East Africa Rising: Tanzania at 50

“We, the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a candle and put it on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where there was before only humiliation.” – Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, 22 October 1959 (before independence), addressing the Tanganyika Legislative Assembly.

Julius Kambarage Nyerere was just 39 years old when he led Tanganyika to independence on 9 December 1961. Today, Tanzania celebrates 50 years of independence! East Africa’s gentle giant, whose size covers the same area as Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy combined, with 123 ethnic groups, continues to be a shinning example of the African spirit of communalism and a beacon of hope for the process of nation-building and economic awakening in the region.

Focussed leadership in maximising Tanzania’s immense, untapped potential is what many argue, will be the difference in realising the country’s Vision 2025 and if the present GDP growth remains the same, the land of Kilimanjaro could well over take Kenya as the region’s largest economy by 2030. For Tanzania to do so, it is argued that the government must focus on three main sectors: agriculture, mining and energy.

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Our Next President Had Better Be a Rainmaker

Aside: This short post is a reaction to an article on MSNBC: “Worst drought in 60 years: 12 million Africans face ‘fight for survival'”. Read it. Some of the comments on there are so O’Reilly-esque not to mention borderline ignorant and insensitive, it’s appalling.

I know it’s silly to expect the President to make rain. After all, the man is a trained economist and a politician of four decades’ standing. But certainly I do expect him to understand a little about where rain comes from unlike some of our bone-headed MPs.

It is widely accepted that everything rises and falls on leadership. The quality of national leadership determines the quality of life and level of development of a nation. Quality leadership is, indeed the most invaluable asset for any nation.

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Kenya: Is There a Lifeline For The Future?

by Neemo

Many Kenyans have been wondering whether the current government is serious about pledges they articulated to the electorate.

For the majority of the past fifty or so years since independence, the KANU party had been in control and was described as a “dictatorial kind of party” that never listened to the peoples problems. The land clashes, embezzlement of funds, the political assassinations, the land grabbing and the murder of clergymen were all characteristics of the former regime.

Fast forward to the 2002 general elections where the NARC party won a landslide victory on a platform of economic reforms, adoption and implementation of a new constitution within one hundred days of getting into power, free primary education and the controversial issue of creating five hundred thousand jobs annually. To their credit, at least they have fulfilled their pledge of providing free primary education, which has given impoverished children a lifeline. But that seems to be all there is to it.

The current government doesn’t seem to have changed much from the previous one. In fact, most of the same people who were in KANU are now in the ruling party. Financial scandals caused by the governments appointment of old guards are raising eyebrows among the youth. Most of them find it unworthy to study when their credentials will get them nothing but a first place in the unemployment line as they watch doddering old men take over the places that are rightfully theirs. It is for this reason that they are asking themselves, “Is there any hope for us in the future?” Continue reading