Rob the Poor to Pay the Rich – Sat 8th October

Date: Saturday, 8th October, 9.30am for 10am to 4pm

Location: Redditch Town Hall, WalterStranz Square, Redditch B98 8AH

This was a seminar exploring tax avoidance and its impact on developing countries organised jointly with Methodist Tax Justice Network and Redditch One World Link.  The speakers were:

David Haslam is Convener of the Methodist Tax Justice Network, which he helped to found in 2012. He is a former Executive member of Anti Apartheid and War on Want and was secretary of the Churches Commission for Racial Justice from 1987 to 1998, where he helped form the International Dalit Solidarity Network, campaigning against caste discrimination. On 28 April he spoke about tax justice at the AGM of Barclays Bank in the Royal Festival Hall.  He is a Methodist minister in Evesham.

Professor Sol Picciotto is chair of the Advisory Group of the International Centre for Tax and Development, and a Senior Adviser of the Tax Justice Network. He is one of the few independent experts who attend the international meetings on this topic. He taught law at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the 1960s, before coming to Warwick University Law School and then Lancaster University Law Faculty. He lives in Leamington Spa.

Dr Hildebrand Shayo did his PhD at South Bank University and was a committee member of the Britain Tanzania Society, before returning to Tanzania, where he is Director of Research at the Tanzania Investment Bank, where he takes a special interest in the investment needs of large companies.

A summary of the day by Andrew Coulson can be found on page 5 of the BTS Newsletter Jan 2017





Farewell and Welcome to High Commissioners – 7th July 2016

Date: Thursday 7 July 2016

Time: from 6.00pm to 8.00pm20160707_194301

Location: Room 116 in the SOAS premises at 22 Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

On 7 July members of the Britain-Tanzania Society and of the Royal African Society, and other guests, were welcomed to the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London, for a reception. This was organised to say farewell to Her Excellency Dianna Melrose, outgoing British High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam and to welcome her successor, Sarah Cooke.

A few days b20160707_195338%280%29efore the reception, we learnt that the new Tanzanian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Dr Asha-Rose Migiro had arrived in London to take up her post. We were honoured that she was able to come and delighted to have this opportunity to meet and welcome her.

In all there were more than 60 people present, from a wide range of backgrounds – former High Commissioners, Tanzanians living in London, people from the business community with interests in Tanzania, people involved in organisations supporting development in Tanzania, representatives of
organisations involved in international development and diplomacy, and20160707_200712 ordinary – and in many cases longserving – members of the Society. There were interesting discussions and many new contacts were made.

We received an apology from Dame Valerie Amos who, like Dr Migiro, served in a high position in the United Nations, and has recently become Director (equivalent to Vice-Chancellor) of SOAS, the first black woman to lead a university in the United Kingdom. We were told that part of her ambition for SOAS is to reach out to the diplomatic community in London, and we look forward to meeting her in the future.


3 countries, 3 time zones, 3 spaces – one Crowd and one Party to Map Tanzania – 7th May, 2016

Date and Time : 7th May , 2016 09:00 – 20:00

Venue : Google Campus in London, Buni in Dar es Salaam and Technarium in Vilnius

Crowd2Map Tanzania was one of 7 projects selected in the Open Seventeen challenge, which rallies the public to use open data as a means of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as proposed but the UN in September 2015! Partners are Citizen Cyberlab, The GovLab, ONE and SciFabric! As part of the project we are organizing a triple mapping day in Dar+London+Vilnius.
This was a fun female-friendly competition-hackathon between the three “camps”, all compared the results at the end, and bridge techies in the 3 locations via video conference and chat throughout the event across locations. This was coupled with a “challenge” in Tanzania, e.g. three areas/schools/villages competed between themselves, i.e. who added the most resources. 
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Conflict and Consensus in Constitution-making in Tanzania – 20th April 2016

Date and Time: Wednesday 20 April, 5.15-7.00pm

Professor Shivji in conversation with Shirumisha Kwayu- pic by F Macha 2016
Professor Shivji in conversation with Shirumisha Kwayu- pic by F Macha 2016

Venue: School of Oriental and African Studies, Room V122, Vernon Square Campus, Penton Rise, WC1X 9EW

We were pleased to give a platform to Professor Issa Shivji, who was on a brief visit to the UK at the invitation of the University of Warwick. The seminar took place on April 29th and was supported by the University of Warwick, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Centre of African Studies and the Britain-Tanzania Society.

Ever since the 1970s, when his article ‘Tanzania: The Silent Class Struggle’ took up a whole issue of the student magazine Cheche, Issa Shivji has been at the forefront of political analysis and discussion in Tanzania (for the early history see the book Cheche: Reminiscences of a Radical Magazine edited by Karim Hirji reviewed in Tanzanian Affairs at He has also made practical contributions on land issues in the courts, and as chair of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters in 1995 ( Until recently Issa was Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Research Professor in Pan-African Studies at Dar es Salaam University, where he worked to explore Nyerere’s contributions to political thinking. He is carrying this work on as Director of Kavazi la Mwalimu, the Nyerere Resource Centre in Dar es Salaam.

The discussion was introduced by Professor Issa Shivji with Dr Aikande Kwayu (a research affiliate of the Centre for Comparative and International Education at Oxford, and a consultant at Bumaco Ltd, with a special interest in the contributions of women to public life in Africa).

Prof. Shivji’s presentation took us through the seven constitutions which have provided the framework for governance in Tanzania since Independence in 1961, and the proposals of the Warioba Commission which reported in 2013, but was not accepted by the Kikwete government because of its proposals for Zanzibar. Then he commented on the difficulties of getting changes agreed while the issues of power and policy in Zanzibar remain unresolved. As he pointed out, following Paliwala’s article, also in Tanzanian Affairs (, a constitution is not something that can be imposed by a small majority – it needs to grow out of a process of discussion and debate until a consensus emerges on the best way forward.which reported in 2013, but was not accepted by the Kikwete government because of its proposals for Zanzibar. Then he commented on the difficulties of getting changes agreed while the issues of power and policy in Zanzibar remain unresolved. As he pointed out, following Paliwala’s article also in Tanzanian Affairs ( a constitution is not something that can be imposed by a small majority – it needs to grow out of a process of discussion and debate until a consenus emerges on the best way forward.

Issa also appealed for financial help to secure the future of Kavazi. If would like to make a donation please contact

This seminar was supported by the University of Warwick, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Centre of African Studies and the Britain Tanzania Society.



EAST AFRICA THROUGH THE LENS: Perspectives from Kenya and Tanzania – 18th March, 2016

Date and Time : 18th March, 2016

Venue : Temple of Peace, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3AP

The organisers were pleased to welcome the Kenyan High Commissioner, His Excellence Lazarus Amayo and the Tanzania Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Msafiri Marwa to meet Wales Africa activists and members of the diaspora community.
The event provided a platform to share and exchange knowledge, information and experiences in International Development
Welsh-based development organisations had stalls to exhibit their work.
Tanzania and Kenya High Commissioners
Diaspora Representatives
Welsh based NGOs such as Brecon-Molo Link, Hazina, Bigger Heart Zanzibar, Tools for Self-Reliance and Valley and Vale.



HIV/AIDS in Africa – Where are we heading? – 14th March, 2016

Date and Time: 14 March 2016 5.15pm

Venue: SOAS Main Building, Russell Square, 4th Floor

There are believed to be about 37 million people in the world with the HIV virus. Of these 26 million are in Southern Africa, where more than 15% of the population carry the virus. But East Africa is not far behind. More than half of these are women, who acquired the virus through sex with men, and a small proportion of their children also have the virus. In 2002 about 12% of the pregnant women who attended ante-natal clinics in Tanzania had the virus. These statistics, and the issues they raise, were discussed at a BTS seminar held at SOAS on 14 March 2016. The main speaker was Professor Shabbar Jaffar, Head of the Department of International Public Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He was supported by Dr Hamza Hassan Mohamed who has worked on these matters in Tanzania and Dr Mohammed Salim, a public health specialist, currently specialising in matters relating to addiction.

The total numbers of people infected with HIV around the world continues to rise, but the rate of growth has slowed. There are three reasons for this:

1. An increase in male circumcision. Those who are circumcised have a 60% lower chance of catching the virus. This is the same order of magnitude as
the improvement which would be expected from a vaccine.

2. More care when having sex, including the use of condoms, or having fewer partners.

3. Antiretroviral drugs. Before this treatment someone with HIV could expect to live for about 10 years, and then die a most unpleasant death. Those who take the drugs now have life expectancies not much below the rest of the population. Moreover in a few months the drugs reduce the level of the virus so much that it is almost impossible to pass it on to other people.

Antiretroviral drugs are not cheap, but in Tanzania most of the cost is met by donors, especially the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is believed that about half of those affected are now on the drugs. However, as Dr Hamza pointed out, donors do not pay for the blood tests which determine if you have HIV and the dosage of drugs that is needed to control it, and for many people the nearest clinic is far away and the cost of travel a big deterrent. The drug regime is complicated, and many forget to take the drugs as prescribed, especially if they are not feeling unwell and they experience side-effects when they take them. There is then need for support and help, because there is often stigma and fear attached to HIV
– those who take them are assumed to be promiscuous and unfaithful. Continuing to drink alcohol lessens the effectiveness of the drugs, and
people who are drunk are less likely to use condoms or to take other methods to prevent transmission. Poor nutrition due to poverty affects people’s general health and makes them more at risk from malaria, chest infections, cystitis, venereal diseases, etc, and the drugs for these are often fake, expired or substandard – or just unaffordable.

The battle is not yet won. The numbers are still increasing. Resistance to the drugs which control HIV and TB is a huge threat. The position today is that we probably have the tools to fight HIV – but are we organised enough, and open enough in our education and training about health, to make the most use of them?

Prevalence rate          Graphs

BTS Education Group – sharing good practice and networking – 7 March 2016

Date and Time : 7 March at 17:15–19:0

Venue :SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG London, United K

This was an informal session with brief presentations about using Raspberry Pi computers and other technology (information here from One Billion ( Fuse School (free Science and other content), AIMS (Maths camps and teacher training and PiXL ( plus a chance to meet and learn from people involved in education projects in Tanzania.

Continue reading “BTS Education Group – sharing good practice and networking – 7 March 2016”

Economic Growth, Rural Assets and Prosperity: Exploring Changes over 20 Years in Tanzania – February 2016

Time and Date: 22 February  2016 5.15 pm

Venue: SOAS Main Building, Russell Square, 4th Floor

Speaker: Professor Dan Brockington, Director of the Sheffield Institute for International Development which “promotes a vision of international development as a struggle for social justice and a space for activism and engagement”. Before that he was Professor of Conservation and Development at the University of Manchester. Most of his research has been in rural Tanzania.

Many measures of poverty suggest that recent economic growth has benefitted a fortunate few, but not many of the worst off, particularly in rural areas. Professor Brockington will present a different picture. His work, based on revisiting households first visited in the early 1990s, suggests that many of the poorest households are now much better off than they were. It does not, however, follow that these improvements are due to GDP growth. If so this has important implications for agricultural and anti-poverty policies in rural areas.

Read the full report.



Reception to bid farewell to H.E. Peter Kallaghe – February 2016

HEKallagheFarewellHis Excellency Peter Kallaghe, the Tanzanian High Commissioner in London, had been recalled to take up a position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs relating to cooperation with the East African Community and Africa more widely. He had been with us for 5 years, very supportive all that time, and we will miss him.

A reception to say goodbye to him and Joyce his wife was held on the evening of Thursday 18 Feb in the George Thomas Room, Central Hall Westminster. Some sixty people attended from BTS, the Tanzania High Commission and other organisations which work in Tanzania.MamaKallaghe

Andrew Coulson, Chair of BTS, Dan Cook, Vice Chair of TDT and Aseri Katanga of Computers4Africa paid tribute to the the work of the High Commissioner in building up relations between our two countries and to the work of Mrs Kallaghe in raising funds for support work in Tanzania. The opportunity to meet with other people who have contact with Tanzania was well used and plans to work together were started.



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