1. Solar Power
According to a recent World Bank study, Tanzania is very sunny. Why a whole study was needed to decide this, we are not quite sure. Regardless, it appears Tanzania can even compete with the siesta-inducing rays of the sun-drenched, southern European solar powerhouse of Spain. While we shouldn’t expect a sudden influx of matadors or paella restaurants (or any other lazy Spanish stereotypes) in Kigoma any time soon, this kind of energy creation potential is much needed here, where only 14% of people had access to electricity in 2014. The study also finds that the country is very windy, which, other than making Tanzania an ideal host for the next kite-flying world championships, means that the country has the renewable energy resources to ensure universal electricity access in the not-too-distant future, without harming the environment.
2. The Bulldozer
John ‘The Bulldozer’ Magufuli is Tanzania’s latest President. Since his inauguration last year, he has quickly gone about showing that he is the no-nonsense hero Tanzania needs. Magufuli’s virtuous ways have even earned him the honour of his very own humorous twitter hashtag. #WhatWouldMagufuliDo has been trending throughout Africa, signifying his popularity with the continent’s online youth. In December, he grabbed his broom and joined residents to clean up the streets of Dar es Salaam. Other than acting as an apt metaphor for his zero tolerance stance on corruption, laziness and ineptitude among government officials, this act exemplifies Magufuli’s genuine desire to get things done.
Avid followers of our Twitter and Facebook accounts will remember seeing a link to a recent blog post by Vel Gnanendran, Head of DFID’s Tanzania office. The post was on the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards and Vel outlines the stories of three inspirational young Tanzanians that will simultaneously reinforce your faith in humanity and fill you with optimism for Tanzania’s future.
Tanzania is home to some absolutely fantastic tourist attractions. From channelling your inner David Attenborough in the Serengeti National Park, to admiring the view from the top of Africa’s highest mountain, or relaxing on the idyllic sandy beaches of Zanzibar, there is huge amount on offer to holidaymakers. As such, tourism is a real gift for the country; a gift whose value is rapidly growing in size. 1,063,000 people visited Tanzania in 2013, up from 459,000 in 2000, creating more jobs for local Tanzanians and more revenue for the government.
5. Economic growth
A few weeks ago this blog highlighted the strong economic growth in Tanzania over the last decade or so. While we pointed out that it has not yet become nearly inclusive enough, the presence of growth is sufficient for (cautious) optimism about the future prospects of the Tanzania’s ability to provide economic progress for its citizens, especially with Magufuli at the helm.
Bonus reason – Seed Change!
We may well be ever so slightly biased, but we believe that our programme of providing smallholder farmers with the means to vastly increase their income in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way to be real cause for optimism, if not in the whole of Tanzania (yet!) then at least in Kigoma.