FCS conducts Joint Visit in Mwanza

Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) together with Development Partners (DPs) and Government Representatives plans to conduct a Joint Monitoring visit to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) based in Mwanza Region.

The visit will take place on 28th June 2017 and will begin by visiting the Office of the Regional Commissioner of Mwanza and later on visit Wotesawa Young Domestic Workers Organisations. Wotesawa one of FCS grantee implements a project on Developing a Society that is free from Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Traditions in Mwanza. The project among other things addresses rights for young domestic workers.

 Other organizations which are visited on day one are; Chama Cha Walemavu Tanzania –Ilemela Branch and the Equality for Growth. Chama cha Walemavu Tanzania-Ilemela Brach implements a project on Community Awareness on the Rights of People with Disabilities. This project has enhanced the community on rights of People with Disability and their involvement in development projects.

The Equality for Growth implemented a project on enhancing the role of informal sector in promoting good governance and accountability at local government. This project has increased women participation in market management and leadership in Mwanza Municipality.

On day two the following Organisations are going to be visited: Amani Girls Hope, Ilemela District CSOs Network, and the Kivulini Women’s Rights Organisation. The Amani Girls Hope implements a project on enhancing social accountability and enriched sustainable advancement in Sengerema, through which they have managed to transform the Sengerema District community to practice qualities of good governance through Radio Talk Shows. The Kivulini Women’s Rights Organisation has reached more than 3,490 people (1,665 Male & 1,825 Female) through meetings and dialogues on GBV and the Ilemela District CSOs Network (ILEDISNET) has managed to increase community awareness in attending village meetings in which they get the opportunity to assess public resources expenditures.

The Tanzania League of the Blind - Kwimba will be visited on Day three. The Organisation implements a project on community sensitization on the rights and participation for People with Disability in decision making in public matters.

FCS happy of grantees performance after visit



 

Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) expects more achievements to be registered through on-going projects which are being implemented throughout the country. These high expectations result from the outcome of the monitoring and support visits undertaken by FCS staff members from 5 to 13 April this year.

The overall reflection of FCS staff members reveals that many grantees have improved both project implementation and results capturing. It has been noted that, some organizations have drastically improved their capacity to manage their grants and are reaping early fruits.

FCS Executive Director Mr. Francis Kiwanga who also visited some grantees, says the overall assessment is an appreciation of the good work which FCS grantees are doing. The Executive Director further reveals that there is a fundamental impact on social economic transformation as a result of grantee operations at grassroots level, although there is still room for greater improvement. He, however, adds that FCS and other stakeholders needed to do more by strengthening the sector and enlivening as it previously used to be.

For his part, FCS Program Manager Francis Uhadi said there was an increase in compliance; and that good results have been attained. Mr Uhadi said, there was a remarkable change in the grantees financial management, and they were expecting to see a few audit queries on funded projects this year. “Generally speaking, there is a pronounced trend on ground, which translates into greater capacity growth of CSO grant management,” he says.

Gesturd  Haule, the FCS Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager, says his department plans to develop a guiding manual on monitoring and evaluation in order to boost FCS grantees ability to capture results. “There are some organisations which have more to report as far as results are concerned. They do less simply because they lack additional monitoring and evaluation skills,” he says. 

FCS’s Guest Writer Sylvester Hanga visited and talked to Charles Lwabulala, the Secretary-General of Iringa Civil Society Organization (ICISO) about the network’s engagement in the East African Community Integration initiative supported by the Foundation

 

Q 1. Briefly describe ICISO and its mission and key objectives?

Lwabulala: Iringa Civil Society Organizations [ICISO- Umbrella] was established in 2000 by CSOs including the Community Based Organizations [CBOs], Faith Based Organizations [FBOs] and Non-Governmental Organizations [NGOs] involved in various activities of different sectors in Iringa region. The organization was registered by the government of Tanzania as NGO with registration number S.O. No. 10966 on September 2001, with a compliance certificate No. 00001548 which was issued  on 12th December 2013. ICISO operates in the whole region of Iringa. Currently the umbrella has more than 112 members and they are spread all over the region.

Our vision is to see a sustainable and vibrant engagement between CSOs and the government in Iringa region. Our Mission is to build solidarity among CSOs in Iringa region in order to accelerate development and promote equitable economic, social and cultural growth for improving the quality of life through a range of short and long term strategies. In addition, our goal is to act as an umbrella organization representing the interests of the Civil Society [CBOs, FBOs, NGOs] and serve the community.

Our general objectives are to coordinate programmes and activities of CSOs of Iringa region, to facilitate communication system and dissemination of information to stakeholders and provide the capacity building to CSOs in the region including OD, Policy, Good Governance, Advocacy and Lobbying.

Q.  ICISO is a member of the EACSOF Secretariat. Briefly describe the Forum and how useful it is to Tanzanian CSOs?

Lwabulala: ICISO has involved itself in EACSOF activities and plans by pushing up the establishment of EACSOF Tanzania chapter. EAC member member countries each have EACSOF country chapter from which some of their leaders have been accorded observer status in the EACSOF secretariat meetings. Tanzania had no representative from the Civil Society Sector to the secretariat. ICISO has participated in various meetings Organized by TANGO and some sponsored by the Foundation of Civil society to chart ways and means of establishing EACSOF Tanzania Chapter. ICISO participated fully in the drawing of the constitution from the beginning up to the end when a caretaker Secretariat was established and adapting the constitution. ICISO (represented by me) chaired one of those meetings). ICISO carried out a Survey through its members to know people conducting cross border trade to know their problems and experiences which eventually were shared in the above said meetings.

 

Q. In what ways has ICISO been involved in EACSOF plans and activities to-date?

Lwabulala: ICISO is planning to conduct an Advocacy Strategy to boost awareness to its members, Business Interest Groups who have very little information on the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols by disseminating friendly user language of rules and regulations so that they can be understood well to enable them take full advantages of the provisions- especially those on cross-border trade.

Apart from the Advocacy strategy, ICISO will follow up all protocols and strategies of the EAC integration, translate them into user friendly language and distribute them to our members and general public, we will as well disseminate the same through community Radios and other electronic channels.

Q. Can you explain how the ICISO Advocacy Strategy will support its members to participate in the East African integration process and which activities has your network implemented in spearheading EAC integration in Iringa region?

Lwabulala: ICISO through TCCIA Iringa Branch has identified three members conducting cross border trade and recommended them to TANGO and eventually they attended a 2 days’ workshop on matters related to cross border trade.

Q. What serious challenges has ICISO encountered in carrying out the advocacy strategy for EAC integration?

Lwabulala: ICISO has encountered a number of challenges in our efforts to carry out the advocacy strategy for EAC integration. One is lack of funds with which to pay for the services and activities we have planned to undertake. There are also the problems of unavailability of rules, regulation and protocols governing the EAC integration. Also, our members and the general public are not aware that they have a part to pay! They think that the whole issue of EAC integration concerns politicians and Government officers. The few traders who ventured to conduct Cross Border Trade have since despaired due to hardships they encountered on both Borders i.e on the Tanzania side and neighboring country. Paying high duties on small consignments(rules and regulations are not readily available lack of the much needed information. Constant charging requirements on goods exported to neighboring countries ie: (in the past they used to export rice but now they are compelled to sell without removing husks!

Q. What will you propose as the right way or approach in enabling your organization play its part in supporting members on EAC integration initiative?

Lwabulala: In order ICISO to pay its part in supporting our members on EAC integration initiative, it needs funds with which it will use to: reach its members in the region, collect information (rules and regulations of different protocols) translate them into friendly user language and disseminate them through print and electronic media, conduct workshops and seminars, websites as well as live radio broadcastings through community radio.

Q: In two paragraphs describe your experience in working with CSOs and networks in Tanzania

Lwabulala: I joined the CSOs sector in 1995 when I spearheaded the establishment of The Tanzania Diamond and Gemstones Polishers Association aiming at promoting the need to add value to Diamonds and gemstones instead of selling them as rough. I was later elected its first chairperson.

In 2000 I participated in the birth of ICISO as its public relations officer since then to date. We established districts networks in 6 districts which are still working (three of them are now in Njombe Region). In collaboration with Networks of Mbeya and Rukwa Regions we established the Southern Highlands NGO Network (SOHINGONET). In collaboration with Forum CC, I organized a one day workshop of CSOs from The Southern Highlands Zone in Iringa to collect CSOs inputs to the National strategy for Climate Change.

Together with nine others, I represented Tanzania CSOs as advocates/activist on Climate Change to the CoP 17 which was held in South Africa in Kwa Zulu Natal, I as well presented a paper on Indigenous knowledge in fighting Climate Change which was organized by UNESCO and was held in MAURITIUS. I have participated in several National CSOs forums conducted by different institutions like FCS, TANGO, TCDD, the government of Tanzania just to mention a few.

ICISO organized a public debate on “MKUKUTA” funded by the Foundation for Civil Society. 150 participants representing the CSOs and normal citizens from all over the region and few from Mbeya and Ruvuma regions. All members of regional secretariat (Government) were there to answer questions and comments on the implementation of different sectors in MKUKUTA. The issues raised were entered into the action plan which is being worked out by the CSOs and the government at regional and district levels. The citizens are demanding more debates.

FCS bids farewell to its employees

FCS has bade farewell to 8 of its employees following completion of their term of service.

The employees who left office include: Tadeo Lupembe (Finance &  Operations Manager), Marilyn Elinewinga (Head of Internal Audit), Vicent Nalwendela (Head of Communications), Nestory Mhando (Senior Programme officer—Grants), Kemilembe Mpinga (Assistant Programme officer –Grants), Gladys Mkuchu (Programme Officer—Communications), Chrispina Mwacha (Program Officer-Capacity Development) and Kasoga Kasika (Internal Auditor).

Speaking during a special occasion to say goodbye, FCS Executive Director Francis Kiwanga said, the organization is proud of their exemplary service adding that they are leaving with enough experience and qualities to be good ambassadors.The farewell function, which was held at FCS offices Friday February 3, 2017 was attended by all employees.

Ugandan businessmen find lucrative maize market in Tanzania

Ugandan businessmen have now found lucrative maize market in Tanzania, thanks to the food shortage that has hit several parts of the country.

A comprehensive survey conducted by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) at Mutukula border between Tanzania and Uganda and Bukoba Municipality over the weekend has established beyond reasonable doubt that maize dealers are now reaping huge profits from the business.

Uganda businessman, Edger Kizito, told FCS that maize dealers from Uganda side, mainly from areas of Rakai, Chotera, Mbarara and Murongo are now enjoying doing business with traders from Tanzania side simply because the market is reliable.

“What we do is that we communicate with Tanzanian traders on the amount of tons of maize they need before we transport the produce from our stores to Mutukula border,” Kizito said while refusing to divulge names of Tanzania traders whom he trades with.

According to Kizito, the mode of business is carried out per kilogramme, insisting that a kilogramme of maize at Mutukula border was trading at between TSh 720 and 850.

The Foundation or Civil Society (FCS) witnessed lorries from Uganda offloading tons of maize at the border while trucks from Tanzania side loaded the produce, transporting  it to other  regions. At the border it was difficult to spot Tanzanian traders from whom we could extract information besides casual laborers and drivers.

A woman who neither refused to mention her name nor be photographed but runs a milling station called ‘Muganyizi Millers’ in Bukoba Manicipality said maize has now become a ‘golden  commodity’.

“We buy maize at Mutukula border at TSh820 per kilogramme and sell the same kilogramme at Sh 1,000 here in the Municipality. When the same kilogramme of maize is milled we sell the flour at between Tsh 1,100 and TSh 1,200 she said while looking nervous.

According to her, consignments of maize purchased by traders at Mutukula border were transported as far as Shinyanga, Dodoma, Mwanza, Singida and Mara regions.

Meanwhile, the Foundation for Civil Society has established that textile business between Uganda and Tanzania through Mutukula border has substantially declined due to what traders described as stringent taxation measures.

A small trader who identified himself by a single name as Shafii told FCS that most textile traders have ceased to import their goods from Uganda after some of their colleagues underwent stringent taxation procedures at Mutukula border in the previous days.

A woman in Bukoba Municipality who runs the Baby cloth shop christened ‘Aivan Shop’ but preferred anonymity said she found it easier to buy her merchandise from either Dar es Salaam or Mwanza rather that Uganda due to taxation hassles.

“Bus passengers crossing to Tanzania from Uganda are thoroughly inspected including their luggage, one after the other. Their nationality is also scrutinized,” she said.

This reporter’s bag was searched by custom’s officials at Mutukula border as he was returning from Uganda side where he had crossed to, obviously in search for commodities they thought were purchased on Uganda side of the border.

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Wasiliana Nasi

THE FOUNDATION FOR CIVIL SOCIETY

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