40th Anniversaries of BTS and TDT: A Celebration – November 2015

Date : 8th November 2015

Venue : The Warehouse, Reading

Sunday 8th November 2015. Thanks to the wonderful support of a small group of local Tanzanians living in Reading, ‘The Warehouse’ venue was transformed from its usual ‘sports hall’ activity into a colourful and celebratory venue with hanging Tanzanian flags and traditional colours, multi coloured balloons on tables and a ‘ top decorated table,’ all reminiscent of a typical Tanzanian celebration where guests are made to feel very special and welcomed, so familiar to those of us who visit Tanzania. The celebrations gathered pace as the afternoon moved on with a small workshop for children and not so young people who enjoyed drums and shakers with well known Tanzanian musician Freddy Macha and his two fellow musicians, Saidi Kanda and Fab Moses, who also entertained everyone during the evening with songs, acrobatic dancing and great musical humour. Just to ensure that everyone’s drumming skills were up to African standards local drum workshop facilitator Andy Fowler involved everyone during the evening programme in a very different but an equally entertaining drum workshop where we were all taken through word rhythms and drum playing techniques to produce some multi rhythmic and entertaining drum performances with increasing complexity, and fun shared entertainment for all. Tanzanian food prepared locally was greatly enjoyed. In short speeches the two Chairs of BTS and TDT, William Fulton and Julian Marcus, paid tribute to the highly successful 40 years of shared activities, promotion of friendship and support between Tanzania and the UK, which both organisations have successfully run in conjunction with many friends in Tanzania. There was also a magnificent photographic display and running power point presentation by Julian highlighting the work of TDT over 4 decades. Throughout the afternoon and evening the children seemed to have boundless energy in enjoying not only the drumming and dancing but also the bouncy castle in a small adjoining hall and one or two older members were spotted eyeing up this younger entertainment with not just a little envy although photographs failed to capture any actually being invited by the children to join them! Enormous thanks go to the local diaspora who put so much effort on behalf of BTS and TDT into arranging the evening, to the visiting guest performers and those selling Tanzanian artefacts and to Ann Marcus for her familiar and very successful sale of cards, bags and table mats made by girls at the Safe House in Mugumu, Mara Region, to raise funds for TDT projects. Although numbers attending from BTS membership and other local Tanzanians were not as many as were hoped for, all those present thoroughly enjoyed this very different celebration of our two organisations which for 40 years have done so much to support friendship and support for Tanzania.

Tanzania: A New Constitution – February 2015

Date : 28 February 2015

Speakers: Abdul Paliwala, Yussuf Hamad, Frederic Longino, Aikande Kwayo

This seminar took place after the Government had made proposals for a new constitution, which differed from the proposals of the Warrioba Commission in that it remained the current two-parliament structure for the Mainland and Zanzibar. In the event the referendum on this was postponed. It created a very interesting discussion about the processes of creating a new constitution, and winning support for it in all parts of the country.

Professor Paliwala wrote up his presentation, which may be found on the Tanzanian Affairs Website

BTS AGM: Tanzania and Extractives – Another Twist? – November 2014

Date : 15 November 2014

Venue : Central Hall Westminster

The speaker at the AGM, Alan Roe, gave an update of the situation regarding mining and the possible exploitation of natural gas discovered off-shore in Southern Tanzania. He showed how minerals, especially gold, had not made a big difference to Tanzania’s GDP but had, since about 2000 made a bid difference to its earnings of foreign exchange. Much more was expected from the more recent discoveries of natural gas.

This presentation took place before the dramatic falls in world prices of oil and natural gas. The present position in Tanzania is much less clear.

Alan’s talk was summarised in Tanzanian Affairs.

His slides, including graphics and data, are here tanzania_and_extractives_2014.

Raising Attainment in Tanzanian Schools – October 2014

Date : 20 October 2014


Elaine Ulterhalter, Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education in London, put the expansion in Tanzania into an international context and looked at the issues of quality.

Felistas Kalomo, spoke about the Changarawe Project, near Morogoro, of which he is Director. It has been supporting the education of orphaned and destitute children for more than 15 years.

Anne Samson, advisor to VEPK, Village Education Project Kilimanjaro, spoke about programmes to improve primary and pre-primary education through training and improved materials.

A report of this seminar can be found on page 14 of the BTS Newsletter January 2015.

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