Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How youth can be financially aware and responsible

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

It’s normal human behaviour to love money, a medium of exchange that can help people afford a living. Many people however consider money to be everything in life, while others do not hold it to such high prestige. Money expenditure is something that’s often times scrutinized. There are those who are called spendthrifts, people who have no boundaries when it comes to spending money.

Money given to university students by Tanzania’s loans board to help them sustain their university expenditure is at times misused. It is not surprising to see a university student owning the latest smartphone that costs millions in shillings. This behaviour to have the finer things in life at a young age stems from the student’s upbringing.

Success delves into the means through which parents and teachers can guide children to become responsible at spending money, a life skill that will help them in their adult life.

Being born into wealth at times breeds complacency in children, a trait that can stick with them to their adult life. Such is Theresia John’s case. Being an only child, she is able to get almost anything she asks for from her parents. During her childhood, her parents always provided everything she wanted without setting a limit.

It’s no surprise that in her teen years Theresia still desires to be given everything she wants from her parents, something that now doesn’t sit well with them. When her parents cannot afford what wants, she throws the mother of all tantrums.

Theresia is one among thousands of youth out there who lack a sense of responsibility due to poor upbringing.

Such an upbringing of spoon-feeding children only influences them to become lazy or unable to manage their finances well when they become adults.

Shemeji Melayeki, a public speaker and author, is of the view that children should be taught practical financial literacy. According to him, teaching children to budget imparts a sense of financial awareness and responsibility.

“Setting goals that children desire, giving them pocket money for chores and starting them in the workforce are extra steps that can be taken to promote good saving habits. The benefits of financial independence for your child are essential for them being able to survive in today’s society and economy. This informs a sound financial grounding for later in life,” he notes.

Shemeji, the founder of City Reading Champions Movement of Readers and General Overseer at Global Family Gatherings Ministries in Arusha, adds that teaching your child about giving back to the community through charities is also a valuable activity. Equipping your child with financial knowledge is the best way for them to make informed choices about their financial future.

Dr. Eugenia Kafanabo, an expert in curriculum studies and a senior lecturer at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education, says schools need to teach students and guide them on proper money management.

According to her, schools need to have projects such as school gardens whereby students participate at least for half an hour daily. Pupils and students should be taught from the beginning how to keep records of everything concerning their school garden project. By doing so, she says, it will help them be responsible and accountable for everything including managing money they get from the project.

“Otherwise, it will reach a situation where we have university students complaining of unemployment while they are unable to do even simple self-reliant work,” she says.

To avoid such a situation, Dr Eugenia advises schools to change the way they teach. “Let us change our school curriculum. Let children participate in other activities that can generate them an income. Today, we have children who demand almost everything because this is the way we have raised them,” she notes. The senior lecturer says most children lack education on how they should work and manage well the money they earn from doing different activities. On the other hand, she urges parents to openly tell their children that sometimes they won’t be able to get what they ask for.

Samke Mhlongo, a leading South African Wealth Coach and founder of “The Next Chapter (“TNC”) Wealth Partners”, once explained that “the earlier a child learns about money, savings and investment, the better money managers they will become”.

“Such skills help children to understand the difference between earning, spending and saving, making them better money managers who are able to budget. It also helps children understand the value of money at an early age and helps them make better financial decisions,” she argues.

A Coordinator at Legendary Performers, Wilfred Alex, says when a person/child is an extravagant one, he/she is avid to excessive spending of whatever money he/she has or any other resource for that matter.

“Although children would find that pleasing, the same is at a degree regarded as wasteful by ordinary standards - hence, they would become extravagant, a behavioural disposition rather than being a natural course. People are not born to become extravagant; they learn and acquire the behaviour,” he urges.

According to him, being extravagant is a product of being exposed to circumstances that give peep to being excessive. “Often we learn it from parents, peers, neighbourhoods and siblings. All that parents need to teach their children to shun becoming extravagant is to limit their exposure to behaviours of excessive use of what they have,” he argues.

A psychologist Jean Piaget argues that “When they’re growing, children are copycats: they see and imitate what is in their surrounding”. In his cognitive development studies Jean Piaget found out that such behavioural learning is done through a series of processes: internalization of what caretakers do, imitation, assimilation and accommodation from experience. “Thus we can almost condition any learning of our children by laying lids on what they internalize, assimilate and accommodate from the environment,” says Jean Piaget.

A psychosocial wellbeing for all children (Repssi) Edwick Mapalala says when it comes to parenting; guardians and parents should teach children to be satisfied with whatever they get.

“Parents are the sources of having children who are not responsible and very poor in their own finance management. For example, most parents leave their children under the care of housemaids for a great part of the day and in order to compensate their absence parents tend to offer their children with anything they would ask for,” says Edwick.

She adds that children’s behaviour can be moulded from a young age. “There is nothing like a bad child in this world; It is parents who make a child not to behave well,” she argues. “Due to busy schedules, parents forget to monitor their children’s behaviourial pattern, and when they get a whiff of what’s unfolding, it’s often too late to make effective changes,” she notes.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Losing my job led me to a path in entrepreneurship

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

When Mwanaidi Kalinga graduated from Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Campus, her target was to get a white-collar job. With a Masters Degree in Business Administration and Corporate Management, the 34-year-old had strong ambitions to work in an office administrative setting, especially in financial institutions, holding senior posts that command a great deal of respect among her fellow workers. However, her ambitions did not materialize after she was retrenched from her job in the banking sector.

Today, almost five years down the line as an entrepreneur, Mwanaidi views her job loss earlier on in her career as a blessing in disguise. The retrenchment from the white-collar job was a turning point that led her towards the path to a life as an entrepreneur.

“I strongly believe that with great effort, entrepreneurship can change a life. Most successful people have created wealth through entrepreneurship. When I started, I was not sure if I would succeed making a living out of a small-scale business, but I was determined to try my luck by going for different entrepreneurial ventures, applying knowledge and skills I acquired from my education. I thank God I found my niche and I’m making good progress,” she says.

Mwanaidi sells processed baobab fruits (ubuyu) which she orders from Zanzibar. She started by ordering two to four buckets of processed baobab fruits per week. Today, after every three weeks she orders 10 buckets of baobab fruits. Each bucket produces about 70-110 packs of baobab fruits which she sells from Sh1,500 to Sh2,500 depending on the size of the pack. She thus earns over Sh1,500,000 per 10 buckets of baobab fruits.

What she does

In the baobab business Mwanaidi packages and supplies the product to supermarkets and various offices in Dar es Salaam, especially in city centre. She also supplies baobab fruits to various universities located in Dar es Salaam as most of her customers are university students.

“As the business expands, I’m planning to look for an agent to help me supply my products to different parts of the country,” says Mwanaidi, who also supplies the product to other regions in the country such as Arusha, Tanga and Dodoma.

The businesswoman says she would like to export her product, but the bureaucratic process in getting license or permit from relevant authorities such as Tanzania Food & Drugs Authority (TFDA), Small Industries Development Organization, Tanzania (SIDO), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and others to export food stuffs has derailed her endeavor. According to her, the Diaspora population would be a potential market because the baobab fruits would make them feel right at home.

Mwanaidi says being innovative in any business is key to success. “In order to make my business more successful, I always strive to become the best expert in the business. You know it’s the packaging that sells the product in the first place, but it’s what is inside the package (the actual product) that makes the consumer come back the second time,” she says.

“For instance, in the package, I include a small paper bag for a customer to trash the baobab seeds after eating the fruits. This helps to keep the environment clean, as the customers will not litter the environment,” she adds.

Her other venture

Apart from selling baobab fruits, Mwanaidi also makes cocoa butter lotion. According to her, losing her first job became a motivating factor that made her to almost think of any business idea that would enable her earn a living.

However, it was not a smooth ride for Mwanaidi to reach where she is today. Before starting the businesses, she used to sell second-hand clothes which she supplied to various places using her own vehicle as a mobile shop.

“Do not put too much trust on people. There was a day my best friend whom I trusted betrayed me. He convinced me to team up with him and bid for a tender. We didn’t have enough money to make it. He convinced me to put my vehicle as a bond so that we can secure the deal. I agreed because I trusted him,” she recalled.

According to Mwanaidi, the friend whom she trusted double-crossed her and swindled the money they were paid after completion of the tender. “He disappeared with the money. I didn’t get a single cent from the tender payment. I was only paid back Sh500,000 after the vehicle I put as a bond was sold in order to pay the debt. That was the beginning of a rough and bumpy road towards my entrepreneurial ventures,” says Mwanaidi, who is now happy that she managed to sustain her small-scale businesses. She doesn’t feel ashamed that despite holding a Masters Degree, she is selling processed baobab fruits, as some people may think.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Qualities of entrepreneurial leader

 

By Julius Bulili

As an entrepreneur, you might have a solid idea for a new product or service, and a strong business plan to back it up, but if you want your startup to have a chance at long-term success, you need to have the leadership qualities necessary to take your vision from dream to reality. Leaders serve multiple roles. They motivate, act as role models, and serve as figureheads for their companies.

Literally, you don’t have to have employees to be a leader. Leadership qualities are essential in how you deal with your contractors, customers, clients and the general marketplace.

In this article I will discuss the essential qualities of business leaders. Most qualities of a leader are qualitative, difficult to measure them, capture, or review in a concrete way. Rather we can merely look to anecdotal examples or psychological studies to see which qualities good leaders possess.

A successful leader will always have one eye toward the future. He thinks several steps ahead on every problem and is always looking for new opportunities for growth.

Good leaders possess self-confidence. People who appear confident attract others and make them feel secure. Confidence will help you win clients, customers, joint ventures, and even investors, because you’ll have an easier time convincing people you’re worth doing business.

Communication is the most important skill any leader must possess. It has the power to enhance all your other skills. Communication skills make sales, rally the team, resolve issues, negotiate deals, recover from PR disasters, and make pitches to media or investors.

Entrepreneur’s self-care. The best entrepreneurs understand that the health of their bodies and minds are crucial to success, and they’re willing to spend a few extra hours each day getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, getting exercise, and reading new materials. For instance, if you develop insomnia and make unhealthy eating choices, your productivity is going to suffer, and you won’t be able to lead as effectively.

As a leader, adaptability is essential. No matter how much you research your business idea, unforeseen developments and market changes can compromise your chances of success. You need to be able to adapt and make changes on the fly. If you cling too much to old ideas, you may not be able to survive.

Successful leaders take risks—as long as they’ve calculated the odds of success and are comfortable moving forward. Starting a business is a risk, so naturally, there is a level of risk-taking inherent in entrepreneurs. That can be a good thing, if controlled, because it can allow you to do things other entrepreneurs who play it safe won’t do, and therefore set you apart.

Leaders embrace education and continual learning. Like it or not, many of the greatest leaders throughout history, and in business, have been formally educated. Learning equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to make better decisions. However, learning isn’t just done on college campuses. Leaders are also readers, for the purpose of keeping up on trends and staying relevant.

As a leader, one of your biggest responsibilities is decision-making. You won’t always make the “right” decisions. But you’ll be the one who needs to make decisions—and you’ll experience the results and be held accountable for them. If you procrastinate on decision-making, you won’t perform well in stressful situations that demand your immediate attention—and action.

The real takeaway here shouldn’t be an evaluation of whether or not you’re currently fit for leadership, instead, you should use this information as a guide to sort out your own key characteristics, decide what’s important to you as a leader, and move forward from there.

The author is a Business Coach.
jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Successfully navigate job search pathways

 

By Allan Kajimbwa

Thriving in a world of a job search needs a youngster who can carry confidence, professionalism, an open mind and commitment in his/her job search package. For the gesture of a job search comes in different shapes. And not being an easy or carefree one, are among the shapes. But regardless of these all, it is important to remain focused in building a truly fulfilling professional life as you create a foundation to getting a next job. It takes a lot of time, sacrifice and hard work, not to mention troublesome snags and plenty of speed bumps along the way.

Attached with the deficiency of an organized system of employment services in most of our countries, so your next job is not promised. Indeed, it is important to be well prepared, as I give you three tips to master and serve you well as you recognize the criticality of applying them as you mutate your ways through your job search.

Network and brand

Expand your network and brand yourself: Don’t be the type of person that always wants to be fed in your network. Be aggressive to understand that your network is your net worth. Don’t be that guy who is always behind his/her computer or phone. Go out to explore, interact with new people and build a strong network of not only professional but also competent people. This can help you grow as a person. Even if you’re still in school, take advantage of industry-specific conferences or conventions, attend youth leadership conferences, educative seminars, volunteering and leverage on-campus job fairs. This will help you not only grow as a person through the people you meet, but also challenge you to have a larger pool of choices on a basis of a career to pursue, improves your communication skills and experience.

The interview skills and the discouraging rejection: As your job search continues it is important to sharpen your interview skills. At times its difficult on what to expect in a job interview since every single one is different from the other. However, there are things you can do to make sure you’re well prepared.

Practicing a few times before the interview to gain more confidence and even looking up for the most common interview questions and then run through your responses to each, are few of the ways. Learn to trust yourself and claim space as you articulate your abilities. And as a young person you should know how to present yourself well and with confidence.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

It’s a digital world, social media can make or break career

 

By Success Reporter @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

The pace of change is accelerating. For example, the development of mobile technology has played an important role in shaping the impact of social media. Across the globe, mobile devices dominate in terms of total minutes spent online. This puts the means to connect anywhere, at any time on any device in everyone’s hands.

With the fast moving pace of social media, one does not have to keep on depositing hard copies of their Curriculum Vitae at different offices just to keep people updated of the feats they have accomplished.

Desire Mbabaali Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Snapchat and LinkedIn help you create an online profile and build personal networks over time that connect you to different people.

Angela Kateemu, a communications officer with Oxfam Uganda, is one of the people who always thought of social media in terms of playful, unserious and light posts. One day it dawned on her that social media can be used to market oneself to potential employers through a friend who had met her employers that way.

“I had to rework what I directed my attention to on social media as well as create a LinkedIn profile that I was sure would attract employers. I got my current job through recommendations on LinkedIn,” she says.

Know who you are

What is your goal in making the profile of your company or yourself public? Samuel Bakutana, chief executive officer Inspired Leaders International, says, “You need to sit down and decide who you are, what your identity and purpose is, and the brand you are putting out there.

Before you put up your profile, you should decide what you want to be known as and known for.”

LinkedIn for instance offers the perfect opportunity for you to showcase for headhunters and create a personal brand.

It has specific feature where you can display your work history, search for people in your particular field, and even research on the company you intend to work for.

“After you have decided what you want to present to the public, start to post things that are in line with that identity, purpose, or brand,” Bakutana says, adding, “Make your platform a centre of empowerment in line with your career.”

For most people, the bottom line is making more money and advancing their career. In both cases, the truth is a must.

“Telling the truth about your skills and capabilities is often the thin line between advancing your career and stalling it. It makes no sense to say in your profile that you are quick at analytical thinking and coming up with solutions, when in real sense, you cannot sit still in a departmental meeting that lasts more than 30 minutes,” Kateemu asserts. If you run your own company or have a personal brand, then Facebook and Twitter are your best allies in growing your career.

Make sure you change your privacy settings so that the public can view whatever you post on your profile.

To see how others perceive you, type your name into a search engine and see what comes up. “In all, network with those that add value to your life and career as you also become of value to them.”

Tips on writing a profile

• Have a complete and up-to-date profile.

• Use a professional prolife picture.

• Keep your posts decent.

• Use good English grammar and spelling.

• Add all your experience including volunteering.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Earn respect without being a bully

 

By Eric Kyama

The work environment can sometimes be frustrating yet at the same time be a place where workers can go about their duties happily. This, may, however, not happen if the relationship between the supervisor and his team members is sour.

One of the easiest ways a good relationship between a boss and their subordinate can be achieved, according to Dr Simon Nantamu, an organisational psychologist and lecturer, is through both parties having respect for each other.

However, he says, at times, this may be hard to achieve since some bosses do the opposite.

“Some bosses tend to be bossy thinking that this would make their subordinates respect them more,” he says. Being bossy, he argues, sometimes comes as a result of them being insecure.

Additionally, Dr Nantamu says: “some bosses just lack good managerial skills and therefore end up being bossy thinking that this is how it should be. It is common amongst people who are not well experienced in managing employees.”

According to Micheal Mwesezi, a human resource expert, one of the ways any boss can earn respect at their work place is through maintaining a positive attitude.

“In most cases, people who are negative all the time receive less respect or no respect at all. “Even when you know one of your subordinates makes you feel like you are being disrespected, just keep a positive attitude and give them time.

“Show them your good side,” he says. With time, Mwesezi adds, “one can easily gain respect.”

Value differences: Every employee is unique. It is important that a boss values the differences between their employees. Mwesezi says not valuing differences is likely to make the boss favour some employees, and treat others unfairly.

This, he says, kills morale at the workplace thus affecting productivity.

Mwesezi also says one of the best ways a boss can show they value the differences between their employees is by asking for their input when working on projects.

“You can also seek their opinion about something that you entirely have the authoritative power to decide even when it completely does not concern them. Confide in them on issues that they would even consider hard to work out,” he adds.

Know what you want: People usually have no respect for those who show signs that they have no clue about what exactly they want. “If you are managing a production line, make it clear to them how you want to achieve the set goals.

“If working for extra days is one of those ways you think production deadlines can be easily met then make it clear to them, but don’t forget to seek their opinion about how you want certain things done,” says Mwesezi.

This, he says, is likely to put you in control and at the same time earn you respect.

Be exemplary: “Being exemplary is one of the ways a boss can easily earn respect. In this case, if one of the regulations you set at your workplace is to start work by 8am, then be the first person to do it. It is dangerous to instruct your subordinates to do something and yet you are doing the opposite,” says Mwesezi.

Be a problem solver: Workplaces, just like any other place, often have a number of problems, regardless of the company or organisation. It is, therefore, important that a leader is able to solve some of the problems that they could be facing.

One of the ways a leader can know what kinds of problems team members are facing is by interacting with them more frequently. This can be in a meeting with them or even during breakfast or lunch breaks.

Once a team leader works out how to handle their team, then they do not have to get nasty to assert their powers.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

They can’t stop talking about dream car

 

By Mwalimu Andreww

The moment my sister Caro — Mwisho wa Lami’s Cabinet Secretary for Information and Broadcasting — heard that I would soon own a car, the whole world knew of it as well. You see, Caro can never keep a hot story to herself without getting sick!

I wish I could say that I did not like her telling everyone, but I did.

When I arrived at Hitler’s last Monday, I found the usual suspects very happy for me. Nyayo, in his drunken wisdom, had that day cleared some shrubs and designated a parking space. “Packing”, he had written on a piece of paper stuck to a tree!

Alphayo had a long trip he wanted me to take him on. “My sister is married very far, huko Moi’s Bridge,” he started. “To get there, I take a full day and five matatus. I had promised to go see her on Madaraka Day without knowing how we would go there, but I see God is answering my prayer through you.”

I arrived home on Tuesday to find that my parents had asked me to go see them. “Receive my sympathies for buying a car,” started my father. “I am so proud of you.” He meant “congratulations”.

The two words always confuse him. My mother was also very happy, and added that she could not believe that her womb had produced two children with cars.

“Nikiolewa hapa hata baiskeli haikua, nikaambia baba yako nimeleta mbegu mzuri.”

Serious discussions

Soon we were having serious discussions. “When are you going to pick the car?” my father asked. I told them that I would only take custody of the car after I paid an additional Ksh25,000 and learnt how to drive.

“It was a mistake for everyone to know that you are buying a car,” my father said. “Mwisho wa Lami watu wako na wivu! They will bewitch that car not to move,” he said, although he already had a solution. “A man I know can chase away the evil spirits at night,” he said.

“But before that, bring Apostle Elkana to bless it during the day. A car is not a small thing,” he said.

The next day, Apostle Elkana came to see me. “I told you this is your season, didn’t I?” he asked me. I agreed, even though I couldn’t remember him saying it.

“Everything is going on well, but we need to do special prayers for the car so that it can be released from evil spirits and you own it quickly,” he said.

We set the prayers for this morning, before church.

Suddenly, walking became too tedious for me. I imagined how much time I would save if I were driving. So, last Thursday, I went to see Maina the hardware owner to see if he could give me the Ksh25,000 so that I could own the car earlier.

“Mbao ilikuwa ya county na mambo haijaenda vile nilipanga,” he told me. “But you come next Monday I could have something.”

My second option was to go see Bensouda and try to convince her to give me the car without having to pay the Ksh25,000. Weren’t we colleagues? She wasn’t using the car and there was nothing to lose. I was there on Friday after school. It was the tenth time I was at Bensouda’s.

I asked her if she could let me have the car as I looked for the money. “Don’t be in a hurry, Dre,” she said. “You need more money for other things like driving school, insurance and a few repairs on the car.

It was late when I left Bensouda’s place. As I walked home that night, tired, I wondered how easy it would be if I had a car. I had to get the car immediately. I decided that I would get a loan of Sh20,000 to add to the money Maina would give me tomorrow, so that I can get the car before the end of this week.

In the meantime, I have to prepare for Apostle Elkana’s prayers today.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Alcohol is consuming my father and his pay

 

I’m a teenage boy living with my single father and sister. Things are so bad at home that I have been forced to moved out because of my parent’s constant rows.

My dad is depressed and it doesn’t help that he is an alcoholic. He started drinking when our grandmother died and my mum left him for a few months. He wasn’t there for me or my sister. He spent all his time and money in the pub, when mum got back with him and things calmed down for a while, but now it is worse again. He disappears at the end of the month when he gets paid and doesn’t tell us where he is. He keeps telling my mum he needs to clear his head but we know he is meeting up with other women.

I don’t hate him for meeting other women. I hate him because he blames his problems on us.

Alcohol is a major problem that is consuming society in many ways and I am sure you are not the only one in this type of crisis.

The most scaring part of it all is that it takes away what is supposed to be family income which in many ways spells doom to the entire family. Each time a family fails to communicate there is always a danger of disintegration, something that spells doom. I am sorry you are caught up in your parent’s troubles. You shouldn’t have to be worrying about their problems and you can’t put things right for your dad by yourself.

There’s no right way of coping with a death, people respond to a loss in their own way. Most people take between one and two years to come to terms with the death of someone close to them.

Sometimes, though, the process gets blocked. Your dad is struggling and has turned to alcohol to blot out the pain. Though most people who are faced with such situations rarely admit that they have a problem, I have a feeling that he needs to talk to a counsellor.

However the funny part is that all you can do is suggest this to him because you can’t make him do it.

Choose a day when he has not taken alcohol and he is sober, tell him how his behaviour makes you feel and ask him to get help.

This situation however strong you might be is likely to affect your studies, I therefore strongly suggest that you should let your teacher know the troubles you are facing at home, so they can be more understanding of your situation.

As researchers put it alcoholism usually affects the family more than the drinker. Ironically, the tendency to place emphasis on others is a primary symptom that alcohol has eroded the loved one’s role in the relationship. As the alcoholic’s drinking increases and adopts a primary place in his/her world, it assumes membership in everyone’s life. Family members and loved ones are forced to ignore their own needs, in order to facilitate the functioning of the household.

If you have a burning question, send it to: powere@tz.nationmedia.com

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Boosting growth of SMEs

Through the online digital platform, the duo is

Through the online digital platform, the duo is able to help SMEs develope. PHOTOI ESTHER KIBAKAYA 

By Esther Kibakaya@TheCitizenTznews@thecitizen.co.tz

Over the years, in Tanzania just like many parts of Africa there has been a remarkable growth of small business ventures. In Tanzania today, there are said to be more than three million small businesses operating locally.

However despite the contribution they have in our economic growth, these businesses have been facing sig-nificant challenges in their operations, which include insufficient working capital and lack of access to markets, among others. To ensure that small business owners have access to vari-ous business development services,

SMEstwo young men; Canicius Mwitta, 31, a System Developer and Robert Kadikilo, 25, a Mobile Application Developer, came with an innovative online digital platform and mobile application which aim to connect micro, small and medium enterpris-es with business advisors and train-ers possessing the expertise needed to help business owners improve

their businesses.

Explaining more about their digital platform, Mwitta, who holds a degree in Computer science from the University of Dar es Salaam and Masters Degree from University of Edinburg in Scotland, says “our platform, which is titled Bizfundi, was developed as an innovative mar-ket facilitator tool that links SME’s, business development services pro-viders and financial institutions.

The system utilizes Tanzania’s high rate of mobile phone penetra-tion to enable a diffused population of users to easily access small busi-ness support and financial oppor-tunities.”

He says the mobile platform is part of the Feed the Future Tan-zania Enabling Growth Through Investment and Enterprises Pro-gram (ENGINE) which is a four year USAID funded activity that increas-es private sector investment leading to inclusive, broad –based economy growth in the regions of Mbeya, Morogoro, Iringa and Zanzibar.

So far according to Mwitta, they have managed to register 210 small businesses and 65 business advi-sors. He says the platform, which can be accessed via website and as an android application is simple to navigate where a business owner, after creating a user profile, he or she can search through a database of pre-screened business develop-ment services providers to easily find those with the expertise they need within their geographical loca-tion.

“We are happy that we are part of making a big difference to these small and medium businesses by offering them a platform where they can get assistance. Yes we under-stand that there are plenty of appli-cations out there, but our biggest dream is to see that lots of busi-nesses register with our platform and that we assist them to create a sustainable market for their busi-nesses. “


Despite the positive results, Mwitta and Robert say there’s more which needs to be done particu-larly for the targeted group, which they believe have yet to understood about the platform and the biggest challenge is to make them under-stand. “We have received a lot of important feedback from the tar-geted groups and we have managed to make some improvements based on their recommendations and so we believe we are going to make this platform a success,” he says.

Last year, they participated in a competition titled Data Hack Com-petition which involved using an idea they had that involved data they had of their registered clients to predict the probability of some-one getting a loan from a financial institution.

“We created the model which pre-dicted the probability of someone getting a loan, the competition was stiff, there were a lot of young men and women from various parts of the continent who had developed their applications for years. Despite the fact that we had limited time to do the preparations, we were able to win under the category of Women and youth, where our solution was to focus on broadening access to finance for women and youth.” they explain.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Unlock the fullness of life

 

By Miranda Naimans

It is our natural inclination to complain about the granular details of life without taking the time to step back and view the ‘big picture.’ When was the last time you sought stillness and centred yourself to reflect on (1) your journey so far (2) your current position and (3) the road ahead?

Gratitude generates transformative energy – it is the secret healing balm for your deepest psychological wounds and anxieties. Scientific research shows that living mindfully in a deep state of gratitude has several personal benefits:

• Better Sleep – with the mind at ease the body can rest easy

• Higher Self-Esteem – appreciation of the good things in life intrinsically helps you feel better about yourself

• Improved Relationships – when you are grateful for the people in your life, you will foster more meaningful relationships

• Better Physical Health – our mental state manifests physical symptoms. Healthy mind = Healthy Body.

• Mental Strength – living with gratitude will inevitably make you a more resilient person

• Enhance Empathy & Reduce Aggression - your life of gratitude will intuitively lead you to be more compassionate and reduce the compulsion to be aggressive in your words/actions (if this is part of your character)

The Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on – and if we are wholly focused on the positive aspects, we will draw in more of the same.

Where we place our focus is a personal choice: do you choose to complain about all that goes wrong or will you begin to see the lessons and blessings in the sum of your life experience? Let’s put this into practice by examining some common life situations:

A Struggling Career – “I’ve applied for so many jobs, and haven’t landed any interviews. They don’t even reply to my job applications; this sucks!” ß transform this into à I am thankful that I have qualifications and experience to even apply for a job; I am grateful to have access to newspapers, job portals and recruitment agencies who are valid resources in my hunt for work. I am blessed to have access to the web where I can research ways to improve my chances of securing employment and upskilling myself for free.

A Broken Relationship – “Our relationship is not what it used to be. You used to be there for me and talk about your feelings, hopes and dreams. The love is gone, and you are always out working instead of being with me.” ß transform this into à I am fortunate to have experienced life’s most powerful emotion: Love. I am grateful to have a provider in my life who supports the family and I am thankful that I am growing and learning more about my changing needs through this relationship.

Losing a Family Member – “I am distraught, grieving and alone. I don’t understand why this has happened to me. Life is hard enough already without losing one of the closest people to me.” ß transform this into à I cherish the great memories of days gone by and will focus on the positive impact you had on my life. I am thankful to have been part of your world and grateful for the lessons you have taught me and love we have shared.

Gratitude is a powerful life-choice that you alone can embrace. As the great Jim Rohn aptly said; learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Business financial sustainability



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

The rule of thumb for every business is that they should never run out of cash. Therefore, all the business transactions you make need to have a clear purpose and a tangible financial backup.

Due to the dynamic nature of contemporary business, keeping your finances in order is more of a rocky road than a bed of roses. In this article I have prepared a set of crucial nuts and bolts that will help business owners run their ventures as successfully as possible and stay financially afloat and strive in the market place.

From one point of view, it’s better for an inexperienced entrepreneur not to succeed to fast. If you have to struggle to make ends meet for some time, you’ll learn to appreciate both your work and your earnings. However, if you’re unlucky/lucky – depending on the perspective –to achieve your goals quickly, you need to bring clear austerity measures to keep your budget under control.

Among other strictness measures, allow for only essential purchases – only essential business items should be bought.

Also depending on business size, you should limit recruitment and payroll – initially you must avoid long-term employment contracts. Go for outsourcing and freelancers instead. Strive to reduce overheads where necessary.

When your budget is reserved only for necessary business transactions, you’ll always have enough assets for your operations.

You need to open separate accounts. Using the business budget for personal expenditure is the biggest temptation new business owners face. Some entrepreneurs make this mistake due to a lack of experience. However, others simply relax and start spending their business assets for private purposes. If you adopt such a lifestyle, you’ll have a wide range of problems. Your business will be in the red and it will take a lot of time to put it back in the black again.

To avoid this you need to have two separate accounts. One of them should be registered on your company and used solely for business transactions. On the other hand, your personal account will serve your private purposes. As for the amount of money you will take from your company monthly as a salary, study several different options to find the best one for your business’ long-term financial health.

Also, if you want to manage your assets efficiently, tracking your payments is of greatest importance. Nowadays, banks offer cutting-edge tech solutions that improve payment tracking. That way, you can ask your personal banker to make your own e-banking business account. This package includes receiving a text message upon a payment, access to all your accounts on the Internet, and making online payments. As a result, you will have a clear record of all the payments made to and from your business account. Through this also you can be able to log in and check your balance.

In this day and age, businesspeople can sort out their financial obligations in many different ways. What you should avoid at all costs (literally) is spending cash.

You might not see why paying with cash is different from paying with other means. The key reason for this is the fact that every single business tries to keep their cash as long as possible. Some business owners use it to make another cycle of investments and earn some money along the way. Others just like to have it in case of emergency. This is why business entities should collaborate via invoices, modern payments solutions and barter agreements.

Julius Bulili, Business Coach, jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Will my daughter cope with the new teacher?



Paul Owere.

Paul Owere. 

Hi I am a parent of a Seven-year-old girl who will Who is his thrid grade. I must say that I am thrilled with her all round performance which I think I largely owe it to her current teacher. She has moved her from a slow learner to moderate scholar and besides even her love for school has tremendously improved in the last one year. This week she came home saying that her teacher has been moved to another class.

I must also admit that I am worried of what the future beholds with the latest development which now includes a new teacher. I am worried that the new teacher might not be able to cope with her ibn the shortest time possible.

This must be a very serious situation for you,though I believe that every trained teacher should be capable of handling such situations. However, it is important to note that not every teacher is a gem. Sooner or later, your child will end up in the classroom of a teacher who doesn’t thrill you or your child — and it’s best to be prepared.

First, involve yourself in your child’s education. Many children mentally separate school and home; your job is to help yours see that a strong bridge unites the two.

You can do this by talking about school at home — every day. Ask about all aspects of school life — classmates, homework, class activities, and the teacher. Let your child know that she can talk about problems at school as well as successes.

Your child may be particularly reluctant to discuss problems with the teacher — she may not want to “tell” on her, or she may worry that he’ll be blamed for the problem (children sometimes think that all adults stick together). That’s why it’s important to look for warning signs that your child isn’t happy with her teacher.

If your child stops talking about school, gets stomachaches in the morning, or undergoes a personality change (that is, if she develops difficulty eating or sleeping, or becomes moody, argumentative, or agitated), these could be signs that she’s having trouble in the classroom. Talk to your child about what’s bothering her, and ask for details.

In addition, use your best resource: other parents. If you suspect a problem or think your child isn’t learning what she should be for her grade level, do some research.

Call parents of other children in the class. Then call parents of children in other classes in the same grade.

Ask about the level of work they’re doing. If necessary, contact other schools and ask about their curriculum for your child’s grade level as well.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

KIU teaching 13 illegal courses

 

Kampala International University is teaching 13 unaccredited courses which are not recognised by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).

In essence, the courses are illegal and the academic certificates awarded to the graduates are unrecognised for employment and further studies.

Some of the students pursuing the contested courses held demonstrations at the university campus in Kansanga, a Kampala suburb, last week demanding explanations from the administration. Dr Annet Kezaabu Kasimbazi, the deputy vice chancellor for academics, said they had been in talks with students to explain their efforts to have the courses accredited but were shocked to see them demonstrating.

“We are in the process of having these courses accredited. The students were misinformed. We have alumni from engineering courses who are already working. We have never had any issues. We are in the process of accrediting a few of the remaining courses in engineering and it is not a one-day process,” she said.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Towards industralisation, innovative methods are needed in agriculture

 

By Allan Kajimbwa

Shangwe, a 42 year-old Tanzanian mother of two, sells her vegetables on a door to doors basis. Once she is tired, she sets a wooden wagon at the sideways of a grimy way of Rufungira street in Kinondoni Dar Es Salaam. From noon to sunset, she sits there everyday to make enough cash to feed her kids. In spite of a moderately steady flow of customers, Shangwe’s revenue is both scanty and unsure. As a phrase for “Vyuma vimekaza” continues to prevail, even the fresh vegetable prices have skyrocketed. Enfolded by the contractionary monetary chapter, every person in the supply chain, from the farmers to the last consumers are fighting to do more with less.

In most areas engaging in farming in the country, most of the produced crops don’t make it off the farms because of the poor farming methods.

During the transporting of the produce, more is damaged ending up being thrown away and sometimes sold at throw-away prices just to recover some cents. Poor infrastructures in the rural areas where agriculture take the forefront, bounds the time for Shangwe to vend her veggies and turn a diffident profit.

An extravagant food loss and delay in the supply chain, hastens consumers to shift to food with less nutrition. Uneconomical and lavish techniques for irrigation is also among the challenges facing the agriculture systems in most areas. COSTECH Research, Priorities for Tanzania 2015-2025 writes that “It is estimated that over 75 per cent of the losses occur after crops have been harvested. This is mainly due to poor handling practices and limited post-harvest technologies.” Nevertheless, these fatalities during the supply chain from the farmer to the final user can be evaded.

“Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy accounting for around 27.6 per cent of the GDP. The sector employs approximately 70% of the population, but it features very slow growth rates.” says the COSTECH research report. For a Tanzania that is moving to an industrialization phase, it needs to put into consideration of the new groundbreaking and innovative methods.

Methods that not only focus on increasing the quality of both food and cash crops, but also methods to renovate the country’s wasteful agriculture system that accommodates for the needs of the whole population and industries.

The Global Goals agenda lectured by the United Nations recommends meeting these obstacles by shifting the food and agriculture scheme onto a sustainable development lane.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Why you need practical lessons

 

By Edgar R. Batte

In the last seven years, Philip Masembe has served as publicity and marketing manager for the Bayimba Foundation, he has learnt a lot on the job, largely horning out his skills as an arts publicist.

The foundation organises the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, one of the biggest arts platforms in Uganda, which has grown from organising a handful of gigs to fully fledged international festivals of different art disciplines.

Masembe has been part of the foundation’s journey having joined as a media intern in 2011, under the mentorship of the media coordinator.

Grabbing the opportunity

When the then coordinator left, he was asked to take on the role of seeing to it that Bayimba activities got media coverage. Subsequently, he assumed the role of heading the marketing department, which meant he had to also get sponsors on board.

Prior to joining Bayimba, he attended the festival whose stage offerings blew him away given an activity menu of various art disciplines for three days, back-to-back.

“I was so inspired, I started to figure out ways to join the team and create more magic. Before joining the team, I had interned with Record Television and Sunrise media,” the journalism graduate recounts.

Like many students, Masembe never received career guidance to prepare him for the job market and attributes his go-getter instincts for leading him to media houses that finally helped him interface with managers. He says: “There was never an opportunity to be guided and I would say it was sheer luck that I chose the right job that gave me exceptions to learn while executing.

Willingness to learn

“My love for arts public relations challenged me to learn more. Bayimba has sent me to different places worldwide where I have interacted with people and been able to observe how things are done and therefore sharpened my skills further.”

Making sense of what he learnt in school and realities of the job market, Masembe says he did not get much from the lecture room. “I felt we were rushing into things to just graduate then go seek jobs. The lecturers made it seem like we were in that kind of rush yet we needed a lot more exposure and that you can only get if you are lucky to interact with those who have made it in same profession.” He argues that journalism school offered him theoretical learning, which ought to have been coupled with some real experiences for it to make sense. To those pursuing journalism or courses in institutions that do not open doors to practical learning, Masembe says to win; they will need to find ways of professional interaction as they follow their passion.

Determination

When he started working with Bayimba, one thing led to another. When he was taken on as an intern, he made sure he worked hard to prove to his supervisor that he could do a lot more than pass internship.

Whenever there was an assignment to accomplish, he stepped in to accomplish it and thereby proving his value to the organisation. And when the media coordinator was moving on to another career opportunity, she recommended Masembe to the foundation director. The doors of opportunities had started opening. Bayimba sent Masembe to be part of Sauti Za Busara, one of Africa’s biggest festivals where he appreciated the work that goes into organising the fest that attracts big musical names from the continent.

The network

He was also able to widen his network through meeting artistes, stakeholders in Africa’s arts industry. He was also sent to learn from South Africa’s Bushfire fest programme.

After a seven-year career at Bayimba, Masembe is ready to explore career prospects elsewhere. “Bayimba has nurtured me in the best way possible...The next chapter in my career path is going to be fulfilling. I am happy that my superiors have endorsed all my future plans and are willing to support me,” he adds.

Preparing for the job market

You may be reading this on your first day of graduate school, but it’s never too early to think about your entry into the job market—whether you plan on taking an academic route or applying to jobs in the non-profit, government, or business sector.

By thinking early on about how you’ll look to potential employers, you’ll be prepared to differentiate yourself from other candidates. And no matter what type of a job you’re applying for, you’ll want to make the “first cut” (where employers read your CV or résumé and cover letter) and move on to the interview stage.

To stand out, think about what makes you unique. What experience do you have working with others? Do you have experience organizing events as well as researching? Have you held leadership positions? Thomas J. Straka encourages applicants to consider their leadership experience in graduate school because “hiring committees know that such graduate student leaders usually stand out. Don’t underestimate yourself; don’t think committee members won’t know how hard some of those ‘minor’ accomplishments were.” These experiences will be a part of your application, and you’ll want to show a single narrative formed by all of your materials.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How youth can engage in developmental talk

 

By Salome Gregory @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

The afternoon I arrived at Changanyikeni Secondary School located in Kigamboni, I observed a lot of silence as classes were in progress. One of the classrooms was filled with a lot of students learning about the environment. This was all taking place during a school club session under Tanzania Youth Cultural Exchange Network (TYCEN).

But it wasn’t just another school club day. On that day, TYCEN brought to Tanzania two country coordinators, Indre Augutiene from Lithuania and Emil Metodiev from Bulgaria. In their respective countries, the two coordinators work with organizations that are doing the same activities as TYCEN.

Christopher Ndallo, the Executive Director of TYCEN says the network is a non-governmental youth organization whose mission is to engage young people first hand in improving local and health education, foster environmental conservation and gender issues and further sustainable development in communities through Tanzania.

He says the two coordinators came to Tanzania for job shadowing through the ‘Globalab goes global’ project which involved other 13 coordinators traveling to other partner countries for job shadowing to learn how other partner countries and youth organisations contribute towards achieving sustainable development goals and educate young people as global citizens.

Available information on the Globalab project shows that this initiative is coordinated by Global Citizens Academy (GCA) in Lithuania. Project partners are Pro European Network – PEN from Bulgaria, Cazalla Intercultural – CAZALLA from Spain, TYCEN from Tanzania, Soul-Xpressions Co. Limited from Uganda and Young People We Care – YPWC from Ghana.

The project is a capacity building follow-up process seeking functional links and synergies between youth work and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Sub-Saharan African and European partners are working together on improving competences in youth work, its quality and recognition, and to foster new non-formal learning mobility schemes.

With a growing number of youth here in Tanzania, this project aims at developing the competences of youth workers in the area of facilitating the global learning and focused on real life examples. The European partnership has already created the manual Globalab and the mobile application based on the 6 steps approach, which aims to activate young people to take actions in the areas that interests them, and they find important.

Christopher says the two coordinators stayed in Tanzania for two weeks and during that time they managed to visit four secondary schools which are Changanyikeni, Mikwambe, Kibaha Girls and Tumbi Secondary School. They had sessions with a total of 160 students and 50 youth who are out of school but attached in the youth centres.

Metodiev, coordinator from Bulgaria, says during his stay in Tanzania, they went to Misu hostel in Kibaha where they met 40 students who were eager to know the purpose of the visit. He says, during the workshop on Globalab project the students opened up by sharing what they know and were ready to learn new things and meet new people.

A fellow coordinator from Lithuania led the workshop and they later worked in groups and shared problems that affect them and their community. Finally they came up with very articulated presentations.

“We were amazed of how they focused on the problems mentioned. And some of the youth were also giving solutions for the issues mentioned. Absolutely amazing group of young people who want to make a change. At the end we asked them what action they would take to solve the issues. They wrote their responses on a piece of paper and we took a photo of each one of them with their statements. By July they will receive their photo statement and we are going to remind them after 5 years what they wrote,” says Metodiev.

Augutiene, the coordinator from Lithuania, says the visit to Tanzania gave her the chance to meet young people, with whom she did a workshop and explained to them the phenomena of global interconnectedness, explored their views on different global issues in their local context and looked for ways citizens could contribute to coping with the problems.

She says through the workshop they learnt so much about what they care about in their country and their local communities. From issues related to quality education and its accessibility to pollution, girl empowerment, lack of sufficient infrastructure, health problems to the issues related with migrants and refugees in Tanzania.

“We also visited Mikwambe Secondary School where we met around 60 young boys and girls with whom we tried to explore different issues related to the environment. Again, we heard a lot of interesting thoughts on what the environment means for the youngsters and a lot of reflections on the issues that they care about as well as solutions that could be taken into consideration. We also shared some experience from our countries on different environmental problems in our local areas and the examples of solutions implemented by our citizens,” says Augutiene.

Bless Mgongolwa is among the youth who’ve benefited from the workshops. He is also a participant of the TYCEN project called ‘Women Empowerment Through Sports’.

He says he had an opportunity to train artists who are doing handcrafting on how to brand their products and services so as to create a unique product or service which will perform well on market standards.

Bless had an opportunity to chat with the two coordinators and explained how majority of people define development in Tanzania as having beautiful cities, luxury malls, tall buildings, however he defines development by looking at the levels of education in the country, health care provision, employment opportunities and ease of access to transport.

Objective of the project

Globalab objectives are to enhance cooperation between youth organizations from different regions of the world engaging young people in global education processes and Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

The project also wants to improve quality of youth work and non-formal education among engaged partners addressing global issues.

Provide mobility opportunities for youth workers and young people to foster their competences and increase their motivation to actively participate in their society, especially focusing on tackling global issues.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Importance of strategic deadlines



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

In achieving business Goals, setting strategic deadlines is imperative for an entrepreneur to achieve both large and small goals.

However, you won’t instantly find success in the world of business by just setting arbitrary deadlines for all of your projects. Your deadlines need to set you up for success—they must be strategic.

Strategic deadlines are designed to help you move closer to your goals every day in a way that keeps you experiencing small wins along the way, rather than simply painting a huge target months away that just adds to your stress levels.

Trust me! I’ve learned this the hard way over the course of years, so now strategic deadlines are a core part of my opportunity management system. For most people, still, few things cause worry, stress and panic as much as deadlines.

Take example of the incredibly manic week at the office when your team needed put in extra time to impress a valued client? In this situation, many people get stressed out enough that they begin exhibiting signs of shortened tempers, which can result in poor results for everyone.

Considering this, still, there’s always a more effective way of doing things. Deadlines are easy to hate, but still they can be a source of inspiration, excitement, purpose and motivation instead of fear and—if your deadlines are strategic.

Forget the notion of deadlines keeping you awake at night, drowning in anxiety. This is mostly just negative psychology, the planning fallacy, or a common case of procrastination. Reasonable, strategic deadlines actually do the opposite.

For entrepreneurs, strategic deadlines are important. They hold you accountable for your own goals. Very few things have the attention-grabbing power of deadlines when it comes to setting a purpose and defining the timeline for anything important that needs to be done. Whether a deadline has been set by a customer, manager or yourself, it places all stakeholders on the same page, working towards a common objective. If you give yourself a personal deadline, you create a critical metric by which your action, or inaction, may be deemed a failure or a success. In these situations, only you have the sole responsibility for the outcome.

Strategic deadlines keep momentum moving in a positive direction. People who set strategic deadlines tend to work towards meeting that deadline. The closer a deadline gets, the more agitated or motivated people get. When people are agitated or motivated, they tend to move and take action.

Positive action—however small—moves you closer to achieving a goal, the more progress you make towards your meaningful milestones, the more attainable the end result feels. Once you’ve established the right pace for your incremental progressions, all it takes to meet your deadline is to keep the momentum going.

Strategic deadlines spur innovation and creativity. For success-driven individuals, a deadline often becomes an engaging challenge and an opportunity to generate value. Whether your deadline is for delivering client work well ahead of schedule or to submit an end result that far exceeds the expectations of your customers, success-driven entrepreneurs will use deadlines as a pivot towards excellence.

Business Coach, jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tips to keep hackers out of your Facebook and Twitter accounts

 

By Success Reporter

With hackers trying to get in to everyone’s business, it is important to secure your social media accounts. Some mistakes could put you at risk but it isn’t just a theoretical threat.

Pranksters, vandals, and malicious attackers all look for ways to get into any legitimate account they can.

So while you don’t need to hide in a hole, there are some worthwhile and easy steps you can take to keep your accounts from being hijacked. Here are six ways to keep yourself safe.

1. Make the most of your device’s lock screen – Set all of your computing devices to lock quickly when you stop using them so you have protection from physical attacks.

Always try and use a strong passcode or biometric to guard devices.

If the unlock code for your phone is your birthday, you’re not making it that difficult for someone to break in.

2. Use a strong, unique password and two-factor authentication – One of the easiest ways someone can get into your account is by acquiring leaked credentials, and trying those email and password combinations across on other services.

That threat goes away if you use different passwords across all of your accounts.

It is also important to require a second code, or “factor,” to log into accounts, meaning that even if an attacker gets your password, they’d also need control of a second device—usually your smartphone—to break in.

To add two-factor authentication on Facebook, go to Settings > Security and Login > Two-Factor Authentication. Then enter your password to confirm that you want to make changes, and set two-factor to “On.”

To add it on Twitter, go to Settings and Privacy > Account. In the Security subsection, click on Review your login verification methods. After entering your password you’ll land on a Login verification screen where you can make the same choices about how and where to receive codes.

3. Remote control – Facebook has a few options to help keep on top of who’s accessing your account, and where. Under Settings > Security and Login, you can see all the devices your account is logged in on, and where they are.

See something you don’t recognise, or a device you’ve lost track of? The right-hand icon gives you the option of logging out remotely, or reporting it as an imposter. From there, scroll down to ‘Get alerts about unrecognised logins’, and turn it on.

That way, you’ll get a notification via Messenger, email, or Facebook that someone has logged into your account from an unrecognised browser.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ask Teacher Owere: We can fight bullying through forgiveness

 

Bullying is an age old problem in the education system; it has come to be recognized as a serious problem for students across the world. Bullying behaviours are usually placed into one of three categories which are physical, verbal and relational.

Physical bullying refers to overt physical behaviors such as hitting, punching, and theft.

Verbal bullying refers to overt verbal behaviors such as name-calling, teasing, and threatening speech. The most clandestine bullying behaviors are categorised as relational.

Targets of relational bullying suffer exclusion from social groups, are the subject of hurtful rumors, or are rejected by their peers. The most covert examples of relational bullying can even include behaviors such as directing a threatening or intimidating stare towards someone.

Essentially, relational bullying aims to hurt its targets by damaging their peer relationships.

And as agreed it is also difficult to combat, with even the best interventions achieving only limited success. This is why many researchers have investigated various coping strategies by which students might deal with the harmful effects of bullying.

Researcher Luke Egan proposes that the process of forgiveness could act as an effective coping resource, allowing students to replace bullying-induced negative emotions with other-focused positive emotions.

He says bullying is characterised by interpersonal transgressions, and forgiveness has been conceptualised as a coping response to precisely such offenses.

Prior to the 1970s, school bullying generally was not acknowledged as being particularly harmful to school students.

Many adults then viewed it as ‘character forming and a necessary part of growing up’.

The preceding evidence indicates that bullying has an immediate detrimental effect on its targets and on the school environment as a whole.

To make matters worse, the negative impact of bullying can persist even into adulthood, as a number of retrospective studies have shown. Being bullied frequently is likely to be a considerable source of stress” Forgiveness presents itself as an effective process by which to reduce such stress. Findings suggest that forgiveness serves to counter the physiological impact of transgressions, and may thus serve as a buffer against health problems.

This suggests that if students could be assisted to be forgiving in response to being bullied, they might enjoy superior health and be protected against some of the detrimental effects of being unforgiving.

School-based initiatives to promote forgiveness could play a valuable role in this regard: teaching children and adolescents to forgive could not only help them to overcome the hurtful effects of being bullied, but also equip them with an important, health protective life-skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

According to a 2005 study by Smokowski and Kopasz targets of school bullying often become isolated as a result, and so interpersonal coping strategies may not be accessible to many bullied students. One of the benefits of forgiveness is that it is “rooted within the individual.

When offended individuals use forgiveness to help regulate their emotions, they can also receive an added benefit in the form of an increased sense of agency and control.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Students learn to make robots at robotech labs

 

By Salome Gregory @TheCitizenTz sgregory@tz.nationmedia.com

Soon as I entered Robotech labs located at Mindu Lane in Upanga, different robots were displayed all over the hub. On top of the tables, students and pupils were busy learning how to make robots with the help of their teachers seated next to them.

In Tanzania, Robotech labs is the first Robotics Academy which provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in the field of Robotics Education despite the growth of technology in the world.

Sharing the labs journey with Success which started in early August 2017 and currently has almost 30 students in 10 different courses, Shaukatali Hussein, Technical Director at the Robotech labs, says the hub was founded with the aim of driving ideas into reality and also to answer the curiosity and innovative ideas that had yet seen the light of day.

“Robotech also aims at helping and guiding young people in advancing their ideas to being applicable and implementable. Overall the goal is to make an impact, create a solution and make a difference in the platform of science and technology,” says Hussein.

The courses are Robochamp, Advanced Robochamp, Creo, Scratch, Robostar, Champion, Challenger and dual tone modulated frequency (DTMF) controlled robot. With the courses at the labs students learn to implement project based ideas, basic electronic components, mechanical, electronic, electrical concepts, power generation techniques, engineering and technology.

Courses cater to children from age 6 up to 18+ years old. For example, Robochamp suits children aged 6-9 years old and it is for 8 weeks. Here they are taught simple and powered machines. The basic concepts of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are explained to them using fun elements and day to day examples.

“Here Students learn various STEM concepts and understand the how’s, why’s and what’s of engineering and mathematics. Students would make various designs as per the scientifically developed simple machine’s and enjoy their first ever experience on robots,” says Hussein.

Creo design engineer course caters to children from 10 up to 12 years old, also lasting for 8 weeks. With this course, pupils learn how to make various exciting and innovative designs using maths and science knowledge.

Hussein says designing in Creo 4 ignites students’ creative and innovative thinking. Designing in Creo 4 makes students understand mathematics and science, making them more interested in studies. They also learn what creo is and the terminologies used in creo, what 2D sketching is, how it is done in creo, sketching, editing sketches, how to apply constraining, datum, editing part model, dimensioning and many more.

Commenting on course ten DTMF for students of 18+, he says it lasts for 10 weeks, involving assembling the robot and operations, programming using arduino basic electronics, microprocessor and Microcontroller, DTMF module datasheet, connections and configurations and controlling through DTMF.

Ashirafa Ramadhan, an expert in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering and a teacher at the Robotech lab for the past four months, says the labs teach children and grownups how to build robots. Ashirafa, who teaches mechanical, electrical and a little bit of programming, says that the robot comprises of four parts which are mechanical part, electrical part, electronics and programming.

“When you talk about electronics or mechanics, this is where you fix things and know exactly how you want your robot to look like, which is why we have robochamps. Currently my student (Kelvin) has finished five robochamps since February this year,” says Ashirafa.

Kelvin Kahesa, 11, is a standard VI pupil at Academic International School. He attends robot classes three times a week after class hours. His dream is to become an Electrical Engineer and owning and electronics company.

He was enrolled at the labs by his mother after learning about the labs from a friend he schools with. Since February he has built four rob champs. Being asked on how he has managed to create four robots in a short period of time he says, “I owe this achievement to my teachers, they are very supportive and encourage me to pursue my dream,” says Kelvin.

Commenting about Kelvin’s progress, his teacher Ashirafa says he is very creative and goes a step further when studying, he is not limited by what the teacher teaches in class. Through the challenges he was given he made a four wheel car robot from the components and connected four motors together.

Naggib Mohammed, 9, from Feza International School says Robotech labs is a nice place which has enabled him to build few robots and he calls upon other parents to enrol their children with the same interest at the labs as they get to meet new friends and learn how to create robots.

Issam Ngwalo is a teacher at the Robotech labs. He teaches coding. He says in the computer world there are two languages; high and low level languages. High level language is easy to be understood and low level is very difficult to understand.

He says, with his class he deals with high level language which helps students to create games, animations, and handling logic issues.

“Through our classes with pupils from 9-13 years we have managed to build a robot which detects an object in front of it and informs on everything that goes on with that object. These classes can help pupils learn exactly what they want to do in robots world, ” says Ngwalo.

With students the first module is purely mechanical. A soft and gentle introduction to get them acquainted with joining and assembling things together then followed by circuits where they are taught electrical and electronic components.

It is followed by soldering which involves joining the components on to a board together, the next stage requires students to build a robot by combining the first two modules. After that, basic programming starts. After this, programming is combined with other previous modules.

The labs also give project guidance to all engineering and diploma students who have to make a project in their final year.

Hussein says, “The labs have had students in their final year that either have to go for an internship or project. Mostly students choose projects to enhance and develop their skills for which they have approached us and we have guided them on how to start their project from component acquisition, understanding of how things work, to building it and finally testing it,” adding, “That way in the future when we work on developing real life solutions, we will be practically able to do so with this experience.”

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How you can become the best version of yourself

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

Amina John Sanga holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education from university of Dar es Salaam which she was awarded in 2017. Born in Mbeya city, she spent her childhood life staying close with her family, which contributed greatly to her successful life today.

She is the author of “What Do You See”, a book that presents how people should see themselves. Stating that most people fail to see their real versions that were purposefully created. The book introduces one to discover and remain focused in the best version of themselves. It is built from Biblical examples; specifically young people are exemplified to maintain focus on their purpose. The best thing in this book is that, you don’t have to be Christian to understand what is being communicated in it; from all angles it calls people to live their purposes, but subscribes to Biblical scriptures as basic references. Success magazine interviewed her about the whole journey of becoming an author.

Why should people read your book?

My book contains insights on understanding your inner person, your call and the very purpose of your existence. It tells you why you should maintain your focus on what you are pursuing. If there is any book I would advise you to read on finding the reason of holding on despite despair and unpredictable situations, ‘What Do You See’ is number one among in the list I will make for you.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

By experience I have encountered different tempting situations that would have pulled me out of my focus. Second, reading the story of Joseph in the Bible; the story that really pushed my interest further. Joseph existed and he really went through all that is narrated in the Bible. David was real, and he did go through all that is said in Holy Scriptures, Daniel and other young men written in the Bible were there. And their stories specifically were written to tell us their experiences so we cannot make the same mistakes (if any) or we learn from their strongest points. Third, I have seen many young ladies being tempted by minor things and they sacrifice their life calls and happiness for short-living fantasies. So this is what made me get interested in the topic. I wanted to tell people that life is not a fantasy, so we must live in reality.

How long have you been writing?

My passion for writing started a long time ago, but writing as a career started while I was in secondary school.

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

I relied on Holy Scriptures as a basic reference.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Every author has his/her own taste. I have mine too. My voice in writing reflects my real experience and I think this is what characterizes my voice in the book.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

It’s true that writers find some very interesting parts that pull together their passion. In this book I enjoyed the part that talks about Joseph’s life analogous to many young people of today (me included). And so I was passionately trying to deliver the message to young people.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?

Most people would be deluded by the title and may think the book talks about “see” as sight ability of the eyes. But in reality, see is used to talk about view of your inner person (the real you); so in order to get it clearly you should dig deeper and pay attention to detail.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by two things: one is the Word of God that gives me insights, understanding, light and direction toward my path; and two, is the fact that people out there need someone to tell them they can move forward once again. To tell them that there is a completely new life and that new life starts from their inner decisions to change. In this I feel I’m one among those who were called to tell them so.

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

Several factors and many people played a great role to my being where I am today. But in summary, universal principles established to take control over happenings in this earth worked the same way to me: One, an opportunity to make a decision and choice for new direction and changes (everyone’s door is to be or has been knocked by this opportunity); we call it God’s grace. Two, hardworking and resilience; challenges are always there and they grow bigger as you rise, what keeps you up is the resilience and approach toward solving such challenges.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?

I have read a lot of books, there are indeed many good authors, but Myles and many authors from best collection from Billy Graham Library are my favorite. Locally, my favourite authors are Eric Shigongo and Joel Nanauka.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Oh! Like other books, introduction covers the summary of the entire book but it won’t give you all details you need. And this book has each chapter linked with the next but carrying its own complete message. So if someone wants to explore the subject, he/she can start with the first chapter to the end, but also the last chapter can best give significant understanding of the message delivered from the book.

Lastly: I would like to tell my readers that, the English version of this book (What Do You See) is almost complete and will be released soon. And I think this version has carried the message more clearly and in an interesting way than the Swahili.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Birds of a feather flock together

 

By Miranda Naiman

Investing in yourself is inextricably linked to the company you keep. The old ‘birds of a feather; flock together’ couldn’t be accurate when it comes to taking a hard look at the people you to choose to spend time with. Given, we can’t choose our family; what we can choose is the way we engage with family members to ensure healthy, mutually-beneficial exchanges centred on openness and authenticity.

Finding your tribe is about truly getting to the core of who you are and learning to attract and cultivate relationships with people aligned to your personal values. Living your best life will involve some major weeding and pruning to ensure you produce a luscious oxygen-inducing garden-of-eden instead of a twisted, barbed thorn bush. If you’re truly ready to ‘do the work’ – and self-improvement is a process – you can reap the reward of peace of mind!

Slash & burn the Energy Vampires – Any exchange with another human being that results in you feeling emotionally drained, takes a cumulative toll on your well-being.

Don’t get me wrong, we have a duty to support one another – the barometer for health for any relationship is centred on energy exchange – if there are individuals in your life who take far more than they give, you are likely dealing with an Energy Vampire.

Look hard; I believe we can all spot (at least) one person in our life that perpetually sucks our positive energy and fails to replenish what they take from us. This is not your tribesman; make plans to protect yourself by implementing (what I like to call) a slash & burn operation. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

Rekindle & Revive old allegiances – While you look around, it is equally important that you recognise the gems in your midst. Make deliberate efforts to acknowledge, invest and cherish the sparks in your life that keep you radiating positive vibes in your broader circle of influence.

Diversify your Portfolio – by swimming against the tide you may be pleasantly surprised what you will discover. Courage and a sense of adventure are the name of the game as trying new things can be undoubtedly daunting. The unfamiliar makes us nervous in a way that’s hard to describe.

The act of leaving our comfort zone puts us in a vulnerable position, and leaves us with an onslaught of questions running through our heads. We ask ourselves: “Should I be doing this? Can I do this? Do I look stupid? What am I doing!?” While it may not feel like it, this is normal—and it’s good. Lest we forget that a better version of yourself waits at the edge of your comfort zone; and with a better version of yourself you will undoubtedly attract new people into your life.

Follow your passion – let the activities and causes you are most passionate about lead you to your tribe. If you are an avid footballer it’s likely that you will draw your energy from being around fellow players, where relationships will tend to extend off the pitch. I have found my tribe with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) where we connect through our thirst for learning and grow our businesses, improve our family life and focus on personal development to make a mark in society. There are several established groups that may tickle your fancy and inevitably draw you closer to people of your ilk.

Be extremely picky – While pickiness is often misconstrued as an arrogant trail; being selective in how and who you invest your energy in is critical for your own protection. We wake up each day with a bucket full of energy, we expend it gradually through the day on family members, friends, coworkers and all the miscellaneous exchanges we face daily.

When you expend unnecessary energy on people unworthy of your time/attention you end up in deficit. The more meaningful people in your life will lose out on the best aspects of you; but more importantly you will feel drained and worn out having depleted your energy reserves. In future, don’t forget to keep the door firmly locked, when the Energy Vampires come knocking…

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Young multi-talented innovator providing light to many

 

Gibson Kawago, a 23 year-old tech savvy was ecstatic about showing his grandmother footage of his sister’s wedding, he was however met with disappointment when his smartphone’s battery died right as he was about to play the video. His mother lives in a village that lacks electricity. This incident infuriated him, but more so it ignited a spark in his brain.

“It was from that abhorring circumstance that I came up with a solar system charging gadget to rid my granny off such inconvenience,” he says.

The solar gadget saved not only his grandmother but also the entire village which had been in power blues since time immemorial.

Gibson, who is a Second year student at the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, in April 2018, was awarded for the Nguvu ya Uthubutu Awards, where he emerged victorious after a month of voting. He won under the ICT and Innovations Category.

Also in 2016 he was awarded by the Bits and Bytes Innovation contest for his Solar Mobile Charger.

System charge story

The versatile Gibson owns a studio dubbed: Top Class Record, which, according to him the System charge is the first project he embarked on after completing his Advanced Level Secondary Education

The wedding video incident marked the beginning of a life-changing product. Gibson says after making the solar power charging system, his relatives no longer face the enormity of seeking power from neighboring village, noting that despite the fact that his grandmother has passed on, community members still benefit from his innovation.

Talking about how he made the charging system, Gibson notes that he used a number of equipment, thanks to his steadfastness and hardworking spirit.

“I had to find a solar panel and connect it to the diode that links the solar power to the battery charge which henceforth takes electricity to the phones. Diode is like a protector because the phone can hardly catch any glitch even when it gets exposed to negative route,” notes Gibson.

Second project: Talking about his second project, Gibson has made solar water pump for Farmers, which can be used for irrigation purposes and delivering water to households.

Sustainability

According to Gibson, his projects have undergone a number of piloting before being showcased for public consumption, adding that it was through testing that he could be in a position to easily advertise their usability.

“My projects have been implemented for piloting in Bagamoyo District and villagers have recently proved their sustainability. These gadgets are also user-friendly in both urban and rural areas,” says the expert, noting that villagers are likely to improve their income generating projects alongside creating more employment opportunities.

Talking about what he expects in five years, Gibson says he sees himself as a young multitalented and successful innovator whose dreams are to set up industries in Tanzania and Africa.

“I see myself as a great problem solver in Africa and in the World. A lot is in stock to change this world for the better,” says the young expert, who is now working on another project called: Wanted Smart Box, a portable bag that will be used as a solar power brightening light in 1800 degree.

Advice to upcoming innovators: Gibson advises upcoming innovators to be creative, urging them to shy away from complaining about lack of capital and instead use the locally available materials to make new products.

His history

Gibson is the second born in a family of five children.

The young innovator was educated at Upendo Primary School in Mafinga District from 2009 to 2012, he later on joined Don Bosco Seminary for Ordinary secondary school and Ilbouru High School for his A-level studies, where he passed with flying colours then he was selected to join the Dar-es Salaam Institute of Technology.

Gibson said since he was in primary school he used to create very many things with electricity.

Talking about who supports him with his work, he commends Projekt Inspire under the Don Bosco Seminary in Mafinga District whose management assisted him complete his projects.

“I was really a young man who wanted to know new things and great innovators like Maxwell and Graham Bell. People with mutable businesses and talents like Jay Z and Akon really inspired me through their projects like Akon Lighting Afrika,” he says.

His prospects

Gibson’s plans are on the right track; his Expodia (WXPIDIA) Company that will deal in a number of innovations is in registration.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Before taking the plunge, evaluate your idea

 

By Julius Bulili

So, you’ve spent months or maybe even years searching for the perfect small business idea, and now you think you’ve found it. You’re ready to dive right in, quit your job, and dedicate yourself to starting your own business.

Before you make any life-altering changes that can’t easily be undone, take some time to first evaluate your business idea to see if it has the legs you hope it does. The very first step of the process is to do some research and analysis to dig into the potential of your idea.

There are few ways for your smart jumpstart. First of all, you need to identify your target market. The most important step of qualifying a business idea is determining who will be buying your product or service. You need to create a picture of your ideal customer. Consider factors such as age, gender, education level, income, and location. The more you can narrow down the picture of your ideal customer the better. You won’t be able to figure out if there is a market for your product or service until you have a very clear idea of who are selling it to.

Then, you need to conduct a market analysis — research to determine how big the market is, how saturated it is and if there is room for you to add your product or service to the mix. I am not giving you too much to chew but you definitely need to conduct a clear market research and this is great start.

It can also be helpful to create a test segment of your target market and conduct a focus group or a survey to find out who they really are, so called Pilot segment.

Then, you can decide if it makes sense to launch your business to a segment of your market to gauge response before committing fully to your business idea.

Know what makes your Product or Service much different from others. During your research, you will probably discover that there are other businesses already offering the same or similar products and services to your target market.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be successful if you launch your business, but it certainly means you need to identify what makes your products and services different from the competition. You can do this by creating a unique selling proposition (USP). A USP identifies what makes your business different, and why your target clients should choose you over the competition. Your USP can be a very effective tool that helps you define your brand and make your business memorable. This guide to writing a USP will help you get started.

Thirdly you have to research the Competition. Just as you need to know who your ideal customer is, you also need to know who else us out there marketing to them. This is why it’s really important to get an idea of who your competitors are before you move ahead with your business idea.

Two excellent tools for researching your competition are a competitive analysis and a SWOT analysis, this shall be narrated in my upcoming articles for further amplification.

Another imperative step in evaluating your business idea is to conduct a thorough Financial Feasibility Analysis (FFA). It would be very terrifying and disappointing if you plunge in business only to find in clamp after six months. Better you do a detailed financial analysis and put in place all possible assumptions to preempt most potential risks out of “what if-s”.

Another very important factor that plays into the validity of a small business idea is money. What will it cost to get your business off the ground? Where will that capital come from? What are your start-up and ongoing expenses? What is your earning potential once you’re up and running?

How will you bridge the financial gap between the start-up process and profitability?

Email. lucbulili@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Want the education sector to improve? Here are the recommendations

 

By Salome Gregory sgregory@tz.nationmedia.com

Tanzania’s education system has seen numerous revamps over the years, an indication that the government is working hard towards improving the education standards. However, different reports on education matters reveal that there’s more that’s needed to be done in order to improve the education system in the country.

The government is expected to table down the education sector’s budget plan for the Financial Year 2018/19. With the aim of improving education standards, Success brings you seven education recommendations made by HakiElimu to the government as well as comments from other education stakeholders.

According to UWEZO report released last year, for the past few years the education sector has experienced poor results in literacy and numeracy skills among primary school children, the performance showcased is below expectations across all grades.

Required infrastructure for public schools: John Kalaghe, the Executive Director of HakiElimu, says with the seven recommendations the government needs to bare full responsibility of ensuring that public schools have the required infrastructures to make learning and teaching possible.

“Currently primary schools have a shortage of libraries. The rate of shortage has gone up from 88 per cent in 2016 to 91.1 per cent in 2017. In secondary schools, the shortage of laboratories varies from 51.5 per cent for Biology, 54.3 per cent for Physics and 43.3 per cent for Chemistry,” says Kalaghe.

Kalaghe further states that according to the 2016 World Bank report only 41 per cent of Tanzania’s primary and secondary schools have infrastructure that meets the required standards as primary schools continue to face a shortage of 186,008 staff houses, 10,943 administrative buildings, 15.342 library rooms and 16,290 first aid rooms.

Adrian Paul, a Form III student at Majani ya Chai Secondary School, says he is happy that his school has at least two laboratories, but also points out that there are no enough facilities, and most of the times available cannot be used for practical lessons.

He says, with such an environment none of the students will manage practical lessons and at the end of the day more failures in the final examinations should be expected.

Allocate more money to the education sector: He recommends that the Government allocate realistic budget that can really set a remarkable step in resolving these long-lasting challenges that have been affecting learning and teaching in public schools.

A total of Sh 4.706.4 billion was approved by Parliament in the financial year 2017/18. The amount is less compared to what was approved in financial year 2016/17, which was Sh. 4,770.4 billion. This means the education sector’s budget dropped by Sh64 billion. The drop saw a fall in the proportion of the education sector to the national budget from 16 per cent allocated in 2016/17 to 14.9 per cent or approximately 15 per cent in 2017/18.

“This allocation is short of regional and international commitments to education such as the Dakar Framework for Action on Education for All, 2000 and the Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action, 2015. We recommend to the government to allocate 20 per cent of her 2018/19 National budget to the education sector,” says Kalaghe.

Improve teachers’ standard of living: Kembe Kudinga is a Primary teacher at Kimanga Primary School in Dar es Salaam. He says houses have never been an easy thing for teachers to afford as a result it forces teachers to look for other income generating activities so as to earn more money.

With such environment majority of teachers fail to get enough time to prepare topics due to busy schedules.

“If the government manages to support teachers with good teaching environment it would be easy for them to spend more time working at school and improving the quality of education.”

Address disbursement challenges: Godfrey Bonaventura, Unit Manager for Research and Policy Analysis, says HakiElimu calls for addressing education sector’s development budget disbursement challenges.

For years now, disbursements for development budget has been poor, you will remember, Dr. Philip Mpango, the Minister for Finance, while addressing the Parliament on April 2017, admitted that the government has implemented deficit development budget at only 34 per cent by April 2017, for the financial year 2016/17.

He says, the CAG’s report of April 2018 indicates also that the government had disbursed only 51 per cent of the expected development budget for the financial year 2016/17.

“The disbursement has affected the education sector’s development budget too. During the FY 2016/17 Sh897.6 billion was allocated for Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST’s) development spending, with Sh427 billion being for Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) and Sh470 billion for the ministry’s development projects. However, only 31 per cent of Sh470 billion (for MoEST’s development projects) was disbursed by April, 2017,” says Bonaventura.

Adding to that he says, the under-funding has also affected implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy Education Support (LANES) programme, projects aiming at improving pupils’ mastery of 3Rs (Writing, Arithmetic and Reading) whose intended budget was disbursed by only 27 percent by April, 2017.

In WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program’s budget was disbursed by only 29 per cent and the quality control and monitoring of schools budget disbursed by only 16 per cent.

Commenting on WASH in schools, Juhudi Nyambuka, Health Environment Officer in Temeke Municipal, says investing in WASH in schools needs to be given a lot of attention as it brings a lot of positive impact in behavior change from a young age.

She says for the past ten years she has been doing a lot on WASH in schools. She has helped out in starting WASH clubs at different schools; however getting enough facilities has always been a challenge.

Sufficient budget in girls-related programs: She agrees with the recommendation by HakiElimu which calls upon the government to consider setting sufficient budget in programs relating to girls education.

She says it is true that female students are the most affected by poor learning and teaching environment due to biological reasons therefore the government should invest in providing sanitary gears as well as all other facilities that make menstruation at school friendly.

In the financial year 2017/2018 the government had set Sh1 billion for SWASH program and up to February 2018 only Sh170 million equivalent to 16 per cent of the allocated amount had been released, reads part of the budget recommendations from HakiElimu.

Budgeting for teachers’ recruitment: Other recommendation is budgeting for teachers’ recruitment and deployment as the number of teachers in primary schools in the year 2017 dropped from 191,772 in 2016 to 179,291 in 2017, a decrease of 6.5 per cent, making a ratio be 1:50.

In pre-primary schools, the number has decreased by 1,948 teachers. This means the teacher-pupil ratio in pre-primary has shot up to 1:159 in 2017 from 1:135 in 2016 instead of the standard 1:25.

In government secondary schools for instance there is a shortage of 7,291 teachers in Mathematics, 5,181 in Biology, 5,373 in Chemistry and 6,873 in Physics, there was an excess of 1,267 teachers in English, 3,281 in Geography, 4,704 in History and 4,795 in Kiswahili.

Budgets for schools capitation grants: HakiElimu advise the Government and the Parliament to allocate at least Sh20,000 as the capitation grant for each primary school learner and Sh50,000 for each student in secondary schools.

These amounts should be provided on top of Sh20,000 per day per secondary school student and Sh40,000 per day per each boarding secondary school student in public schools.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ask Teacher Owere: This boy is getting temperamental as he grows older

 

Hi I am a single mother of a son who is about to turn 14. He has always been a good boy but he has of late become very rebellious and temperamental. This has left me at a loss of clues of how to manage the situation. He fights with fellow classmates to the extent that he has become a point of reference.

When children turn into teenagers, they want their freedom and they want to do things their way. These years can be stressful for both the teen and the parent.

The main reason is that the child teen is learning “self identity, he is trying to discover his unique identity and “personality brand.” During this period, kids are likely to push for more independence and may rebel against what they perceive as overly strict rules. Household rules that they have followed before can now suddenly cause resentment.

Sometimes when parents become too busy, wrapped up in their own work schedules and responsibilities, they may find little time for the family and neglect to recognise what their teen is doing. This lack of attention can be very upsetting.

Teenagers find it extremely important to belong to a group of friends who appreciate and respect them. More of their time and attention is given to friends than to parents, which is why it is important to know who their friends are and what type of behavior they have.

Rebellious behaviour cannot be entertained in any way but it can be managed, as a parent it is important that you practice an honest form of communication with your teen. Be honest with your child and take the time to listen to his concerns. Keeping an open line of communication is imperative for both parties.

Develop a set of rules with well understood consequences. Make it clear that your teenager knows the boundaries. Explain that as a parent, your first priority is his safety and that it is very stressful for you, the parent, if you do not know where he is. If you do modify household rules, you should include your teen’s input for both the modification and for the consequence.

A rebellious teen might be somewhat more cooperative if she is an owner of the rules and consequences.

Never compare yourself with your teen or other siblings. If your teen is a younger sibling, they may believe they are not as smart or talented as their older siblings. Self-esteem is crucial to foster during these stressful teenage years.

Remember every child is unique; make sure that he is aware of his talents, abilities and intellectual capabilities.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Skills young people need before entering the job market

 

By Allan Kajimbwa,

Youth unemployment problem has continued to dominate, and it’s facilitated with many fundamental causes. Lack of right skills is among the well-known causes that deter young people from achieving their goals. Estimates suggest that globally more than 35 per cent of employers aren’t able to fill empty job openings due to inadequacy of the required skills.

In the countries dominated by high age group of youngsters there is an even more vital need to generate more job opportunities for the youth demanding decent work. It is by no means an astonishment that the Sustainable Development Goals even emphasized on hastening youth employment.

These soft, basic and entrepreneurship skills are crucial for the young people in this 21st century to enable them make successful transition into good jobs.

These skills are what the employers tend to seek in an employee often alongside their competence in relation to that job.

Communication Skills: The capability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills for the workforce. Most graduates’ struggle with it because they are used to interacting electronically. Through possessing communication skills that make young people career-ready will help them to articulate thoughts clearly, listen to ultimately gain understanding, be able to express their ideas and opinions through written, non-verbal and oral means.

Value: Anyone who is looking for a job should be able to answer a fundamental question of what it means by adding value to an organization or company. Employers are looking to recruit people who are eager to learn, engage and have passion for achievement, this is a concrete way to add value to an entity.

Professionalism: As young people make a transition from university/high school to the labor market, it can be a new enviroment for youngsters. Good working habits is the key to professionalism. Being responsible, with time management skills and being well organized are keys to professionalism too.

Experience:Building experience while making a transition to workforce is an important part to strengthen your marketability. Experience can be acquired in not only under an image of getting paid, but also through engaging in community event and trainings, campaigns, volunteering and interning in local businesses and NGOs.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I want to build my own food empire

 

By Esther Kibakaya

Quitting a job to start a business can be one of the toughest and riskiest decisions one can make in his or her career life, especially if the business is not based in one’s expertise.

However, with lots of hard work and determination most of these people who have chosen to employ themselves have managed to run their business successfully.

27-year old Jacqueline Sayi is one among the few young women who made one of the toughest decisions in their career – and that is to quit her job as a banker and start her own business.

The young business woman completed her degree in Accounts and Finance in Malaysia in 2013 and ACCA, after sending her applications to various companies, she landed her first job at Bank M where she worked on various posts, however her dream was to work as a treasurer and so she applied for internal job advert and managed to do interviews but she never got the post.

“The post I was attached to before made me feel like I was under utilised, I felt like I had so much to offer especially in that department unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to offer my full potential” says Jacqueline

Jacqueline had a passion for food. One thing that she didn’t know was that the passion she had for food was going to change her career life for good. Today she owns a Salad Bar which is located in Msasani, Dar es Salaam where she sales all types of health foods, particularly salads.

How it all started

Explaining how it all started, Jacqueline, a fourth born in a family of five children says she always had passion for cooking but never thought of doing it as a business until last year when her hobby took a life-changing twist.

“I have always loved cooking and I remember while I was at the University, the only channels that I was interested in watching were the food and cooking channels. Even my friends used to ask me to cook for them whenever we had a party or an event,” she says.

Last year in September, while she was still working at the bank, she took her leave but instead of travelling like she previously did in her other leaves, she told herself to look for something to do to earn extra money instead of just spending money doing nothing.

“I thought maybe it was a good idea if people could have a place where they can get something friendly and healthier to eat and for that to happen I had to come up with a unique Idea, and that Idea was to open a place that would be about strictly healthy eating,” she explains confidently.

The same month she took the leave that’s when she started making salads at her home place in Mwenge and supply them to some of her colleagues and friends.

“I remember taking only three orders of salads but to my surprise they called me the next day and placed some10 more orders, I was just doing it for fun but I was able to make from shillings 20,000 up to 80,000 per day, then I came to think that maybe I can do this as a serious business even though I knew that I wasn’t the business kind of person,” says Jacqueline.

When her leave was over, she went back to the office and left someone else to manage the business on her behalf. However without her presence she felt like things were not going the way she wanted them to. “I was restless, I felt like something was missing, especially when I already felt like I was under utilised because of the kind of work I was doing at that time at my workplace,” she says.

She made a decision to quit her job in October last year, however she consulted her biological father and her spiritual father, who gave her their blessings after they had a lot of talk and pray, “I gave my resignation letter but my supervisor didn’t understand why I was living my job for a business I had done for just few weeks. Some of my friends even asked me in this Bongo who eats Salads, in short they all discouraged me at some point. Some of my siblings were also against my decision,” recalls Jacqueline.

As a prayerful person, Jacquiline says she prayed to God that in 2018 she wants to have a place where she can do her business instead of working at home and it happened, she managed to rent a place and officially opened her business in January this year.

“At first it was tough but thanks to Instagram, I managed to create a chain of customers. I do deliveries and we even receive customers who come to eat here. We serve 80 up to 100 customers per day and my dream is to create my own food brand or signature – when someone eats my food then they can easily be able to tell that it is made by Jacques Salad Bar,” She happily explains.

Jacqueline says everyone has talents given free by God all they have to do is take time and recognise such talents and make something out of it. She also says when one has a dream or an idea of doing something then they shouldn’t ignore or think how other people are going to think or say, instead they should go for it

“We shouldn’t be afraid to start something even if someone or some people don’t understand what you’re doing, If you have something you enjoy doing then do it. Also, we shouldn’t be looking at how much profit we are going to get because in the beginning you have to sacrifice a lot in order to build a successful business. Sometimes even sacrifice your friendship with some people and things you like the most so that you can make it,” she says.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Future of Work

 

By Miranda Naiman

With over 40 per cent of its working age population between the ages of 15 and 24, Africa is the youngest continent in the world. There are almost 200 million youths in Africa and the number is set to double by 2045. The World Economic Forum’s

Future of Jobs study categorically states that in a mere 5 years from now 35% of skills considered important in today’s workforce will have changed.

This stark reality can only mean that the need for change and alignment has never been more prevalent. Commonly known as the 4th Industrial Revolution, this new era of progressive transformation will pose its challenges, and require us to ask some tough questions – our survival literally depends on it. How can Tanzania align itself to cope with the inverted pyramid – a strong youth-led society that will inevitably be driven by the search for sustainable livelihoods and question the very nature of ‘success’ as we define it today.

A recent survey by #Shujaaz360 cited ‘being an entrepreneur’ as the most popular youth-aspiration in Tanzania. Employability is no longer a sustainable option; the next generation needs to be armed with the skills to survive and thrive in today’s world. Four key factors need to be addressed to make sense of the challenges facing the next generation:

Opportunity – The enabling environment for young people to self-actualize, grow and be self-determined is questionable. Sourcing capital investment poses a challenge and accessing adequate information to make informed business decisions can be problematic. In some instances where information is available online youth may be kept at bay due to the expense of browsing the net. Much needs to be done to level the playing field and create more opportunities for our youth.

Skills & Education – Are Tanzanian youth armed with adequate skills and education to survive today’s world? Traditionally, our focus has been on churning our youth through the education system with the goal of exiting tertiary institutions to find employment. #Shujaaz360 research shows that there are more schoolleavers in employment than graduates – a testament to an era where a university degree is no longer a prerequisite to build a sustainable livelihood, or dare I say the epitome of success anymore. Success comes in varying forms, and surviving the 4th Industrial Revolution will require more focus on vocational and technical skills for self-determination.

Attitude – Our watoto wa siku hizi or youth-of-today stereotyping is detrimental to their development.

Youth often lack the motivation and drive to succeed in this ever-changing world based on preconceived notions of who they have become. We need to empower them to lead, and shine a light on youth success stories for national development.

Culture – Taking gender bias into consideration is critical – unleashing the full potential of Tanzania’s girls will help us reach critical mass far sooner; and this is a necessity if we are to survive. Leadership on the continent needs to be far more open-minded, the ‘old guard’ have lots to teach us, but execution inevitably needs to be driven by the youth.

It is the joint responsibility of business leaders, educators and Government to be proactive in up-skilling and retraining young people so that we not only survive but thrive during these changing times – the 4th Industrial Revolution.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Always prepare for the salary question

 

By Success Reporter

My friend Solomon Ocen shared with me how he remained dumbfounded when asked how much he wanted to be paid.

“I didn’t know what to tell the interview panel because I was desperate for this job having sat home for a long time waiting for an opportunity to come by,” Ocen said.

Fresh from university, you have made a tremendous effort to finally land your dream job. Most millennials groups are however faced with desperation by this time. Knowing that if you do not ask for it, you will not get it, you have to put your bargaining power at hand to reach your expectations.

Experts advise that before one puts mind to what they have to be paid, they ought to first attach value to their skill - know what they are worth and they will gain the confidence to bargain for their pay.

James Agasirwe, a human resource expert says, having knowledge about how the company you intend to work for operates is important.

If you bargain for higher than they pay for the position, you stand a chance of losing out on the job but also if you put it way lower than they pay, they are likely to think you are not the right candidate for the position,”Agasirwe says.

Ocen says he was torn between saying a higher price or a lower one, the two sides would either be safe or not.

“I wanted the job more than the one before, so I feared to go for a higher bargain. I only came to learn later after I had left that my predecessor had been paid slightly higher than me. The reason he had lost his job, was because he was demanding for a pay raise,” he says.

Samuel Okullo, head of administration at Global Link Africa, says when faced with the question of pay during an interview, give a breakdown.

“If you must really talk about the pay, then you must justify what figure you want with a breakdown. Talking about the transport costs, housing rate, lunch, and many other things to put up a better bargain,” Okullo says.

Tread carefully

He adds: “If I were the one, I would be reluctant to confront the question of how much I want to earn. I would bounce the question back and ask what their budget for the offer looks like. Tell them… I am not sure what your budget is but I am always willing to adjust my expectations with your budget.”

“Despite the enthusiasm that comes with wanting to know what your employer has in store for you, there is need to put it at the back of one’s mind that pay is part of a job interview. Have your priorities high and make it a point to always achieve your dream,” Agasirwe advises.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Entrepreneur financial opinion



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

As matter of fact, entrepreneurs do face a set of inimitable challenges when planning their financial future.

Small business owners are in an exceptional financial position, especially when they start planning for the future. Many won’t have the same range of financial assets that employees develop over their career, and plenty will be relying on the business to provide for them and their families when they step back from the organization and retire.

While this position presents a level of freedom and multiple opportunities, it comes with its own challenges and financial risks so to say. My consultative message to this matter is that it is imperative to utilize right advice from competent business and financial consultants hence can take away the uncertainty and make this process easier and safer to entrepreneur.

Financial Consultants can definitely help you as business owner to critically assess your, both, business and personal goals and outline a financial plan pattern that will ensure success and security in the long-term.

Tailoring your finances to your business structure is really important to ensure good track of your financials. The solitary largest issue for business owners is the nature of the company they are operating. Take an example of a sole trader, there is almost no distinction between personal and company finances. At times you can even find him possessing personal account that runs both business and personal accounting. In this matter it is hard for him to split the bank transactions and this increases business risks.

Even more challenging can be situations where businesses are run as a partnership or there are multiple stakeholders who have different interests in the organization. Formulating a plan where you can leave the company and withdraw your personal share is a delicate process and requires you to have a frank conversation about the future.

This is especially true if you are running a family business. Separating your own financial needs and those of your family from those of the firm is not easy and will require plenty of discussion about where the company is heading.

Furthermore, your own plans around areas such as succession will affect your own financial future. If your plan is to hand over the day-to-day management of a company to another person while retaining your share of the business, your personal finances will still be tightly tied to those of the company.

For many company owners, separating personal and business finances is one of their biggest challenges. Part of this simply comes down to the question of where your company finances end and personal finances begin, especially if you have grown the enterprise from the very earliest stages to where it is now.

Many owners will also have secured their organization’s growth against their personal assets, with real estate often used as collateral for small-business financing.

Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Does the education system prep children for the future?

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza etungaraza@tz.nationmedia.com

It is human nature to hope for a better future. Most people, despite the status they are currently in, have it in mind that the future will be different in a positive way. That is why today’s parents are striving to prepare their children for self-sufficiency in an economy that will look very different from their own.

This century’s rapid development of artificial intelligence and digital systems has convinced us that almost every aspect of our children’s and grandchildren’s lives will be different to the previous generations. Now, the one million dollar question is what should parents and teachers do to ensure that their children thrive at the workplace? Today’s job candidates must be able to collaborate, communicate and solve problem-skills developed through social and emotional learning.

At a recent conference organised by Dar es Salaam based St Joseph’s School, panellists and participants had different views on the topic. Under the theme: “21st century Jobs skills, how our education today is preparing children for the future”, key education stakeholders in private and public sectors shared their leadership thoughts on the issue.

Doreen Kessy, Ubongo Kids chief operating officer, had a different view on efficiency of the current education system to groom and nurture children skills. According to her, the system of education in Tanzania depends on what she termed as a “copy and paste” style. She is of the opinion that the system must change and allow children to think differently and find their own ways of solving problems.

“Most children want to do things the way they think and what parents and teachers should do is to guide them in a good way. But it is very likely to find parents or teachers punishing children without explaining to them why they deserved such a punishment,” says Doreen, who was the facilitator at the conference.

Parents also have the tendency of stopping children from doing new things. “This does not create innovative mind, something that cannot help them create things of their own,” she says, adding that the education system dictates to children what they should do instead of giving them room to be creative. “I think in Tanzania a good child is the one who keeps quiet,” she notes.

She argues prohibiting children from exploring things limits them from building up an inquisitive mind. “This is not going to promote critical thinking among our children,” she says.

Most teachers have not been so accommodative to children when in class, making children think in the same way their teacher thinks, she argues. “Children just write or copy and paste what their teachers have fed them. This doesn’t give children room to develop critical thinking capabilities, explore and do things their way.

Doreen is of the opinion that the world cannot do anything to help the children but teachers and parents do. “They need to think outside the box by allowing children to be creative, critical thinkers and have cognitive skills such as problem-solving, critical analysis, the attainment of knowledge as a core subject and strong early literacy and numeracy skills,” she adds. Educationists observe that most jobs that people have today didn’t exist five years ago due to fast growing areas of employment. With technological advancement, some jobs will become redundant in the future. Social and technological change is picking up speed and there’s no turning around.

According to Dr Eugenia Kafanabo, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, the current training system of training teachers in the country is a little bit conservative.

“Teachers are trained to impart knowledge to students using a pre-planned curriculum whereby students have to complete this so that they can be assessed. We work towards achieving, finishing, doing the exams and then see at the end how many A’s or B’s we have scored,” she says.

Dr Eugenia argues that most people view other skills as just extra knowledge because they would not be examined on them anywhere and teachers would never be praised for supporting these other skills as they are not the ones which they are assessed on during exams.

“Teachers are under pressure to do what they are supposed to do. Just to teach and complete the syllabus and make sure that the children know how to read and write, they know English, History and other subjects so that at the end of the day the management will say thank you we have managed to score ten A’s in national exams. Parents also look at performance and so all the focus is on the exams,” she notes.

Dr Eugenia says such notion needs to be expelled and the emphasis should be on imparting more skills, creativity, observations, communication skills and other problem solving skills.

“How many of us are thinking beyond this line,” queried Dr Eugenia, saying it has been very hard for teachers to open up and start looking at such skills and identify small differences and diversities within students so that they can nurture them out. “Teachers should start teaching students such skills as part of extra bureau activities within schools and be as observer,s” she adds.

The doctor sees the need to motivate teachers so as to spot and nurture children skills and talent. “They should support the children not only to pass exams but to have other pupils who would become managers with their companies while others would become professional footballers, good artists and great athletes. It is something that would make teachers to be proud of what their students have achieved despite the Cs grade they scored in their exams,” she notes.

For his part, Spencer Matonhodze, the head of business at Cumii Connected,a member of the Econet wireless group urges teachers to think outside the box as the 21st Century poses great challenges. “A teacher who will achieve more than a lifetime achievement can nurture children well and create thousands of jobs in Tanzania,” he observes.

“Most successful entrepreneurs were not so bright in class. The reason is that those who were bright in class are pushed to certain jobs,” says Spencer, whose father wanted him to be an engineer but he refused, arguing that he wanted to be someone who creates things.

“By then, my father didn’t understand why I didn’t want to become an engineer as the profession commanded a great respect by that time. But now I have a company and employ ten personnel. People are capable of doing great things if they are prepared well and given an opportunity. They can solve big crises in Africa. It can be done. Children of tomorrow can be nurtured by today’s teachers,” he notes.

The founder of Jomak Schools, Caroline Kavishe, says teachers should be challenged so as to produce pupils and students who are more talented and productive in the future. “The school management has to be proactive while teachers themselves must be able to spot and nurture new skills exposed by students. Otherwise it is very likely that we’ll continue producing the same products to labour market years after years,” she says.

She is of the opinion that assessment for teachers also has to be changed to reflect the need for nurturing and preparing children for the technological 21st Century.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

LG G7 ThinQ with Google Assistant button

 

It’s the first phone to have a physical button that calls up only Google’s digital assistant, and it follows Samsung’s own Bixby button on the Galaxy S9.

The upcoming LG G7 ThinQ smartphone will have a unique, physical connection to Google Assistant.

The flagship phone, slated to be unveiled in a New York event on May 2, will sport a dedicated hardware button specifically for Google’s digital assistant, according to people familiar with the smartphone. The Google Assistant button will be on the left side of the phone, while the power button is on the right. The fingerprint reader remains on the back.

The G7 ThinQ is the first smartphone to commit a physical button to Google. It follows a similar strategy employed by Samsung, which placed a specific physical button to call up its Bixby assistant.

The easy access to Google Assistant is part of the broader push by LG to sell artificial intelligence as a bigger differentiator. The use of AI has been a key theme for LG this year, from the integration of Google Assistant to its televisions, to the use of AI to recognize images shot by the V30S ThinQ’s camera.

It’s not the only one -- touting artificial intelligence capabilities has been the trend du jour of the tech world. Companies like Huawei and Samsung talk about AI in their products, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed during his Congressional testimony that AI would help rid his social network of fake and harmful content.

Like the V30S, there will be unique custom LG commands that you can ask of Google Assistant.

The G7 ThinQ’s Google Assistant button can’t be reprogrammed to call up another app, similar to the Samsung Bixby button. That will likely irk users who prefer to choose which app that extra button can activate. An LG spokesman declined to comment on the story, only pointing to the teaser announcement for the phone. Google Assistant has long been a core part of many Android phones -- you typically long press the home button to call it up. But this marks a more aggressive push to get people to use the digital assistant. You could also squeeze the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to call up the assistant.

Source: cnet.com

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

All about Film, Leisure and Learning

 

Bits of noises emanate from the crunches of salty or sugary popcorn, ground nuts or cashew nuts. The back is stretched and adjusted from one angle to another and so is the waist. Serious attempts are made as one intends to find that perfect posture prior to pressing the play button to set the movie rolling.

Soon as all is set, so is the movie set to commence.

Be it from the somewhat limited screens of the laptop and tabled computers or the multitude inched television screens or the white wall/ cloth projections, there is nothing more refreshing than the intro light or that opening soundtrack to a movie that perfectly coils your thoughts and lends your attention and eventually voluntarily takes you captive to an imaginary world and setting of a particular film.

The entire artistry towards the development and production of movies is just amazing, if not awesome. Thrilling however is the organic connection between the audience and the respective picture in motion.

Variety of scenes would light a room with giggles if not spark a smile or tears on the faces of the crowd.

There is something ultimately captivating about films and its bond to reality. And this something is worth being explored upon to cater for man and woman’s need above and beyond the aspect of leisure.

It is undoubtedly obvious that movies, like any other genre of art, is inseparable to among its core objective – entertainment. Similarly however is that the same work of art is ought to convey a particular lesson or message to its viewers.

Thus saying if one intends to expound on art as a whole into a single meaning so could it be regarded to be edutaining or rather an edutainment. This is to refer to as a marriage (or blend) of the word (edu)cation and enter(tainment).

It is however surprising that to date the “edu” part of art is highly ignored whereas the “tainment” is massively campaigned for. And this is the case worldwide and so is it in Africa particularly, despite the fact that our art has always been embedded with serious messages and embroidered with valuable lessons.

Worth noting however is the fact that the term “edu” comes foremost and not latter to form edutainment. This signifies the essential purpose of art and definitely communicates the sensitive nature and relationship of education and art. Or else, otherwise presumably, art could be regarded to as “entercation” instead; whereas (enter)tainment would come prior to edu(cation).

Seeking to challenge the predominant narrative as regards to art (and films particularly) being less educating and more entertaining is Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung East African Regional Office organisation vide its recently launched project Lets Talk Film.

Upon realising the purest of the bond between movies and the audience, this respective project entails to use the respective chemistry, therein, in initiating and facilitating dialogues amongst community members.

Mr Sabatho Nyamsenda, an assistant lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam and facilitator to the launch of the project, highlighted on the prospects of the use of films for learning purpose can precisely depict the actual realities of our respective societies. Further he added that such films can strategically cater to provide for knowledge to a larger population beyond the four walls of the classrooms.

“Movies have a formidable power in the sense of being used as a tool of communication and as a source of joy and knowledge,” he said.

“The greatest specs in determining the scope of coverage of movies is its ability to communicate to the ordinary(s), the peasants and pastoralists; and do so accordingly to the elites,” he further emphasised.

Whereas originally art was sought to automatically serve the society, Mr Vitali Maembe, a contemporary traditional artist and arts teacher, insists on the need of the society to date, as subsequent to the current setting, to use and apply the same at their service.

Mr Maembe thus expounded on the need of their being different film screening and arts initiatives within the communities altogether with the intent to disseminate knowledge and exchange information amongst the respective community members.

The similar assertion was held by Mr Suleiman Kisoti, a veteran stakeholder to the film industry, who highlighted for the need of the presence of different film screening avenues, of which shall also facilitate film discussions.

The broadening coverage of film screening is also arguably posed to facilitate and magnify the prospects of the movie industry in its business terms, with an extended audience on board.

Whilst expanding the coverage of movies it is of no doubt that there ought to be even further extension to film related discussions within the contemporary social media and conventional mainstream media spaces.

Since much could be said on the joyful and enriching eternal force all packed in movies, least, however, is evident on the relevance of movies and the parable of a stone and two birds. A bird leisure and twin bird learning.

However, together with the twin birds, movies also tend to have a relative bird – history – worth not turning a blind eye to.

Mr Symphorian Belleghe, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam at the Fine and Performing Arts Department, highly stresses on the role of films (and other art forms) in archiving our history.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Author and doctor writes masterpiece on leadership

 

Johnstone Kayandabila was raised in a family of eight at a small mining-town located within Williamson Diamonds Limited in Shinyanga, the place where he undertook both primary and secondary school education. He later joined Tabora High School and several years later, he went for his undergraduate studies at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College.

Kay had an opportunity of undertaking various study programs outside the country including Oxford and Tel Aviv Universities in UK and Israel respectively for diverse career development programs in medicine and later Global Health program at the University of Minnesota in USA. Based on his interest in Leadership and Management, he decided to undertake an executive program in Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at ESAMI several years ago, the course whose completion has given him a spectacular view not only on his writing project but also on organizational management in resource-limited countries whose insufficiencies should not be the excuses to trade at global markets.

Tell us about your journey in to writing

My father used to have a small library at home. I used to read few books and make notes for my future references. Whenever I attended Bible studies, I used to make my notices too. In my spare time I used to read those notes for the sake of building my understanding. Later, I came to realize that I had numerous notebooks which were liable to be misplaced. On the other side, whenever I spoke with my age mates at school, they often regarded me as a wise young man worth of being considered for suggestions prior to making ultimate group decisions despite being shy to speak in many incidences.

One day, I decided to start summarizing all my small notebooks into one big note book. No sooner had I finished summarizing than experiencing a repetitive small still voice inside me that I perceived like saying, ‘why won’t you write your own book?’ Prior to that, I had already started to buy my own extra-curricular books for reading which were written mostly by authors from the developed world. So, it sounded incredible for me to write my own book based on the fact that I had no prior model, mentor, experience, skills, or funds to push such a passion ahead. Nevertheless, one year after completing my high school, I personally agreed to start writing my own book notwithstanding the challenges that might come along my way.

Tell us more about your book

Leadership’s Big Idea should not only be read by people striving to be leaders, but increasingly those in our society who consider themselves leaders who are failing. This book explores the value of true leadership that isn’t measured in the accumulation of material goods or fortune rather in the inspiration you feed to other minds and hearts, the values you add to others’ lives by lifting them up, and by the quality of life you lead.

How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

Establishing a career in writing is not hard if you do it once and for all. However, if you are determined to make writing as part of your life then as a writer you’re obliged to daily live what you perceive, speak what you believe, and walk in the paths of what you write. This might seem difficult sometimes but it’s possible for everyone the moment a writer puts own heart and mind into work ethically. You simply have to avoid writing under the undue influence of negative pressures like fraud, racism, classism, and all forms of prejudices that will bring conflict and separate people rather than uniting them for a common goal.

What do you think is the future of reading/writing in Tanzania?

In the developed world, usually writers occupy only one percent of the entire population. In our country we might have less than this percentage. This is bad because every growing society needs writers to tell stories of their forefathers, for instance how they withstood conflicts, disunity, wars, and economic challenges of the medieval times, -to challenge the way the current generation looks at the future by always calling for realignment of their talents and repositioning of their competencies so as to optimize their resources and performance, -and to communicate a legacy of literature, culture, and traditions to the future generations through writing. Writing is such a rich rather sacred discipline demanding great minds and superb innovations in the country to enable us identify as a nation whose values may be shared and communicated through radio programs, television, video films, and varied social practices!

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

‘Leadership’s Big Idea’ stands out as a treasure map and a masterpiece, a must-read for anyone leading in the 21st Century. It unveils greater heights of human genius and a pool of knowledge, a new mindset, new competencies, new talent, and new skill-set in leadership.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

My writing is greatly influenced by an African culture that has interacted greatly with the global culture particularly at the realms of leadership and management.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

In case you need your book to add new ideas into the pool of world-class knowledge then as a writer, you need to be realistic and data-driven. I had to conduct a primary research prior to writing my second book so as to generate novel ideas in the theme of leadership. This was the hardest part and more challenging as it demanded more time, funds, and mobilization of human resources both in collecting and analyzing data.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I’ve enjoyed realising that there is lots of knowledge that can be tapped across various disciplines to enable solving diverse leadership problems from our own society.

Who are some of your favourite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

I’ve read hundreds of books nonetheless few authors stand out as mentors of my personal writing including David Oyedepo, T.D. Jakes, John Maxwell, Nancy Van Pelt, Myles Munroe and Dag-Heward Mills among others. I’ve learnt a lot about how such mentors craft their ideas, conceptualize their thinking, frame their ideologies, and the way they present their concepts in a flow of themes that furthermore incorporate their own ethical Researches and Developments (R&D) to further magnetize the reader whilst narrating critical issues of human kind outside geographical borders.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I’m a part-time writer. Part of my time is allocated for clinical works at the hospital, participation in teaching teams, for instance, for medical students and furthermore guiding young writers and business startups. Actually the part-time author in me is enriched by sorts of activities that expose me to people of various needs, skills and experiences on daily bases as medical doctor, a business strategist, or a mentor.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Boosting confidence in students through debates

 

By Devotha John @TheCitizenTz djohn@tz.nationmedia.com

Holding debates in schools has a lot of advantages. Debating helps improve students communication skills, self-confidence, language skills as well as skills to analyse information among others.

Some schools hold debate sessions once every week, which has been useful in helping students master the English language as well as public speaking skills. Inviting in students from other schools, pitching pupils/students against teachers can be a great way to get students involved in debating.

Last Saturday, schools in Dar es Salaam participated in the 2nd Africa Open Schools Debate Championships (AOSDC), which was organised by Feza International school in Salasala.

The competition aimed at equipping students with better self-expression skills but most importantly, to enable them to address national and global issues of which they are expected to be part of the solution.

The Africa open debate competition was hosted and organised by Feza schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Governments. It was debate competition held on Saturday last week.

The competitors

Secondary schools which participated in the championship include the host Feza, Morogoro Seconday School, Tusiime Secondary School, Al Muntazir Islamic Seminary, Shamsiye, Laureate, Baobab (Bagamoyo), Barbro Johansson, Eagles (Bagamoyo), Feza boys, Premier Girls (Bagamoyo), Kona Stone High School in Arusha, Green Acres Secondary School and including schools from Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

“The outreach of the Africa open debate competition together with the genius cup competition involved 10 schools from different regions of Tanzania and more than 3,000 students in various categories.”

Five preliminary rounds took place with only 8 teams making it to the quarter finals before a highly contested semifinal.

The final debate involved Feza International and Al Muntazir Isalamic Seminary who won the cut-throat competition.

Positive feedback from students

Saluha Aboud, a student from Al Muntazir Islamic Seminary says through debate, students learn different things about the environment they live in and that debating also helps them improve academically.

“We learn different things, including things we don’t know in our world. Debating allows students to figure out what they want to focus on in their daily lives,” he says.

He adds that debating makes students stand out at work when they finally finish school.

He says debating helps students master the English language, which is very important in the job market today, it helps in getting scholarships, fellowships and it also gives students the exposure to the world.

Saluha says debating keeps students on their toes as they have to read extensively to defend the various topics for discussion.

This helps them acquire wide knowledge on different topics, which he says is useful in life.

Herman Mosha, a student from Kona Stone High School in Arusha, concurs, saying through debate, students enrich their knowledge with new ideas from all walks of life.

“Debate equips students with new knowledge on how to view the world in a different perspective,” he notes.

Herman commended the organisers of Saturday debate championship, as well as his school, which allowed them to participate in the competition.

According to Thabit Yusuph from Feza Boys Secondary School, the competition was meant to evaluate and enhance the skills and ability of Tanzania students, particularly on the whole aspect of debating.

“This year’s competition was good and we were better prepared to compete with the schools from across the country,” he says.

Another student from Feza Boys, David Edson says debating in Tanzania is not as established as is the case in neighbouring countries.

He says Saturday’s competition was a step in the right direction and urges schools to give students the opportunity to participate in debates and debating competitions.

“Tanzanians have the potential to be among the best in Africa and international competitions. Our only hindrance is that we lack the platform to establish ourselves,” says the Form Six student.

Feza International School Director, Ibrahim Rashid says Feza schools aim at promoting social studies and sciences as well.

“This competition is based on social subjects also. We are set to organize a competition that will focus on science subjects by the end of this month, which I think, will be much better than this,” says Ibrahim.

Africa open schools debate championships also collaborate with orate Africa and invite international teams to increase the exposure rendered by the competitions to the students and also enhance diversity.

Ibrahim calls on the government to support debating competitions as they are a platform to developing astute leaders in future.

The permanent secretary in the ministry of education, Dr Leonard Akwilapo, commended the debate organisers, noting that he had seen how schools are set to develop students’ speaking skills alongside critical thinking abilities.

“The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has the curriculum that emphasizes debate in schools, mainly to develop students’ speaking skills as well as to inculcate in learners the acumen and self confidence while speaking before the public,” he noted.

Adding that the government is set to improve school infrastructure alongside curbing teachers shortage in a bid to ensure public schools record good academic performance as private schools do.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How to create a win-win situation

 

By Miranda Naiman

Whether we realise it or not, we negotiate every day of our lives – be it taxi/bajaj fare, bargaining with a shopkeeper, negotiating a job offer; or finalising terms on a lease agreement. In my experience, there are six fundamentals that will increase your chances of a win-win outcome, no matter what you are negotiating about.

Strategy – Stepping into a negotiation without doing your homework would be the equivalent of drinking ditch-water and not expecting to get a stomach ache. Prepare thoroughly before you negotiate: Understand your bottom-line; study your opponent and stay several steps ahead by anticipating their desired result.

If you are negotiating a salary increment, ensure you have clear evidence to support your request – exemplary performance and examples of how you exceed targets/expectations will serve you well. Remember that the number of years you have worked at an organisation is rarely justification for a raise; in these challenging economic times your employer is looking for you to make a tangible impact at work.

Clarification – Children are often scolded for asking ‘too many questions’ and yet research shows that asking the right questions directly correlates to intelligence. Ensure you can make educated decisions during your negotiation by asking questions that add value to your cause. Your opponent may try to distract you by skimming over finer details: prevent this by confidently asking questions.

Concession – Negotiating is a like a dance, both parties have a role to play as you aim for consensus. You will have to let smaller things go to achieve your ‘big picture target.’ Think about what you are willing to let go of, or relinquish in order to get what you really want. Compromise is about give and take, and a negotiation without compromise is merely a disagreement that will end with neither party getting what they want. Always aim for a win-win.

Assertiveness – Being passive and meek won’t get you far in a negotiation as you will be easily dominated. Tapping into your assertive-self will have you confidently articulating your needs with flair and maintaining positive communication throughout.

An assertive person isn’t afraid to ask for what they want without taking advantage of their opponent – in short, they don’t step on people to get ahead in life. Approach your negotiation with dignity, professionalism and mindful that there is a relationship at stake.

Confirmation – Throughout your conversation, there will be key agreements that are reached – or terms – ensure you summarise these as you go, to avoid allowing your opponent to rescind them later. For example, in a salary increment negotiation you might confirm “so we have agreed that if I manage to bring in the xxx account, I will be eligible for a 20% increment” or with a new landlord “we have agreed that I am to pay USD 10 per sqm since I am making a 6-month payment upfront.” Put these agreements in writing.

Persuasion – your ability to take your opponent on a verbal journey and talk in a powerfully convincing manner all contributes to your persuasiveness. Engage your challenger in a way that will make it hard for them to refute your claims simply by being enthusiastic with your case and influential with your words. The power of persuasion will take you far; harness this skill. Adhering to the 6 fundamentals of negotiation will increase your chances of getting the outcome you desire- it all boils down to confidence and preparation: asking for what you want is a necessary part of life, and I’ve found that the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ask Teacher Owere: How do I help my 9-year-old son to attain good grades?

 

Hi, I am a parent of a nine-year-old boy who is now in his third grade. However, I have realised that the more he goes up the more his learning becomes difficult especially when put together with others. His teachers say he will improve but as far as I am concerned, time is not on our side. Under the circumstances I find myself at a loss of what to do?

Every child needs love, encouragement, and support, and for kids with learning disabilities, such positive reinforcement can help ensure that they emerge with a strong sense of self-worth, confidence, and the determination to keep going even when things are tough.

In searching for ways to help children with learning disabilities, remember that you are looking for ways to help them help themselves.

Your job as a parent is not to “cure” the learning disability, but to give your child the social and emotional tools he or she needs to work through challenges.

In the long run, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help your child grow stronger and more resilient.

Always remember that the way you behave and respond to challenges has a big impact on your child.

A good attitude won’t solve the problems associated with a learning disability, but it can give your child hope and confidence that things can improve and that he or she will eventually succeed.

Remind yourself that everyone faces obstacles. It’s up to you as a parent to teach your child how to deal with those obstacles without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed. Don’t let the tests, school bureaucracy, and endless paperwork distract you from what’s really important—giving your child plenty of emotional and moral support.

Do your own research and keep abreast of new developments in learning disability programs, therapies, and educational techniques. You may be tempted to look to others—teachers, therapists, doctors—for solutions, especially at first. But you’re the foremost expert on your child, so take charge when it comes to finding the tools he or she needs in order to learn.

get special help for your child. Embrace your role as a proactive parent and work on your communication skills.

It may be frustrating at times, but by remaining calm and reasonable, yet firm, you can make a huge difference for your child.

Your child will follow your lead. If you approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and a sense of humor, your child is likely to embrace your perspective—or at least see the challenges as a speed bump, rather than a roadblock.

Focus your energy on learning what works for your child and implementing it the best you can.

It’s only natural to want the best for your child but academic success, while important, isn’t the end goal. What you really want for your child is a happy and fulfilling life.

With encouragement and the right support, your child can build a strong sense of self-confidence and a solid foundation for lifelong success.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Quick business growth strategy



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

New business owners have numerous goals when they’re starting out, including rapid growth and recognition for their fledgling venture. But overnight success isn’t often the standard: There’s no specific “special sauce” to add to the recipe for instant results, and nothing is guaranteed. However, there are ways to reach growth milestones that can catapult a business to success.

Before you can even think about your company’s growth trajectory, you need to ensure that you have a solid staff that can help you achieve it. For a small business to grow, it’s important to have the right players at the table. People who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves.

Instead of trying to acquire new customers, you need to direct your attention to the core customers you already have. Do this by implementing a referral or customer loyalty programme or trying out marketing strategies based on previous purchase behaviours to encourage repeat business. Focusing on your established market is especially important if you’re trying to get funding.

Risk is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business. It’s impossible to control everything, but there are plenty of ways to limit internal and external threats to your company and its growth. One important resource to help you accomplish this is your business insurance provider.

Literally, small businesses need to manage their growth to avert disruptions that can bring business to a grinding halt. They should therefore be prepared by seeking insurance products that help them recover, this may include those that cover the cost of remediation and lawsuits.

Be adaptable!! One trait that successful startups often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. By allowing yourself to adapt and change quickly, you’re able to test different approaches to business and find out what works best.

You also need to focus on your customer experience. Customers’ perceptions of your business can really make or break a business. Deliver quality experiences and products, and they’ll quickly sing your praises on social media; mess it up, and they’ll tell the world even faster. Fast growth depends on making your current and potential customers happy with their experience. Compared with large companies, small businesses are nimble, and often better able to see, anticipate and respond to their customers’ needs. To be successful, you need to bring new and innovative products and services to market more quickly and develop and nurture long-term customer relationships. It is utmost important to listen to your customers and give them what they want. You need to diversify your offerings so you can best cater to the customers’ changing tastes.

It is important to invest in yourself. In the early stages of your business, you’ll likely see a very lean profit margin, so any money you do make should go directly toward helping you grow. A startup’s ability to invest in itself helps accelerate growth. In those early years, it’s critical to make sure that you’re redirecting any revenues back into the company. It’s vital to invest early and heavily in order to grow quickly.

Always think ahead!! While agility is an important quality for a startup, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants when you’re running a business. Planning your next step, even if that means anticipating all possible scenarios, is the best way to stay grounded and secure as your business evolves.

Importantly, set the foundation in place, water it and watch it grow.

Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail.com

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