Category: Tanzania

IOTA Foundation Join Hands with Kenyan Firm to Roll Out Paperless Trade in East Africa

The IOTA Foundation has stated that the initial stage of its cooperation with an East African business to facilitate paperless trading in the area has been completed successfully. The Foundation partnered with TradeMark Africa on the initiative, which aimed to modernize the continent’s supply chain’s inefficient and expensive paper-based procedures. This technique was substituted by a more effective digital approach system on the basis of IOTA’s ledger data platform, the Tangle. The Foundation collaborated with the Nairobi, Kenya-headquartered business to develop an interconnectivity technological framework that allows East African companies to “interact in a clear, safe, and immediate manner, both between themselves and with global associates.” TradeMark Africa (TMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting regional commercial development. According to their calculations, a single transaction in Africa necessitates the completion of 96 paper based documents on average. The situation is far worse for exporters. They misplace papers because they have to distribute them physically, which contributes to inefficiencies, which are usually always pricey. Along with TMA, the IOTA Foundation is working to alter this. The Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP), which centered on the Kenyan flower business, was their initial effort. It’s among Kenya’s most important industries, and is also one of Africa’s largest. Kenya exports around 180,000 tonnes of flowers each year, or nearly seven million stems each day. Because this sort of product is very perishable, having an effective and robust distribution chain is important. This is something that TLIP has already been giving to farmers and exporters. “In...

A ‘blossoming partnership’: digital corridor drives Kenyan flower exports to UK

International trade, however, has a huge part to play in keeping the UK’s florists stocked with fresh cut flowers. The second top import market to the UK for flowers is Kenya, which supplies just over 8 percent of British-sold flowers, or 10,000 tons, worth not far off £67 million. Cut flowers account for 25% of all Kenyan imports to the UK. The Institute of Export & International Trade has been working with donor organization TradeMark Africa (TMA) to implement a ‘digital trade corridor’ between the UK and Kenya to help simplify trade between the two nations. The initiative, called the ‘UK-Kenya Trade Logistics Information Pipeline’ (TLIP), aims to eliminate documentation and introduce better visibility in the supply chains flowing between the UK and Kenya. This initiative builds upon on the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement, which was signed in December 2020. TLIP's system uses blockchain technology to link all those in a supply chain together, enabling faster logistics and easier trading. Marco Forgione, director general of the IOE&IT, said: “This Valentine’s Day when you were giving your loved one a beautiful bouquet of flowers, consider the journey they have taken to put that smile on their face. Around nine different organizations are involved with the transportation of flowers from Kenya before they enter your home and all of these actions in the supply chain require documentation to move the goods along on their journey. “The trade corridor we are creating will provide more transparency and enable all actors to view the...

Automation of Tanzania’s Mercantile Exchange trading system eases Commodity Trading in Tanzania

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tanzania has one of the biggest agricultural sectors in Africa, with multiple commodities produced and exported to multiple markets in the world. Dominant agricultural commodities marked for export include cashew nuts, tobacco, cotton, cocoa, tea, and sesame. These commodities have recorded significant increase in exports over years. However, gains to farmers and communities engaged in production have remained limited, with income distribution of the proceeds skewed to middlemen. Middlemen often purchase these commodities from farmers at cheaper prices (gate price), only to re-sell with large margins, leaving farmers with minimal incomes to sustain their livelihoods.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7e8nx91zm0" align="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s support to Tanzania’s Mercantile Exchange (TMX) started in 2019, to ensure that farmers can access reasonable prices for specified commodities, based on principles of fair competition, transparency, and quality of their produces. Funded by United Kingdom’s Agency for International Development, Ireland and Norway through TMA, the project support aimed to automate the TMX system, to allow for online trading of key agricultural crops, which has also been accompanied by training sessions to more than 15,000 stakeholders, including farmers (sellers), cooperative unions, buyers, aggregators, officers, and industrial professionals on ways and benefits of online commodity trading. With TMA’s support, value chains analysis for sesame, green gram, lentils, cashew nut, cocoa, and livestock have been conducted.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Currently, cashew nuts, sesame, cocoa, lentils, and green grams are being traded through the commodity exchange system, which has led to increased incomes for farmers (in certain instances, more than double the price), increased revenues for the Government...

Renewed Drive To Improve Uptake of Standards Offers Fresh Hope to MSMEs

“They are not TBS standards. They are the people’s standards,” Ms. Kezia Mbwambo, the Director of Quality Management at the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) begins by setting the record straight. Ms. Mbwambo feels it is very important to address the constraint of a misguided public perception about standards and their uses. She does not however feel it is important nor helpful to apportion blame. On behalf of the TBS Director General, she has been leading efforts at the Tanzania Bureau of Standards to make standards work better for Tanzanians with support from TradeMark Africa (TMA). [caption id="attachment_55084" align="alignnone" width="1607"] “There has been slow uptake of standards, this despite the fact that TBS has always used participatory design strategies to come up with these standards, in line with international protocols and requirements for development of national standards,” Ms. Mbwambo says.[/caption] With support from TMA, the bureau is embarking on a process of improving its service delivery mechanisms to its stakeholders. Part of this improvement includes developing a training programme on standardization and quality assurance, mainly targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) using both paper-based and digital platforms. The bureau is also developing an Integrated Standardization, Quality assurance, Metrology and Testing (SQMT) system that will automate the key administrative processes used to offer services to its stakeholders. For TBS, this is expected to quicken the process of certifying products and expand the base of products that have met standards. For many entrepreneurs with dreams to do well in the country,...

Caroline and Juliana: Empowered Women Entrepreneurs Paying It Forward

Many years ago, Juliana Mtenga worked as a simple tailor in Tanzania's city of Dodoma. She earned a small income, which she didn't mind because she considered her real full time job as that of taking care of her children and the house. As any caring mother, Juliana was concerned about her children’s nutrition – more so for her youngest who was a toddler in 2010.  It bothered her that quality baby formula was expensive and unavailable. At one point, like other women in her village, she resigned to this fate, until one day when she decided that she had had enough. Juliana embarked on a very ambitious mission: that of making her own baby formula. She scored text books and magazines, reading about recipes and soon enough, she had a game plan. She began taking various dried grains such as millet and sorghum to local grinding mills. Afterwards, she would mix them into proportions that ensured nutritious meal for her child. As time passed, her neighbors noticed her product. Increased interest and demand convinced her to start stocking a few packets in her small tailoring shop. A worker at Juliana Mtenga's factory making a sale By 2012, Juliana had increased her monthly production from 5kgs to 200kgs. And, it seemed that she had hit the ceiling, because up to this point, she had exhausted the market that was in close proximity to her. That, and the fact that she viewed the baby formula business as a side activity, not a main source of income. And then, Juliana met officials from Tanzania Women Chambers...

David Sanga – Mbingu Supplier To Kokoa Kamili (KK)

David Sanga is a 65 year old resident of the Mbingu Village in the Kilombero District in Tanzania." David Sanga is a 65 year old resident of the Mbingu Village in the Kilombero District in Tanzania. David has been a cocoa farmer for more than ten years. Before Kokoa Kamili (KK) appeared in Mbingu, David sold his cocoa harvest to ‘Mocoa’, an organic cocoa out-growers association. As there was little competition for his produce, prices were determined by Mocoa and were non-negotiable. With little information on real market prices and the additional expense of having to take his produce to ‘buyer’ collection points, his farming business was a subsistence exercise characterized by insecurity and hardship, especially during the dry season when there was little to sell. When Kokoa Kamili begun their project in September 2014 in Mbingu, they introduced a healthy element of competition offering not only significantly higher prices for a better grade of cocoa but a collection service for ‘wet’ cocoa, at no extra charge. This additional service had not been an option before, but it not only simplified the process of getting his cocoa to market, but also significantly reduced his costs and the time spent organizing sales. The Sanga family had also been growing rice, maize and bananas on their small-holding, production having been expanded over the past five years to cover three plots in Mbingu. David also produces a wide range of fruits and vegetables to support the dietary needs of his family. Aside from...

Local small businesses reap from infrastructure development at Mutukula

Situated 1,441 kilometres from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam lies a border post called Mutukula between Tanzania and Uganda, near the shores of Lake Victoria. Until very recently electricity was only provided on the Ugandan side, leaving many small businesses on the Tanzanian side literally in the dark. However, things on the Tanzanian side changed with the construction of a One Stop Border Post, which included a ten kilometre stretch of electricity towards Bunazi in Tanzania. Locals have seen this as a huge boost for development in the area including being able to provide electricity to vital services including schools and hospitals. A One Stop Border Post (OSBP) brings together immigration, customs and other government officials from the two countries under one roof, doing away with the need for trucks and persons to undergo clearance twice at both sides of the border. TradeMark Africa partnered with the governments of Tanzania and Uganda to construct a One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) to ease the movement of people and goods across the borders through reducing time and consequently cost incurred to cross the border. Mashaka Misapa is a barber from Mutukula village on the Tanzanian side. On 28 February 2014, the small border town was transformed when they were connected to the power grid which was being extended to the OSBP. "Before the construction of the OSBP, we had no electricity and we were forced to use a generator which consumed a lot of fuel and increased our costs, said the...

Dar es Salaam Port moves to shed the old stigma

Waziri Hussein, 38, growls as he shifts gears to inch his 40ft container Scania semi-trailer forward in the truck traffic emerging from Gate No 5, the international container terminal of the Dar es Salaam Port. The peak Friday exit traffic meant he had been queuing for at least an hour to get this far. Under a permanent cloud of dust in the blazing afternoon sun, Hussein’s three-member crew prepared to embark upon its 2,300km journey to Kisangani, the Democratic Republic of Congo. “In another two maybe three hours, we may reach Ubungo intersection,” says Hussein, frowning as he looks ahead over the traffic from his elevated vantage position. “What is annoying is that after enduring the long wait inside the gate, there are still about three checkpoints on just this 2km Bandari stretch, which only worsen the congestion, and then we still have to get across Mandela road to Ubungo.” Without a substantive, functioning railway system, trucks such as Hussein’s remain the main connector between the Port of Dar es Salaam and its clientele in seven countries, including Tanzania. This also means they are the landside manifestation of a critical set of challenges including clearing systems and seaside infrastructure, which together have contributed to the bothersome reputation for congestion that the Port of Dar es Salaam is currently battling to quash through concerted efforts. “It is a complex mix of challenges,” says Hebel Mhanga, the acting Port Manager. “We have a narrow and shallow entrance channel which can’t receive bigger...

Melkior Kilenga – Mbingu Supplier To Kokoa Kamili (KK)

Melkior Kilenga, second on the left in the picture, has been farming for more than thirty years, but has only been a resident of Mbingu village since 2008. A subsistence farmer before 2008, he has always grown plantain, rice, cocoa, fruits and vegetables, but since acquiring his two plots totalling 4.5 acres in Mbingu he has increasingly specialised in cocoa as a commercial crop. Before Kokoa Kamili’s arrival in Mbingu, Kilenga sold his cocoa to ‘Olam’ – an agri-business operating from seed to shelf. While Melkior’s relationship with Olam was largely trouble-free, the pre-Kokoa Kamili price seemed to be dictated by a small cartel of buyers from Iringa and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) with little discrimination made in terms of farmers’ harvested products and product quality. Before Kokoa Kamili’s arrival in Mbingu there was no real market price, however their arrival quickly led to the introduction of a quality and pricing tier that resulted in better quality grades of cocoa being rewarded with a significantly higher price per kilo sold. Additionally, while Olam received their purchases at collection points, which came with an additional transport cost, Kokoa Kamili offered what was then an innovative collection service for the ‘wet’ cocoa at no extra charge. When Kokoa Kamili are not buying up harvested stock from the local producers, Melkior then sells to Olam, but on the basis of a substantially reduced purchase price to that offered by Kokoa Kamili’s in-season offer (less than 15%-25% per kilo).   Melkior continues to grow...

Improving Rice Exports to the EAC Region

It was the launching of the modern Ipatagwa irrigation scheme in 1999 that spurred Jeremiah Mwasanyila to go into rice farming in 2000.  He had two acres of land on which he was growing assorted vegetables but decided to devote it all to rice instead. His first harvest later that year yielded 16 bags and he felt he could keep at it. Later, in 2006, when Mwasanyila and fellow villagers around Ipatagwa, were introduced to the idea of using fertilizer to improve their yields, he collected 24 bags from the same plot. In 2013, with a total of five acres under rice cultivation, Mwasanyila was expecting a yield of 70 bags from that year’s harvest. “But in the end I got only 48 bags,” he says. “The fertilizer brand that I bought turned out to be fake and it caused me a lot of problems.” However, as the harvest season got underway in June, Mwasanyila and many of his peers soon realized all was not well. Not only was the buyer traffic into Ilongo lighter than usual, but also the few buyers arriving were not offering attractive prices. “Where are all the buyers, everyone was wondering,” says Mwasanyila. “The few we got were offering as little as Sh60,000 for a 150kg bag and they wouldn’t budge. At such a price it’s as if you worked for nothing, but you are also under pressure to settle your debts now that you have harvested. I opted to try looking for my own...