Tanzania

  1. Tanzania's first Netflix film 'gives women a voice'

    Tanzanian filmmakers behind the country’s first film to be streamed on Netflix have spoken about what it means for women.

    Binti, which was first aired on Netflix on 7 January, is a story about the lives and struggles of four women surviving extreme hardship in Dar es Salaam.

    You can watch the trailer here:

    View more on youtube

    Binti is about the painful circumstances that some women find themselves in, in the pursuit of a perfect life - and why the life that they yearn for may not be as rosy as it seems to the public eye, according to its producers.

    Godliver Gordian, one of the film's actresses, told the BBC the film helps expose the pain that women in families silently endure.

    "Binti has given a voice to those who cannot speak. There are some things that families or couples will go through but one of the partners does not get help or talk about what they are going through," she told BBC News Swahili.

    "We in Tanzania are making a local film but there is someone in Kazakhstan who is watching it and saying… 'this has touched me as a woman,'" says Seko Shamte, the film’s director.

    "I get messages from the UK, Kenya, South Africa and the world in general, so I know this is a film that has touched all women and some men too," she adds.

    The film premiered at the Los Angeles film festival last year - and was screened elsewhere including in Kenya, US and in Germany before the Netflix deal.

  2. Lioness 'shows love' for wildebeest calf in Tanzania

    Alfred Mushi

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    A wildlife official has described as an "act of love" a lioness' decision to escort a young wildebeest to a safe point for its mother to pick it up within the Serengeti National Park.

    For a big cat to do this was unusual, and it was a case of the lioness' maternal instincts "over-riding" her predatory instincts, Tanzania National Parks Authority spokesman Pascal Shelutete told the BBC.

    A video of the scene, captured on 9 January in the world-famous game reserve, has been posted on Twitter:

    View more on twitter
  3. 14 killed in Tanzania road accident

    Alfred Mushi

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    At least 14 people, including six journalists, have been killed in a road accident in the Chumbe area of Busega district in the northern Simiyu region of Tanzania.

    President Samia Suluhu has expressed her shock at the news and offered her condolences to the families of the bereaved.

    The accident occurred when a minibus collided with another vehicle in the Chumbe area of Busega district.

  4. Award-winning African pouched rat dies

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Magawa the rat
    Image caption: Magawa was trained by the Belgium-registered charity Apopo

    An African giant pouched rat, celebrated for helping discover more than 100 landmines and other explosives in Cambodia, has passed away.

    Magawa stood out not only for his excellent record sniffing out the chemicals in unexploded devices but also his long service.

    In 2020, Magawa, was the first rat to be awarded a gold medal for gallantry by the British charity called The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).

    The African giant pouched rat has a strong sense of smell and can be trained quickly, skills which make it excellent at searching for mines.

    Magawa lived to eight - particularly long for his breed.

    He retired in 2020 after five years in the fields of Cambodia.

    The charity Apopo has just over 100 other rats doing the same work around the world, it says.

    Read more:

  5. Tanzania speaker resigns after clash with president

    Lulu Sanga

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan
    Image caption: The speaker's remarks about the government's external borrowing angered President Samia (pictured)

    Tanzania's parliamentary speaker Job Ndugai has resigned days after clashing with the president over foreign debts.

    The speaker said his resignation was a personal and voluntary decision taken in the interests of the nation.

    But it came after he said Tanzania was at risk of being auctioned off following President Samia Suluhu's announcement of a new loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    Mr Ndugai issued a public apology to President Samia, which she rejected.

    She accused him of playing politics and trying to sabotage her ahead of general elections in 2025.

  6. Tanzania calls off rescue mission after boat accident

    Eagan Salla

    BBC News

    The Indian Ocean in Pemba, Tanzania
    Image caption: Locals are unhappy over the slow response to the boat accident

    The rescue mission in Tanzania's boat accident has been called off after all persons were accounted for, according to the authorities.

    The total fatalities have been put at 10 and 10 survivors. All those who died have been buried.

    No missing persons reports have been filed so far.

    The divers' team leader, Kasim Khalfan, says there is no evidence of any missing persons in the water.

    Survivors say the engine went off twice then the boat started sinking.

    Amour Nassor, who was on the boat, says he saw his nephew calling out for help before he died.

    The locals are unhappy with the rescue unit's slow response despite their base being close to the site. Most survivors were rescued by local divers, eyewitnesses say.

  7. Nine dead in Tanzania boat accident

    Nine people have died and dozens are missing after a boat accident in Tanzania.

    The boat was heading to Panza island from Pemba when the accident happened. The passengers had been due to attend a funeral at Panza.

    Only six have been rescued alive and are receiving medical attention.

    Pemba regional police commander Richard Thadei Mchomvu said the cause of the accident was unknown.

    He said the boat had about 40 people but the exact number is unknown.

    "The captain has not been found and the weather was not bad, so we do not know the exact cause because it seems the problem was not the wind," Mr Mchovu told the BBC.

    Rescue efforts were halted on Tuesday evening and resumed on Wednesday morning.

  8. Tanzania president tells off critics over foreign loans

    Eagan Salla

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan
    Image caption: Samia Hassan says she feels betrayed by officials criticising foreign loans

    Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan has lashed out at some top officials who have been criticising her government for taking loans from international bodies.

    In a televised address from state house, she said foreign aid was helping her government fulfil its social and development agenda.

    The president was receiving progress reports from ministers on how the Covid-19 funds received from development partners had been utilised.

    She said unlike other countries that had used such funds to buy protective gear like gloves and masks, Tanzania had used the funds prudently to build new health centres and medical facilities.

    She said the money was also being used to put up new classrooms and learning facilities in many parts of the country.

    She said she felt betrayed by those who had been criticising her government for taking the loans.

    “It’s sad when a person you trust with so much government responsibility does that to you,” she said.

    It came a day after parliamentary speaker Job Ndugai made a public apology following his earlier remarks thought to be criticising President Samia's government over the loans.

    Last week, Tanzania signed a $1.9bn (£1.4bn) contract with a Turkish contractor to build a 368km (228 miles) third phase of a planned standard-gauge railway link.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Our take: Three people across Africa who made a difference in 2021

    BBC's Malu Cursino profiles three people from across Africa who rose to the challenge in 2021.

  10. 'Telling our own stories, finding our own voices'

    As Tanzania marks its 60th independence anniversary this week, a publishing house dedicated to promoting Swahili books also celebrated its birthday.

    Mkuki na Nyota, meaning "speared star", was created 40 years ago in Tanzania with the aim of producing "books that contribute to our understanding of our own realities that help people struggle for their own liberation", founder Walter Bgoya told BBC Focus on Africa.

    It produces both non-fiction - including biographies of the country's presidents - and fiction. One if its recent novels, known as A Tug of War in English, was turned into a screenplay for a film that was featured at the African film festival, Fespaco.

    Creative director Mkuki Bgoya said the works are all about "telling our own stories and finding our own voices".

    Listen to the interview here:

    Video content

    Video caption: Father Walter Bgoya and son Mkuki Bgoya both run publishing house Mkuki na Nyota
  11. Tanzania planning to lift media bans

    Alfred Mushi

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    People using computers
    Image caption: The previous president was accused of targeting journalists and bloggers

    The authorities in Tanzania say they plan to lift bans and suspensions on media organisations which had been barred from operating.

    Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Amon Mpanju, said the the government has been holding talks with media owners and the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders' Coalition.

    "We were all looking at revising some law provisions to ensure that we set free all banned media outlets,” said Mr Mpanju in a statement.

    He added that President Samia Suluhu Hassan had ordered the ministry to resolve press freedom challenges in the country.

    Ms Samia's predecessor, John Magufuli, was repeatedly accused of suppressing press freedom in Tanzania.

    Under his government, newspapers and critical websites were shut down or suspended and several journalists were arrested.

  12. World Bank welcomes Tanzania pregnant pupil ban

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC News, Dodoma

    A pregnant girl
    Image caption: Pregnant girls are currently expelled from schoolImage

    The World Bank has welcomed the decision by Tanzania to remove a nearly two-decade-long ban on pregnant students from attending school.

    The organisation says the move will remove barriers to access of education.

    "This important decision underscores the country’s commitment to support girls and young women and improve their chances at receiving a better education," a statement from the World Bank says.

    The Swedish embassy in Tanzania has also praised the decision terming it is an "inspiration in the region for young mothers’ rights to education".

    The ban was strongly enforced by former President John Magufuli who died in March this year.

    The decision to remove the ban was announced on Wednesday by Education Minister Joyce Ndalichako.

    Education and women rights campaigners have also welcomed the move but say the new directive needs to be enacted into law for it to be successfully implemented.

    Statistics indicate that, more than 120,000 girls drop out of school every year in Tanzania, 6,500 of them due to pregnancies.

  13. Tanzania to scrap ban on pregnant schoolgirls

    Grace Kuria

    BBC News

    Pregnant girl
    Image caption: Pregnant girls are currently expelled from school

    A 19-year-old rule that banned pregnant students from attending school in Tanzania is to be scrapped, a minister says.

    Education Minister Prof Joyce Ndalichako said on Wednesday that primary and secondary school students who drop out of school due to various reasons, including pregnancy, will now be allowed to return to the formal school system.

    The government had set up a parallel education system for pregnant schoolgirls with officials saying this would protect other students from "bad influence".

    The late Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli reinforced the law initially passed in 2002 which allowed for the expulsion of pregnant schoolgirls.

    The law said the girls could be expelled and excluded from school for "offences against morality" and "wedlock".

    Women's rights groups had long urged the government to change the law.

    Magufuli warned that "after getting pregnant, you are done".

    He also announced that men who impregnate schoolgirls should be imprisoned for 30 years.

    Prof Ndalichako said she would give more information about the way forward.

  14. Tanzania's Kilimanjaro region hotter than usual - experts

    Alfred Lasteck

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Mount Kilimanjaro
    Image caption: The high temperatures are expected to continue this month

    Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro region, which is home to Africa’s tallest mountain, is experiencing hotter-than-usual temperatures this month, the weather authorities say.

    The temperature in the region has risen to a high of 36.4C in November, an increase of nearly 5C above the average temperature experienced at this time of the year.

    Other regions, including the coastal city of Dar es Salaam and Ruvuma in the south, have also been hotter than their long-term averages.

    The high temperatures are expected to continue throughout November, with a slight decrease forecast in December when the rains come.

  15. Tanzania's Pristine Coral Reefs

    Video content

    Video caption: Mike Corey explores a coral reef off the coast of Tanzania.

    Mike Corey is off the coast of Tanzania, exploring a coral reef that scientists say could be a game-changer for some species threatened by warming seas.

  16. Tanzania singer released on bail - opposition

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC News, Dodoma

    Maembe Vitali with a guitar
    Image caption: Vitali Maembe's music has often been seen as critical of the government

    A Tanzanian musician has been released on bail after police arrested him on Tuesday, according to a statement released by opposition party ACT Wazalendo.

    Vitali Maembe is accused of criticising officials in his songs and must report back to officers on Thursday, according to the statement.

    Tanzania’s police have declined to confirm the arrest, but instead said they were following up on reports.

    Maembe's music has often been seen as critical of the government. He contested a parliamentary seat during the last general election as an ACT Wazalendo candidate.

    His music, which has spread throughout Tanzania and beyond, often highlight people's grievances.

  17. Chameleons

    Video content

    Video caption: Andy and Kip visit Tanzania in Africa in search of the Jackson's chameleon.

    Preschool wildlife series. Andy and Kip visit Tanzania in Africa in search of the Jackson's chameleon.