi Watson and the main supervisor of this research is principal lecturer Teija-Kaisa Aholaakko from Laurea University. The partner organization in the study is Art in Tanzania.
The Ten Hand washing Topics
Familiarise yourself with the ten handwashing topics on page 10 and the additional material in the links on page 12. The more you know about the topics, the better.
You will need a room or outdoors space, which comfortably accommodates the participants and you. You may choose between having desks or just everyone sitting on the floor or ground, as long as there is enough space for everyone to do their art. You will also need art supplies for painting or drawing, and the more the better! Paper used should be sturdy, and there should be at least a couple of sheets per participant. Carboard is fine, too. A small hand soap will also be given to each participant after the workshop. The workshop could take anything between 2 to 4 hours.
The workshop starts with you telling the participants why they are there. They have been invited to the workshop to learn about handwashing skills and knowledge. Emphasise the fact they are all there to have fun and to learn about handwashing!
All participants, as well as you, introduce themselves. You may ask them also if they like drawing or painting. Let everyone have a chance to speak. This may take 10 to 20 minutes.
After this, start the discussion about the ten topics. The structure is simple: Bring up any of the topics by asking a leading question about the participants’ habits and knowledge. For example:
“How many of you use soap if it’s available, when washing their hands?”
“Do you have running water available when washing your hands? Do you use it? Do your friends have access to running water?””
“Do you think it is important to wash your hands more because of the Covid-19 pandemic?”
“Who could show the correct handwashing technique?”
“How many washed their hands today before breakfast?”
“Do you like to dry your hands after washing them? Why do you think this may be important?”
“Do you think you can prevent illnesses by washing your hands?”
“Do you think your hands may be extra dirty in certain places?”
“Does anyone know how the germs get into your body from your hands?”
“What other benefits could one get from washing their hands?”
After each question, allow discussion. Encourage the participants to give out their opinion and share their thoughts and ideas. “Wrong answers” may come up, but in these cases provide the participants with correct information. During the conversation on each topic, at some point, provide the correct information. The participants may come from different backgrounds, and their ideas may be different, or they reflect their habits against how accessible hand washing facilities are for them. This is fine. The information given during the workshop should increase their knowledge so that they can understand the importance of aiming at as good hand washing practices, as possible.
The discussion should take about 30 to 60 minutes. Make sure you go through each one of the ten handwashing topics.
After you have talked about each of the topics, start painting! Introduce the task: everyone can paint or draw about their feeling or thoughts about the discussion. Give them some ideas: they could for example visualize a situation where they are using correct hand washing technique, or draw germs, or paint something about their current hand washing habits. Anything goes! Remember to provide help with using the art supplies, as well. Creating the visual art pieces may take anything from 30 to 60 minutes or even longer, depending on the participants, and the time you have reserved for the workshop.
Finally, it is time for a little art exhibition! In this part, hang or lay out the artwork on a wall, desks or ground. Let everyone introduce what they have done and encourage discussion. There are no “wrong answers” in this part, and the artwork are not graded or critiqued. This is also a fine opportunity to provide the participants with correct information on the 10 hand washing topics, if you notice something is still misunderstood.
Last, give the participants their artwork to take home with them and to remind them of what they have just learned!
The hand washing topics
Ten key items:
Identifying learning needs:
Identifying the relevance of soap in handwashing manners.
Soap should be used every time hands are washed, to remove pathogens efficiently.
Identifying when washing your hands is necessary.
The correct handwashing times: Before, during, and after preparing food; before eating food; before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhoea; before and after treating a cut or wound; after using the toilet; after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste; after handling pet food or pet treats, and after touching garbage
Identifying the importance of drying hands regarding infection prevention.
Hands should be dried completely dry with a clean towel after washing your hands, to prevent pathogens from attaching to the skin
Identifying the need to cover each part of your hands, while washing your hands. Identifying the correct order and duration of handwashing.
The correct order for handwashing is: add water, add soap, scrub, rinse, dry. Hands should be scrubbed together 20 seconds after adding soap to remove pathogens efficiently.
Identifying the importance of running water.
Running water is an important part of handwashing for removing pathogens and soap efficiently, also in the reduction of skin irritation from soap. It is also safer than stagnated water. Water does not have to be hot. Cool water may cause less skin irritation and is more environmentally friendly than warmer water
Identifying that handwashing prevents diarrheal disease and respiratory infection related illness and deaths.
Washing hands regularly prevents respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases, common cold, flu and the spread of anti-microbial resistant bacteria.
Identifying the locations and pathogens living on one´s hands.
Most of the microbes on one´s hands live under the fingernails. Normal human flora (germs) can be dangerous in wrong places.
Routes of transmission
Identifying the most common ways pathogens move from hands to people
Through hands to mouth, nose and ears, as well as surfaces.
Global Infection prevention
Identifying the effects of handwashing in a global health aspect.
Handwashing is one of the most effective preventative method regarding infection control, and during the Covid-19 pandemic handwashing should be even more regular. Prevents antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Identifying global issues with running water and lack of soap.
40% of the world´s population live in areas where water and soap are inaccessible. Only 19% of adolescents in Tanzania wash their hands after using toilet.
By Greenford R Chinjeru – Art in Tanzania internship
COVID-19 is an infection disease that spread by virus and it dangerous and deadly. It has killed many people and affected the global economy. The disease has affected movement of people and goods from one county to another. Many countries people and their movement has been restricted. This has affected the world economy including the banking business.
The following are the effects of the COVID-19 in banking business in Tanzania
Reduction of deposits, in banking business bank use their customers deposits to provide loans and credit to other so as when their return their return with interest and the get profit through it. But due to the COVID-19 the number of people who deposit their money has decreased. This is because people has been advised to stay at their homes so in order for them to survive they have to use their saving and that include stopping deposits and just to use their cash in hand savings.
Increase of expenses, due to the spread of the disease, the banks as the places where many people came and go, has been taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease between the customers and their employees. These measures costs weren’t in the budget in the first place but for the safety of the people it had to be implemented.
Interference of banker and customer contract. There are contractual agreements between customer and banker but and due to the COVID-19 some of those agreed clauses have been hard to implement to the safeguard the health of all parties. There have been times that a customer has had an obligation to return the loan to the bank when the time required but the customer has failed because of getting sick and being forced to quarantine and the bank can’t sue him for it that because that is global problem.
All in all, COVID-9 has affected our county in so many ways especial in economy as during times of quarantine the government had to use their revenue to help people who were infected and purchase medical machine to ensure the safety of the people and the country.
The Covid-19 pandemic has carried the world into unchartered territory that has been straining to every sector of the economy. The financial industry not being the exception has been facing several challenges in managing effective ways to serve their customers in such times. In this post we look closely at how Kenya’s financial sector as a country responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. A report by Bowmans (2020) kept track of how the government responded to the gradual outbreak of Covid-19.
The following were the responses taken by the different branches of government, regulators, and governmental agencies
1. Loan Availability.
On 18 March 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced emergency measures arrived through consensus with commercial banks, applicable to borrowers whose loan repayments were up to date as at 2 March 2020.
· Banks to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans based on their individual circumstances arising from the pandemic.
· To provide relief on personal loans, banks will review requests from borrowers for extension of their loan for a period of up to one year and borrowers should contact their respective banks.
· Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporate borrowers to contact their banks for assessment and restructuring of their loans based on their respective circumstances arising from the pandemic.
· Banks to meet all the costs related to the extension and restructuring of loans.
· To facilitate increased use of mobile digital platforms, banks to waive all charges for balance inquiry. In addition, the CBK had earlier announced that all charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts would be eliminated. (Bowmans, 2020)
2. Credit Availability
On 24 March 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya announced additional measures to facilitate lending by banks to borrowers adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
· The lowering of the Central Bank Rate (CBR) to 7.25 percent.
· The lowering of the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to 4.25 percent to provide additional liquidity of KES 35.2 billion to commercial banks. CBK to avail this liquidity to banks based on their demonstrated requirement to directly support borrowers that are distressed as a result of COVID19.
· To provide flexibility on liquidity management facilities provided to banks by CBK, the maximum tenor of Repurchase Agreements (REPOs) was extended from 28 to 91 days.
· CBK to provide flexibility to banks with regard to requirements for loan classification and provisioning for loans that were performing on 2 March 2020 and whose repayment period was extended or were restructured due to the pandemic. (Bowmans, 2020)
3. Individual and Business Relief Package
On 25 March 2020, the President announced individual and business relief measures to be undertaken by the government:
· Reduction of Personal Income Tax top rate (PAYE) from 30% to 25% of the gross amount.
· 100 % Tax Relief for persons earning up to KES 24,000 per month.
· Reduction of the Resident Corporate Income Tax rate from 30% to 25% of profits.
· Reduction of the Turnover Tax rate for SMEs from 3% to 1% of the gross revenue.
· Immediate reduction of VAT rate from 16% to 14%.
· Temporary Suspension of all listing for all persons including companies, whose loan account fall overdue or is in arrears, by the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) – effective 1 April 2020.
· Ministries and Departments to cause the payment of at least KES 13 billion of the verified pending Bills, within three weeks from the announcement.
· Appropriation of KES 1 billion from the Universal Health Coverage towards the recruitment of additional health workers to support the management of the spread of the COVID-19.
· KRA to expedite payment of VAT Refunds by allocating an additional KES 10 billion within 3 weeks or in the alternative, to allow for offsetting of withholding VAT.
· Appropriation of KES 10 billion to the elderly, orphans, and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
· Government to set up a fund to which players in the Public and Private Sector will contribute in support of Government efforts. (Bowmans 2020)
Bowmans the value of Knowing (November 2020). COVID-19: TRACKING GOVERNMENT RESPONSE IN KENYA