I spent two days last week at the annual Joint Water Sector Review meeting – the so-called “highlight” of the annual calendar of “dialogue”. This was the sixth such meeting to be held – and I have the “distinction” of having attended all of them. But as you can probably guess from the profusion of “inverted commas” in this paragraph, I’m having serious doubts about the whole exercise. Before I come to that, though, let me give you some background.
Around 250 people from the Ministry of Water, other related government ministries and agencies, the “development partners” and civil society all attended, in the workshop factory that is Ubungo Plaza. All the main stakeholders were there. Apart from water consumers that is, who are only represented in the sense that everyone consumes water. And those consumers (or perhaps I should call them citizens) weren’t represented by their official representatives either – no MPs or local councillors attend, with the exception of the Ministers officiating at the formal opening and closing sessions. We civil society folks had to take on that role. Continue reading →
This has got me thinking. What actions could the government take that would have a positive impact on open government immediately? I’ve come up with some options, and would love to know what you think. Continue reading →
Last week’s release by Wikileaks of the US Diplomatic Cables on Tanzania was not the “smoking gun” on the corruption scandals to have struck Tanzania in the last 5 years that some people were hoping for. But nor does it make for entirely comfortable reading for those in government who are subject to some unusually undiplomatic criticisms from the US diplomats. Continue reading →
For a keen follower of media issues, the past month was a great time to be visiting the UK. In case you missed it, a huge scandal blew up over illegal practices at the News of the World newspaper, which itself turned into a scandal about the amount of influence News International (the paper’s owners) had over the police and senior politicians. The result was what one respected media commentator described as a “revolution“.
I won’t recount the full story here as it is long enough to fill a book (or two), but I will try to cover the key points in brief before thinking about the story’s implications for the Tanzania media. Continue reading →