EFFECT OF GROBAL COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO PERSONAL BANKING AND FINANCE IN TANZANIA

By Greenford R Chinjeru – Art in Tanzania internship

COVID-19 is an infection disease that spread by virus and it dangerous and deadly.   It has killed many people and affected the global economy. The disease has affected movement of people and goods from one county to another. Many countries people and their movement has been restricted. This has affected the world economy including the banking business.

The following are the effects of the COVID-19 in banking business in Tanzania 

Reduction of deposits, in banking business bank use their customers deposits to provide loans and credit to other so as when their return their return with interest and the get profit through it. But due to the COVID-19 the number of people who deposit their money has decreased. This is because people has been advised to stay at their homes so in order for them to survive they have to use their saving and that include stopping deposits and just to use their cash in hand savings. 

Increase of expenses, due to the spread of the disease, the banks as the places where many people came and go, has been taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease between the customers and their employees. These measures costs weren’t in the budget in the first place but for the safety of the people it had to be implemented.

Interference of banker and customer contract. There are contractual agreements between customer and banker but and due to the COVID-19 some of those agreed clauses have been hard to implement to the safeguard the health of all parties. There have been times that a customer has had an obligation to return the loan to the bank when the time required but the customer has failed because of getting sick and being forced to quarantine and the bank can’t sue him for it that because that is global problem.

All in all, COVID-9 has affected our county in so many ways especial in economy as during times of quarantine the government had to use their revenue to help people who were infected and purchase medical machine to ensure the safety of the people and the country.

How Financial services providers responded to Covid-19 in Kenya

By Marian Joseph – Art in Tanzania internship

The Covid-19 pandemic has carried the world into unchartered territory that has been straining to every sector of the economy. The financial industry not being the exception has been facing several challenges in managing effective ways to serve their customers in such times. In this post we look closely at how Kenya’s financial sector as a country responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.  A report by Bowmans (2020) kept track of how the government responded to the gradual outbreak of Covid-19. 

The following were the responses taken by the different branches of government, regulators, and governmental agencies

1. Loan Availability. 

 On 18 March 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced emergency measures arrived through consensus with commercial banks, applicable to borrowers whose loan repayments were up to date as at 2 March 2020.

Cropped shot of a businesswoman using a calculator at her desk in a modern office

 · Banks to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans based on their individual circumstances arising from the pandemic.

 · To provide relief on personal loans, banks will review requests from borrowers for extension of their loan for a period of up to one year and borrowers should contact their respective banks. 

· Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporate borrowers to contact their banks for assessment and restructuring of their loans based on their respective circumstances arising from the pandemic. 

· Banks to meet all the costs related to the extension and restructuring of loans. 

· To facilitate increased use of mobile digital platforms, banks to waive all charges for balance inquiry. In addition, the CBK had earlier announced that all charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts would be eliminated.  (Bowmans, 2020)

2. Credit Availability 

On 24 March 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya announced additional measures to facilitate lending by banks to borrowers adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

· The lowering of the Central Bank Rate (CBR) to 7.25 percent. 

· The lowering of the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to 4.25 percent to provide additional liquidity of KES 35.2 billion to commercial banks. CBK to avail this liquidity to banks based on their demonstrated requirement to directly support borrowers that are distressed as a result of COVID19. 

· To provide flexibility on liquidity management facilities provided to banks by CBK, the maximum tenor of Repurchase Agreements (REPOs) was extended from 28 to 91 days. 

Dad and daughter saving money to piggy bank

· CBK to provide flexibility to banks with regard to requirements for loan classification and provisioning for loans that were performing on 2 March 2020 and whose repayment period was extended or were restructured due to the pandemic. (Bowmans, 2020)

3. Individual and Business Relief Package 

On 25 March 2020, the President announced individual and business relief measures to be undertaken by the government: 

· Reduction of Personal Income Tax top rate (PAYE) from 30% to 25% of the gross amount.

 · 100 % Tax Relief for persons earning up to KES 24,000 per month.

 · Reduction of the Resident Corporate Income Tax rate from 30% to 25% of profits.

· Reduction of the Turnover Tax rate for SMEs from 3% to 1% of the gross revenue. 

· Immediate reduction of VAT rate from 16% to 14%. 

· Temporary Suspension of all listing for all persons including companies, whose loan account fall overdue or is in arrears, by the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) – effective 1 April 2020. 

· Ministries and Departments to cause the payment of at least KES 13 billion of the verified pending Bills, within three weeks from the announcement.

 · Appropriation of KES 1 billion from the Universal Health Coverage towards the recruitment of additional health workers to support the management of the spread of the COVID-19. 

· KRA to expedite payment of VAT Refunds by allocating an additional KES 10 billion within 3 weeks or in the alternative, to allow for offsetting of withholding VAT. 

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· Appropriation of KES 10 billion to the elderly, orphans, and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

· Government to set up a fund to which players in the Public and Private Sector will contribute in support of Government efforts. (Bowmans 2020)

REFERENCES 

Bowmans the value of Knowing (November 2020). COVID-19: TRACKING GOVERNMENT RESPONSE IN KENYA

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.

Celebrities who influence and inspire youth in Tanzania

By Joffrey Kabobe – Art in Tanzania Internships

1. Diamond Platnumz

Diamond Platnumz also known as SIMBA start his hustling of music in the street of Tandale- Dar es salaam. Diamond met with producer Bob Junior who introduce him to the music industry of Bongofleva by producing and recording the first hit song titled “Nenda kamwambie”. Diamond Platnumz in 2014 met with Davido and record the remix of Number one song which made him famous to all over Africa. Diamond is a CEO of wasafi record label called WCB, CEO of wasafi media and zoom production. So his hard work and hustle influence and inspire many young people in Tanzania and even in Africa at large, diamond is a role model to many youth of this generation. 

2. Alikiba

Many of his fans they call him Kingkiba , he is recording artist and vocalist from Tanzania. Alikiba is the owner of Kings Music Label which currently signed two artists namely Abdu Kiba and Tommy Flavour. In 2017 he became the director of Rockstar 4000. Alikiba first album titled “Cinderella ” made him famous in Tanzania and all-over East Africa, he is one of the biggest celebrities in Tanzania that influence and inspire youth in Tanzania.

3. Nancy Sumari 

Nancy Abraham Sumari is a Tanzanian author, business woman and social entrepreneur. Nancy Sumari was miss Tanzania (2005) and later she competed at miss world 2005 where she placed in top 6 and won the title of continental Queen of Africa for 2005. Nancy Sumari influences many youths in Tanzania due to the fact that she is hardworking woman who own Bongo 5 media Group Ltd, she is the executive director of the Neghasti Sumari Foundation and Jenga Hub. So Nancy is a pride to many youth in Tanzania who looking into her as their role model.

4. Millard Ayo

Millard Afrael Ayo is the founder of Ayo Tv company Limited which runs millardayo.com . Millard Ayo before own a television and a blog he started working with ITV and Radio one (IPP Media Group) in 2008 where he hosted different programs and being paid mostly salary of 300,000/= . Years pass Millard Ayo start to grow and be famous all over Tanzania whereby he joins Clouds Media Grop in 2010 up to date. Millard he is one of the celebrity that influence many young people in Tanzania who aspire him and be inspired by him in many things apart from his profession of journalists.

5. Nandy 

She is Tanzanian musician who own a label of African princess and other business such as Nandy Bridal and Nandy meat. Nandy inspire a lot of youth in Tanzania because she is a real Hustler and hardworking woman who hustle from nothing to something which made her to stay at the top. She is a self-made who own houses, cars and different businesses.  Nandy is a role model of many youth in Tanzania 

Existing problems with using a Title Deed as a Collateral in Tanzania

By Marina Joseph – Art in Tanzania Internships

When a business has cash flow problems, it fails to operate efficiently as its financial capacity is not stable. Most businesses to overcome such cash needs turn to the form of a line of credit, which means having to secure the loan with collateral in order to obtain this financing. Asset-based lending allows companies to borrow money based on the liquidation value of assets on its balance sheet. Common assets that are provided as collateral for an asset-based loan include physical assets like real estate, land, properties, company inventory, equipment, machinery, vehicles, or physical commodities. 

This method has become one of the easiest ways for small businesses to get quick cash in order to continue operating. This is due to the fact that asset-based lending is not as demanding as other methods a business can use to get a loan. There are several problems concerned with using a title deed as collateral. A title deed is a legal deed or document constituting evidence of a right, especially to ownership of property. The following present themselves as the risks involved

  • Repossession

The chance of loosing a valuable asset is always likely in such cases. Failure to repay the loan gives the lender the right to repossess the asset that was used as collateral against said loan and sell it. At times, the lender makes a profit especially for those assets whose value keep on increasing such as land or business premises. A borrower then risks losing a very valuable asset which could have been used to bring about business growth in the near future. Sometimes the collateral listed may not be enough to cover the default loan a lender is then forced to seize other valuable assets of the borrower to recover the amount in full.  

  • Diminishes credit score

When a business reaches a point to use its own asset as collateral that strongly suggests it is financially unstable. A good credit score means an entity will be able to submit the loan repayment on time. However, even if you repay an asset-based loan on time, it won’t improve your credit score.  

  • Regular Monitoring of assets

The need to monitor the performance of collateral on an ongoing basis makes asset-based lending labor intensive, often requiring a significant investment in information systems and specialized personnel who have intimate knowledge of the borrower’s business. A borrower will be forced to write reports about the condition of the asset every now and then. In fact, the lender may even dictate on how you are supposed to use the asset to make sure that it does not have wear and tear. This process can be long and tiring.

  • Over Mortgaging

         Another great risk of placing assets as collateral for the loans is over mortgaging.  The use of real estate or land as collateral will result into the borrower owing more on the loans than what they really have in        equity. If the value of the apartments goes down, then the lender will be forced to take more collateral from borrower in order to recover their money. For instance, there comes a time when the real estate market experiences a downfall. When this equates with the business failing to repay the loan, then the lender will sell the collateral in question and if not enough cash is yielded to cover the loan does not, then more and more      property will have to be seized by the lender in order to recover the money. 

  • Lower Valuations

A lender looks at an asset and how quickly it can convert to cash which means they will always lower the value of collateral in question. Any property presented as a collateral should be correctly valued with a due diligence process and experts to avoid such practices that hurt the borrower.

  • Higher Costs

Compared to traditional loans, asset-based loans do cost more. Some banks or other financial institutions want the borrower to provide very detailed information about the asset being used as collateral for the loan. Business owners are to give very concrete information about the current value of the asset in question and the depreciation rate of the asset. Gathering all that information is an expense on its own and thus increase the cost of the loan. On the other hand, some banks may charge audit fees, diligence fees and the interest rate on the loan. When it comes to a traditional loan, the only thing that is charged by a bank is the interest rate and nothing else.

  • Not all Properties/assets qualify

A lender or financial institution mostly want a borrower to give an asset which has a higher value, low depreciation rate and is easily convertible into liquid cash. This shows that not every asset will meet all these conditions. For an asset to qualify, it has to be of high value, low depreciation rate or high appreciation rate and easily convertible into cash. Those are the conditions that make an asset to be used as collateral when it comes to asset-based lending.

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.

 

The Zanzibar Volunteer House

Volunteers can expect to share a house with others from all cultures and backgrounds. You will stay in dorms, eat breakfast together and perhaps do the same volunteering project or go explore Zanzibar together. An orientation will be given the day you arrive or the following day.

There can be social activities with the team leaders during the week depending on what is happening in Zanzibar and how busy everyone is, the team do meet for lunch, dinner or drinks where possible.

DSC03587.JPG

Volunteers can look forward to a BBQ games night whilst staying at the accommodation. Edward, the team leader, was in his element rustling up a BBQ of Kingfish and Octopus. This was a quiet BBQ night with a feisty game of ‘Snatch’. You need to find this game and learn to play it to have a chance of beating the ‘King of Snatch’ aka Edward. The atmosphere varies depending on the size and dynamics of the volunteers. It was a pleasant evening against a backdrop of African music and good old banter.

Our tips for being out in Zanzibar, especially as female travellers:

  1. Bring a headscarf to put on your head or around your arms because the locals do appreciate this. It also serves as UV protection and mosquito barrier! We covered as much as possible and felt respected for doing so. We brought an umbrella with us to provide much needed shade when there was none.
  2. Bring mosquito repellent, mosquito after bite cream…you can get these over here, but best to be prepared. Also bring wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel because you will need these out and about.
  3. Buy a local SIM card with data as the house does not have internet-wifi
  4. The plug sockets are the same as in the UK (3 pronged), bring an international plug adapter
  5. Learn some essential Kiswahili words and phrases
Kiswahili English Response in Kiswahili English
Mambo Hello Poa Good
Karibu (singular) Karibuni (pr) Welcome Asante

Asante sana

Thank you

Thank you very much

Habari How are you Nzuri  Good

Volunteer Interview – Karmen

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Karmen from Australia, age 36 who has an infectious laugh, loves travelling, meeting new people and shopping, has been volunteering at Al Qawiyyi School and Zanzibar Youth Alliance.

What have kind of activities have you been doing as a volunteer?

I have been assisting the teacher in different classes each week such as nursery, form 2 and standard 2 at school and I have been helping the womans group with cooking at the youth centre.

What made you volunteer with Arts in Tanzania? What has been the best part of being with Arts in Tanzania?

I wanted to volunteer because I am looking for a change career but have been unsure about what I want to move onto. The travel agent in Australia recommended real gap to volunteer through. The best part of being with Art In Tanzania has been meeting people in the house that I wouldn’t otherwise meet.

What have you liked about assisting in Al Quwiyyi School and Zanzibar Youth Alliance youth centre?

I’ve enjoyed the interaction with the children and learning Arabic and Swahili. I’ve also enjoyed learning about Ramadan and Eid. At the youth centre I’ve enjoyed learning to cook dishes I never knew how through the woman’s group. So much so I could open an African restaurant in Australia!

Has the experience changed you as a person?

Yes, it has made me more appreciative of what I have at home. Before I left I was thinking of going into social work and the experience has confirmed this.

What advice would give to volunteers wanting to teach-volunteer?

  1. Just do it
  2. It does take a few days for the children to open up so it makes a difference if you stay longer at the school. I planned to do 8 weeks, but you could do 4 weeks.
  3. Have a few resources such as educational games to help you in the classroom
  4. Be open to experiencing something different by exploring the Island after school and at the weekend to get the most out of your time.
  5. If you’re travelling alone it is better to stay in a volunteer house and if you’re female then be prepared to wear a headscarf and full dress in school and perhaps when you are out.

 

 

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.

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.