October 2007


Chinese involvement in Africa gets a certain amount of attention due to rising Chinese investment in the continent. Less attention is paid to China’s political involvement, with the exception of Darfur. And even there is even less thought given to reflecting on developments within China, and considering them in the light of changes here.

Yesterday I read Alice Poon’s translation of a piece by Hu Shuli, which can be found here on the Asia Sentinel website. I am not aware of Hu’s background, but she can probably safely be described as a public intellectual. Some of the issues that Hu addresses remind one of political dynamics here in Tanzania.

Hu’s piece was written in the light of the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and analyses the prospects for political reforms catching up with market oriented economic reforms.

We probably have more to learn from places such as China when it comes to political change than from western donor countries, who have been driving the process here since the early 1990s.

Also have a look at the video link that Alice Poon gives us. Coincidentally, the full documentary was broadcast on Pulse TV here in Tanzania this week.

Mada ya leo ni Benjamin, siyo Richard. Wiki ijayo, tutajua nani atazawadiwa dola milioni tano kwa kuwa kiongozi bora – dola laki tano kila mwaka kwa miaka kumi, na dola laki mbili kila mwaka baada ya hapo mpaka kifo (dola za Amerika, siyo Hong Kong). Washindani ni wengi, kumi na tatu, mmojawapo ni Rais Mstaafu Mheshimiwa Benjamin William Mkapa. Sitaki kutafakari matatizo yake leo, bora tuzungumze kuhusu zawadi hiyo kwa ujumla.

Mchezo huu umefadhiliwa na Mo Ibrahim. Lengo la mchezo huu ni kuwatia moyo viongozi ambao wameendeleza utawala bora katika nchi zao. Sioni tatizo kwa suala la utawala bora. Nadhani sote tungefurahia utawala wa aina hii. Lakini kwanini hapa Afrika, inaonekana kuwa viongozi wanahitaji kulipwa ili kutoiba mali ya nchi, kukubali matokeo ya uchaguzi, na kuheshimu uhuru wa vyombo vya habari? Je, Meles Zenawi ataacha unyama wake pale Ogaden akiona fursa ya kupewa zawadi hiyo?

Mwanzoni, nilisema kuwa sitaki kutafakari matatizo ya Rais Mstaafu Mkapa. Lakini, si mbaya kulinganisha kidogo. Thamani ya zawadi ni USD5 milioni. Thamani ya kamisheni ya dili ya rada, ilikuwa USD12 milioni.

Ukipata nafasi, tembelea blogu ya Jumuwata. Wameomba tuchangie mawazo yetu kuhusu katiba mpya ya Jumuwata.

Hapa Tanzania, tumezoea kushirikiana kwa mabaya na mazuri. Lakini Jumuwata ni kitu kipya, ambacho tunajitahidi kushirikiana bila kukutana rasmi.  Sote tumekaribishwa.