It is undisputed that the United Republic of Tanzania is the only country in the world where the precious gemstone ‘tanzanite’ – a.k.a. ‘blue zoisite’ – is found.
The country has also been shown to have relatively phenomenal wealth in assorted minerals, both precious and base metals.
While the latter include – but are by no means limited to – iron-ore, copper, tin, zinc, uranium vanadium, coal, phosphates, kaolin, bentonite, limestone, dolomite, marbles, gypsum soda ash, salt, sand, gravel, aggregates, dimension stones etc, precious/noble metals include (but are also not limited to) gold, diamonds pearls, silver, emeralds, rubies, garnets, rhodolite, sapphire, amethyst, chrysoprase, peridot, tourmaline, chrysoberyl, spinels – and, of course, tanzanite.
This having been said, we also say it is highly lamentable that neither the government, nor any of its hallowed institutions – including the Minerals Ministry and its affiliates – have established a Mineral Resources Data System (MRD System) for the country.
Such an MRD System would detail particulars of metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources across the nation, including their type, exact location… And, perhaps most important of all: the quantity and (intrinsic) value of the minerals.
However – although there can but be no question that the proposed MRD System is of great benefit to the country’s economy, functionally putting the system in place, and effectively operationalizing it, is not as easy as the proverbial ‘walk in the park.’
As the Minerals Minister, Dr Dotto Biteko, said, the System is “too expensive” for Tanzania to be able to afford it under the prevailing circumstances, as it requires in-depth research.”
Also, “frequent prices fluctuations in the global market” are another major challenge to contend with.
Fair enough, we say. But we also take this opportunity to urge the government, working with our development partners, non-greedy prospective investors and other well-wishers to collaborate in finding the ways and means to establish the MRD System soonest.
ADDRESS CAUSES OF KILLINGS
In recent weeks, Tanzanians have been receiving disturbing reports about killings taking place in circumstances that largely remain mysterious.
In some incidents, there have been allegations of family members, especially children, killing own parents—the suggested motive being the desire to possess property and money that belonged to the victims.
While police and other security organs continue with their investigations, it is high time for the entire society to reflect on these events, make soul searching and find out what it is that needs to be fixed to rectify the trend.
Psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and criminologists need to take the lead in this journey of fact and solutions finding.
One area that needs to be scrutinized closely is the family as an institution. One major question is whether the family as has been known for ages in our society remains as strong as it had been for generations.
If there are changes on the way families are set up and if this is weakening this basic unit of society to the extent that it breeds children who are irresponsible to the extent of not adhering to societal norms, morals and ethics, then all efforts should be directed towards rectifying this.
Religious and traditional leaders too have an important role to play in ending this scourge.
It can be done.