While preparing for a safari the following news reached me: “Shocking absence of elephants in Tanzania’s Selous game reserve”
The article mentions a recent elephant count from the air that shows a sharp decline of elephants since the previous count. One traveler woman was even cited with not having seen a single elephant while in Selous Game Reserve. Continue reading Ruaha National Park – Where are the Elephants?
Tanzanians have a great hand with barbeques, as do the Kenyans and the South Africans and the Swazi and probably a great many more people in Africa and in the rest of the world. Ah, not to forget the Argentinians!
In spite of the abundance of grilled meats and the great skillsmanship Kitimoto is something else. Kitimoto literally stands for hot seat. Continue reading The Story of Kitimoto
FINCA’s loan officers apparently get a lot of complaints about high perceived interest rates in Tanzania. Their credits starts at 2.5% interest per month, and depend on loan amount and borrower risk. One of FINCA’s competitors advertises loans with a yearly interest rate of 25%. Short of discussing usury and setting aside culturally influenced notions that an interest should not be paid but rather received (the Swiss national bank is still imposing negative interest rates on large amounts at the time of writing) we may just ask ourselves: What is better for the client? Continue reading The Complaints about High Interest Rates
Half of my assignment with FINCA Microfinance Bank Tanzania has almost passed – time to write about what I’m actually doing, as the objective was not entirely clear at the beginning.
FINCA Tanzania is embracing a methodology to improve processes called Six Sigma. We currently use it to analyze account opening and other back-office processes. After visiting two branches in Dar es Salaam it became clear that we should be focusing on Continue reading I’m Working in Six Sigma – Six what?
There are South African wines but who has heard of other wines from Africa? Chateau Musar from Lebanon, where wine was produced all through the civil war, sometimes delivering crates of grapes to the wine cellar in the middle of the night in order to escape sniper bullets. Continue reading Tanzanian Wine for the Middle Class
I noticed that some of my colleagues from FINCA define themselves as middle class. My boss has recently summarized this: “Take her”, he pointed out X to me, “she is middle class. She has a salary, owns a car, pays taxes, has a pension fund, lives in her own house and has cable internet at home”. He made it sound easy to define a phenomenon that has left others struggling to come to terms with. Continue reading What about the Middle Class in Tanzania?
Bus trip Dar es Salaam to Dodoma takes 8.5 hours and more if there are traffic jams. The road is heavily used by trucks transporting goods to neighboring countries such as Zambia, Malawi, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. It is a trip best enjoyed in one of Shabiby’s Luxury VIP buses and during daytime as there are so many things to be seen.
Continue reading Dar es Salaam – Dodoma and back
Last week’s business trip to Tanzania’s capital Dodoma has given me a very distinctive taste of Tanzania. I would never have guessed that anything else but Dar es Salaam is the country’s capital. Dar es Salaam has the industry, the workforce, the sea port, the embassies, the international airport, the companies and the traffic while Dodoma Continue reading Dodoma, the Powerless Capital of Tanzania