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"The big information gap between research, extension and farmers probably constitutes the single most important barrier towards agricultural development in Tanzania ."

Updated: 2018-03-05T21:10:48.868-08:00


FOSS Training at the University of Dodoma



The training is scheduled at the University of Dodoma from 27th September to 1st October 2010. It is being organized by Hector Mongi with support by ICT@Innovation. Other partners include Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), Capacity Building International (Germany) - (INWENT) and the University of Dodoma (UDOM)

Broadband Internet in East Africa: Uncertainties on Rural Connectivity


The first undersea cable to bring high-speed internet access to East Africa has gone live. The fibre-optic cable, operated by African-owned firm Seacom, connects South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique to Europe and Asia. The firm says the cable will help to boost the prospects of the region's industry and commerce. The cable - which is 17,000km long - took two years to lay and cost more than $650m. But it is not clear whether the internet revolution will reach the villages, many of which still struggle to access reliable electricity.

Read more from:
BBC Website
Seacom Website

Call for Proposal: START Grants for GECRA


START announces the Call for Proposals for the 2009/2010 START Grants for Global Environmental Change Research in Africa. A proposal is to be prepared using a special application form available at the START website.

Due date for Proposals is: 30 August 2009.

For more information, click HERE  or contact the undersigned:

Charles S. Kauffman
International START Secretariat
2000 Florida Avenue NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC, 20009, USA
Tel: +1-202-462-2213
Fax: +1-202-457-5859

Nokia Life Tools


TED's website reports about the emerging mobile technology - Nokia Life Tools (NLT). It is a range of innovative agriculture information and education services designed especially for rural and small town communities in emerging markets. Accurate and regular information on weather, prices and availability of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and prevailing market prices for the produce are sent to directly to farmers; while the Education service of Nokia Life Tools aims to give students a decisive advantage by boosting their English language and local, national and international general knowledge -- delivered to the palm of their hand.

For more stories and videos on what Nokia is doing, visit Nokia Conversations.

Euro-Africa ICT Conference: a call to remove roadblocks


The SECOND day of Euro-Africa ICT conference has just commenced. The major theme this morning has been dominated by hot discussion on how Europe, Africa and the Carribean regions can work together to remove roadblocks. Some participants were concerned about the definition of roadblocks and suggested a word "challenge" instead. However, at last it was used interchengeably with "challenge". The biggest challenge identified was lack of adequate infrastructure to deploy the technology to rural and unreached areas. The status of two major infrastructure projects in Eastern and Southern Africa was presented.The SEACOM project is at the completion stage and is expected to start operation sometimes after June 2009. EASSy project is the second. Its construction shall start soon and be completed by the end of 2010. More about the two projects click here for SEACOM and here for EASSy.

(image) Tanzanian participants during the 1st Euro-Africa Forum on ICT Research in Brussels. With me are Professors Tolly Mbwete, the Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania (center), and Faustine Kamuzora, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Mzumbe University in Tanzania (right)

Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research Opens in Brussels Today


The 1st Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research co-organised by the European Commission (DG INFSO) and the African Union Commission with the support of the EuroAfriCa-ICT initiative has been opened this morning (25th March 2009). The two day forum which closes tomorrow on 26th March 2009 is taking place in the EU premises in Brussels, Belgium (below). (image)
Three keynote speakers have inagurated the presentations and discussions among over 400 policy-makers and ICT researchers from Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa participating in this meeting. The event was officially opened by Ms Viviane Reding, Commissioner, Directorate-General for Information Society and media, European Union Commission (EUC). Ms Reding spoke via a video link. Other keynote speakers during opening session were Ms Vera Brenda Ngosi, Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission (AUC) and Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and information, Uited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

15WCTOH: Singapore 2012!!


Singapore has been selected to host the 15WCTOH after three years from now. Singapore has been selected because of its unbeaatble struggle to fight diseases and other social problems including related to tobacco use.

14WCTOH: more photos shared


Find more photos on Mumbai and 14WCTOH posted by Dr. Maria-Paz Corvalán from MEDEF, Chile by clicking here

14WCTOH: Sessions in brief and networking


THE THIRD DAY of WCTOH has ended. As usual there were plenary session and parallel sessions on different aspects of tobacco control. Some of them were: Partnership and capacity building, women and tobacco, point of sale, smokefree implementation, and the role of media in promoting and reducing tobacco use.(image) Deborah McLellan, The Executive Director of TReND (left), Prakash Gupta, The President of the 14WCTOH (centre), and Hector Mongi, The editor of this blog, after one of the sessions.

During the evening, all conference partipants were invited to a networking night coloured by shows of different Indian cultures. Hypothetical villages from across India, with diverse cultural foods, dances, and so on were created in the venue.
Networking Night at the Cricket Club of India (CCI)

14WCTOH: Bloomberg Awards Panama, Thailand, Mexico and Nigeria


A SECOND day of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (14WCTOH) has ended by four organizations in four countries receiving Bloomberg awards for their exemplary commitments to tobacco control. The organizations are:Coalición Panameña contra el Tabaquismo (COPACET) of Panama, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)of Thailand, Secretaría de Salud Ciudad de México of Mexico and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth of Nigeria (ERA/FEN). Each award includes financial support for a continued tobacco control activities. Bloomberg awards are initiatives by the Bloomberg Philanthropy Foundation and its partners on fighting global tobacco related public health problems. The awards were presented by the Deputy Mayor of New York, Patricia E. Harris on behalf of the Lord Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. However, Mayor Bloomberg spoke to the audience through a video link.


WCTOH conference inaugurated today


Mumbai, 08 March 2009 – The fourteenth World Conference on Tobacco or Health has been inaugurated today by the Honourable Shri S. C. Jamir, Governor of Maharastra.

The Director General of World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan addressed the ceremony through a video link. Other VIPs in attendance were Indian Minister of Health and Government officials.

Watch a video of Indian Navy Band playing Raag Kaag "Emathan" during the opening ceremony of 14WCTOH.

Arrived in Mumbai


I have arrived in Mumbai since yesterday 6th March 2009. It is a nice city with a lot of stories to tell. Driving between 35 and 40 km away from BOM airport to the Central Business District (CBD), I must say Mumbai is the largest city I have ever visited.

Tomorrow, 8th March 2009, I will attend and make presentation in a pre-conference on Research to reduce tobacco-related inequalities organized by the Tobacco Research network on Disparities (TReND). Later during the evening the main conference is expected to be inagurated by Her Excellence Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of India .



Listen to the Interview with Aveseh of RNW


You can now listen to the interview between me and Aveseh Asough of the Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

This event took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on 28th October 2008. To listen a part of the interview, click  here


Tobacco Control Initiave: the reasons I have endorsed it


Between 8 and 12 March 2009, scientists, researchers, politicians, journalists, health specialists and many other professionals would meet in Mumbai, India for the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (14th WCTOH). The meeting will be preceeded by a number of pre-conferences on specific themes and other networking sessions on 8th March 2009 before official opening ceremony. It is expected that more than 1500 participants from more than 114 countries in the world will attend.

I am invited to attend the pre-conference about tobacco research on health disparities organized by the Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND). I will also attend the main conference. I may be blogging on specific issues related to conflicting policy objectives of improving health and the environment while promoting tobacco at the same time especially with special focus to Tanzania.

I am endorsing the campaign for tobacco control because if its effects on the environment, health and other socio-economic consequences both in growing areas and beyond.

Updated Directory for Development Organizations


This resource lists development organizationsing by region and by country. Currently there are 53,750 organizations. It has been prepared to facilitate international cooperation and knowledge sharing in development work, both among civil society organizations, research institutions, governments and the private sector.

Click for Organizations in TANZANIA

Click for Organizations in AFRICA

Click for Organizations WORLDWIDE

New Publications from ARI - Tumbi


The year 2008 is coming to an end where people tend to evaluate their success and failure. Some scientists at Tumbi Agricultural Research Institute in Tanzania would probably evaluate themselves positively at least for their publications in the referred journals. Good news is that all publications are freely available for downloading through the links provided:

Tulole Lugendo Bucheyeki - Principal Agricultural Research Officer
Click for his First publication
Click for his Second publication

Peter Nyaruba MatataPrincipal Agricultural Research Officer
Click for his Publication

Atugonza Luta BilaroSenior Agricultural Research Officer
Click for his Publication



The Centre for Technical Cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA) has planned for telecasting its film on Climate Change and Agriculture across countries in Africa being a part of the TV programme Initiatives Africa. According to the programme coordinator,Yodit Kebede, the broadcasting of the programme in Tanzania is planned to take place on Monday 24th November 2008 from 19hrs and Sunday, 30th November 2008 from 16h30 through the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC1). The film shall also be aired through Channel 10 on Friday 28th November 2008 from 20h30. The same programme shall be repeated during the week of 8th December 2008.

Robert Reich on Barack Obama: One of the Most Accurate Predictions


My colleague Charles S. Kauffman of the International START Secretariat has read my post on Robert Reich and reminded me of his successful predictions. I admire Prof Reich for two important reasons. His strong belief in his profession as an economist. When I interracted with him as among the CMU community in Adelaide Australia, Robert disclosed his family friendship with Bill Clintons. However, during the democratic race for presidential candidature, Reich decided to act professionally by defending what he believed as the right path for the America and American people. He endorsed the Barack Obama's Campaign for change, remained firm on this despite a lot of challenges from his readers. Today, 5th November 2008, Obama is a president elect of the US and Reich has emerged as a Hero. I believe Obama would keep him by his side.

Beyond CTA Seminar: Celebrating Memories of Adelaide in Ouagadougou


I have met a long outstanding friend, Mahamoudou Sawadogo and his family in Ouagadougou. Thanks to the CTA seminar for making this a reality. I and Mahamoudou met for the first time in Adelaide, South Australia in February 2007 and stayed together to December 2007 when I returned back home. We had shared the loving memories of Adelaide yet in our own lands.

CTA Seminar: Fourth and Fifth Day


The seminar has been closed this afternoon by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulics and Fisheries of the Republic of Burkina Faso. Before the closing ceremony, Prof MVK Sivakumar from the World Meteorological Organization read the Ouagadougou declaration, one of the outputs of the seminar. The declaration recommended many steps to addressing climate change. Among the principle recommendations are:
1. Urgent implementation of climate change adaptation measures in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
2. Ensure timely provision of agro-meteorological forecasts and products.
3. Develop rigorous research and policy analysis.
4. Ensure adequate and consistent funding for climate change adaptation.
5. Establish task forces in different ACP regions for follow-up actions.

Yesterday, the 30th October 2008, the participants divided themselves in three groups and visited three different sites where climate adaptation measures have been successful. The sites are between 15 and 30 km away from the city centre. I joined the biophysical group to visit the Manamfian forest. The site is located in the Northern part of Burkina Faso, about 26 km from Ouagadougou along the Ouagadougou – Ouahigouya road. This is an example of community management of a village project. According to the forest manager “commitment by the population alone is not enough. There is a need to develop common-agreed sanctions against offenders”.

For more information visit the seminar website

CTA Seminar: Second and Third Day


The second day has been the busiest day for the participants. Before this date, there were two important events: presentation of lead papers (cross cutting issues) chaired by Prof Sivakumar (WMO) and Panel session chaired by Rod Harbinson (Panos London). More about these sessions and summary of the first day activities visit the seminar webpage at

The second day began by presentation of three papers under panel session on impact of livestock carbon emission on climate change. The session was chaired by DR Pierre Gerber from FAO. The session was followed by parallel sessions defined by the four themes of the seminar: cropping systems, agro-pastoral system, biophysical issues and socio-economic issues. More than 40 papers were presented in these sessions. Poster presentation followed with more than 20 posters available for the participants to read and get clarifications from the presenters. During this day, I had interview by Aveseh Asough of Radio Netherlands.
With Professor M.V.K. Sivakumar of WMO after my presentation. 

The third day began by presentation of information and communication strategies in a session chaired by Dr Neun, the Director of CTA. Six papers were presented and discussed by the participants. Details can be found from the seminar website. The early morning session was followed by working group session were participants in their theme groups worked on the theme specific outcomes expected from the seminar.

CTA Seminar Opened Today


I have arrived safely in Ouagadougou on the 26th October 2008. Today, the seminar has been officially opened by the Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulics and Fisheries of the Republic of Burkina Faso Mr Laurent Sedogo. The event was also attended and addressed by the representative of EU in Burkina Faso Dr Amos Tincani, Director of CTA Dr Hansjorg Neun and the Deputy Executive of Sectretary of CLISS Mr Issa Bikienga. The Director of UNEP, Dr Achim Steiner addressed the participants through a video link. More information to be posted soon.



The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) will host a 5 day seminar on
implications of global climate change for sustainable agricultural production in ACP countries
in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 26th to 31st October 2008. The objectives of the seminar are to:

(i) Raise the awareness of policy makers and rural communities about the way in which climate change is affecting agricultural and rural development;

(ii) Identify the information and communication needs of decision makers and rural communities so they can protect their livelihood systems against climate change;

(iii) Identify strategies that will meet the information needs of policy makers and rural communities in ACP countries.

I am invited to attend this seminar and shall try to post something about the presentations and other activities. You can view the detailed programme here



This premier Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya between 22nd – 26th September 2008, and will bring together scientists, policy makers, farmers and media personalities from all over Africa with a host of invited foreign guest scientists, development partners, Research Organizations, Biotechnology companies and farmers alike. For more information visit and