Tag Archives: Rakesh Rajani

President Kikwete on avoiding the resource curse, and transparency in company registrations

President Kikwete spoke in Washington earlier this week, as part of the US-Africa Leadership Summit. The clip below comes from the Civil Society Forum Global Town Hall event, where he shared a platform with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Vice President, Joe Biden, and the Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, among others.

The questioner asks first what Tanzania is doing to avoid the resource curse, and second what message the President has for SADC leaders about Robert Mugabe and the situation in Zimbabwe. President Kikwete neatly avoids the second, but gives a lengthy response to the first. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) gets a mention, though there is nothing on transparency in extractives’ contracts.

I did note, however, an interesting remark on transparency in company ownership registers:

“We are now working on transparency with regard top who owns what – who is who in terms of ownership of the companies that are operating in the country.”

The full session is also available on YouTube, as is another session at the same event, featuring my boss, Rakesh Rajani of Twaweza, in a discussion about the Open Government Partnership in Africa.

The real story of “open” – Guest Post from Nikhil Dey

I an honoured to be able to use this blog to host a guest post from Nikhil Dey of MKSS, an Indian right to information group. It follows the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in London, at which Nikhil and his colleagues made a great impression, both on me personally and on the summit as a whole. He and Aruna Roy, also of MKSS, share a seat on the OGP Steering Committee

The real story of “open”

There were many things from the London Summit that stand out for us, but here is one that will give you a delightful surprise about the mysterious ways in which the OGP story has spread. More than that, it will give you an idea of the good things of London, of why cab drivers have such a good reputation, and of the humanity and goodness of the ordinary citizen of the world.

Three of us (Kamayani, Shankar, and I) had pre-booked a cab for the airport on a taxi service that takes bookings for cheap taxis in London. We boarded at our hotel, and left by a route where our cab driver informed us we would not get caught in a protest march being undertaken by the Tamil Tigers. After we introduced ourselves to him, the driver told us that his name was Amani, and that he was from Tanzania. Continue reading

Right to Information in Tanzania: now the real work begins

President Kikwete made a bold promise last week, to enact a law that obliges the Tanzanian government to provide any information requested by citizens, with the exception of information relating to national security. You can see this for yourself, in this YouTube video posted by the President’s press office (the key section starts at 8mins 40 seconds):

Continue reading