In her budget speech to parliament yesterday, Minister of Finance, Saada Mkuya Salim, gave some positive figures on access to electricity in Tanzania. Between 2011 and 2014, she said, access to electricity increased from 7% to 36% (see page 44).
The figure made it onto the front page of Mwananchi newspaper.
Numbers that don’t sound plausible are worth checking out, especially when presented by politicians. So I decided to check the sources. Continue reading →
“It’s all rosy for Tanzania,” runs the Daily News headline. It’s not about media freedom, the state of public services, political stability or religious tolerance, but another vitally important component in the country’s development – economic growth. The article goes on to give some impressive growth figures, by anyone’s standards:
“The 2013 African Economic Outlook Report, launched last week, confirmed the impressive performance of the economy, which grew [by] 6.9% in 2012 and is estimated to reach 7% this year and 7.2% in 2014.”
But another recent report raised some very important questions about this economic growth. In particular, is economic growth benefiting the poor?
I’m talking about the Afrobarometer survey series, which published its latest data and reports last week. Their survey results and analysis are always worth looking at, as the data is among the best data on public opinion across the continent. The latest round covered 35 countries. It hit the headlines for its conclusion that the “Africa Rising” narrative needs more nuance – see here in the Guardian, for example. Continue reading →
Wednesday this week saw the signing of a major agreement for Tanzania between the National Development Corporation (NDC) and the Chinese company Sichuan Hongda. The agreement sets up a new company, Tanzania China International Mineral Resources Limited (TCIMR), to build a coal mine, iron ore mine, coal-fired power plant and steel works at the Liganga (iron ore) and nearby Mchuhuma (coal) in Ludewa district, just to the south of Njombe. The MPs Zitto Kabwe (the Parastatal Organisation Accounts Committee chair) and Deo Filikunjombe (the PAOC vice-chair and Ludewa MP) were present at the signing.