Tanzania – A Mountain of Wealth

In 1936 Ernest Hemingway published a short story called “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” in an American Magazine called Esquire. The story opens with a paragraph about Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, whose western summit is called the “House of God.” There, we are told, lies the frozen carcass of a leopard near the summit. Quite interesting how the world has come to experience great wonders of Africa and go back home to write and publish them.

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is home to the highest mountain – Kilimanjaro – and the deepest lake – Lake Tanganyika – in Africa. It has one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. The highly gifted nation is the only country in Africa that offers access to four of the Seven Natural African Wonders namely the Nile River, Serengeti Migration, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro. While beaches may not be one of the first things that you think of when you imagine an African safari, a trip to the beautiful island of Zanzibar is the perfect way to round off a safari.

One of the great brand exports of Tanzania, can be found near Mount Kilamanjaro and that is only found in Tanzania, Tanzanite. A dark blue precious stone, that invokes so much global attention, that made a country wealthy in that aspect. Another historic fact, was that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, was for a period of time sitting in Arusha, Tanzania.

The country with an estimated population of 56 Million and a GDP close to $57 Billion according to World Bank (2018) has been put on the African map of quality leadership that strives to fight corruption and maintain good governance in all sectors of the economy. Nick-named the “Bulldozer” during his road-building tenure as minister of works, President John Magufuli just days after taking office in late 2015, cancelled the symbolic independence day fete and directed all the funds budgeted for the event to be used to widen a part of a highway notorious for gridlocks in the main city of Dar es Salaam. He also goes on to ban international travel for government delegates saving the state close to $430 Million in one-year, making it the fourth fastest growing economy in under 2 years of the new governance.

Africans on Twitter loved all of it – the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo? saw other African presidents being called into action to emulate the no-nonsense Tanzanian leader. Prof. PLO Lumumba gave a speech called Magufulification of Africa inspired by President Magufuli’s surname which has been recognized as a new verb which mean “To render or declare an action faster or cheaper; 2. to deprive [public officials] of their capacity to enjoy life at taxpayers’ expense; 3. to terrorize lazy and corrupt individuals in society.”

On the Neil economic scale a can of Coke will cost you 1,216.86 Tanzanian Shilling (R7.28) while the petrol price is TZS 2,333 (R14) per litre, averaging out on the overall reviews done to date.

Looking back at my visits to Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and the land of the Maasai, one can only be amazed. This nation of natural game parks, the wealth of beaches and resorts, precious resources like gold, tanzanite, oil and gas, must make it the envy of so many nations. The fact that poverty and wealth in the country is blatant, can make one only pray that leadership and people, lives up to its name and future of being its “ Mountain of Wealth”.

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