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Tanzania Raises Minimum Wage by Nearly 25%

Tanzania’s president on Saturday approved a nearly 25% increase in the minimum wage, marking a departure from the policies of her autocratic predecessor amid protests about the high cost of living.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan decided on an increase of 23.3%, while also increasing the salaries of government workers for the first time since 2016, her office said in a statement.

“The salary increment was approved considering the country’s gross domestic product, domestic revenue and developments in both the local and global economies,” the presidency said.

Since coming to power last year following her predecessor John Magufuli’s death, Hassan has attempted to break with some of his policies by reaching out to the opposition and reversing course on his approach to the coronavirus pandemic, which he downplayed.

Magufuli refused to review wages following his election in October 2015, pursuing ambitious infrastructure plans instead by developing ports and railways and reviving the national airline.

Tanzania’s economy slowed to 4.8% in 2020, barely edging upward to 4.9% the following year, as COVID-19 travel restrictions battered the tourism sector, a key earner in the East African country.

Meanwhile, the cost of fuel and food has risen as supplies have tightened following the war in Ukraine.

During Labour Day celebrations on May 1, trade unions and civil servants led demonstrations in Tanzania’s capital Dodoma calling for an increase in wages, with many holding up placards saying: “Better salaries and benefits for workers is our demand.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year loaned Tanzania more than half a billion dollars in emergency financing, saying the country faced “urgent” health, economic and humanitarian costs due to a pandemic-induced downturn.

Under Magufuli, whose uncompromising leadership style earned him the nickname “the Bulldozer,” Tanzania was an outlier in the global fight against the coronavirus and dismissed the gravity of the disease.

Magufuli shunned foreign-made vaccines in favor of the healing power of prayer and dismissed masks and testing as unnecessary.

Hassan has taken a different path, promoting measures to curb the spread of the virus and launching a coronavirus vaccination drive in July.

Gorilla Trekking in DR Congo

Congo Mountain Gorilla

Gorilla tourism in Democratic Republic of Congo takes place in Virunga National Park home to over 250 habituated mountain gorillas and is the Congo potion of the Virunga conservation region, which is also shared by Mgahinga national park in Uganda and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. All 3 countries are directly inter joined by the Virunga massif.

Less explored and feared by many Africa travelers because of her past insecurities, Congo today is a very safe destination currently taking visitors to visit Eastern part of Congo rich with some of the best spots to visit in Africa.

Congo’s Virunga national park is home to 8 habituated gorilla families available for tracking all year round. Just like all 3 locations in central and east Africa where gorilla tourism takes place. Gorilla safaris in Eastern Congo are strictly run gorilla conservation project based on gorilla protection and safety. The guide, trackers, armed guards (to protect against threatening elephants) and porters lead visitors to where a family of the gorillas is located.

Gorilla Trekking in Congo DR

Despite the civil war that crowded the country for long, Congo is appreciating value of security and is currently a peaceful country. Gorilla conservation is at the forehand as the country bounces back to normal and although lots of efforts are required for gorilla conservation, the country is doing what they can to protect the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Gorilla Permits into Congo cost $400 Per Person, which today stands as the cheapest option to see gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda’s gorilla permits goes for $700 while Rwanda’s gorilla permits goes for $1000 Per Person. Congo gorilla trekking offers a cheaper alternative for tourists to meet the rare mountain gorillas and fulfill a life time adventure.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a land of diversity and is indeed one of the best spots for action packed adventure in Africa. Congo is the place where you can view the world’s largest active lava lake of the Nyiragongo volcano. Hiking tours to the top of mount Nyiragongo are done daily with overnight at the top of the Volcano. Congo is the only country which offers both mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas which can be tracked in Kahuzi Biega national park.

Packing for gorilla trekking

Virunga National Park offers moderate hikes in the jungle forest with through bushes, trees and vines You need a walking stick (s) available at the part offices, good hiking boots, plan for rain, long sleeve shirt is useful when walking in the forest parts, park at least 3 L of water, a snuck, long pants, long socks which you tuck in your pants to prevent insect bites), gloves because if lots of thorns in the forest, hire a porter (available at starting point), take cash to tip the guides.

Accommodation near gorilla trekking areas

Accommodations available include: Mikeno Lodge, Bukima Lodge – super luxury accommodations in the heart of Virunga national park, and can sleep in Goma at Hotel Cap Kivu, Lac Kivu Lodge, and Ihusi Hotel.

Cost of Congo Gorilla permits

Those planning to track mountain gorillas in Virunga national park, you are advised to book with one of the best local tour operators and the Congo gorilla permits costs ($400) per person. Mountain gorillas can also be found in Uganda where a gorilla permit is $700 in high season and $700 in low season. For Rwanda, the gorilla permit is sold at $ 1500 for both high season and Low season.

What to Expect On A Gorilla Trip To Congo

Every sight seer should head out on their Congo safari knowing what they hope to discover. The long and uncomfortable journey on plane, in the 4x4s and the pirogues makes this a worthwhile experience not easily forgotten. Congo is an ever- stabilizing state in the world and it is likely to become more and more accessible and popular to the tourists who seek true African authenticity. Thus the time to visit is now.

7 Safety Tips For Driving In Uganda


7 tips for driving in Uganda: Driving in a new destination like Uganda can be exciting but comes with its own challenges. Uganda is one of the safest destinations in Africa, offering plenty for tourists to explore and experience. However, Ugandan roads aren’t up to the international standards, but at least in a better state according to East African standards. Is it your first time driving on Ugandan roads?

Here are the 7 tips for driving in Uganda

Drive defensively

Defensive driving is key while on Ugandan roads. While on-road, all categories of people can be met including the notorious mini-bus, taxi drivers, etc who often want to overtake even on blind corners. This is one of the many threats you are likely to encounter when driving in Uganda and you must be extra careful because they often don’t mind about speed limits cautions or blind corners.

Never drive at night

Driving at night is really risky and what is important is to ensure that you get to your destination early enough. Driving at night comes with its own challenges including dozing off because perhaps you are tired leading to road accidents or you may bump into highway robbers.

Speed limit

Always respect the speed limits when driving in Uganda. On the highway, always keep within 80km/h, 50kms/hr in urban centers. Avoid overspeeding because it has proven to be one of the main causes of road accidents not only in Uganda but in most places.

Observe the traffic signs

Always observe traffic road signages- this will save you from being caught by traffic officers for disrespect of rules. Every traffic road sign communicates something and not observing them may lead to road accidents. The different signages include zebra crossing, speed limit, no parking, traffic lights, and more.

Don’t drink and drive(Alcoholic drinks)

Driving when drunk has been sighted as one of the causes of road accidents. For a safe, comfortable, and memorable self drive Uganda road trip, avoid drinking and driving or if you like, have a little drink while at the accommodation when you have finally reached your destination. There are several stopover bars, restaurants, and hotels, there are high chances you may get tempted- try as much as you can to keep your appetite low. On the other side, most car rental Uganda companies, highly prohibit you from drinking since the insurance will not cover the damages caused onto or by the car if you were found under the influence of alcohol.

Keep left when driving

When driving in Uganda, always keep on the left-hand side. It is one rule to be observed at all times while on a road trip or self-drive tour to any of your destinations in Uganda- The Pearl of Africa. If it is your first time driving in Uganda, better even if you do practice before earlier- this is especially for solo or self-drive travelers visiting for self-drive safaris.

Carry valid driving permits/licenses

Valid driver permits are essential if you are considering driving in Uganda. For foreign travelers interested in self-drive safaris in Uganda, you may need a valid international driver’s license. Or you can get an authorization letter/document that allows you to drive on Ugandan roads- have one to avoid the vehicle being pounded.

EAC Finance & Trade Ministers Adopt 35 pct as Region’s 4th Band Common External Tariff


DAR ES SALAAM – The East African Community (EAC) finance and trade ministers on Thursday adopted 35 percent as the 4th band of the EAC common external tariff (CET), the regional bloc said in a statement on Friday.

The statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha said the ministers made the decision during a retreat on the comprehensive review of the CET held on Thursday in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.

According to the statement, the ministers decided that implementation of the reviewed EAC CET shall commence on July 1, 2022.

Tariff lines in this 4th band include dairy and meat products, cereals, cotton and textiles, iron and steel, edible oils, beverages and spirits, said the statement.

According to the statement, others are furniture, leather products, fresh-cut flowers, fruits and nuts, sugar and confectionery, coffee, tea and spices, textiles and garments, head gears, ceramic products and paints.

The statement said the ministers were informed that the maximum tariff band at 35 percent was the most appropriate rate, as in the long run, it has the most positive impact to regional growth.

The statement said the ministers further agreed that there should be flexibility in implementation of the revised CET, particularly on products currently affected by the current global economic realities.

The ministers directed EAC member states to identify products which are affected by the current global trade disruptions for consideration during the pre-budget consultations meeting scheduled for May 9 through May 13, 2022.

Peter Mathuki, the EAC secretary general, termed this as a positive step towards the promotion of industrial sectors and realization of the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“The move is set to spur intra-regional trade by encouraging local manufacturing, value addition and industrialization,” said Mathuki.

EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

East African Countries See Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery


Highlights of the fourth quarter GDP (October to December) by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows there is notable economic growth for the region’s countries.

Tanzania’s economy for instance expanded by 4.9 percent in 2021 up from 4.8 percent in the similar period in 2020. During the fourth quarter in 2021, GDP in absolute terms at current prices increased to 43.4trillion/- up from 40.4trillion/- recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2020.

Meanwhile, quarterly GDP at 2015 constant prices also increased to 36.9trillion/- up in 2021 from 35.2trillion/- in the period under review in 2020, equivalent to a growth of 4.9 percent.

Going by the growth trends for other countries of the region, Rwanda’s economy expanded by 10.3 percent in 2021 up from a negative growth of 0.6 percent in 2020. Uganda’s economy expanded by 5.2 percent in 2021 up from a negative growth of 0.4 in 2020.

Up to the release of the highlights last week, no reports for the period under review are available from the remaining Partner States.

Compilation of the fourth quarter GDP of the period under review used data from all economic activities. Compilation is consistent with the United Nations Statistics Division’s 2008 System of National Accounts.

According to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) January 2022 report, economic growth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region is expected to expand to 4.0 percent, equivalent to an increase by 0.3 percentage points compared to the October 2021 projection.

Economic growth for selected countries in the region indicate that South Africa economy expanded by 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter in 2021 compared to 2.5 percent increase in the corresponding period in 2020.

Other economic performance in the region include Mozambique’s economy expanded to 3.3 percent in 2021 up from a negative growth of 1.8 percent in 2020,Seychelle’s economy expanded to 0.1 percent in 2021 up from a negativegrowth of 5.0 percent in 2020 and Mauritius’s economy expanded to 6.2 percent up from a negative growth of 11.9 percent in 2020.

The projection of economic growth among sub-Saharan Africa countries consistent with the WEO January 2022 report indicates economic growth by 4.0 percent about 0.3 percentage point higher than the October 2021 projection.

South Africa economy is projected to grow by 4.6 percent in 2021 compared to a negative growth of 6.4 in 2020. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s economy is projected to grow at 3.0 percent in 2021 up from a negative growth of 1.8 percent in 2020.

Lions Found Killed by Electricity in Queen Elizabeth Park

Lion Electrocuted in Uganda

Three lions have been reported to have been killed by electricity in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This incident happened on April 25th 2022. Three lionesses were killed by the electric fence enclosed on Irunga safari lodge  and this has left conservationists in disarray as they are struggling to boost their population back. Lions are some of the threatened animals in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Reports indicate that lion populations have declined from 600 to 400 species according to the national census of lions.

This is not the first time lions to be killed at Queen Elizabeth national park. Early last year, six lions were found dead at the Ishasha sector after being poisoned by the poachers as stated by the board of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). This happened following the eight vultures found dead after feeding on lion relics which points out to be poison.

Following that occurrence, last month, residents of Kobushera and Rwabaragi villages, in Kagadi district near the Murchison Falls National Park killed a stray lion and its meat was commissioned. The lion stormed the villages close to the park injuring several people. Unfortunately, during the rescue mission by UWA and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, the lion was shot dead by a UPDF soldier.

Increasing Cases of Lion Deaths

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) last year reported that poaching cases have increased during the lock down period which was put up as a way to overcome the spread of Covid-19. But ever since it was set up, a lot of poaching cases increased. This left a big blow to the tourism industry in a short period of time.

The latest incident of electrocuted lions brings the total number of lions known that have been killed to four (4) this year. Last year, a total of nine lions were killed in Queen Elizabeth national park including the six lions which were poisoned.

According to reports from different conservation agencies, there are reports that more than 21 lions have been killed by humans in the conservation area of Queen Elizabeth national park over the last four years. The lions’ decrease formed as a result of conflicts with pastoralists over the lion marauding livestock and human being injuries. Loss of habitat, climate changes, and trafficking of lion parts are also part of the decline in numbers.

However, UWA has to ensure that all fences within the Uganda national parks are up to standard and supervised thoroughly. In addition to that, there is also a need for environmental impact assessment studies to be emphasized for these kinds of developments in the park. On the other hand, UWA will need to fabricate fences in all hive areas to protect dangerous animals from unleashing danger to the community.

About Queen Elizabeth National Park

The popular Queen Elizabeth national park is situated in the western part of Uganda between Lakes Gorge and Albert which are bridged by the Kazinga Channel. It comprises Rubirizi, Rukungiri, Kasese, and Kamwenge districts.

The Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the largest and most visited in Uganda covering an area of 700sq.miles and connecting the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. The areas are covered with thickets, rain forest, and savannah grassland. The park’s wildlife includes 95 species of mammals including chimpanzees, elephants, hippopotamuses, water buffaloes, and several types of antelopes, such as duiker, topi, and reedbucks. It inhabits over 20 carnivores such as Leopards, Lions, spotted hyenas, side-striped jackals, and others.

Lions are listed as “vulnerable” on the “red list” of threatened species of recent by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. The two populations of these unique lions in Queen Elizabeth national park can be explored and trucked in the southern Ishasha sector commonly seen in the acacia and fig tree branches.

New Ebola Outbreak Declared in DR Congo


Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared a new Ebola outbreak on Friday, after a case was confirmed in the city of Mbandaka, in the northwestern Equateur Province, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Saturday.

This is the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the 14th Ebola outbreak for the country since 1976, the WHO said.
“Time is not on our side,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The disease has had a two-week head start and we are now playing catch-up. The positive news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world at controlling Ebola outbreaks quickly.”
So far, only one case has been confirmed, the WHO said. The patient was a 31-year-old man, who began experiencing symptoms on April 5. He sought treatment at a local health facility after being sick for more than a week at home. The man was admitted to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 for intensive care but died later that day, the WHO said.
Health workers recognized the symptoms of Ebola and “immediately” submitted samples for testing, WHO said. “Efforts to stem the current outbreak are already underway,” the organization said, and vaccinations will start in the coming days.
“Many people in Mbandaka are already vaccinated against Ebola, which should help reduce the impact of the disease,” said Moeti. “All those who were vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.”
The deceased patient received “a safe and dignified burial, which involves modifying traditional funeral ceremonies in a way that minimizes the risk of contagious fluids infecting attendees,” the WHO said. Anyone who came in contact with the patient is being identified and will be monitored, and the health facility where the patient received care has been decontaminated, the organization added.
The previous outbreaks in Equateur Province were in 2020 when 130 cases were reported, and in 2018, when 54 cases were recorded, the WHO said.
“Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates,” the WHO added. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks but effective treatment is available and if patients receive it early on, their chances of survival “improve significantly,” it said.
The DRC’s equatorial forests have been a hotbed of the Central African country’s Ebola crisis, with more than 2,000 people killed by the disease between 2018 and 2020.
The DRC has had more Ebola outbreaks than any other country since the virus was first discovered near the Ebola River in the DRC’s northern region in 1976.

Kenya’s Former President Mwai Kibaki dies at 90


Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki, who has died at the age of 90, led East Africa’s economic powerhouse for over a decade. Mr. Kibaki oversaw some of its bloodiest and most corrupt years but also the ushering in of a new constitution.

Mwai Kibaki’s distinguished political career was tarnished when he won a second presidential term that was followed by deadly post-election violence.

Mr. Kibaki’s death was announced Friday by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who said his passing was a sad day for the country and praised his predecessor as a great Kenyan and a statesman.

The cause of death was not given, but Mr. Kibaki was in and out of hospitals in recent years as his health failed.

“Mwai Kibaki will forever be remembered as a gentleman in Kenyan politics, a brilliant debater and one who steered development in the country,” Mr. Kenyatta said, declaring a period of mourning until his funeral is held.

Mr. Kenyatta described Mr. Kibaki as a “quintessential patriot whose legacy of civic responsibility will continue to inspire generations of Kenyans.”

Mr. Kibaki served two terms as president of the East African country, ruling from 2002 to 2013.

Dent in his reputation

But his re-election to a second term in 2007 put a dent in his reputation as his victory was disputed by his opponent, Raila Odinga. Mr. Odinga asserted that the election result had been rigged and that he had really won the poll.

Hundreds of people were killed in weeks of ethnic violence that followed.

Amid the stalemate, Kenya exploded into fighting along tribal lines that forced more than 600,000 people from their homes. The violence shattered Kenya’s standing as a beacon of stability in East Africa.

The international community led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan eventually brokered a fragile power-sharing deal between Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga, who settled for a new role as Kenya’s prime minister.

But the International Criminal Court brought charges of crimes against humanity against Mr. Kenyatta, who had backed Mr. Kibaki, as well as William Ruto, the current deputy president. The ICC later dropped criminal charges against Mr. Ruto and Mr. Kenyatta, who had been charged for their alleged roles in the violence. They denied any wrongdoing.

In the wake of the violence, Mr. Kibaki oversaw a new constitution for Kenya that was aimed at decentralizing powers and reducing persistent ethnic tensions that continue to flare up during electoral seasons. The new constitution was praised as having some of the most progressive human rights provisions in the world.

Mr. Kibaki stepped down in 2013 at the end of his second term.

Emilio Mwai Kibaki was born on Nov. 15, 1931, when Kenya was under British colonial rule.

He studied at Uganda’s Makerere University, where his teachers remembered him as a brilliant economics student. He continued his studies at the London School of Economics.

Back home, he worked as a teacher before joining politics in a country buoyed by independence from colonial role in 1964. He became a lawmaker and served as finance minister, vice president, leader of the opposition — roles that placed him among the most consequential Kenyans of his generation.

Before winning the presidency in 2002, he had run for the top political job twice and lost.

Although generally well-liked, there were often questions about his authority as allegations of corruption swirled around his government. Mr. Kibaki’s efforts to tackle official corruption with new legislation largely failed, according to political analysts.

DR Congo Signs the East African Community Treaty


The Democratic Republic of Congo is officially the East African Community’s seventh member. And this after Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi formally signed the treaty to join the community during his visit to Kenya.

For this occasion, both President Uhuru Kenyatta, the current chair of the bloc and the Congolese leader adressed messages of unity.

“By joining the community, the Congolese people do not only want to be satisfied with the benefits of intra-community trade, but they aspire first and foremost to maintain relations based on peace and security for all.”, said Felix Tshisekedi, DR Congo President. While, Uhuru Kenyatta , President of Kenya and current Chair of the EAC stressed this addition would _”_strengthen (our) economic muscle and competitiveness, in the continent and as well as globally”.

Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and now the DRC are part of the EAC. Kinshasa applied for membership in 2019 and counts on this integration to give him access to better trade deals in the region and free movement of people within the community.

Kenya’s President said the DRC’s admission means the bloc counts for about 300 million people and a GDP of around 250 billion dollars. DR Congo has vast mineral wealth, including diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt as well as other resources but is undergoing a conflict in the eastern part of its country.

The newcomer also opens a corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

Covid 19 & Terrorism : Humanity at risk


In a threatened epoch where the covid-19 vaccine has still eluded our most effective scientists and undermined the supremacy and contemporary advancements of the medical world, the rank and file across the globe watch with extreme fret and yet at the same time, areas that have been ravaged by a threat of terrorism and political upheavals somewhat are hemmed in the thought that this health crisis would atleast pave way for peace and sanity.

The initial pandemic outbreak did not pose a threat to some global enemies like Iran and America where the former’s government had manifested plans to attain vengeance for the loss of their leader Qasem Soleimani whose death was ubiquitously celebrated in all American-influenced dominions. However, the later spread of the virus to both countries was an inevitable call to humanitarian de-escalation by the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres so as to handle the health crisis.

However, as the Iran-American antagonism seems to be on a break, Muslim extremism continues to be manifested by other terrorists movements like the ISIS. The latest reports of the group’s newsletter Alnaba have created a new threat of peace to global enemies. The Alnaba showed the common programmatic lines that the leaders suggested for affiliates like in West Africa. It continued to site that the covid-19 would act to atomise and divide the crusaders whom the ISIS terms as Polytheists. The leaders said that they would show no mercy to the infidels who have shed innocent Muslim blood like in ISIS controlled area of Baghouz, Mosul and Sirte’s Libya, despite the existing pandemic.

The ISIS rhetoric was also manifested when they termed the Corona virus as one endemic to western powers and that Muslim states that had suffered significant attack of the disease were being punished by Allah for carrying out idolatry, most notable the shitte Muslims of Iran.

The Jihadists believe that the enemy will be handicapped and this will reduce the American threat to the Mujahedeen in the coming period. The newsletter concluded by saying that it was the noble obligation of all its group members to please Allah through carrying out the holy wars commonly knows as Jihads especially in a period when enemy is more burdened with saving its population and mitigating an economic recession.

This unsurprising ISIS philosophy becomes an antithesis of the values underpinning UN’s secretary general Antonio Guterres’ humanistic appeal.

International crisis group

As humans contemplate on the lethal disease and seek to attain better partnerships to thwart its spread, there’s still a big number of insensitive beings whose bellicose has inspired continued incitement of violence. We see the deadly impact of religious superstitions that have instead strayed man from God. As nations across the globe adopt the lock down system, it is high time man appreciated humanity and her dignity and realised the need to make amends and improve our socioeconomic and political air. I hope nations can respect the civic space and instead of upholding tyranny and torture, may they value the freedom of their people since there’s now a more perilous threat that knows no man or race.

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Tanzania Raises Minimum Wage by Nearly 25%

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