Showing posts with label EFFECTIVENESS OF AID. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EFFECTIVENESS OF AID. Show all posts

20 Sept 2010

As a Tanzanian living in the United Kingdom,I am quite appreciative of  the role played by the British people in assisting fellow Tanzanians in form of development aid especially at the time when the UK government is planning to wield the axe on welfare and social spending and prioritise areas that foster the economy's ability to grow.

However,reports that the United Kingdom on Friday announced that it will soon start disbursing 230bn/- contribution as part of its general budget support for this fiscal year following Tanzania’s "impressive expenditure discipline".

On the one hand,the timing of the announcement could be easily perceived as an endorsement of the current Tanzania regime under Jakaya Kikwete as it tries to convince voters to re-elect it for a second term in office.I wouldn't be surprised if Kikwete would "remind" voters that "if those who give their money to support us have strong faith in my government evidenced by the Friday's announcement,why shouldn't you?"

I understand that the announcement might be a mere coincidence.However,the fact that UK said it was also pleased on how funds were spent on agriculture-fertiliser, education, enrolment, health (malaria roll back) and safe drinking water raises suspicion. The visiting Minister for International Development, Mr Stephen O'Brien (MP),was quoted saying his government was contented with mechanisms that Tanzania enforced to get much better information on the value for money of its expenditure and the results it was delivering.No wonder the fight against corruption and economic sabotage in developing world remains an illusion due to such irresponsible analysis of local situation.

The UK government will next month announce spending cuts of up to 25% in many departments as it seeks to erase a budget deficit running at 11% of national output.It therefore goes without saying that such cuts should also encompass restraints in international aid especially to such countries as Tanzania in which the lion's share of such aid is misappropriated by the ruling elite.

Mr Brian's visit to Tanzania, among other things, was to tell Dar that there would be no more aid from UK without revision on how it was spent.So did the UK revise on how previous packages of aid were spent?Seems like they did,and they were "so impressed that they decided to continue offering the aid unconditionally".

It's ironic to hear Mr Brian saying (I quote)"I have taken a keen interest in all things in Tanzania throughout my life.”Did you hear anything about the EPA scandal and the mysterious Kagoda company?What about Tangold,Meremeta,Kiwira,etc?Have you inqured from your Tanzanian friends in the government on how the "economic stimulus package" was spent?Are you impressed with how millions of donor aid offered to Tanzania has consistently failed to improve the standard of living of majority of Tanzanians?


This blog therefore urges the British government to state categorically that its recent aid package to Tanzania is not in anyway whatsoever an endorsement of Kikwete's corrupt regime which seeks re-election in the coming election scheduled for October 31.

Furthemore,Mr O’Brien's statement that the UK would continue to follow events closely in Tanzania and Zanzibar ahead of the elections and wished the country peaceful and orderly elections this October would only be meaningful if he had reflected the importance of free and fair elections in Tanzania.With the the ruling party candidate,incumbent President Kikwete,clearly violating the Election Expenses Act by "bribing voters with numerous pledges-mostly unrealistic and impractical" it is fair to conclude the next five years would another "open season" for "mafisadi" who remain the major beneficiary of the efforts by the United Kingdom and other members of the Tanzania Development Partners Group,which since established in 2004 "has been working with the Government of Tanzania and other domestic stakeholders to strengthen development partnership and effectiveness of development cooperation".


12 Sept 2010


Yesterday,the world joined Americans in remembering the 9/11 terrorist attacks which left scores dead and many others injured.The aftermath of the attacks has completely transformed global politics and rekindled hostile relations between the West and the Muslim world.Is the US,and the world in general,safer from further terrorist attacks?Is there a possibility of another 9/11 in the future (God forbid)?

Despite varying opinions on the subject,it is fair to conclude that terrorism remains the main threat to mankind to-date.Unfortunately,some of the actions taken by the Americans after the 9/11 attacks have somehow served as recruitment tools for future terrorists.The Iraq invasion,for instance,had little to do with 9/11 although George Bush and his fellow neo-cons tried their best to sell the idea,and eventually failed.Of course,it was necessary to bring an end to Saddam Hussein's evil rule,but, arguarbly,not at the cost the world is likely to pay.The invasion has most likely acted as a huge recruitment tool for terrorist in the Gulf region.Presence of the US troops in the country became an instant pull factor for terrorists from different parts of the world.

Although the US invasion of Afghanistan could be justified,mainly due to the fact that the Taliban offered a safe haven for Osama bin Laden,the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,there are growing signs that the war would ultimately be concluded without a clear victory,just as the case has been in Iraq.Worse still,Osama is still at large,and his capture-if it ever happens-would probably be by sheer luck than the US military and intelligence might.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks escalated the West-Muslim world relations, already uneasy,to  more confrontational stance.The US and other Western countries were willing to sacrifice civil liberties in the name of national security.As a result,the minority Muslim population in these countries became even more alienated as they became the prime targets of some draconian anti-terror legislations.Scores have since then been arrested and put into detention with most denied access to legal representation.The mere existence of the Guantanamo facility is a clear evidence as to how a nation many tend to turn to for global  leadership of the free world is in fact abusing civil liberties.

However,intelligence and security matters are quite complex.Actually,speaking from a professional point of view,the fact that there has never been another terrorist attack in the US should certainly be perceived as quite a success for the various organisations entrusted by the Americans to keep them safe.While such organisations are required to be vigilant 24/7,a terrorist needs only a minute if not seconds to succeed in their evil mission.

All in all,for the world to be such a nice place to live,the threat from terrorism needs to be eliminated at least to a maximum level.Unfortunately,the future does not look so promising.In some way,the West is still not doing enough to address what some objective observers regards to be the pull factors in Islamic radicalisation.I will mention a few with Tanzania being a specific case.

Many studies on Islamic radicalism have shown that poverty plays a crucial role in attracting secular Muslims to turn into Islamic extremists.My own research has so far pointed out that one of the major factor for the rise of Islamism in Tanzania is,putting it bluntly,poverty.During my fieldwork,some respondents who supported the Islamist cause in the country confirmed that their participation in various Islamist groups in Tanzania was a way to protest against the State.Such groups offered them a platform to address social and economic problems facing the country.

Tanzania has emerged as "darling of the West" despite rampant corruption and inherent social injustices.The current regime under President Jakaya Kikwete who is vying for a second term in the coming elections in October has wrecked the fragile economy while trading in dangerous grounds by promising unrealistic solutions to the grievances by the disgruntled Muslim population e.g. promising re-establishing Kadhi courts and joining the OIC.Five years later,such promises which were given during the 2005 General Election campaigns are yet to be realised,putting the country in a compromising position for possible troubles in the future.

Ironically,Kikwete has been showered with praises for his leadership,with the latest coming from the UN Secretary General,Ban Ki-Moon wishing him victory in the forthcoming election.He was also the first leader from Africa to meet President Barack Obama since he got into the White House.It is widely known in the security circles that the American interest on Tanzania is in their effort to contain a growing terrorist threats posed by various Islamist groups in Somalia.The West has turned a blind eye to what is currently happening in Tanzania just because their strategic interest in the country are far more important than the welfare of the majority of Tanzanians.Undoubtedly,Kikwete and his party will portray themselves to voters as being trusted by the West,and therefore try to win some cheap votes.

It is fair to say that the huge share of Africa's stolen wealth is in some Western financial institutions.It also makes no sense at all to see the West pouring aid to African countries when some part of such aid is either used to oppress democracy at a local level or strengthening corrupt regimes such as Tanzania's.As a result,the majority poor would readily fall victim to religious fanatics who promise heaven to them while doing their best to fill the vacuum caused by the State in provision of basic social and economic needs.

I am not calling for suspension of aid but what Africans need is transparent and responsible aid.For such aid to be effective,donor countries have to make sure that the money they offer benefit the whole population and not just a clique of corrupt politicians.The same strictness that some Western governments have shown towards recipients of stimulus packages in their countries should be applied to recipients of their aid.

Finally,as this year's 9/11 commemoration was overshadowed by  the crazy threat  by a Florida-based "twisted pastor" Terry Jones that he would burn the Holy Koran,it is worth reminding all peace-loving people of the world that replicating what the terrorists are doing will only give them further excuses to continue with their evil acts.A blank hate towards all Muslims would only encourage even those who are totally opposed to religious extremism to join forces with terrorists.

Let's work together,regardless of our faiths, to keep the world a better place to live.

5 Nov 2009


ONE OF OUR MAJOR DONORS,THE UNITED KINGDOM,WHOSE HIGH COMMISSIONER IS PICTURED ABOVE WHEN SHE WAS PRESENTING HER CREDENTIALS TO THE TANZANIAN PRESIDENT JAKAYA KIKWETE,IS IN A MISSION AS STIPULATED ON THE DFID'S WEBSITE...

DFID: Working to reduce poverty in Tanzania
In the past five years Tanzania has received $6 billion in aid. Of this, DFID has provided £500 million (approximately $900 million). DFID has provided Poverty Reduction Budget Support (PRBS) to the government of Tanzania since 2000.

Making aid effective...
CONTINUES


AND THIS IS HOW OUR DONOR,THE UNITED KINGDOM,SAVES MONEY,SOME OF WHICH IS GIVEN TO US AS AID..

MPs' expenses: more than £600,000 returned to taxpayer

More than a third of MPs have repaid money claimed on expenses, returning more than more than £600,000 to the taxpayer.

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent
Published: 7:19PM BST 22 Oct 2009

The House of Commons Commission said that since The Daily Telegraph began revealing details of their claims in May, members have returned a total of £637,000.

In all, 260 MPs and former MPs have returned money. The figure
is expected to rise as some MPs have not yet complied with anindependent audit which has asked them to repay some claims...
CONTINUES
AND THIS IS HOW WE,THE AID RECEPIENT,MAKE OUR DONORS EFFORTS WORTH CONTINUING...


No compromise with PCCB - Sitta


THE Speaker of the National Assembly, Samwel Sitta, has asserted that no compromise has been reached with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) over the controversial probe into parliamentarians’ expenses.

According to Sitta, the issue was not even part of the agenda during Tuesday’s much-hyped meeting between himself and PCCB director-general Dr Edward Hoseah in Dodoma, where the National Assembly is
currently in session.

It was just a brief meeting...we did not even discuss the matter,the Speaker told THISDAY when reached for comment yesterday.

Photographs of Sitta and Hoseah in talks at the Bunge office in Dodoma were splashed on the front pages of several local newspapers yesterday amid speculation that the two had managed to work out a mutually-acceptable way forward for the MPs’ expenses investigation.

But Speaker Sitta maintained yesterday that he still opposes arbitrary interrogation of MPs by PCCB officials in the course of investigating reports that some lawmakers have been receiving double payments of allowances for official tasks.

He said proper protocol and procedures need to be adhered to by the PCCB in its interactions with parliamentarians, who are representatives of the wider electorate in the National Assembly...
CONTINUES
AND TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY PENNY FROM OUR DONORS IS PUT INTO THE BEST USE......


MPs probe called off

By The Citizen Reporters

MPs had the last laugh yesterday, with the revelation that the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) will, after all, not press ahead with its investigation into the alleged fraudulent payment of double allowances to some of them. Impeccable sources in Dodoma told

The Citizen that the anti-corruption agency had stopped its controversial investigation, which had sparked off a war of words between the Legislature, the Executive and the PCCB's director general, Dr Edward Hoseah.

The sources privy to the discussions in the closed-door meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, National Assembly Speaker Samuel Sitta, and Dr Hoseah, confirmed that the parties had agreed to call off the investigation indefinitely. That, unfortunately, is the decision the meeting arrived at. Hoseah was not very happy with the development but there is nothing he could do....
CONTINUES
WELL,I THINK WHAT CAROL GRAHAM AND MICHAEL O'HANLON PROPOSE WOULD MAKE FOREIGN AID MORE EFFECTIVE THAN IT CURRENTLY IS.THEY SAY

Decades ago, donors saw aid as a transfer of resources from rich to poor countries. Today they see it more as a means of improving recipient countries - use of domestic resources. And though aid has had its successes in humanitarian relief and family planning, its record is mixed when it comes to promoting economic growth. Many nations in sub-Saharan Africa are poorer than when they began receiving aid. The solution is not to end foreign aid, but for donors to know when to say when, cutting off countries that fail to adopt sound economic policies and rewarding those that do....CONTINUES.
AMERICANS BAILING OUT TANZANIAN ECONOMY NAIVELY THINKING THAT IF IT WORKED IN WASHINGTON IT SURELY WOULD WORK IN BONGOLAND.

17 Apr 2009


A total of US$30 million (over 36bn/-) given to Tanzania as aid by the Norwegian government in the past 12 years may have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, an independent report has revealed.

The just-released Anti-corruption Resource Centre Report entitled `Does Aid work?`, which considers the challenges to aid effectiveness in major natural resources programmes, says half of the US$60 million did not make it to the primary targets and ended up lost.

The report is authored by Erik Jansen, a senior advisor at NORAD Evaluation Department.

A former programme officer at the Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania quotes in the report an evaluation by independent consultants in 2006 as having established these facts.

``Those who have control over the natural resources are in a powerful position and usually have easy access to money... Tanzania has not been successful in managing its natural resources in a sustainable and equitable manner, nor has the country been able to achieve significant economic growth in its utilisation of these resources,`` notes the report.

Norway financed the Management of Natural Resources Programme (MNRP) in Tanzania from 1994 to 2006 and the report names the Natural Resources and Tourism ministry as being in charge of managing the forestry, fisheries and wildlife resources.

``The Ministry had three separate divisions, each dealing with one of these resources. MNRP had projects in the forestry, fisheries, and wildlife sectors that were closely connected to these three divisions of the Ministry. In all of the three sectors there has been pervasive corruption during the last decades. Management and staff in the Ministry, together with politicians and people from the local population, have plundered the resources and exploited the resources in a way that is not sustainable. Often this has been in collaboration with foreign investors,`` writes Jansen.

The example is given of assistance from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Saudi Fund for Development, which resulted in one of the largest bridges in Africa. It was built over the Rufiji River in 2003.

``The bridge led straight into a natural forest of about 20,000 square kilometres that had remained fairly unexploited until then. A comprehensive study conducted after the completion of the bridge showed extensive illegal exploitation of the forest,`` says the report.

It adds: ``Logs worth tens of million of US dollars were exported illegally to China and other countries in Asia. Taxes and royalties were paid for only four per cent of the forests that were harvested.``

According to the study, illegal logging cost Tanzania about US$ 52 million of its potential revenue annually.

The reports further notes that corrupt politicians and representatives of the fisheries and wildlife sectors allowed these resources to be plundered by national and international companies, provided they themselves obtained a share of the resultant profit.

``Both in the fisheries and wildlife sectors, licences are allocated to investors at a price that is only a fraction of the market price. Corrupt representatives of the Government earn huge amounts of money that should have gone into the Treasury,`` the report states.

``The development partners in Dar es Salaam recently notified the Government that the fees which the Government received from the wildlife sector were minimal. The Government only charged US$ 8,000 for hunting blocks that had a much higher market value.

``The Government accepted the complaint by the development partners and increased the fees to US$ 40,000 for each block. However, many of the politicians and ministers who controlled these hunting blocks complained that the increased fees would lower their profit and therefore demanded that fees should remain at the old levels,`` it adds.

Some 150 trawlers from EU member countries and the Far East operating within Tanzania`s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Indian Ocean are said to have been paying a paltry US$18,000 annually to obtain a licence. But on a good day of fishing, the trawlers are able to catch fish of the same value.

The report says that, if the Government had charged market value for these licences, the Treasury could have collected US$20 million annually for the trawlers` licences.

``It is also well known that the export of Nile perch from Lake Victoria has been underreported for many years in order to avoid taxation. There is much money to be earned by government officials and politicians who contribute to increased export of natural resources without it being taxed,`` it adds.

The Natural Resources and Tourism ministry is viewed as being in a special position in the government set-up because of its opportunity to generate its own resources from taxes, fees and royalties. It also receives allocations from the Treasury.

``It is difficult to estimate how much money the Ministry transfers to the Treasury and how much disappears due to corruption. With all the potential income from natural resources, the Government of Tanzania should have been able to manage its own natural resources without depending on funds from development partners,`` notes the report further.

A report from the World Bank enforces this view, saying: ``Because of policy failures, Tanzania’s natural resource endowments are not harnessed in an optimal way to achieve both economic growth and poverty reduction. On the contrary, owing to weak governance regimes in revenue-generating sectors, resources are offered below market price to the benefit of a few powerful winners and the loss of the majority of the rural population.``

It adds: ``Yet these natural resources provide substantive potential for income to communities in the rural areas. The weakness in governance regimes in forestry, wildlife and fisheries include primarily the lack of transparency and accountability in issuing rights to extract resources and accrue revenues from them, inequitable sharing of benefits with communities, and monitoring and surveillance of stocks.

``In all four principal sectors providing natural capital in the growth equation – forestry, wildlife, fisheries, and mining – royalties are set arbitrarily and do not reflect scarcity. Royalties are hence not used as a policy instrument of intertemporal resource pricing and sustained yield management (Pfliegner 2008).``

The World Bank report stresses that the problem is not lack of legal acts and instruments, policies, strategies and plans that explains the mismanagement and corruption in the natural resources sector but lack of the political will to follow up on the adopted instruments.

``The Government of Tanzania has a complicated relationship to its task of managing the natural resources. On the one hand the government has, with the support of its development partners, spent much time and resources in developing legal acts, policies, strategies, national plans, and sector strategies for its forestry, fisheries, and wildlife resources which are compatible with those of the international community.

No doubt many government officials in Tanzania do their utmost to comply with and follow up these adopted plans and strategies.`

``On the other hand, there are also many government officials and politicians who undermine the policies they themselves have been central in having Parliament adopt.

Many of these politicians and government officials have held high positions in the Ministry. These leaders can force honest government officials to adopt corrupt practices,`` it adds.

Published as part of the project named `Corruption in Natural Resource Management`, the paper suggests a more sophisticated approach to budget and programme support.

``If we are to improve and understand the relationships between a plan and the reality, it is important that we are open and share experiences made in development aid.

It is therefore a good thing that the political leadership in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad welcomes a broader and more open debate on development aid,`` writes Jansen.

Renewable natural resources in Tanzania play an important role both for the population in rural areas of the country and for the economy as a whole.

Of Tanzania`s total population of about 40 million people, 75 per cent live in rural areas.

Most of the rural population has access to forestry, fish and/or wildlife resources.

It is estimated that on average 40 per cent of the income in rural households comes from one of these three natural resources.

Agriculture is the main economic sector in the rural areas but most people living off the land use simple technology and land productivity is very low.

Efforts to improve the agricultural sector are slow and income and food from forests, fisheries and wildlife will for many years continue to play an important role for the rural population.

Natural resources are important at the national level too. Timber from the forests is important for economic activities in the country and it is also a major source of foreign exchange.

The country also receives substantial foreign exchange from the export of Nile perch from Lake Victoria and shellfish from the coastal areas. Wildlife brings income from tourism and hunting licences.

Traditionally, local people have used their own rules of management for the various natural resources they have found of interest. But this has changed during the last few decades.

A new set of actors, very often foreign investors, have discovered the value of Tanzania`s natural resources and stiff competition for scarce natural resources has changed the constellation among the actors.

SOURCE: Ippmedia

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