Tropical Diseases in Africa – Sleeping Sickness

by Shravya Murali – Art in Tanzania internship

Human African Trypanosomiasis, also known as ‘Sleeping Sickness’ is a neglected tropical disease, and a recurrent public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. The deadly sleeping sickness has robbed tens of thousands of lives of individuals in Africa annually, and about 65 million people continue to be at risk of falling prey to it. Fortunately, internationally coordinated efforts have led to a drastic drop in death rates after 2000, with the reported cases of infection being 992 in 2019. It is vital to sustain these global efforts to eradicate the disease for the safety of millions residing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

How does sleeping sickness spread?

This life-threatening disease is spread to humans via bites from tsetse flies that carry the parasite (Trypanosoma brucei) causing the disease. Tsetse flies are exclusively found in Africa, specifically in the south of the Sahara. While there are about 30 species or sub-species of the tsetse fly, only six are known to be able to transmit the sleeping sickness parasite to humans.

However, this disease can also spread from an infected individual to another individual via:

  1. Contaminated needles (i.e., sharing of needles with an infected individual)
  2. Sexual contact – reported to have resulted in the spread of the disease between humans in some cases.
  3. Pregnancy – The parasite is able to cross the placenta, thereby spreading from mother to fetus.
  4. Mechanical transmission – The parasite may spread from human-to-human through other insects that feed on blood.

What are the effects of the disease?

The disease can manifest in two forms caused by different subspecies of the Trypanosoma brucei sleeping sickness parasite – T.b.rhodesiense and T.b.gambiense. The former is commonly associated with the presentation of a painful inflammation, known as ‘chancre’, at the site of the bite. The latter rarely results in a chancre although this has been occasionally observed in infected travellers from non-endemic regions. The “Winterbottom’s sign”, or swollen lymph nodes, is more commonly observed in infections caused by T.b.gambiense.

Regardless of the subspecies of the parasite, the disease comprises of two stages at which it can be clinically diagnosed – the early stage, and the late stage. Furthermore, the symptoms are usually common, causing difficulties in identifying the subspecies that resulted in the disease.

In the early stage, the parasite is found in the blood and the lymphatic system. Its symptoms commonly include:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Itchiness
  • Joint pain

Signs such as weight loss, intermittent fevers that occur could for a day up to a week, and swelling of the liver and spleen, are usually indicative of an early-stage infection.

In T.b.gambiense infections, the disease progresses slowly as it proceeds from the early stage to the late stage after about 300 to 500 days. On the other hand, T.b.rhodesiense infections advance quicky from the early to the late stage in only around 21 to 60 days.

The late stage is known to be riskier as the parasite enters the central nervous system and results in inflammation of the brain – a condition known as meningoencephalitis – which causes neuropsychiatric problems and tends to be fatal. Some of the neuropsychiatric issues include reversal of the sleep-wake cycle (hence the name “Sleeping Sickness”), hallucinations, anxiety, aggression, and mania. The patient may also enter coma, and if left untreated, this stage leads to death.

How is sleeping sickness treated?

The sleeping sickness, after infection, is normally treated by administered specific drugs depending on the stage of infection. For early-stage infection, pentamidine or suramin is used. Both drugs produce unwanted side-effects and can only be used for early-stage infections. While suramin can result in allergic reactions, pentamidine, is commonly well-tolerated by patients. In the late stage, melarsoprol, eflornithine, and nifurtimox are usually used. While melarsoprol can be used to treat both gambiense and rhodesiense infections, it is obtained from arsenic, hence resulting in serious side effects such as reactive encephalopathy – altering brain function. Eflornithine and nifurtimox are less toxic, but the former is only effective against gambiense infection, while the latter has not been studied for its effectiveness against rhodesiense infections. Hence, the current treatments against late stage rhodesiense infections are still inadequate, drawing an urgent need for sufficient treatment considering the quick progression of infection caused by this subspecies.

What could be done to prevent the disease?

Due to the lack of drugs or vaccines to allow for immunity against sleeping sickness, the only way to prevent the disease currently is to avoid contact with tsetse flies. In countries where tsetse flies are found, the following precautions can be taken:

  • Checking vehicles before travelling in them, as tsetse flies are drawn to motion and dust from vehicles in motion.
  • Wearing fully covered clothing, such as pants and shirts with long sleeves.
  • Ensure that clothes worn are of neutral colours or blend with the environment, as tsetse flies are attracted to colours that stand out in the environment.
  • Avoiding bushes, where the tsetse flies often reside.
  • Using insect repellent to prevent bites from other blood-sucking insects other than tsetse flies that can spread the disease – as tsetse flies are not significantly affected by insect repellents.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) aims to completely eradicate the African Trypanosomiasis by 2030, with international research organisations coordinating to study potential treatments that are more effective, and drugs that may help prevent the disease. At the same time, it is also important that individuals play their part in avoiding transmission of the disease by taking the necessary precautions for the safety of all.

Government Expenditure to Combat Pandemic Situation

JAMES MATHEW MGAYA – Art in Tanzania internship

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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Resources

The International Growth Centre – COVID-19 in Tanzania: Is business as usual response enough?

COVID-19 AND ECONOMY IN TANZANIA

JAMES MGAYA – Art in Tanzania internship

The pandemic has forced to switch the plans globally. All fashion, sport, and technology events have been cancelled or have changed to be online. Possible instability generated by an outbreak and associated behavioural changes could result in temporary food shortages, price spikes, and disruption to markets.

Such price rises would be felt most by vulnerable populations who depend on markets for their food as well as those already depending on humanitarian assistance to maintain their livelihoods and food access. In Tanzania it was the season of cashew nut during Asian outspread of Covid 19 pandemic as we all know that Asians their the consumers of cashew nuts for years now the Vietnam, India; Malaysia and so on.

During the period the shipment stops due to curfews and lockdowns. Mtwara’s economy went down with it although it was the year before but now it was devastated situation and desperate moment for farmers who were hungry for money due to last year recovery.

  We witness Global stock markets crashed in March 2020, but in tourism industry unemployment was inevitable , tourism enterprise experience bankruptcies, The pandemic has had a significant impact on the aviation industry due to the resulting travel restrictions as well as a slump in demand among travellers air Tanzania incurs tremendous loss which is facing accumulated losses of TZS150 billion Tanzanian shillings (USD64.6 million).

Thank to God Tanzania’s macroeconomic performance has been strong for the last decade, but the current crisis is an unprecedented shock that requires strong, well-targeted and sustained policy response.

The gravity of the situation was easy to Tanzanians, the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt in different ways and the measures taken by the respective governments have also differed on the areas of focus and comprehensiveness.

When our late President John Magufuli let people to continue working this bring relief to low-income earners who eat according to the day and work, they do. If measures of lockdown implemented like other nation people of Tanzania Most in big cities would starve for food more than pandemic. Thanks to him we Tanzanians at least overcome fear of unknown although many international organisations went on lockdown.   

The pandemic has been affecting the entire food market system due to border closures, trade restrictions and confinement measures have been preventing farmers from accessing markets, including for buying inputs and selling their produce, and agricultural middle men from harvesting crops, thus disrupting domestic and international food supply chains and reducing access to healthy, safe and diverse diets. 

We experience panic buying which lead to genuine shortages of spices, citric fruits and vegetables regards of fear of the unknown, which is caused by emotional pressure and uncertainty to food security. This increases the amount of entrepreneurs who seize opportunities to produce different products, and the spread of lies rumours of preventive measure and commodities to social medias so as people can earn income.

During the earlier stage of the pandemic, supply shortages were expected to affect a number of sectors due to panic buying, increased usage of goods to fight the pandemic, and disruption to factories and logistics. There have been widespread reports of shortages of pharmaceuticals product with many areas seeing panic buying and consequent shortages of food and other essential grocery items.

The verdict

Tanzanian economy, including lower export demand, supply chain disruptions for domestic producers and suppressed private consumption. International travel bans and caution against contracting the virus have severely hurt the tourism sector, which had been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy.

The pandemic is impacting lives and livelihoods particularly those in urban settings relying on self-employment and informal/micro enterprises. However, government has already taken, and this forecast assumes the authorities will take additional health and economic policy measures to mitigate negative impacts. 

Typical Skin diseases Tanzania

By Gwamaka Mwakyusa – Art in Tanzania internship

Skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema are associated with a significant impairment in the quality of the patient’s daily life. Several instruments assess quality-of-life (QoL) in adults and children with skin disease and help us understand its impact. Three groups of investigators have recently examined the psychosocial effects of skin disorders.

Smidt and colleagues developed and tested a new instrument specifically designed to assess these issues in adolescents, who are particularly vulnerable to issues of self-esteem. Skindex-Teen addresses such age-specific matters as sports participation, peer relationships, and clothing choices. In the 200 patients studied, acne was the most common skin condition. The reliability of the 21-item scale was greater than 0.4, and test-retest reliability was supported by acceptable intraclass correlation coefficients for the total score, physical symptoms scale score, and psychosocial functioning scale score.

Numerous observations and limited studies have suggested that psoriasis increases stress and depression. Kurd and colleagues mined the British General Practice Research Database to assess the association of psoriasis with depression, anxiety, and suicidality in a large population. Compared with 766,950 patients without psoriasis, 149,998 psoriasis patients had significantly more clinically diagnosed psychiatric diseases. Additionally, among the psoriasis patients, those with most severe cutaneous disease was more likely to have depression, anxiety, and suicidality diagnoses.

Evers and colleagues analyzed the effects of psychological stressors on skin disease in patients with psoriasis. This report follows their earlier finding of clinical exacerbation of psoriasis in the month following stressful life events. The present longitudinal, prospective study assessed how stressors affect serum levels of cortisol, a key component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, in psoriasis patients. They found that peak levels of daily stressors were significantly associated with lower cortisol levels and that patients with persistent high stress had lower mean cortisol levels than patients with lower stress. The stress response involves activation of both the HPA axis and the autonomic nervous system, both of which interact with the immune system. Therefore, stressful events could exacerbate and prolong chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Other investigators have reported a blunting of the HPA axis in some subjects with psoriasis, which could account for inadequate secretion of cortisol and a resulting exacerbation of clinical disease.

The Economic Consequences of Climate Change in Tanzania

Romaisa Hussain – Art in Tanzania Internship

Keywords: sustainability, climate change, environment, economic growth

Climate change has emerged as a potentially existential threat all across the globe that poses a serious risk to the survival of mankind and sustainable development. Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed changes in weather patterns as a result of global warming and human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Based on a numerous lines of evidence, it is now more certain than ever that climate change is a threat multiplier that can amplify the effects of existing dangers. These threats include human security, scarcity of natural resources, environmental degradation, and poor economic growth.

The United Nations General Assembly set up the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 which serve as a blueprint for a sustainable future to be achieved by 2030. The 13th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations talks about Climate Action. The goal discusses the critical impact of climate change and encourages developing countries to move towards low-carbon emission in the environment. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is a separate organisation working within the UN that deals with climate change and other environmental issues. The UN aims to adapt to low carbon development especially in the vulnerable regions that contribute towards climate action and sustainable natural resource management through collective action. Most of the states in the world are affected by climate change with East Africa being one of the most affected regions.

Tanzania is suffering the brunt of the consequences of climate change in East Africa. The agricultural-based economy of Tanzania has become vulnerable to the extreme climatic conditions. The majority of the population is located in the rural areas which heavily relies on agriculture and farming that is threatened by rising temperatures, droughts, and extreme rainfalls. The country is home to the world’s largest river system, the River Tanzanian. Despite immense water resources, Tanzania struggles with a shortage of water both spatially and temporally, which is worsened by the climate on its nine main river basins. In the recent years, there has been a severe decline in the water level in Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Jipe, as well as a decrease in the water level of about 7 kilometers in Lake Rukwa during the last fifty years. These are connected with climate change and are endangering towards socio-economic activities. The effect also puts the country’s hydropower system at risk. Furthermore, diseases such as diarrhea and malaria remain one of the prime causes of casualties in the country especially in the urban settlements consisting of poor infrastructure prone to flooding and increased temperatures. 

Tanzania’s economy relies on its natural and environmental resources where a good number of people depend on fisheries for their income which are at risk from rising sea waters and freshwater temperatures. Tourism is another aspect that has the potential to boost the economy of Tanzania as the country has a tropical climate and is home to wildlife, forests, beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes, and minerals. The attractions are found in abundance in national and marine parks, historical and cultural sites, and recreational sites. Currently, tourism generates 17.5 per cent of GDP and 25 per cent of export revenues, making it an important economic sector. Due the unpredictability of climate it is endangering the ecosystem services on which tourism relies. For example, the Serengeti National Park has been famous tourism spot for the wildlife migration for decades, contributing significantly to Tanzania’s economy and serves as a key source of employment. There is a growing fear that the climate has shifted dramatically, potentially affecting wildlife tourism. 

Threats to the sustainability of the natural resources and environmental degradation remain an issue in Tanzania such as the untimely harvesting and usage of natural resources, unsupervised cultivation process, and trespassing on water sources. Collectively, these can seriously affect the sustainable development goals of a country. Due to the unsustainable consumption of resources, there can be problems in the production of sources that may affect livelihoods. In addition to that, they can lead to the deficiency of food which could eventually lead to poverty. An increase in the population and high reliance on agriculture becomes rather burdensome on the environment and its natural resources which contribute negatively to climate change and water-deficient regions. 

One of the leading contributing factors to the environmental degradation is the unsustainable management of land and watershed. Many challenges are still needed to be tackled to reduce this issue including unexpected growth of human settlements, wildlife hunting, illegal farming and livestock, uncontrollable bushfires, weak inter-sectoral association, and stakeholder linkages. This may lead towards the social and economic development of the country as well as reduce poverty. The Tanzanian Government has marked the water-oriented issues as a major factor that has affected the environment. This has led to the implementation of national policies and necessary plans and strategies needed to tackle it. The visibility of climatic changes in Tanzania is increased by 60% which are seen in the form of a decrease in water sources, land degradation and the reduction in agricultural land. The Government also tends to focus on carbon emission with the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, the saving of wildlife to abolish the hunting system as a means of income, reducing vehicle usage and improving urban planning in the country to promote urbanization. It also placed environmental sections under the sector ministries to ensure and monitor the environmental issues as well as raising awareness amongst the community. The Government also needs to guarantee that efforts are being made in terms of the development of the environment and climate change in national as well as subnational plans. 

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is one among many partners of the Government of Tanzania that has aided in the development of the environment and contributed to measures regarding natural resources and climate change issues. The UNDP encourages the Government and respective communities in terms of sustaining the environment and contributing to the reversal of environmental degradation. As long as the correct policies are implemented, the chances for preserving the ecosystems in terms of food, energy, wood i.e., timber, clean water, consistent climate etc. are possible. Over the past few years, Tanzania has recently experienced high growth rates of about 7.4%.

The impact of climate change has had a huge effect on the incomes of the people in Tanzania. It has had a severe impact on the economy, agriculture, natural resources, and livelihoods of people which exposes the vulnerable part of the country. It is, to say the least, that the Government of Tanzania is to be respected for the progress it has made regarding the development and exercising of policies and strategies to prevent degradation and the protection of the environment. The Government tends to cater to the environmental needs of the country and maintain its natural resources as a means of saving economic and social development. This would mean effectively establishing immediate measures to improve the damages caused. The Government also needs to guarantee that efforts are being made in terms of the development of the environment and climate change in national as well as subnational plans.

References

Kijazi, A. L. (2019). The Contribution of the Global Framework for Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa (GFCS APA) in National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Process for Tanzania. doi:10.4236/acs.2019.94040

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. (n.d.). Current and future challenges and opportunities in Tanzania. Retrieved from https://um.dk/en/danida-en/strategies%20and%20priorities/country-policies/tanzania/current-and-future-challenges-and-opportunities-in-tanzania/

Ordu, E. I. (2021, April 7). Climate adaptation and the great reset for Africa. Retrieved from Brookings: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2021/04/07/climate-adaptation-and-the-great-reset-for-africa/

UNDP. (2016-2021). ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND RESILIENCE PILLAR, STRATEGY PAPER.

UNDP Annual Report 2020. (2020). Goal 13 CLIMATE ACTION. Retrieved from UNDP Organization: https://www.undp.org/sustainable-development-goals#climate-action

United Nations. (n.d.). Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development. Retrieved from Sustainable Deevelopment Goals: https://sdgs.un.org/goals

UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA. (2007). NATIONAL ADAPTATION PROGRAMME OF ACTION (NAPA). Division of Environment.

USAID From the American People. (2020). Tanzania. Retrieved from climate links: https://www.climatelinks.org/countries/tanzania

Relations between Tanzania and China could be central for future African ecological transition

By Alessandro Deligios – Art in Tanzania internship


In these last year’s China is exploiting her economic power to take more influence in geopolitical arena. According with the future model of geo-economic competition, China firstly seems try to become the leader State in Asia, secondly is taking more power in many areas of the word. One of the strategies to extend her influence is the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), with which, through financing project in different word areas, China is able to deeply link the economy of various countries to her one and so create a global economic network that have Chinese economic and financial system as reference – the so-called Beijing consensus.
In particular China is focusing on East Africa and in this region Tanzania-China relationship is a key for Beijing to get a strategic economic position: in 2013 the Tanzanian ex-President Jakaya Kikwete signed an agreement for allow China to invest in the financing of Bagamoyo port project, around which it should have place a special economic zone, that expected China to have especial condition for example for water and energy provisions and the security that Tanzania wouldn’t have financing another competitor port. But in January 2016 the project has been annulled by the President John Magufuli because the agreement for him was like sell Tanzania to Chinese investors.


In climate discussion we know that African countries are the most affected by the problem brought by climate changes, especially by the global warming: the continent probably will be exposed to longer periods of drought and water provision will be always more difficult. About this we also know that China is one of the countries which release the highest levels of greenhouse gases. Despite the attempts of Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997 and started in 2005, and of Paris Agreement in 2016, emissions have not yet been limited in satisfactorily way. Developed countries have the responsibility to help the development in ecological transition and the GEF (Global Environment Facility) is a program managed by the UN and the Word Bank that give financing to the developing countries for they can get positive results related to four areas: climate changes, desertification, international water pollution and biodiversity. Good results are got in third and fourth areas, buty not in the first two.


At the start of April 2021, the First Minister Geoffrey Mwambe said that Tanzania would be ready for a new agreement about Bagamoyo port project if terms will be changed: in this Tanzania-China relations can be central for the ecological transition of all the Africa. Tanzania could advance conditions for the project according with UN 2030 Agenda sustainability goals, cooperating with others African countries for doing the same with others Chinese investments in Africa, when possible. With high chance China is so interested in extending her economic influence in Africa to get more global diplomatic weight to be disposed to accept conditions of sustainability for her projects. It could be one of the few ways to do that China – but not only, also other countries that would like investing in Africa – massively reduce her emissions. And this will be more powerful based on how many countries will collaborate: it should be a priority because fast growing economies have to develop in sustainable way and must do pressure on developed countries, especially on China in that global big player that is trying to extend own power.


Sources:

  • (About climate issue and international relations)
    J. Grieco, G. J. Ikenberry, M. Mastanduno, Introduzione alle relazioni internazionali, UTET, 2017
  • (About Bagamoyo port project)
    D, Ayemba, Bagamoyo port project timeline and all you need to know, 15 April 2021, on Construction Review Online
  • P. Mittal, Tanzanian Bagamoyo Port Project Story, 16 September 2020, on Belt and Road News.
  • A. D’Amaro, Un ponte tra Cina e Africa: il porto di Bagamoyo, Tanzania, 8 September 2020, on Lo Spiegone.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Tanzania vs Canada

Jeet Patel Art in Tanzania

What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the act of regulating company business models that assist a company or organisation to be socially accountable to the public and itself. Organizations can be conscious on the kind of the impacts they have in all aspect of society in areas like the environment or the economy.

The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) has provided guidance on how to achieve CSR. Organizations usually start investing in CSR once they a have reached a secure place to invest in it. The ISO came up with “ISO 26000” to help clarify what social responsibility is, and aids organizations in effective practices. ISO 26000 revolves under seven core principles and core subjects. These are the guidance points the ISO has come up with to help organization maximize their corporate social responsibility.

Core Principals

  1. Accountability
  2. Transparency
  3. Ethical Behaviour
  4. Respect for stakeholder interest
  5. Respect for the rule of law
  6. Respect for international norms of behaviour
  7. Respect for the human rights

Core Subject

  1. Organization Governance
  2. Human Rights
  3. Labour Practices
  4. The Environment
  5. Fair operating Practices
  6. Consumer Issues
  7. Community Involvement and Development

CSR around the world

CSR in Canada

CSR is becoming a major driving force for organisations in Canada. One of the main driving forces is due to the Canadian public looking to support organisations that are socially involved in making the community better. The tactics have changed over the years, organisations now plan strategic, social purpose-driven, and transformational models, that can be seen in local communities. It has become an essential part of business practices.

CSR in Tanzania

Tanzania has made huge strides in corporate social responsibility. Tanzania had enacted the Companies act in 2002 (an amendment of the Companies act of 1932) to try and keep up with global and local pressures of improving CSR. Even though this act requires audited financial reports to disclose details of the remuneration of directors and offices, there is no obligation to provide information on employee discrimination, health and safety, tax planning schemes, and pollution and environmental disruption cause by corporate activities. This  led to the enactment of Employment and Labour relations act and labour institutions act in 2004. The government has also come out with the health and safety act in 2003 and the worker’s compensation act in 2008. Tanzania’s main factors and initiatives that influence CSR in the country is due to many reasons.

Politically, the government has come with many different ways to promote CSR in the country, for example, the Presidential Award on CSR and Empowerment launched in 2012, to promote sustainable development of products, specifically in the extractive industry. The country also had the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, in an effort to reduce the country’s poverty levels. The country is also tracking towards primary education, gender equality, HIV/ AIDS, and access to sanitation.

The country is also down well in other factors and influences for CSR. Examples of this would include educating the population in different aspects through social programs in partnership with international organisations. Educating people on the importance of their natural resources and use it to their advantage through the different industries like agriculture and tourism, making sure to work with government organizations to help preserve the Tanzanian way, while sustainably providing goods and services.

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete speaking at the launching ceremony of the presidential award on the Extractive Industry Corporate Social Responsibility and Empowerment

Local businesses and NGOs are also aided by international businesses through joint ventures and partnership in promoting good and services and finding ways to give back to the community. Even though there has been an increase in CSR in the country, there is still a long way to go. Without policies and regulations there is no way to monitor if organisations are trying to benefit their local communities. There are many barriers that could harm the further implementation of CSR. Some of these include:

  • Unreliable data on community needs
  • Misunderstand in communication between companies, organisations, and government
  • CSR used and a competition tool for business instead of being used to benefit the community
  • Lack of conscious consumers
  • Lack of recognition of good effort made

These are just some of the few barriers that can come in Tanzania’s path to have CSR businesses. However, this can be addressed by educating the public and creating policies to show data as well as meet the ISO’s standard guide on being having CSR.

Fernando, J. (2021, July 6). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/corp-social-responsibility.asp.

ISO 26000 – Social responsibility. ISO. (2020, November 30). https://www.iso.org/iso-26000-social-responsibility.html.

Johnnyspade. (2019, February 21). Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada: Trends, Barriers and Opportunities. Coro Strandberg. https://corostrandberg.com/publication/corporate-social-responsibility-in-canada-trends-barriers-and-opportunities/.

Kenton, W. (2021, May 19). International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/international-organization-for-standardization-iso.asp.

Vertigans, S., Idowu, S. O., & Schmidpeter René. (2018). Corporate Social Responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa Sustainable Development in its Embryonic Form. Springer International Publishing.

PROBLEMS THE AFRICAN YOUTH FACE

By Justina Ochieng – Art in Tanzania internship

According to the world economic forum’s report, the African youth population is rapidly growing and by 2050 it will form almost 60% of all the world’s youth population. This rapid growth has also bringing with it a lot of challenges facing the youths. Unemployment has been ranked top of a list of challenges faced by Africa’s youth today. The biggest challenge the youth face is that they’re often incapable of finding a productive place within society – either within the mainstream education system or satisfactory employment.

The list below also highlights some other challenges faced by youth: unemployment, poor education system, drugs and substance abuse, pressures of materialism, lack of affordable housing, negative stereotyping, pressures of 24-hour social networking, crime.

Unemployment

The biggest problem facing Africa’s youth is unemployment. The youth constitutes the highest population in Africa, and they are the most vulnerable, less privileged, and unattended to in society. Many young people have become victims of negativity and unproductiveness because they are neither schooling nor engaging in economic activities. There is a common saying: “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” This is the reality behind many young people getting into the streets, and involving themselves in robbery, drug/substance abuse, violence etc. The lack of adequate youth employment has made them dangerous to society, leaving them with no alternative but to engage in terrible acts that will give them money to support their bad habits. In order to eradicate and/or reduce the high unemployment rate among the youth, the government, CSOs, NGOs, youth organizations etc. must help get the youth engaged in profitable activities such as educational programs, vocational and entrepreneurial skill training to make them self-reliant. The opportunity WAYLead is providing, to positively impact and educate the youth in leadership, would advance growth as participants would give back to their respective communities. There is a need to invest in youth empowerment programs and accelerate awareness to create the enabling environment for employment.

Lack of proper information

The youth constitute a greater part of the population in most African countries. These young people live in a rapidly changing world, faced with many pressures. One of biggest problem among Africa’s youth, in my opinion, is the lack of the development of one’s mind. Young people, on the whole, experience disquieting irritations, perplexities and adjustment problems as a result of rapid social change. There is an increase in social vices among the youth leading to appalling incidences. I believe in order for such social vices and corrupt acts to be curbed, one’s mind must be developed. Bob Marley once said “None but ourselves can free our minds” The current socio-economic conditions in Africa block the progress of the African youth. Early marriages complicate matters for the youth. Ignorance, illiteracy, and insufficient knowledge about planned parenthood have resulted in an increase early childbearing. Once our minds are well developed, our way of life would change for the better.

Poor education system

One of the biggest problem facing Africa’s youth is our educational system, coupled with the lack of good employment opportunities that the educational curriculum prepares the graduates for. Africa’s youth find themselves stuck in a cycle of completing school and sitting at home without jobs mainly because our educational systems mainly  prepare us for non-existent white collar jobs. The very few enterprising youth who venture into entrepreneurship also find themselves lacking support in training and funding.

Time management

Stress & Time Management. Managing the pressure to succeed in every area of life and finding time to do it all seems to be one of the biggest challenges facing the youth today. Young people are expected to be successful, yet few of them are aware of effective time management.

Drugs and substance abuse

Drugs has become one the core problems facing youths. Out of every ten young people between the age of 16-35 years, seven have once in their lifetime use drugs or still using drugs. Many critics claim that the reason for this may be the stress and depression facing most of them due to unemployment, low self-esteem and worries about their futures. Drugs and substance abuse is mostly rampant along the coastal cities and towns of East Africa (Mombasa and Dar es Salaam).

Crime

Due to the hard economic times we are facing right now and the fact that most the African population live under a dollar a day, most of the youth have turned to crime to meet their economic needs. Robbery, stealing, burglary prostitution are among the top order of the day. Due to involvement these outlawed activities in most African countries, most the victims have found themselves lynched, gun down or in prison. Everywhere across Africa, especially in the drug infested regions, very young people lose their lives to crime and crime-related activities. Prostitution is also a problem. Many young women have turned to prostitution to make ends meet. Most cities at night are flocked by young girls selling off their bodies for a dime. Side effects being most of them end up contracting very deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS. Also there is the issue of early marriage. Very young girls who are supposed to be in school are sold of to marriages because their guardians are interested in the dowry they get in return. Because of that, most girls end up not continuing their education or making their dreams come true.

Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation is still one of the great challenges facing young Africans especially in the underdeveloped places. Some tribes in East Africa still insist in this act as a right of passage into womanhood. Very innocent girls are subjected to this brutal act against their own will. In worst scenarios some girls end up contracting diseases like HIV/AIDS since you may find that a single scalpel is used to mutilate a bunch of girls without any proper sterilisation of any kind. Also some girls end up with wounds that affect their sexual life forever.

Social media peer pressure

Peer pressure has also pose as a challenge. Most youth are struggling to fit in and because of that they go extra mile to prove that they are worthy of recognition and praises from their peers. Most have taken the social media thing so far; faking lifestyles even ending up in great debts in the name of appeasing their fellows on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. People have refused to face their on realities and where they stand economically, instead they end up imitating celebrities and other prominent people by the lifestyles they lead. Side effects; some have turned to crime to make ends meet. But we are advised as youth to choose wisely because the streets offer everything, from what’s best for us to what ruins us. So before impressing anyone we should think if there is anything positive we’ve gained from the whole experience.

What is been done to tackle these problems

Thanks to the governments and other concerned parties from the private sectors, a lot is being put in place to handle these situations. For example there are a lot of NGOs advocating the eradication of FGM, creation of awareness of drugs and substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and other chronic problems in the African continent. Due to the rapidly growing unemployment, most youth have turned to entrepreneurship and other creativities to earn a living. New business formation are being seen popping up each  day. This has drastically reduced the unemployment and the idleness that comes with it.

Conclusions

A lot has been done to tackle the problems facing the African youth and still much is yet to be done. It is everyone’s responsibility to play part in bringing the change we want. As the Swahili saying that goes ‘umoja ni nguvu utangamano ni udhaifu’, we need to unite in all the levels of our societies to make a positive impact. With the little every has whether is information, and ides or something tangible will make a difference if used for the right course. We should remember that if we do this kind-heartly without expecting anything in return, the benefits will be ours and our children’s children. Karma says that we get what we give. Its my hope this information will inspire you to be part of this great expedition to create a new Africa that we want and we will be proud of and also clear our name from all the stigmatization and misconception we are facing from the outside world.

Clean drinking water condition in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). General Overview

By Ekaterina Kilima – Art in Tanzania internship

According to the World Bank (2019), Ethiopia is one of the priority African countries for the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) programs. In other words, a lot of money is being invested in Ethiopia to improve its water and sanitation systems. Currently, Addis Ababa is considered a region with very safe drinking water (85 % of water is low risk) compared to other regions of Ethiopia (only 7% of water is low risk in particular places) (CSAE 2017). Access to clean drinking water is a big inequality issue as the region’s poorest people barely have access to high quality water unlike the richest group.

A recent epidemiological study conducted by Wolde et al. (2020) suggested that the clean water in Addis Ababa might be exposed to bacteria and parasites more during the wet season (January-October) due to high rainfall. The results of the study have shown that, although mostly insignificant, slight contamination was found in the water samples from public taps and reservoirs (around 6% each). Traces of fecal coliforms and total coliforms were found in those samples. The highest contamination results were observed in the water samples from springs and wells (76% and 79% contamination respectively). The number of fecal coliforms was decreasing with every week of the season while the number of total coliforms was increasing. Moreover, some samples were collected from Akaki, Gefersa, and Lege Dadi water plants but the parasitological results for them were negative. Wolde et al (2020) also note that the quality of the water might depend on the condition of the water supply reservoirs. For example, most reservoirs in Addis Ababa are well maintained. However, most springs are often exposed to heavy rain, flood, and microorganism contamination. It is important to check the serviceability of the public and private taps in a timely manner and to prevent them from being tied with cloths, ropes, and plastic tubes as it can enhance the contamination. This statement can also be proved by another study conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia in 2017. It was found that nearly 95% of households that receive low-risk water, get it from improved high-quality sources. The most common source of clean drinking water was the piped water on premises while the most dangerous was unprotected springs and surface water (CSAE 2017).

Some key lessons to remember are that the highest quality water is usually consumed in urban areas rather than rural and this water comes from secured and improved sources such as public pipes or kiosks. Bottled water is also a good source of high-quality water but is not consumed by many people. It is important to maintain the quality of the water reservoirs and make necessary repairments to ensure that people get good quality water. One of the biggest social issues regarding water supply is inequality because Addis Ababa poorest areas still do not have access to clean water.

Sources:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339804186_Quality_and_safety_of_municipal_drinking_water_in_Addis_Ababa_City_Ethiopia

https://washdata.org/report/drinking-water-quality-ethiopia-ess-2016

THE SCOPE OF AGRIBUSINESS AND AGRICULTURAL EXPORT IN TANZANIA.

By Rajabu Juma Rajabu – Art in Tanzania internship

THE SCOPE OF AGRIBUSINESS:

Agribusiness is a business sector encompassing farming and farming related commercial activities. It can be sometimes referred to as Commercial Agriculture.

Definition: Agribusiness is a combination of two broader things or words “Agriculture “and “Business” and refers to any business related to farming and farming related commercial activities. This involves all the steps required to send agricultural products or goods to the required Market, as we know agribusiness issues start primary from Production and then followed by Processing, Transportation and Distribution up to the finally step of Consumption.

Agribusiness include all activities within the agricultural food and natural resources industry involved in the production of food and fibre. Individual agribusinesses may sell items to farmers for production: provide services to other agricultural businesses: or be engaged in the Marketing, transportation, processing, and distribution of agricultural products or commodities.

DEFINIATIONS OF THE TERMS:

Agri Services – is the activities of value to the user or buyer. The activities are an intangible product.

Marketing – providing the products and services that people want, when and where they want them.

Agribusiness process inputs into outputs – An input is a resource used in production and an output is a result of the production process after processing the inputs.

Production – Is an act of making products such as goods and services.

Agribusiness provides people with food, clothing, and shelter. It also provides jobs for millions of people in science, research, engineering, education, advertisement, government agencies, trade organizations, and community organisations.

Agribusiness can be performed by both small farmers and large farmers. This is important component of the economy in the country because it contribute the huge amount to the national GDP. The agricultural sector is fundamental to the economy of developing countries especially in Tanzania.

According to the economics data included in the National Data of Tanzania Mainland of 2013-2019 by the National Bureau of Statistics at the current market price, the agriculture sector contributes 29.1 percent of the national GDP.

In November 2020, President Magufuli announced that in the next five years its government will put great emphasis on key economic sectors especially agriculture.

Agribusiness sectors

Agribusiness can be divided into major sectors like:

  1. The agribusiness INPUT SECTOR. Includes all resources involved in production or producing farm commodities. I.e., includes seeds, fertilizer, machinery, fuel, and credit. Production efficiency can also be linked to improvement in these agricultural inputs.
  2. The agribusiness OUTPUT SECTOR. Include any agribusiness that effects an agricultural commodities or goods between production and the consumer. I.e., include transportation, selling, storing, and inspection. Millions of people are employed in this sector of agribusiness.
  3. The AGRI-SERVICE SECTOR includes people who research new ways of producing and marketing of Agri-products. They protect food producers and provide specialised services to all areas of agriculture. Both public and private agencies are responsible for the actions of the Agri-services sector.

Economic Impact of the Agribusiness Industry in Tanzania

  • Creation of employment opportunities both direct and indirect to agricultural activities
  • Expansion of trade and Market
  • Source of government earnings like taxes
  • Improvement of productivity performance
  • Improvement of living standards of the citizens
  • Development of Industrial sectors from raw materials obtained from agriculture
  • Poverty reduction.
  • Construction of infrastructure like roads, industries, and schools

AGRICULTURAL EXPORT IN TANZANIA.

Agribusiness is a very wide scope that also looks into the agricultural exportation.

Agricultural export means the way a country produces agricultural products for exportation or to sell them outside the country. Tanzania is the one among many countries that engage in exportation of Agri-products to other countries. Examples of other countries are; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Congo, Zambia, Burundi, India, United of Arab Emirates, and China.

Tanzania’s major export are of agricultural communities such as Coffee, Cotton, Tobacco, Cashewnuts, Tea, Cloves, Sisal, and Maize. Additionally, some farmers raise livestock exports including cattles, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens as well as small numbers of turkeys, ducks, rabbits, donkeys, and horses.

Most common foods and cash crops in Tanzania are maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas, sorghum, and sugar canes.

Agriculture is a source of food, industrial raw materials, and even foreign exchange earnings from the countries that Tanzania exports the agricultural products or commodities. Agriculture is a critical economic sector representing 29.1 percent of the National GDP and almost three quarters of the productive workforce and more than 30 percent of export earnings. Agricultural export have been growing at about 6 percent per year while food crops have been growing about 4 percent per year.

Importance’s of Agricultural exports in Tanzania Economy:

  • Employment opportunities both direct and indirect
  • Provide taxes to support government services
  • Create International relationships
  • Market expansions and Trade growth like forex markets
  • Improve productivity for the farmers