Women’s Empowerment in Accessing Financial Services

By Marina Joseph – Art in Tanzania internship

World Bank views financial inclusion as means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way. Financial inclusion expands access to efficient financial services. Achieving inclusive growth means promoting often overlooked groups of people in the society such as women and poor people as they disproportionately face access to quality financial services. Empowering such groups helps increase participation in the economy and their standard of living improves simultaneous 

Women’s World Banking (WWB) is a global network comprised of 39 leading microfinance institutions from 27 countries. The network members are diverse in geography, size, and structure but united in the firm belief that microfinance must remain committed to women as clients, innovators, and leaders. In 2009 WWB was asked to review proposals by the G-20 Financial Inclusion Expert Group which they gladly did as it was an acknowledgement that women face different or additional barriers to entry in accessing finance.

WWB offered 9 suggestions to financial institutions interested in increasing access to finance for poor and low‐income women. The following are the suggestions

  1. Time: Acknowledge constraints on women’s time and mobility
  2. Confidentiality: Give women the choice of who they want involved in financial transactions
  3. Product design: Accommodate all levels of literacy in product design and marketing
  4. Documentation and collateral requirements: Be sensitive to the fact that requirements for documentation and collateral may exclude women  
  5. Loan size: Give women access to a range of loan sizes and structures  
  6. Accounting for cultural norms: Tailor marketing strategies to reach women
  7. Branding: Create a brand position that honors women  
  8. Institutional Culture: Ensure gender positive interactions
  9. Moving beyond credit: Offer a full suite of financial products  

World Bank’s empowerment sourcebook, ‘empowerment is the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold Empowering Women through Microfinance: Evidence from Tanzania 36 accountable institutions that affect their lives’. In a developing country such as Tanzania financial inclusion for women can have transformative effects. Tanzania’s policy makers have made steps in creating an enabling environment for women’s financial inclusion. 

In 2006 Alliance for financial inclusion (AFI) mentioned efforts that Tanzania is a country is undertaking to bridge that gap. The following are some of the existing and expanding policies to achieve that

Financial inclusion data disaggregated by gender 

The Bank of Tanzania has expressed its intent to collect sex disaggregated data and is in the process of expanding its financial inclusion database collecting data similar to Findex 2014. As a country it has developed policies based on FinScope surveys in 2006, 2009 and 2013, which provide financial inclusion data broken down by gender. A new FinScope survey will be conducted in 2016 and is expected to have an even stronger influence on policy direction.

  • Development of financial infrastructure

Significant progress and development have been made by Tanzania in developing payment infrastructures that are effective alongside its regulatory framework for mobile money. These infrastructures help in building information based on women as clients so they can be better served.  

  • Women’s financial inclusion as an explicit policy objective with quantitative targets

Tanzania’s 2013 Framework gives priority to poor rural households and their enterprises, including low-income women and youth, without specifying gender targets. Following the high-level conference on women’s financial inclusion held in Yamoussoukro in August 2015 and the 7th AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF) held in Maputo in September 2015, the Bank of Tanzania decided to introduce gender targets and indicators in the revised measurement framework, with the possibility of integrating gender issues into the Financial Inclusion National Framework itself ( Alliance for Financial Inclusion, 2016). 

  • Financial consumer protection regulation

The Financial Inclusion National Council recognizes the importance of financial consumer protection which has been emphasized with the growth of digital financial services. The Bank of Tanzania sees consumer     protection as particularly important for women as they are considered to be more vulnerable to the environment. 

THE PRESENT STATUS OF MALARIA VACCINE

By Mazhar Shahen – Art in Tanzania internship

In Tanzania over 90% of the population live in areas where there is risk of malaria. In Africa, Tanzania is the third largest population at risk of malaria. Most of the victims of the disease are children, with around 80,000 death annually caused by malaria. In Tanzania, the Kagera Region on the western shore of Lake Victoria has the highest risk of contracting the disease. The Arusha Region is a lower risk area. However due to climate change and people migration caused an increase in the migration of mosquitoes and caused areas that are malaria free to be exposed to the disease. 

MALARIA

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by the transmission through an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The infected mosquito is a carrier of Plasmodium parasite. The parasite is released into the human bloodstream through the mosquito bite. The parasite survives in tropical and subtropical climates. After the parasite enters the human bloodstream it travels to the liver to mature. Maturity of the parasite takes several days, then the parasite goes back to the bloodstream to travel to the red blood cells this time. Once the red blood cells are infected, the parasite starts multiplying withing 2-3 days, causing the infected red blood cells to burst. 

Malaria is an acute febrile disease, which means it shows signs of fever when infected. Symptoms appear in a non-immune person 10-15 days after the infection has occurred. Early symptoms are mild fever, chills, and headache. Since it is mild, it makes the malaria disease harder to detect early on. If not treated the plasmodium parasite can progress to severe illness, usually leading to death.

Severe malaria in children could lead to severe anaemia, respiratory distress, and/or cerebral malaria. Adults are at risk of multi-organ failure. 

In 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. With most of the cases and deaths are in the sub-Saharan Africa. This indicates that African community is in need of a malaria vaccine as soon as possible. Malaria control has been better, with the number of cases dropping significantly over the last decade, with the number of children dying from malaria being halved. 

MALARIA VACCINE

Vaccines are a hot topic in the world we live in. Vaccines help us strengthen our immune system against specific disease which protects us from that illness. Vaccines are usually needle injections but can also be given by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

WHO claims that the malaria vaccine is capable of reducing malaria cases by 75% and put us on goal of the eradication of the illness. Malaria is responsible for 219 million cases each year with an estimated 660,000 deaths of the illness.

Tanzania has the third largest population that is at risk of the illness in Africa, with 90% of the population at risk of contracting malaria. Tanzania has 10 to 12 million cases of malaria annually, with most of them being children. The number of cases has been controlled a lot better of the decade leading to significant decrease, and number of children dying from malaria halved. However, due to climate change and the migration of people malaria cases are rising in areas that were considered low risk in the past. This is complicating the fight against malaria. 

Vaccine RTS,S acts on Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite in the world and specifically in Africa. The vaccine is the first and only successful vaccine for malaria, which helped in reduction of children death in Africa. This vaccination is part of the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Progamme (MVIP), this program is established by WHO to deliver the vaccine in selected areas of Africa with the help of each country’s governments. The 3 African countries that are currently in pilot introduction are Ghana, Malawi and Kenya. The goal is to supply the whole region by 2023. Vaccine RTS,S is considered a safe vaccine, and no proven direct side effects are there. The pharmaceutical giant GSK will be conducting a number of Phase 4 studies in the 3 African countries chosen for pilot. 

In 1987 the discovery of a synthetic peptide polymer (SPf66) in Columbia enabled the development of the first vaccine candidate. Tanzania was the second country after Columbia to participate the clinical trials of SPf66. This indicates that historically Tanzania has an advantage as researchers will have a deeper pool of information in Tanzania compared to other African countries. Researcher George M Bwire states in his article that the inclusion of Tanzania in the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program for the current RTS, S vaccine is crucial.

REFERENCES

  1. Agnandji, S. T., Agnandji, S. T., Asante, K. P., Lyimo, J., Vekemans, J., Soulanoudjingar, S. S., . . . Abdulla, S. (2010). Evaluation of the Safety and Immunogenicity of the RTS,S/AS01E Malaria Candidate Vaccine When Integrated in the Expanded Program of Immunization. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 202(7), 1076-1087. Retrieved 2 11, 2021, from https://academic.oup.com/jid/article-abstract/202/7/1076/837083
  2. Bwire, George & Sanga, Anna. (2019). Malaria control in Tanzania: Current status and future prospects. 2664-8490..
  3. Dimala, C. A., Kika, B. T., Kadia, B. M., & Blencowe, H. (2018). Current challenges and proposed solutions to the effective implementation of the RTS, S/AS01 Malaria Vaccine Program in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 13(12). Retrieved 2 11, 2021, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30596732
  4. Galactionova, K., Tediosi, F., Camponovo, F., Smith, T., Gething, P. W., & Penny, M. A. (2017). Country specific predictions of the cost-effectiveness of malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 in endemic Africa. Vaccine, 35(1), 53-60. Retrieved 2 11, 2021, from https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s0264410x16311033
  5. Malaria vaccine implementation PROGRAMME (MVIP). (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/malaria-vaccine-implementation-programme
  6. Malaria in Tanzania. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2021, from https://malariaspot.org/en/eduspot/malaria-in-tanzania/
  7. White, N. J. (2011). A vaccine for malaria. The New England Journal of Medicine, 365(20), 1926-1927. Retrieved 2 11, 2021, from https://nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejme1111777

BANKING IN TANZANIA

By BEN K GWAMAKA – Art in Tanzania Internship

gwamakaben25@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION

–Banking, The provision of deposit and loan products normally distinguishes banks from other types of financial firms. Deposit products pay out money on demand or after some notice. Deposits are liabilities for banks, which must be managed if the bank is to maximize profit. Likewise, they manage the assets created by lending. –

Banks, are Institutions that match up savers and borrowers help ensure that economies function smoothly. Although banks do many things, their primary role is to take in funds called deposits from those with money, pool them, and lend them to those who need funds. Banks are intermediaries between depositors (who lend money to the bank) and borrowers (to whom the bank lends money).–The amount banks pay for deposits and the income they receive on their loans are both called interest.

TYPES OF BANKS

1. Central Banks:

Over and above the various types of banks mentioned above, there exists in almost all countries today a Central Bank. It is usually controlled and quite often owned by the government of the country.

2. Agricultural or Co-operative Banks:

The main business of agricultural banks is to provide funds to farmers. They are worked on the co-operative principle. Long-term capital is provided by land mortgage banks, nowadays called land-development banks, while short-term loans are given by co-operative societies and co-operative banks. Long-term loans are needed by the farmers for purchasing land or for permanent improvements on land, while short-period loans help them in purchasing implements, fertilizers and seeds. 

3. Commercial Banks:

These banks play the most important role in modern economic organization. Their business mainly consists of receiving deposits, giving loans and financing the trade of a country. They provide short-term credit, i.e., lend money for short periods. This is their special feature.

4. Savings Banks:

These banks (perform the useful service of collecting small savings. Commercial banks too run “savings departments” to mobilize the savings of men of small means. The idea is to encourage thrift and discourage hoarding.

5. Industrial Banks:

There are a few industrial banks in India. But in some other countries, notably Germany and Japan, these banks perform the function of advancing loans to industrial undertakings. Industries require capital for a long period for buying machinery and equipment. 

6.  Utility of Banks:

An efficient banking system is absolutely necessary for a country, if it is to progress economically. The services that an efficient banking system can render a country are indeed very valuable. Undeveloped banking system is not only an index of economic backwardness of a country, it is also an important cause of it. The banking system can be useful in the following ways, in addition to what has been mentioned in the functions of banks.

7. Exchange Banks

Exchange banks finance mostly the foreign trade of a country. Their main function is to discount, accept and collect foreign bills of exchange. They also buy and sell foreign currencies and help businessmen to convert their money into any foreign money they need. Their share in the internal trade of a country is usually small. In addition, they carry on ordinary banking business too.

TYPES OF BANKING

1. Unit Banking:

• In unit banking, all the operations are performed from a single branch.

• It is a limited way of banking where banks operate only from a single branch or a few branches in the same area taking care of the local population of that area.

• The size of the unit banks is small as compared to branch banking. 

• Due to the small size of the Unit Banks, decision making is very fast as the management enjoys more autonomy and discretionary powers at their disposal. 

• Due to the single unit of the Bank, the risks are not diversified. 

• A customer having an account in a specified branch must undergo all banking activities through that branch. 

2. Mixed Banking: 

• Mixed Banking is the system in which banks undertake activities of commercial and investment banking together.

• It can also be described as the dual functioning of investment banking and commercial banking.

• These banks give short-term and long-term loans to industrial concerns. Industries don’t have to run to different places for differential financial needs. Mixed Banking thus promote rapid industrialization. 

• Mixed Banking may however pose a grave threat to liquidity of a bank and lead to bad debts. 

3. Universal Banking: 

• Universal banking is a system of banking under which big banks undertake a variety of banking services like commercial banking, insurance, investment banking, merchant banking, mutual funds etc.

 • It involves providing all the above services to the customers under one roof by financial experts who can handle multiple financial products. 

• This makes the banking operations economical and boosts investor confidence. However, if these kinds of banks fail, it costs huge losses as well as causes a huge dip in consumer confidence.

4. Narrow Banking: 

• The system of narrow banking involves mobilizing the funds towards risk-free investments mostly government securities. 

• It can be considered the opposite of Universal Banking.

5. Relationship Banking: 

 • In Relationship Banking, the customer needs are understood by the banks and then appropriate banking services are offered to the customers according to their needs.

• This type of Banking helps banks to gather important information about the borrowers which in turn helps them to determine the creditworthiness of the customers.

6. Branch Banking:

 • Branch banking is engaging in banking activities such as accepting deposits or extending loans at facilities or locations away from a bank’s home office or headquarter.

 • Branch banking allows a financial institution to expand its services to an area outside of the home location, functioning as an extension of the home location. It can be a more cost-effective approach because not all the locations are required to offer the same levels of services as the home location, allowing smaller offices to provide key services while larger locations provide additional services.

THE IMPACTS OF COVID 19 ON TANZANIA’S BANKING AND FINANCIAL SECTOR

–We assess the impact COVID-19 has had on the banking and financial services sector in Tanzania and what policy measures have been introduced through the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Tanzania to maintain financial stability. These measures include the ease of requirements on Statutory Minimum Reserves, discount rates, haircuts on government securities, regulatory flexibility on restructuring loans, transaction limits plus daily balance amounts for mobile money operators.

1. Recent profits–

Despite the COVID-19 situation, some major commercial banks in Tanzania have reported an increase of net profits during the quarter ending June 2020 in comparison to the same period in 2019. It remains to be seen whether a continuation of the strong financial performance will be reflected in the quarterly reports for the period ending September 2020.

2.  Measures implemented by banks and financial institutions–

Banks and financial institutions in Tanzania have taken advantage of the BOT policy measures to implement various relief measures to ease the effects of COVID-19. –Most banks have implemented relief packages for their customers especially small and medium enterprises in an effort to offer financial reprieve from the effects of COVID-19. The relief packages include payment holidays (moratoriums) ranging from 3 – 6 months and restructuring of loans to extend repayment periods.

3. UNDP impact assessment–

In April 2020, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) issued a Rapid Social-Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 in Tanzania (the UNDP Impact Assessment). It took note of key stakeholders in the finance sector, including over 40 corporate banks including 30 commercial, 6 community and 2 development banks. Microfinance institutions and mobile money operators were also acknowledged as financial players in the country.

4. BOT statements and bulletins–

The BOT published a Monetary Policy Statement of 2020/2021 in June 2020 and an Economic Bulletin for the Quarter Ending June 2020 (the June 2020 Bulletin).– According to the Monetary Policy Statement, the banking sector was stable as banks had enough capital reserves to withstand financial hurdles.

The recorded ratio of core capital to total risk weighted assets and off-balance sheet exposure as at April 2020 was 17.4% whereas the minimum regulatory benchmark is 10.0%. Furthermore, banks remained liquid as the ratio of liquid assets to demand liabilities was around 32.7% whereas the minimum regulatory requirement is 20.0%.–

However, the ratio of NPLs to gross loans rose to 11% in April 2020 compared to 10.7% in June 2019, hence a deterioration of the quality of banks’ assets. This was largely caused by the slowdown of business due to COVID-19.–In the June 2020 Bulletin, it was reported that the BOT sustained an accommodative monetary policy and enhanced liquidity easing measures to shield the economy from the effects of COVID-19. 

5. Noticeable impacts–

NPLs: Under Tanzanian law, loans are declared NPLs when the obligation for repayment is past due for more than 90 days, or when the loan is classified as substandard, doubtful or a loss.–

Business engaged in import and export, transportation, tourism and accommodation have been heavily hit by measures of countering COVID-19. Following the BOTs policy measures to tackle the effects of COVID-19, banks have restructured loans to their customers by reducing interest rates, instalment amounts and extension of the return period. Banks have also issued moratoriums to the extent of giving relief to their customers. However, the issue of NPLs persisted and most businesses are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.–

Deterioration of customer and bank relationship: this is relative to the issue of NPLs as customers and banks failed to establish a common ground due to operational challenges for both sides.

PROBLEMS FACING BANKING IN TANZANIA

1. Raising expectations

–Today’s clients are savvier, smarter, and more informed. They expect a high degree of convenience and personalization out of their financial service experience. Altering client demographics plays a vital role in these heightened expectations. Each new generation of financial service clients is having a better understanding of technology. As a result, there is an elevated expectation of digitalized prospects.

2. Raised competition–

The financial industry is facing threats that target the most crucial areas of the service. These threats have forced many financial organizations to go after partnerships as a stop-gap precaution. To sustain a competitive edge, credit unions and traditional banks need to devise substantial measures that will counter threats to their service.

3. Consistent innovation–

Substantial success in a business entails agility, insight, continuous innovation, and stable client relationships. Benchmarking useful practices across the whole industry can offer valuable insight, assisting credit unions and banks to remain competitive. Benchmarking is not enough, it only enables the institutions to maintain the pace, and it doesn’t lead to any innovation. Businesses ought to do benchmarking but remain innovative if they wish to thrive.

4. Altering Business models–

The cost that is linked with compliance management is among the numerous financial service challenges forcing banking institutions to alter the manner they conduct business. The elevated cost of capital integrated with unrelenting low-interest rates, decreased proprietary trading, and decreasing return on equity are all pressurizing traditional source’s financial profitability. But the shareholder prospects remain unwavering.

5. Regulatory compliance–

This is among the most vital financial industry challenges. The dramatic increase in regulatory fees has steered this. Compliance with various set regulations can significantly strain financial institutions as they gather resources.

6. A Cultural shift–

From thermostats that allow you to heat the surrounding to artificial intelligence-enabled wearables that monitor the user’s health is the technology that has been embedded in our culture. The same has extended to the banking industry.– This cultural transition towards an innovative-first attitude is a reflection of the greater industry-broad acceptance of digital transformation.

7. Customer retention–

Financial services clients expect meaningful and personalized experiences through intuitive and straightforward interfaces on any device, anywhere, and at any time. While customer experience can be tricky to quantify, client turnover is substantial, and client loyalty is rapidly becoming an endangered idea.

Client loyalty is a product born through sturdy relationships that start by comprehending the client and their expectations.–Understanding the client and engaging with them appropriately can result in client satisfaction, therefore, decreasing customer churn. Financial institutions can also use Bots, which is an effective and efficient technology for delivering superior client services. Bots can assist in increasing client engagement without incurring costs.

CHALLANGES HINDERING FINANCIAL INCLUSIONS IN TANZANIA

a) Lack of education 

In this, it was established that, lack of sufficient education or knowledge concerning with access to various financial services is a problem to majority of Tanzanians which in turn affects the overall people’s access to finances. Basically, it was realized that majority of people within the country lacks information on various services particularly loans in terms of access and repayments. 

Also, other seems to lack the important knowledge on the requirements for securing such loans. Hence, due to this, one of the basic ways that can be used to improve people’s access to financial services is the provision of education to the public, so as to remove the wrong long-stuck mentality on various services to the public. 

b) Low technology (ICT)

 In this part the major problem was realized to be the low information communication technology infrastructure which causes uneven distribution of information between the financial institutions and the people utilizing the financial services. In this, banks need to make significant improvements in various areas such as Management Information System. The improvements of technology will assist in uniting many people in different geographical locations. 

c) High costs associated with the important financial services 

Another challenge that was highlighted was the costs that are associated with the consumption of financial services. In this various charge such as the interest rates and service charges on using ATMs were sought to exert pressure on the customers which in turn affects their general usage of the services. Basically, in this, it was realized that the charges that are put on various services are in most cases destructive to the overall mood of the respondents to utilize the services of the financial institution. In order to curb this, there is a need to harmonize the overall charges so that the users can be comfortable in paying them without any problem.

d) Regulatory requirements

Regulatory requirements such as know your customers rules that have been introduced to prevent money laundering can also make it difficult for poor people to open even a bank account as they may not have the necessary documentation. It has also been observed that many people do not have collateral or credit record due to the lack of proper credit bureau.

CONCLUSIONS

–The banking sector is undergoing a radical transformation. The shifts include changing business models, disruptive technologies, FinTechs, and compliance pressures. The emergence of non-bank startups, which is also referred to as FinTechs, is altering the competitive landscape in the banking industry.

It has forced traditional institutions to reorganize the way they conduct business.–The Tanzanian banking sector embarked on a plan for financial liberalization in the 90’s in order to sustain the country’s economic growth. This has been accomplished through the mobilization of financial resources as well as by increasing competition in the financial markets and by enhancing the quality and efficiency of credit allocation. As a result of the liberalization, new merchant banks, commercial banks, bureaus de change, credit bureaus and other financial institutions have entered the market.

REFERENCES

–http://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/113299/economic-broadband-oecd-countries.pdf

–OECD (2013), “Broadband Networks and Open Access”, OECD Digital Economy Papers, No. 218, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k49qgz7crmr-en–

Finance and Economics, C50, New York University Salomon Center, Leonard N. Stern School of Business.–

Heffernan, S.A. (1996), Modern Banking in Theory and Practice, Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Donations to An-Nabawiya Nursery School

school2 SebastienBeunA small nursery in the village of Fuoni, pronounced An – na – Ba – wee –yah, built in 2012 by Ms Asia Issa Jecha and Mr Hassan Mwinyi kombo as part of a women’s project.

The school is run by 6 local teachers who devote their time from 07:30 in the morning to 12:00pm, five days a week, in order to help educate the young local children. The school initially had 93 students and now have at least 100 local children who attend the nursery for free. The nursery building is also used from 19:00 to 20:00 for private tuition classes; these are held by different teachers.

teaching3-SebastienBeunThe children learn English, Maths, Science, Swahili, Arabic, Art and Religious Studies. Art in Tanzania have been involved with the nursery since 2014 and have provided a total number of 10 volunteers who have helped teach the children and also assisted the local teachers, by, for example, providing them with one to one English lessons.

The first day we visited the nursery was to deliver four benches that were kindly donated by a former Swedish volunteer; altogether there are four classrooms, however, all four of the benches were placed in one classroom. The aim is to fill all four classrooms with these little benches so that all of the children can benefit and enjoy learning in a comfortable environment. All the children wanted to sit on them and were extremely excited and happy with the generous donation.

When we went to visit the nursery again, we spoke to the head teacher, Mrs Latifa Mahfoudh, a stunning and pleasant woman who you could see loved working with the children and had always had a passion for teaching; we sat down and had a long chat at about the nursery and what her ambitions were for the nursery and its students.

Latifa pointed out some of the improvements to the actual building that needed to be carried out; a new roof was needed as the current one leaked, new windows were needed as well as a more stable and safer wall/fence around the parameters of the school with a gate, in order to keep the children safe and protected. Two of the classrooms were not plastered so it was impossible to provide a more pleasant environment for the children to learn in, as you can see from the pictures, the classrooms were dark and unpleasant, even with the sun blazing outside. The nursery also needed to build new toilets for the little boys and girls to use.

As well as the children’s facilities, Latifa showed us her own office, which really does need some attention, it would help her to have a proper carpet that covered all of the floor, new stable chairs and shelves so that when volunteers or guests come, they too can use the office and have a pleasant and clean workspace to work in, without feeling your chair is going to giveaway any second! Latifa would also like to go on computer courses and get computer for her office to make her work easier.

Upon our return, three volunteers, Louise Proctor, Claire Manning and Elizabeth Drey flew out to Zanzibar from Ireland and brought with them a very generous donation of over £4000 for the nursery; with their help and local workers, building work has now commenced, with a new roof and plastering. The work on the wall/fence will be started next, and then the new windows will be fitted. The donations will also help to build new toilets for the little boys and girls. A further £3296 has been donated by Whitney Harris-Linton from Michigan (£77 put towards the roof), Melissa Wolsley from Findlay, Australia (donated £99 for a black board to be fitted in the classroom) £2600 and £520 have also been donated from more kind donators. The money given will be used to finish renovating the school and any money left over will be used on a new project in Madale, Dar-Es-Salam, subject to the donors consent.

kiswahili sebastienIf you would like to volunteer at the nursery or donate; your time, skills, money, toys, stationary or school equipment, do contact Edward Busungu at Art in Tanzania and get involved, it certainly is a fantastic project and the children and staff are simply delightful to be around.

If you do wish to teach at the school, we would recommend spending more than two weeks, as this will enable you to build a much better rapport with the children and staff, allowing them to put into practice what you teach and you will be able to witness the difference that your presence can make in their lives and futures.

 

Uzi Island needs environmental interns and volunteers

Road to Uzi

Road to Uzi

Uzi is a small island in the south of Zanzibar’s main island, Unguja. The road to Uzi is called Nyeker road; manmade using rocks and stones with at least four types of mangroves on either side. The road to Uzi resembles the partition of the River Nile in the story of Moses; simply mesmerising. The road has been built slowly over 50 years. It started off as a small lane for walking; this was then made wider for the use of bicycles, then for cows and finally it was made even wider for the use of motor vehicles.

The drive to Uzi Island is very beautiful, but very bumpy, if you suffer from motion sickness, be sure to sit at the front of the vehicle or make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Our informative and helpful guide, Isshaka, met us at a resting point, made with the help of volunteers for when the tide comes in. The water can rise up to two metres when there is a full moon. When the tide is high you can goDSC03795 fishing. The land in Zanzibar is so fertile we were able to plant four mangrove seeds each, Twenty (Edward) steps from the resting point, on the right, which fulfilled a personal ambition to plant trees that will definitely grow.

The town to Uzi and has been there for around 10 years along with three wells on the Island that provide drinking water. A Dala Dala, number 334, from Uzi to Stone town takes around one hour.

Uzi baskets made by women's group

Uzi baskets made by women’s group

The main sources of income for the Island are from fishing, farming and carpenter work. There are also woman groups on the island and the woman craft their own fruit baskets that Art in Tanzania export to Finland and also sell on EBay for around 25 Dollars.

Within the mangroves, women from the villages have placed plastic bottles across the water in order to collect two types of seaweed, they use plastic boats to collect these when the tide is high; 100 of these plastic boats were donated by a friend of Isshaka. The seaweed is then made into soaps and sold in order to provide income to the villagers.

helloIsshaka went to school in Uzi then to Ston etown to study further. Isshaka is very passionate about wanting to make a difference and help people live a better life in Uzi. Isshaka does 2 radio broadcasts throughout the week; one where he brings awareness of environmental issues on Uzi Island and what others can do to help, and another broadcast called Sunset Zanzibar, where he talks about tourism and the importance to the island and how tourism can help the island develop.

Uzi grows many fruits such as Mangoes, Oranges, Guava, Yams and Cassava. Alrge Baobab trees also grow in Uzi; the villages used to cut these down, however Isshaka has been campaigning to keep these trees in order to house bee boxes that provide honey to the locals; honey season is September to October. The Baobab fruit when mixed with water and sugar is a good source of Vitamin C.

Biogas from biowaste

Biogas from biowaste

The Island really needs creative interns and volunteers passionate about the environment and sustainable development. Also people that can help the women create innovative arts and crafts in order to sell and help provide an income for many households on Uzi Island.

For volunteering at Uzi  you can contact  Art in Tanzania info (at) artintanzania.org

Helping the kids in Yusuf School

YusufFounded by Yusuf Kombo Juma, a father of six children, who witnessed the problems and challenges of education and set out on a mission to tackle the issue, he sold his own land and properties and got creative in raising money in order to fund his vision.

Yusuf started his school with just one nursery class with 30 local children in 2010, this then grew each year and now the school has two nursery classes and five secondary classes with 95 local children attending the school for 8000 TZS per month, the eldest students are aged 13. The school runs from 07:30 to 12:00/ 12:45 for the older students. There are seven local teachers. Yusuf is hoping to build another classroom for those older than this, but will need funds to build it.

donatedArt in Tanzania has been working with this school since 2011; they helped expand the school from one class room to what it is now, through Art in Tanzania two volunteers have helped out for three months, helping the students and the teachers also, a volunteer from the UK taught the teachers ways of teaching for two weeks which the teachers found very helpful. Yusuf said that good education brings in more students so volunteers are very much welcomed to help support in whichever way they can.

girl school-SebastienBeunChildren of all faiths attend the school and learn, Maths, English, Science, Swahili, Arabic and some learn about Islam. There will be opportunities to teach the children different languages, such as French and German if volunteers wished to do so. If you don’t want to teach you can simply provide help and support for the children and teachers, you could even set up clubs or different activities for the children, there is something for everyone.

In order to expand the school, Yusuf wishes to buy the plot of land next to the school building to create three new classes for the school. For this he requires 4 million TZS (approximately £1450) to buy the land, and then 3 million TZS (approximately £1060) to build one classroom.

DSC04539Yusuf also has an ambition to build a centre for children near the Yusuf school on a plot of land he already owns, this would provide shelter and education for orphans in need. To build around five rooms Yusuf would require around 9 million TZS (approximately £3200) the centre would then need, beds and other furnishings to provide for the children living in the centre.

Yusuf spoke about how some of the children come to school in really bad conditions; these children need support in many ways, not just teaching.

If you would like to volunteer at this school, or to donate, stationary, teaching material, desks, chairs, clothes for the children, bags or office equipment you time or money, get in touch with Edward Busungu at Art in Tanzania for more information.

 

Spice Tour

Spice is an essential ingredient of Zanzibarian culture therefore a visit to Zanzibar is not complete without a (half day) spice tour. With the abolition of the slave trade, spices became a source of income for Zanzibar and it remains to be so, with the island being the biggest exporter of cloves.

Our guide and spice farmer, Mr Abeid, who inherited the spice farm from his late father, took us on a fragrant and delightful journey of exploration along his show farm, which is around 800 acres; he has his larger farm close by. Mr Abid was very informative and charmingly engaging as well as entertaining with the help of his assistant ”Maria”.

I love my spices and was still pleasantly surprised by how the spices were grown, how they were used and their benefits in cooking and for general health.

We started with the Annato plant; a natural orange-red colouring that comes from the seeds and is used in food, lipstick and the vermillion that Hindu’s use on their forehead (modelled by ‘Maria’).

Did you know that cloves actually grow on trees, and need to be dried for five days in the sun to be black in colour? Same with peppercorns, they grow on trees. Also interestingly the island has cacoa trees, but they import their chocolate and make coco powder for hot chocolate. However they export Zanzibar coffee to Arab countries, it’s a strong flavour.

We had Ylang Ylang flowers crushed into our hands, used many well known perfumes like Channel No 5. They have a small stall selling some of their own produce which is a must see, including Ylangi Ylangi oil.

There is one fruit, you will either love or loathe like marmite – the Durian aka the stink fruit. You might not want to be near one should it drop to the floor!

Lunch was provided, cooked by local women…this was the best food I’d tasted at the time of writing. You really need to go and experience it for yourself. We asked for a recipe (measurements all to taste!)

Pilau rice

In a pan fry a bit of cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, then add crushed garlic and sliced onions – cook until brown.

Transfer this to a pressure cooker and add washed rice and quartered potatoes with water to cover the rice. This should take up to 30 minutes. You could leave it in the original pan and cook it on the hob or put it in a Moroccan tagine clay dish to cook in the oven.

Serve rice with Kingfish dry cooked in a mix of spices. We had side dishes of mixed vegetables cooked in coconut milk and a pinch of turmeric. Also a spicy tomato sauce cooked in coconut oil plus cassava leaves mixed with coconut milk to make a spinach dish. Delicious. We were served water and lemon grass tea to accompany our meal.

Take a walk in Stone Town

We follow our tour guide, Elvis, through a maze of narrow alleyways of small businesses, hotels and residential spaces with locals, tourists (and vespas!) in what used to be the capital of Zanzibar. You’ll see how these African streets embrace cultures from the Arabs, Indians and Europeans through design. It is no surprise that Stone Town is an UNESCO World Heritage site. The buildings, made from Zanzibar’s coral stone, are ornately decorated with beautiful carved timber doors. You’ll find two styles of doors, Arab (square tops) and Indian (arched tops), both a symbol of protection and security but also a door into Zanzibar’s history.

Arab and Indian merchants, through the spice and slave trade, constructed Stone Town in the 19th century. Before then the Portuguese came and built a fort to protect their settlements in the 16th century. During the tour you will see the slave chambers in the former slave market site – now a museum recording the slave trade with a poignant sculpture outside the building by the artist Clara Sornos titled ‘memory of the slave’.

The old fort is now a centre for arts and culture showcasing events and performances. Look for the post on the International Film Festival. Near the fort you’ll pass Forodhani Gardens, which holds an evening food market all year round – here you should try the Zanzibar pizza and see it made right in front of you. You will also pass the House of Wonders – wonders because it was the first building in Africa to have an elevator! It is now closed due to building repair. The building used to be taller but it got destroyed in the world’s shortest war that lasted less than an hour, between two brothers…you might want to ask your tour guide about that one.

Along the tour you’ll see local markets selling all sorts including fruits, vegetables, spices. Look for the post on the spice tour.

One little known fact of Zanzibar is that it’s the birthplace of Freddie Mercury; you can look for Mercury House to find out more.

The narrow streets of Stone Town fall dark come nightfall, so walk in groups if you decide to stay out late. Be carful and vigilant, it is a very busy environment, especially around sunset, if you are female, you may attract unwanted attention.

Stone Town is the perfect place to buy gifts for family and friends, eat lunch – try 6 degrees for a seaview (a sit down restaurant at tourist prices with one hour free wifi) or Lukmaans near the former slave market (a budget buffet at local prices) and ask for Salim for a great service. If you want to see the sun set go grab a juice at Sunset bar, be sure to go a little early before the best seats are taken, or go to the Floating Restaurant and watch it from the pier.

Weekend Safari trip organized by Art in Tanzania

Going on safari in Tanzania if you visit Africa is almost as compulsory required as a trip to Zanzibar. So a group of three already well settled in interns decided to go on a weekend safari provided by the organization. The preparation and arrangement of the trip was well organized. One week before we were registered by a Team leader for the journey. The payment was due to three days before we were leaving on Friday. The short briefing two day before we left hold by our actual safari guide was pretty informative and helpful in terms of what to pack or activity related questions. On Friday after the breakfast we left in our safari jeep to our first stop our accommodation for the first night. On the way to the place we passed the park entrance next to several animals and hers of impalas, monkeys, giraffes and elephants. After the first night we started early at half past seven to our game drive at the Mikumi National Park where we had the chance to spot buffaloes, zebras, hippos and a variety of many more species. In the evening we drove to the second station in the rainforest, to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. At this park we had the chance to see numerous primates and a big amount of other plants and animals during our hike to the waterfalls as the park has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its vast variety of endemic species. In the afternoon we went on the way back to Madale at Wazo hill. Summing up for all of us it was a quite pleasant weekend trip organized and conducted by Art in Tanzania.

 

Volunteering for the ’International Day of the African Child’ event

 

At Thursday the 16thJune a bus full of volunteers headed out at five o’clock in the morning to do some volunteering work for the International Day of the African Child at ’The Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park’. This is one of the biggest youth parks in Dar Es Salaam opened in October 2015 by the president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Which is compared to other sport venues quite developed as they had artificial football fields for example which is not that common for Tanzanian standards.

The event was apparently created for children which means a lot of colours, laughter and fun. But these colorful balloons weren’t blowing up them self from alone. Decorating was one of our tasks at the event next to judging and conducting of the reading and drawing challenges, taking pictures and collecting video footage, face painting, acting as a mascot or participating at one of the numerous sport challenges like football games or basketball matches. Supporting all these activities, helping to arrange the challenges and cleaning up is concluding our day at the event quite well.

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But next to the hard work (for some it was a tough day especially for our athletes and our mascot volunteers) there was a lot of joy for everyone as the kids who were participating organized several performances from traditional Tanzanian dances to singing performances. Also reputable sponsors like unicef or the Tanzanian government by itself were providing us for all these efforts with a lunch break and refreshing drinks. Next to the events it also had several stalls about nutrition elucidation or little healthy checks as well as technology companies presenting their electronic devices.

All in all, this day was quite a diversification as it was a pretty long and exhausting day for everyone who participated comparable to working at an exhibition day.Even more thankful was everyone for the already prepared food of mama Neema in the evening at home.

For more Information, you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry.

If you want to see more pictures of that day visit the Facebook page of Atte Leskinen Photography