Daily Monitor (Uganda): Posting ‘rumours’ on social media could land you in Tanzania jail. “It is now illegal to post “rumours” or messages that ‘ridicule, abuse or harm the reputation, prestige or status of the United Republic of Tanzania’ on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Tanzanian Information Minister Harrison Mwakyembe signed into law the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2020, which became operational on July 17. The new online content regulations effectively tighten state control over the internet and social media interactions.”
BBC: ‘My Tanzanian family is split over coronavirus’. “Since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Tanzania in March, I have been bombarded with messages and phone calls from colleagues, friends and family members living abroad. They’ve been wondering: how did a country with some of the most relaxed coronavirus measures in Africa manage to so far escape the kind of crisis which has visited many parts of the world. It’s a question puzzling even those of us who are living in the country.”
Denver Post: “We shouldn’t be curating people’s souls:” Denver museum repatriates sacred carvings to Kenyan tribes. “At the Denver museum, the discovery of 30 wooden statues sent curators on a quest to return the items said to hold the souls of ancestors. For the Mijikenda people in Kenya and northern Tanzania, the carvings — long rectangular, intricately designed bodies and round heads — both memorialize prominent members of the society who died and embody their spirits.”
ScienceBlog: Facial Recognition: The Next Step In Fight Against Rabies. “Researchers in Tanzania can now determine if a dog was vaccinated for the rabies virus with a cellphone camera image.”
Wired: A Remote Tanzanian Village Logs Onto the Internet. “Over a week, engineers from Copenhagen-based company Bluetown erected an 80-foot Wi-Fi tower topped with shiny solar panels and a microwave link antenna. It connected to a fiber backhaul 15 miles away, creating a half-mile-wide hot spot with download speeds up to 10 Mbps—fast enough for Netflix. Villagers rented smartphones from the company and paid 50 cents per gigabyte for the data they used, just over 1 percent of the average monthly income. And just like that, life began to change.”
IPP Media: Online database to level the job field for women scholars. “The MINISTRY of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children is preparing a database of Tanzanian women scholars, including those living abroad, to be uploaded online, to enhance their visibility and employability.”
The Citizen (Tanzania): Education authority to launch free online school library. “The online library, run by the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE), is a platform that offers free access to books to all public schools in the country, while those in private schools and individuals will pay at least Sh4,000 to access 48 textbooks and Sh2,000 to access supplementary readers.” 4000 Tanzania shillings is a little less than $2 USD, according to Google’s currency converter.
Techdirt: Governor Of Tanzania’s Capital Announces Plan To Round Up Everyone Who Was Too Gay On Social Media. “There has been an unfortunate trend in far too many African nations in which governments there look at the internet as either a source of evil in their countries or purely as a source for tax revenue, or both. The end result in many cases is a speech tax of sorts being placed on citizens in these countries, with traffic being taxed, bloggers being forced to register with the federal government, and populations that could otherwise benefit from a free and open internet being essentially priced out of the benefit altogether.”
Techdirt: Tanzania Plans To Outlaw Fact-Checking Of Government Statistics. “Back in April, Techdirt wrote about a set of regulations brought in by the Tanzanian government that required people there to pay around $900 per year for a license to blog. Despite the very high costs it imposes on people — Tanzania’s GDP per capita was under $900 in 2016 — it seems the authorities are serious about enforcing the law.”
The Verge: Strict new internet laws in Tanzania are driving bloggers and content creators offline. “In May, Tanzanian bloggers lost an appeal that had temporarily suspended a new set of regulations granting the country’s Communication Regulatory Authority discretionary powers to censor online content. Officially dubbed the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2018, the statute, which the Tanzanian government is counting among its efforts to curb hate speech and fake news, requires online content creators — traditional media websites, online TV and radio channels, but also individual bloggers and podcasters — to pay roughly two million Tanzanian shillings (930 US dollars) in registration and licensing fees.”
Quartz: Tanzania’s repressive online laws have forced the “Swahili Wikileaks” to close. “Jamii Forums announced it was forced to comply with a government notice that it apply for an online license or cease operation ahead of the June 15 deadline. As part of the new restrictions, the government must certify all bloggers and charge an annual license fee of over $900. Those defying the new orders face fines starting at five million Tanzanian shillings ($2,200) or a year in prison.”
The Next Web: Tanzania imposes strict social media regulations to stop ‘moral decadence’. “Tanzania has finally signed into law their eyebrow-raising new regulation that will govern social media and blogging. The regulation known as the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2017, was initially published by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and came into effect during March 2018.”
The Daily (Tanzania): Govt plans global Kiswahili spread. “THE Government has announced plans to set up database of professional Kiswahili teachers to facilitate identification and capacities of available professionals needed to popularise the language across the world.” Never heard of Kiswahili? The English name is Swahili.
IT News Africa: Tanzania: Government to regulate social media. “Social media users in Tanzania who break the new law set by the government will be blocked by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). The government drafted regulations for online content producers and users on social media. The TCRA published the draft Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2017, and the bill will come into force once signed by the information minister.”
AllAfrica: Tanzania: Govt Tightens Noose On Social Media. “The government has drafted sweeping regulations to tighten its grip on online content producers and users across popular social media platforms. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) will have unfettered powers to police the web. It will also licence all content providers, including bloggers.”