Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Namibia, Tanzania ink agreements targeting tourism, art, culture and youth development

Namibia and Tanzania agreed to revive the Tanzania-Namibia Joint Commission for Cooperation to boost trade and investments in the two countries, according to a report from NCA in Tanzania.

The revival of the joint commission for cooperation which had been dormant for the past 20 years was made at the end of the 2nd session of the Tanzania-Namibia Joint Commission for Cooperation in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The two countries signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on tourism, art, culture and youth development.

Palamagamba Kabudi, Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, said the revival of the commission for the joint cooperation marked a new chapter toward improving trade and investments between the two countries.

Kabudi said the activation of the commission will invigorate bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.

“We should now do more to attract trade and investments between our countries,” said Kabudi, adding that there was huge potential in investments in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, tourism, and mining.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, said the revival of the commission will enable the two countries to work closely in addressing challenges hindering socio-economic development.

“With the revival of the commission, Namibia and Tanzania will continue to grow from strength to strength,” she said.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Trump nominates new American Ambassador to Tanzania: Spearheading tourism

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United States President Donald Trump named then nominated a new Ambassador to Tanzania, after nearly 3 years of the US Embassy in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam running without an appointed ambassador.

Trump nominated Dr. Don J. Wright of Virginia as his new envoy to Tanzania. The White House announced the nomination of Dr. Wright on September 30 of this year. He is set to be vetted by the US Congress and Senate before taking up his post in Tanzania. When confirmed, Dr. Wright will succeed Mark Bradley Childress who served as US ambassador to Tanzania from May 22, 2014, to October 25, 2016.

After taking over his new position in Dar es Salaam, the new US ambassador is expected to spearhead economic diplomacy between Tanzania and US tourism – the leading economic sector in which Tanzania is looking for an American partnership. The United States is the second of high-class tourists visiting Tanzania every year. Over 50,000 Americans visit Tanzania every year.

Up until now, the US Embassy in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam is under the Senior Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Dr. Inmi Patterson who has been ChargĂ© d’Affaires of the mission since June 2017.

Dr. Wright is a career Senior Executive Service (SES) member and is currently working in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the United States.

Reports from the US State Department said that Dr. Wright developed and implemented the National Action Plan to Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections and Healthy People 2020, the US’ framework for disease prevention and health promotion initiatives.

His career at HHS includes service as acting Assistant Secretary for Health and acting Executive Director of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.

He received his BA at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and his MD at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. He received an MPH at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa. He was honored by the American College of Preventive Medicine in 2019.

The United States is the leading donor to the development of health services in Tanzania, mostly contagious tropical diseases and HIV AIDS, among other diseases, including malaria.

While in Tanzania, Mr. Childress will oversee, among other political and economic issues, the US support to Tanzania in areas of health, human rights, and wildlife conservation.

The United States is the leading donor to Tanzania in health projects targeting malaria eradication, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS prevention, safe-motherhood, and health education programs.

Tanzania is among African countries doomed with tropical and communicable diseases including the recently-diagnosed dengue fever outbreak which had hit several parts of this African nation.

With budget constraints in health services, Tanzania depends on donor support, mostly from the United States, Britain, Germany, and Scandinavian states to finance health projects. Wildlife conservation is the other area which the US government has committed to supporting Tanzania for the last few years. America has been on the frontline to assist Tanzania in anti-poaching campaigns aimed to save African elephants and other endangered species from extinction from poaching.

The US government has also been supporting Tanzanian and other African nations in fighting international terrorism and piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bleak Future For Tanzania Small Tour Operators As Tax Regime Bites

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Many small-scale companies in the tourism and hospitality sector in Tanzania are facing a bleak future as they are finding it difficult to comply with the tax regime.

Players say the Value Added Tax (VAT) in particular, is likely to kick-out the SMEs in the tourism and hospitality business if the Tanzania government doesn’t revisit its administration.

Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT) say many of their members are concerned with the VAT treatment of deposits or advance payment in the tourism business.

“Majority members were finding it very hard to work out the accounting complexities of paying VAT on deposits,” TATO CEO, Sirili Akko said in Arusha.

He added: “Smaller tour operators and hoteliers don’t necessarily have access to high-level finance staff and therefore were at a loss as to how to deal with the issue in a compliant manner.”

Sector players add that though it makes no difference to the total amount collected by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), it vastly increases the complexity of the accounting and the difficulty of the administration of this for both the companies and the revenue authority.

“It is a widely held belief that clear and straightforward tax regimes help revenue authorities to maximize compliance, as well as helping to increase the tax base by encouraging further investment,” Akko explains.

The TATO and HAT members meeting agreed to set up a technical committee to clarify the challenges and prepare a plan to meet with the Ministry of Finance to agree a way forward that would ensure that payment and administration of VAT are as straight forward as possible.

“Both TATO and HAT can then educate and help all of their members to be as compliant as possible,” said HAT CEO, Ms. Nuralisa Karamagi.

“The majority of players in the tourism and hospitality sector consider the provision of section 15 of the VAT Act, 2014 to be problematic when receipts of deposits trigger it,” Dr. Deogratius Mahangila who undertook the study notes.

First, he says, a deposit in the tourism sector indicates that the client is committed to traveling and therefore, the operator has to confirm the need for accommodation, transfers, flights, and vehicles with suppliers and the suppliers ought to reserve the space for these bookings.

According to the respondents’ opinions, the pre-payment is not a consideration for the supply, as a deposit is used to secure space on behalf of a customer—typically accommodation, vehicles or seats on airplanes.

“It is a commitment as these spaces are limited in supply and therefore require prior booking,” Dr. Mahangila says, adding: “Typically, any deposit made will be deducted from the final payment due, but the exact nature of the service can and does change after a pre-payment has been made.”

Indeed, deposits are not income. The tourism sectors essentially hold this money in trust for their client for the future service and therefore the money remaining after the service is rendered, becomes income for tour operators.

The government had in December 2017 reviewed the Tanzania Tourism business License popularly known as Tala to attract local SMEs in the formal sector in a bid to expand its tax base.

Before the government’s decision, many briefcase firms clandestinely provided services to tourists to evade tax and often to con their customers at the expense of the country’s tourism image.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tanzania Tourism rated 2nd in Sadc Bloc

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Arusha. Tanzania trails South Africa only in the share of the tourism market in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) bloc.

South Africa tops both in the tourist arrivals and earnings, beating other southern Africa states which dominated the market for so long. Recent statistics indicate that 13 percent of about 24 million international arrivals to the region annually head to Tanzania.

South Africa, Africa, and the bloc’s biggest economy attract 47 percent to the tourists visiting the 16 nation bloc.

“South Africa is also the leading source market for tourists to Tanzania ahead of other Sadc member states,” said Mr. Philip Chitaunga, a senior official in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Last year, there were 54,000 visitors from South Africa to Tanzania, 47,000 from Zimbabwe,  45,000 (Malawi) and 30,000 from Zambia. Mr. Chitaunga revealed this here on Thursday in a media brief ahead of next week’s joint meeting of Sadc’s ministers of Environment, Natural Resources, and Tourism.

The five-day meeting will assess the development of the tourism, wildlife and forestry sectors as well as a lay strategy for the region’s ‘Blue Economy’.

He said in 2016 tourism accounted for 8.2 percent of total regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was  $56.3 billion then. In the same year, the sector and allied hospitality industry segments generated 6.3 million jobs which were 6.1 percent of all jobs in the region.

Earnings from tourism also for 2016 amounted to $18.3 billion equivalent to 9.1 percent of the total regional exports from Sadc. Mr. Chitaunga, who is an assistant director in the ministry’s Tourism Department, added that Tanzania was second to South Africa in both tourism arrivals and receipts.

While South Africa generated more than $2.5 billion from tourist arrivals in 2016, Tanzania recording earnings amounting to $1.7 billion. In the share of the Sadc tourism market, second-placed Tanzania is closely followed by Mauritius (10 percent), Zimbabwe (nine percent).

Other countries on the top of the tourism market in the bloc are Mozambique, Botswana, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, and Lesotho. Unlike Tanzania, Mauritius and South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, and Madagascar have bigger shared of arrivals than receipts. Botswana and Zambia have an almost equal share of tourism arrivals and earnings, according to statistics for 2016.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Tourist Drowns in Marriage bid Scene.

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A tourist named Steven Weber drowned to death over the weekend, when attempting to make a dramatic proposal to his lover, who was put up in the underwater hotel at Pemba Island.

The incident occurred in Konde area and the grieved bride, Kenesha Antoine stated that her partner died while trying to pull off an underwater proposal, a video going viral online shows Steven Weber swimming up to the window of an underwater resort, with a written proposal.

He dived onto the window of a partially submerged structure anchored to the seafloor that gives guests a look into the ocean. The late Weber is seen holding up a note to Kenesha Antoine, who was standing inside the room. It was a piece of paper asking her to marry him.

The note read: “I can’t hold my breath long enough to tell you everything I love about you. But everything I love about you I love more every day! Will you please be my wife? Marry me???”

Weber, wearing a snorkel and flippers, apparently only gave Antoine time to read the two-sided note before reaching into his pocket to pull out a proposal ring. He then swims out of the video frame as seawater sucked him down.

Antoine replied with a “Yes,” but it was too late. Her lover was already dead in the Indian Ocean waters.

“You never emerged from those depths, so you never got to hear my answer, “Yes! Yes! A million times, yes, I will marry you!!” Antoine wrote on her Facebook page, aggrieving about what she described to be “the cruelest twist of fate imaginable.” She did not say how Weber died.

The Department of State of Louisiana admitted to the media that a US tourist died in Tanzania, but no other details were reported. Efforts to contact authorities in Pemba weren’t successful either. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

9-Year-old Boy from Pune has Summited Mt Kilimanjaro

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In Summary
Before the Kilimanjaro Advait Bhartia had attempted the world’s highest mountain by reaching the base of the Everest.

Advait, who also successfully trekked to the Everest base camp as a boy of six in 2016, finished the summit in seven days.

"This trek was really difficult but fun at the same time. When I was submitting (sic) the Everest Base Camp, we were living in wooden houses but during the Kilimanjaro trek, we stayed in tents and it was a good experience being exposed to snow and the surroundings,” he said.

He added: I could have completed the trek faster but the mountains were very beautiful and I took a lot of breaks to take in the beauty.

Advait also has Europe's highest peak Mount Elbrus on his bucket list for next year, said.

He added that thin air, reducing atmospheric oxygen by approximately 50 percent, and sub-zero temperatures ranging between minus 21 and 25 degrees Celsius at higher altitudes were some of the challenges he braved during his expedition.

According to his mother Payal Bhartia, Advait underwent stringent training over a period of two months as he prepared for the climb.

"His routine included swimming for an hour, cardiovascular training like playing football, cricket, and tennis in the second hour and climbing 100 floors and practicing Parkour (military obstacle training) was a regular part of the training during the third hour," she added.

Payal, who accompanied her son during the hike, had to cut short her journey by 1000 ft on the way up as she was unable to acclimatize to the increasing altitude.

"I am very proud of Advait and his dedication towards completing this trek. On the last day, Advait got emotional and he individually thanked the porters, the tent pitchers and the catering team for all their efforts," she said.

But he is not the youngest, in 2017, 8-year-old Roxy Getter became the youngest woman ever to get to the summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

Keats Boyd previously became the youngest person to ever summit Mount Kilimanjaro when he was 7 years old.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Tanzania to Receive a batch of 120 Tourists, Investors from Hong Kong

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A DELEGATION of 120 tourists and investors from Hong Kong, China is expected to visit the country on Sunday, a senior official revealed on Tuesday.

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Managing Director, Devota Mdachi revealed this when speaking at the just-ended one day Zhejiang-Tanzania Trade and Investment Forum that involved 25 businesspersons from Zhejiang province and Tanzanian businessmen.

The delegation will be in Tanzania following the roadshows that were conducted by TTB and other stakeholders in November last year in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shanghai to market destination Tanzania and investment opportunities available in the country.

While in Tanzania, the delegation will visit Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti national park, and other tourist’s attractions before participating in the business meeting in the country’s northern safari capital of Arusha.

The Arusha business meeting has been organized by TTB, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).

“The idea is to help Hong Kong delegation see business and investment opportunities available in Tanzania that will attract them to make the decision to invest in Tanzania,” the TTB official said.

“As TTB we are happy for this delegation because our trip that was conducted in November last year in Hong Kong was very successful as it has brought about positive results to us because right now we have begun to get tourists from Hong Kong,” she noted.

While in Hong Kong, the TTB delegation which also included ATCL officials met 80 tour operators, media representatives and other groups of interest and discussed how they can collaborate to promote destination Tanzania and bring tourists from Hong Kong to Tanzania.

Mdachi said: “The Chinese tourists who visited the country in November were very impressed to see the massive tourist attractions that we have on offer including world heritage sites, cultural tourism assets, and beautiful sandy beaches.”

Speaking with Zhejiang businessperson who was attending the Zhejiang-Tanzania Trade and Investment Forum, the TPSF Executive Director, Godfrey Simbeye invited more Zhejiang people to invest in Tanzania in the tourism sector and other sectors to strengthen business links between Tanzania and Zhejiang province.

According to UNCTAD 2018, World Investment report, in 2017 the FDI inflow reached USD 1.18 billion that is equal to 2.3 percent of DGP,  making it among the 10 biggest recipients of FDI in Africa. The current FDI stock is estimated at USD 20.3billiion that is equal to 39% of GDP.