TANZANIA NCHI YANGU

WAFADHILI

Monday, December 11, 2017

Transparency is key to corruption-free infrastructure in Africa

By Chris Heathcote, CEO, The Global Infrastructure Hub
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, December 11, 2017/ -- The first Regional Roundtable on Infrastructure Governance was held in Cape Town at the beginning of November. Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International (www.Transparency.org), who addressed the event, reflects on the vital importance of openness and transparency for successful and sustainable infrastructure projects.

Corruption is nothing new and it’s certainly not unique to Africa. When I worked in the World Bank’s East Africa office back in 1991, it was not just common to see multi-national companies in developed countries pay bribes to secure lucrative projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia, this behaviour was often encouraged by governments.

In Germany, for example, a company found guilty of bribing a German official at home would face severe criminal sanctions. But a bribe to a foreign government was tax deductible as a business expense.

It was disgust at this state of affairs that prompted me to found Transparency International in 1993. In the nearly 25 years since then, the situation has improved significantly.

Thanks partly to the activism of Transparency International and other civil society organisations (CSOs), many of those same countries that encouraged the paying of bribes and a number of those on the receiving end of such payments have signed international agreements committing themselves to avoiding such practices. Quite a few have enacted legislation outlawing corruption and encouraging transparency.

But as several examples cited at the Cape Town roundtable demonstrated, there’s still much room for improvement. Projects in certain sectors, especially extractive industries like oil and gas, and mining, are highly attractive to corrupt players because of the enormous sums of money involved.

Transparency International has discovered that the most effective approach to tackling this scourge is a joint effort from government, the private sector and CSOs. We refer to this as the Magic Triangle and, from modest beginnings in a handful of countries, this has grown into the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative which now has 54 countries participating.

The key mechanism for avoiding corruption is as much transparency as possible, particularly with regards to the amounts paid to governments to take on these massive projects. In the initiative’s early days, some felt transparency alone was not enough. But it turned out that transparency enables a deliberative process involving all three elements of the Magic Triangle. This, in turn, creates the raw materials for good governance.

Here, sunlight really is the best disinfectant. It means that when countries like Nigeria, Liberia, and Indonesia put these numbers into the public arena their parliaments knew just how much money the executive branch was collecting.

Transparency International now hopes to apply the same successful model to other industries. A few weeks ago, in Bali, the Fisheries Transparency Initiative was created. Similar initiatives are underway in the garment and construction sectors, the latter of which featured prominently in deliberations at the Cape Town conference.

Of course, the Magic Triangle is not without its limitations, the most significant being that it requires the goodwill and active participation of all three elements: government, private sector and civil society.

There are, alas, still many countries where CSO activists are viewed with suspicion or outright hostility, facing intimidation, imprisonment and even death. In other countries where CSOs face fewer restrictions, key government and private sector stakeholders may be more concerned with pandering to political or shareholder constituencies and their short-term interests than taking a longer-term view for meaningful participation in a Magic Triangle.

On the positive side, many of the sentiments expressed at the roundtable indicate that these attitudes are changing. There was a focus on enhanced standardisation, with number of impressive tools showcased, aimed at assisting state, private sector and CSO actors in promoting the transparency necessary for good infrastructure governance.

Good governance, in turn, helps countries attract quality investors who are knowledgeable, ethical and have financial depth. Trust plays a big role here. The private sector needs to trust that the bidding process is transparent and fair. Government and CSOs need to trust the bidder to deliver good quality, sustainable infrastructure.

The role of data also came out strongly. Undoubtedly evidence-based data is essential for the transparency needed for the deliberative process at the heart of the Magic Triangle.

Nevertheless, tools and data necessary, but not sufficient to guarantee transparency. Without the will to employ them with integrity, even the best tools and data can be manipulated by those bent on subverting the bidding process.

What is needed now is political will. That does not fall from the heavens.

A new paradigm of government is needed that must include a very strong voice of civil society. My hope is that the role of CSOs —which include the media, researchers and labour unions—in holding governments’ feet to the fire becomes stronger.

Civil society’s vision of fairness, sustainability—and transparency— must feed consistently and strongly into the democratic process of nation states. This matters tremendously for infrastructure, which is the backbone of how we power our schools and hospitals, how we get to our jobs and voting stations, and whether we have healthy water to drink. Infrastructure that is lacking, poor quality, or overpriced due to corruption saps our very quality of life.

The Cape Town roundtable capitalized on some momentum that was already building about the proper governance of infrastructure. Now we must kick it into high gear.

NEWSPAPERS MONDAY 11 DECEMBER 2017


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Aliko Dangote on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, New York


Aliko Dangote was selected as the only African on the Bloomberg 50 list of this year's most influential people
NEW YORK, United States of America, December 7, 2017/ -- Aliko Dangote is the only African on the Bloomberg 50 list of this year's most influential people.

A photo of Aliko Dangote was displayed on Wednesday on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, New York after Aliko Dangote was selected as the only African on the Bloomberg 50 list of this year's most influential people (http://APO.af/cvMEyq).

The NASDAQ Tower is considered the most visible LED video display in Times Square and is one of the most valuable advertising spaces in the world. It's the largest continuous sign in Times Square. It has close to 9,000 square feet of display space -- about a quarter of an acre.

Ecobank supports Dar School with clean water


•             Ecobank facilitates Safe and Clean Water, Hananasif Primary School
Ecobank Tanzania Ltd has today facilitated the restructuring of the water supply system at Hananasif Primary School In Kinondoni to enable pupils have access to clean and safe water by reinstating water supply to the toilets and providing an additional water tank so the school can also have sufficient water reserves as part of activities to mark the Ecobank Day which is observed annually throughout all 33 Ecobank affiliates in Africa.
The donation comes in the wake of this year’s Ecobank theme dubbed, ‘ Safe Water, Healthy Living.’
In addition to the donation, the  Ecobank Tanzania staff have also participated  in a number of cleanliness activities including unclogging the school’s drainage system and treating water in the school’s borehole to ensure the pupils get clean water.
On the academic side, the bank has also donated text books to the school and awarded the best performing pupils from standard one to six.
Ecobank Tanzania Ltd Managing Director Ms. Mwanahiba Mzee said Ecobank marks this day annually with the aim of giving back and supporting the community.
‘We were informed that Hananasif Primary School has a total of 728 pupils but their water pipes were blocked and only had one tap that served the whole school. Their toilets had no running water hence posing a great health risk to pupils, teachers and workers,” said Ms. Mzee.
According to the MD, the text books donation and awarding best pupils was aimed at encouraging the pupils to work even harder and aim higher.
“Ecobank realizes the need to improve education and infrastructure in schools as a way of supporting the Government’s initiative in improving education,” said the MD. 
On her part, the Hananasif Primary School Head teacher  Mrs Uisso commended the bank’s efforts in supporting the school to get clean water. “I take this opportunity to thank Ecobank Tanzania management for selecting our school.
She said their biggest challenge was water considering the number of pupils at the school. “With the poly tank donation we are now sure of clean and reliable water for our pupils and staff,”
She also thanked the bank for the text books donation and for motivating the best students. “We have been performing well in national examinations but what you have done today will play a major boost to our performance and it will encourage other pupils to also work hard.
Ecobank is now in its 8th.year in Tanzania and has branches in Dar Es Salaam,  Arusha and Mwanza.
Ecobank Tanzania Ltd Managing Director Mwanahiba Mzee – right hands over textbooks to Hananasifu Primary School Headteacher Idda Uisso in Dar es Salaam today. Ecobank Tanzania Ltd has facilitated the restructuring of the water supply system at the School to enable pupils have access to clean and safe as part of activities to mark the Ecobank Day which is observed annually throughout all 33 Ecobank affiliates in Africa. 

Ecobank Tanzania Ltd Managing Director Mwanahiba Mzee – right tries one of water taps at Hananasifu Primary School in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam.. Ecobank Tanzania Ltd has facilitated the restructuring of the water supply system at the School to enable pupils have access to clean and safe as part of activities to mark the Ecobank Day which is observed annually throughout all 33 Ecobank affiliates in Africa. 

Ecobank Tanzania Ltd Managing Director Mwanahiba Mzee – right, cuts a ribbon to officially launch the availability of clean water at Hananasifu Primary School in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam.. Ecobank Tanzania Ltd has facilitated the restructuring of the water supply system at the School to enable pupils have access to clean and safe as part of activities to mark the Ecobank Day which is observed annually throughout all 33 Ecobank affiliates in Africa.




NEWSPAPER THURSDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2017



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

WHY ARE YOU TYPING ON YOUR BRIEFCASE?

A man returned home one evening very drunk. To prevent his wife from knowing he's drunk to avoid trouble, he quickly took his 'laptop' pretending he is busy doing something on it.
His wife went close to him and asked
Wife: You are drunk again?
Husband: Me drunk? I haven't touched a pint
Wife: Then why are you typing on your brief case?