Saturday, February 20, 2010


As majority Tanzanians amounting to approximately 89% survive on a single meal a day, it has been established that the country is sitting on vast mineral and fishery resources. Reports from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals on a Geological Survey conducted way back in 2007 reveal that, Tanzania is extraordinarily blessed with huge deposits of precious minerals ranging from 2,222 Tonnes of Gold, 209 Mil. Tones of Nickel, 50.9 Mil. Carats of Diamond, 13.65 Mil. Tones of Copper, 103 Mil. Tones Iron, Tanzanite, coal, limestone, Soda ash, Gypsum, Phosphate and many others at a 70% accuracy of actual availability. Moreover, It has further been confirmed by Dr. John Magufuli the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries that Tanzania will now receive increased revenue from Fishing as his ministry have signed a contract with a Japanese company (JTCA) that will pay the government over 200 Bil. Tanzanian Shillings every year in Taxes and fees as more fishing companies are expected to come.

Despite the above vast and varied natural resources, Tanzania which, as of 2008 statistics has more than 39 Mil. People living below a dollar a day will remains swimming in the abyss of abject poverty if relevant attention and safeguard is not taken. It has further been put to the know that, Tanzania’s mineral wealth just like in other African countries has not been used to foster development but rather to ravage peoples’ lives.

Critically several issues can be raised as the major problems that play a key role in obstructing development by the majority fueled by mineral and fisheries’ wealth amongst other resources. Such include; corruption amongst government officials, international piracy in the form of illegal fishing in EEZs, greedy for quick wealth by unpatriotic business person, poor governance of resources emanating from institutional incapacity and unequal distribution of revenue from natural resources to local communities among others.

Several solutions to the current state have been advanced and such include; strict observance of the law and its amendment in case of loop holes, entering into win-win natural resource exploitation contracts and reviewing those already in place, adoption of people centered and problem driven policies and proper, transparent and participatory management of mineral and fisheries management. Joint security measures have proved a good start as they recently saved hundreds of illegally harvested Tuna from the Tanzanian EEZ after a joint security exercise involving Kenyans, Tanzanians and South Africans.

The above suggested solutions can only be adopted if pressure for their adoption will be put upon the government. This is therefore a perfect area for CSO’s to take a role and ensure integrity in natural resources management and exploitation. YET participants and their attached organizations should therefore take a lead in this in mobilizing and sensitizing other CSO’s to take necessary action before further and irreversible damage is done.