Skip to main content
Local residents buy and sell fish at the Malindi Fish Market in Stone Town, on the island of Zanzibar, on December 28, 2017.  GULSHAN KHAN / AFP
Local residents sell and buy fish at Malindi Fish Market in Stone Town on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. (Gulshan Khan/AFP)

NovFeed, a Tanzanian company, has begun developing a low-cost, sustainable fish feed by raising black soldier fly maggots, then drying and grinding them up into a high-protein powder.

NovFeed co-founder Elisha Otaigo explains that these maggots have a higher protein, fat and micronutrient content than housefly maggots. Unlike houseflies, black soldier flies do not transmit diseases and reach maturity quite quickly. Just two to three weeks of feeding them organic waste gets the larvae to its highest nutrient state, and then they can be processed, to be used as an ingredient in fish feed.


Fish contributes to almost a quarter of the population’s animal protein diet


Animal products make up about 3.4 percent of Tanzania’s total exports, of which fish products make up the vast majority. The Tanzanian fishing industry also provides up to 4 million jobs—about 35 percent of all rural employment—and fish contributes to almost a quarter of the population’s animal protein diet.

Recent years have seen a decline in fisheries due to mismanagement and rising costs, making NovFeed’s innovation a boon to some of Tanzania’s poorest citizens.


Mining wall Tanzania
A banner featuring Tanzanian president John Magufuli adorns the wall at the only entrance in a newly built 24-kilometer wall around the country’s tanzanite mines in the north to prevent smuggling of the precious violet-blue stones.


Barrick Gold, which has its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, has paid Tanzania US$100 million out of a US$300 million settlement after the government lifted a ban on the export of mineral concentrates. The settlement is part of a dispute resolution that emerged after Tanzania accused Acacia Mining, which Barrick Gold acquired last year, of tax evasion in 2017. Included in the settlement is an agreement struck between Tanzania and Barrick whereby the government would take a 16 percent stake in the subsidiary Twiga Minerals to manage three gold mines leased to Barrick.


This is not the last of the company’s legal woes in Tanzania


Gold makes up close to a third of all of Tanzania’s exports, meaning this resumption of trade is highly beneficial to economic stability in the country, especially as mineral exports globally have shrunk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barrick Gold will settle the rest of the claim with five annual payments of US$40 million each. But this is not the last of the company’s legal woes in Tanzania. Only a few weeks after the signing of the Twiga Minerals deal in late January, a group of seven Tanzanian miners filed a legal claim at the British High Court over alleged human rights abuses committed by security forces at Barrick’s North Mara gold mine, making this the second lawsuit filed against a Barrick Gold subsidiary for human rights violations at the same mining site.



Undersea Cable


A multinational consortium of telecommunications companies—including Facebook, China Mobile International, MTN Global Connect, Telecom Egypt, and Vodafone—announced the construction of a new undersea fiber-optic cable that will connect sixteen African countries, Europe, and the Middle East. Named 2Africa, the 37,000 kilometer-long communications cable is scheduled to go live in 2023 or 2024.


Africans pay some of the highest data rates in the world.


In March, two undersea cables serving Africa experienced breakages that drastically reduced Internet connectivity for days as repairs were made. The addition of 2Africa will help improve Internet access for millions of Africans, and mitigate disruptions should other cables experience failures in the future. Such disruptions are not only frustrating for Africans, who pay some of the highest data rates in the world, but also have a negative impact on the African economy.

A 2017 report by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) concluded that intentional Internet shutdowns in twelve countries between 2015 and 2017 cost sub-Saharan Africa more than US$237 million. Unforeseen connectivity disruptions naturally can have far greater negative impact on national and regional economies.



life in Tanzania amid covid
Life in Tanzania goes on as normal despite a spike of cases of Covid-19. Tanzanian president John Magufuli has expressed skepticism about the seriousness of the pandemic


Zambia closed off its border with neighboring Tanzania on Monday, May 10, following the highest surge yet in COVID-19 cases in a single day. Zambian health minister Chitalu Chilufya was quoted in the Tanzanian daily The Citizen saying, “No traffic will be allowed in or out of the district,” referring to Nakonde District on the border. No timetable was set for reopening the border post.


A Contrary Approach Across the Border

Zambian health officials recorded 85 more cases on Saturday, 76 of which were from Nakonde. The Zambian response is in stark contrast to how the Tanzanian authorities are handling the pandemic; they relaxed restrictions on international flights on the same day as the border closure. To date, Tanzania has reported 509 cases and 21 deaths, and Zambia 267 cases and 7 deaths, according to Worldometers.

Tanzania president John Magufuli has also expressed skepticism over the severity of the virus, alleging earlier in May that diagnostic tests were flawed and recently importing Madagascar’s Covid-Organics herbal tea remedy as a viral treatment despite no clear evidence proving the drink’s efficacy, putting him and Tanzania at odds with World Health Organization scientists.



President Magufuli
President John Magufuli has been COVID-19 skeptic despite domestic criticism.


President John Magufuli has declared imported test kits as faulty.


Joining a chorus of leaders publicly expressing doubt about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanzanian president John Magufuli has declared imported test kits as faulty after alleged false positives for COVID-19 were detected in samples taken from animals and fruits that had secretly been submitted to the national health laboratory to test for the virus. The samples from a goat and a papaya apparently tested positive.

Magufuli’s administration has been generally apathetic about implementing measures to curb the spread of the virus, which has brought criticism from within Tanzania and from the international community. A day after Magufuli questioned the test results, the director and quality assurance manager of the laboratory were suspended, prompting the opposition and activists to accuse the government of failing to take the disease seriously and not being transparent about the number of COVID-19 cases.


Three members of parliament have died after a short illness.


The president did not elaborate on where the tests were imported from and has insisted on having business continue as usual, even after three members of parliament had died after a short illness, presumably COVID-19, including justice minister Augustine Mahiga. Freeman Mbowe, the leader of Tanzania’s principal opposition party Chadema, urged all party members to self-quarantine for two weeks, and called on the government to test and treat all MPs and their families.


Daily Picks
Jul 10, 2020