Browsing: President Magufuli

Looking at the bigger picture, speculations are that the milk and milk product levies and taxes are designed to lure Uganda to choose favourably towards other trade issues that are pending.

As local Ugandan media puts it; “Uganda maintains that if there are issues that need to be addressed, they can be handled through bilateral arrangements or the regional trade agreements within the East African Community instead of using arbitrary means such as high taxes.”

Squeezing Uganda to act in its favour, Kenya has also imposed what Uganda is terming ‘a restriction to Ugandan diary products since January 2020.’ Notably, Kenya is Uganda’s largest milk trading partner in the region, yet for over an year now, Kenya has maintained restrictions on Ugandan milk products despite the East African Community (EAC) common market protocol.

That’s right—it is not on mere goodwill that the magnanimous sums are dished out; it is a two-way street. We give you this amount if you do this for us. This give and take barter in economics is known as conditionality.

To put it in the words of Kjell J. Havenevik, author of ‘The IMF and the World Bank in Africa (Conditionality, Impact and Alternatives), ‘Conditionality is the term given to the conditions relating to macro-policy elements which countries have to meet in order to get access to international loans and/or aid.’

We in the journalism science get information about the big sums ‘handed’ to African countries; what we usually do not get through the all-too-frequent press releases is the conditionality that comes with that money.

The late Magufuli is celebrated and mourned across the East African Community which has also joined hands with Tanzania to remember his legacy—which extended from his fight against corruption and the misuse of public resources to his diplomatic relations, forged across the landscape through several regional communities—where on numerous occasions he had declared that ‘we are unified as one’. 

Magufuli was a stern advocate of hard work for economic excellence. His voice on this matter was as strong as his willpower. Throughout his unfinished tenure, he had demonstrated how Tanzania can transform its natural wealth and utilize domestic tax collections to fuel development projects.