Category Archives: Tanzania

“Be careful, watch it!” – Translated excepts from speech of President Magufuli

Earlier today (March 24, 2017), President Magufuli spoke at a ceremony in to formally appoint new Ministers and Ambassadors. He referred directly to two significant events earlier this week, the visit of World Bank President Jim Kim (see also this sharp-eyed post by Aikande Kwayu) and yesterday’s events in the car park of St Peters Catholic Church in Dar es Salaam. Among other things, the President had some interesting things to say about the media in Tanzania.

I have translated some key excerpts below the video.

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When security forces draw weapons on a politician, something has gone very wrong

from mwananchi.co.tz

A gun was pulled on Nape Nnauye today, in broad daylight in a car park full of journalists in Dar es Salaam, reportedly by a security officer. They were apparently trying to prevent him from speaking to reporters, trying to arrest him, or perhaps both.

Just this morning, Nape had been the Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sport, until President Magufuli added his name to a long and growing list of public officials fired by the President and his senior colleagues.

In the official letter announcing the “reshuffle” (see right), no reason was given. Indeed, Nape is not even mentioned in the letter, which merely announced the appointment of a new Minister. But no explanation was needed, this story has had Tanzania’s media and public gripped for several weeks.

Nevertheless, it’s worth going back a little, to recount how we reached this point. You could not make it up. Continue reading

Dear Chambi: don’t stop blogging, your voice is needed

from Nipashe, Dec 1, 2016

Dear Chambi,

I hope you don’t mind me writing you a public letter like this. But it feels like the most appropriate way of saying what I want to say.

Because your decision to stop blogging has left me dejected. While I don’t always agree with what you say (I usually do), yours has been one of very few voices asking important but difficult questions. Those who find #UhuruWaKujieleza (freedom of speech) to be an annoyance (or, if we are charitable, an unaffordable luxury,) will be celebrating. We are all worse off as a result. Continue reading

dot-com, dot-org or dot-tz? What does Tanzanian law say?

Maxence Melo charge sheet #3

The recent arrest of digital media entrepreneur Maxence Melo of JamiiForums.com raises serious questions and concerns about freedom of speech, but one relatively minor aspect of the case has potentially serious implications for a lot of people.

Among the charges laid against Melo was “management of a domain not registered in Tanzania.” This took observers by surprise; even many close followers of media and technology issues in Tanzania were unaware that it is now apparently illegal to operate a website that does not use a dot-tz domain. The relevant laws have actually been in place since 2011, however, and the government posted a notice in the press last year calling on people to adhere to it.

But since it has now come to wider attention, it’s worth asking some questions. In particular, what exactly does the law say? And more pertinently, should you be concerned if you manage a domain other than something.tz? *

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People-powered maps to help girls escape FGM – how to get involved

Filling in the blank spaces …

Can you help girls in Tanzania escape Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) without ever leaving the comfort of your home? Well, there’s a project that some friends of mine are supporting that claims to do exactly that.

If you’re in London next Monday (January 16), there will be a seminar at 5pm at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where this and two related mapping projects in Tanzania will be the topic. But whether or not you can make it to the seminar, the beauty of this project is that you can contribute from almost anywhere.  Continue reading

Two opportunities for data journalists in Tanzania: a prize and funding

Data journalism is a growing field in Tanzania, but one that hasn’t yet taken off very strongly. But here are two opportunities for data journalists in Tanzania that could help get things moving. Both look very interesting.

ejatData journalism prize in EJAT

For the first time, a data journalism category has been included in the Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania (EJAT), run by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT)*. The MCT website seems to be a little behind on the announcement, but it was issued a few days ago and the site does at least have the entry forms available.

So if you are a  journalist or blogger who has done interesting work with data (on any topic) in the Tanzanian media during 2016, now is your chance.

The deadline for entries is January 31st, 2017.

innovateAFRICA: potential funding

innovate Africa logoAnd if you’re looking for more than just recognition, there’s up to USD $100,000 available for media projects working with data. The innovateAfrica initiative, run by Code for Africa, is looking for “disruptive digital ideas to improve the way that news is collected and disseminated:”

“By digital ideas, we mean tools or strategies that use the Internet, mobile platforms, data-driven journalism, computer-assisted reporting, digitally augmented reality or virtual reality, camera drones or the Internet of Things (sensors), and other electronic means to improve the relevance and impact of news media.”

The deadline for initial applications is December 1st, so you will need to get a move on, but the first stage in the application process is very straightforward, with just 8 simple questions to be answered. Full details, terms and conditions, etc., and the online application form are available here.


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* Twaweza, for whom I work, has encouraged MCT to include this new award in EJAT.

Mwangosi verdict leaves a lot of questions, and a bitter taste

Mwangosi

A court in Iringa today sentenced police officer Pacifius Simon to 15 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of journalist Daud Mwangosi in September 2012. In one sense, this brings the case to a close. But it is a very unsatisfactory ending. Continue reading