By Nik Ngowi
New York: INCREDIBLE and swift transformation in the manufacturing, communication, health and other sectors in Tanzania attest a new dawn for the continent’s readiness for serious business in my home country, the United Republic of Tanzania.
Tanzania is the world’s fourth fastest growing economy ahead of China and the United States, according to a report by the Centre for International Development (CID) at Harvard University. This is no surprising if one has to analyze trends and transformations happening there.
India tops the list of the World’s fastest growing economies for the coming decade with a projected growth of 7.89 annually till 2026.
With oil economy on its lap, Uganda comes second on the list at 7.5 percent growth annually. Tanzania comes after Egypt at 6.63 per cent and Tanzania 6.15%.
However with Magufulification effect, growth is expected to go above 7.0, meaning Tanzania could go higher steps in few years.
The Tanzania leader, Dr John Pombe Magufuli, a mathematician and chemist, circumvented the insanity described by his fellow mathematician Professor Albert Einsten, that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results would land someone nowhere. He pioneered radical reforms characterized as “Magufulification.”
Magufulification has thus far delivered results, just half his first term in office. African nations still struggling to breakthrough have a lot to learn.
The Most Powerful Economies in 2030;
This does not refer to the fastest growing economies like the former, it refers to the world’s most powerful economies. Last year, PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked 32 most powerful economies in world by 2030. The ranking is based on global gross domestic product by purchasing power parity (PPP).
In this ranking, China was the first with US$38.008 trillion followed by the United States at US$23.475 trillion. India which tops the world’s fastest growing economies will topple US$19.511 and Japan US$5.606 trillion. Indonesia will be the fifth with US$5.424 trillion. Russia is ranked sixth with US$4.736.
It was not clear how long it would take for the African economies to break in the world’s five most powerful economies.
Performance of Magufulification in Tanzania
The speed and efficiency of delivering 2015 election promises, is incomparable since the first Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere. The current level of investment in manufacturing industries and social service delivery is growing faster than most Sub Saharan Africa.
In his two years of driving policies and incentives on industrialization, over 3,000 new factories are on different stages with some already rolling. He has revamped the National Airline into a 21st Century AirTanzania with six new planes as more are coming.
Construction of the US$3.55 billionHoima-Tanga crude oil pipeline and the over TZS 7.2 trillion standard gauge railways are some of the historical projects that are taking shape.
On social services, since independence Tanzania has had 77 District hospitals. In other words, it is only 45% of all the districts in Tanzania that had hospitals. It would be right to say that 55% of the administrative districts in the country did not have hospitals worth of district levels. Tanzania has about 170 administrative Districts.
Tanzania won her political independence from Britain about 57 years ago in 1961. Since 2015 when President John Pombe Magufuli was elected in office, things never remained the same.
To anyone’s disbelief, in just two and a half years alone, the Tanzanian leader, nicknamed “the bulldozer,” constructed a record 67 new district hospitals, raising the profile to 144 district hospitals.
In the period under review, Dr Magufuli, a mathematician and chemist who thinks economically and sociologically, also ensured surgery services were optimised.Being the most populous nation in East Africa, hitherto, Tanzania has 517 health centers. Out of these, only 115 were previously surgical.
Again, in exactly half of his first Presidential term, Dr Magufuli increased the surgical health centers to almost double the previous number. At least 208 additional centers were enabled to conduct surgeries.
It is not difficult to assume that Dr Magufuli’s 5th phase Government slogan is “Health First,” far from it. The wonders registered in the health sector resonate well in other sectors of the economy too.
These transformations communicate a strong message of change, spelling out the new way of doing things in Africa, thereby improving the continent’s image. Quick developments witnessed in road infrastructure, airline transport, efficiency, effectiveness, discipline, integrity, improved tax collection, cost cutting and thrifty, promulgate a 360 degree core transformations.
A Sharp Opposition MP Recognizes Magufuli’s with Praises
This has since changed tremendously. Magufuli’s performance has changed the downward perception on one of the oldest parties in post independence Africa. Pro-development critics review their position. It is not uncommon to hear of opposition leaders willingly surrender to CCM in support of the reforms.
“Honorable President, you have been saying repeatedly that you see beyond political affiliations and focus on development; I do sincerely acknowledge this fact and this is the proof of walking the talk, thank you,” says Hon. Pastor Peter Msigwa.
Msigwa, a vocal Member of Parliament (MP) for Iringa from the opposition CHADEMA, told the President that despite his political affiliation, he continued to receive development funds from the central Government.
“During your first term, you have constructed the best roads in my constituency. You have built a tarmac road worth Shillings 3.5 Billion from Mlandege to the District Commissioner,” the MP told him.
“Apart from water projects, you gave us Shillings 3 Billion to construct a Bus Terminal at Ipogolo. Clearly you do not take sides. You treat us in opposition CHADEMA equitably, congratulations Mr President,” the outspoken MP added.
Promoting Accountability and Effectiveness in Problem Solving
Unlike most African leaders, Dr Magufuli has another feature, effectiveness. If one wants to accomplish things on time, then has to be done in time. He says what can be done now should not wait tomorrow. He does not allow a minute for procrastination. He does not sleep on files. He acts immediately.
“I want value for money for all Government projects. No one should embezzle the tax payers’ money given out by the 5th phase Government, it would pay taking poison than misusing public funds during my administration,” Dr. Magufuli warned during his just ended tour of various constituencies.
On a visit to Kilombero basin in Morogoro, a region in central eastern Tanzania, people complained of non-performing water projects. He instantly pulled out his mobile phone and called Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water in public view and everybody heard the conversation over a loud mic.
The PS, Prof Kitila Mkumbo arrived in Kidodi, Kilombero the next morning to fix the predicament. The report on how to deal with the problem was shared a day later. The PS went a step further to popularize a special phone number which the people across the regions can reach out to him on any problems facing water sector implementation.
Working with all MPs Irrespective of Political Parties
Opposition politics is a western style of governance where a dissent view is also given the opportunity to be heard. In other African countries, leaders from the opposition and the ruling party do not see eye to eye. In Tanzania things were different.
When inaugurating the Kilombero Bridge, in Morogoro which was later renamed after President Magufuli, he invited all the Members of Parliament, irrespective of their political affiliations, to speak for their people.
The 384 Meters bridge worth Shillings 61.1 Million, is a relief to local people who experienced difficulties in crossing the river and at a few occasions, it led to fatal accidents and paralyzed their economies prowess.
Built on internally generated funds, the government had contracted the Chinese firm, China Railway 15thBureau Corporation to construct the bridge. The Magufuli Bridge has a deck width of 10.5 meters of which 7.5 meters caters for vehicles and 1.5 meters on both sides were dedicated for pedestrians.
The bridge also facilitates transport and transportation of goods with the neighboring Malawi and Zambia countries.
Kenyan Professor Projections
The speed at which Dr Magufuli delivers his election promises wins the admiration of people from all walks of life, include a Kenyan Professor. “I am not a Jewish Prophet nor related to one neither am I a member of CCM [Tanzania’s ruling Party],” says Professor PLO Lumumba.
“If Magufuli continues on this trajectory and has the second term, in the next 10 years Tanzania will be one of the largest economies in this world,” he once said.
*The author is a writer, Swahili interpreter and a social economist based in New York, USA since 1990s.