Oracle Academy steps up ICT training in Nigeria

Oracle boosts
Nigeria training

New computing
education pathways.

Tuesday, Oct 23rd

Tanzania law punishing critics of statistics "deeply concerning" - World Bank

Tanzania law punishing critics of statistics "deeply concerning" - World Bank

The World Bank said it was deeply concerned about new Tanzanian legislation which would punish anyone who questions official statistics, saying the law would undermine the production of useful and high quality data.

Lawmakers last month passed amendments to the Statistics Act that would impose fines, at least three years jail time, or both, on anyone who questioned the accuracy of official figures. The attorney general said the changes were needed to enforce standards.

Opposition groups and other critics have said the changes were part of a broader government crackdown on dissent and criticism of its political and economic record - a charge dismissed by authorities.

The World Bank said the changes to the law - which still have to be approved by President John Magufuli - were "out of line with international standards".

"We have shared our concerns with the Tanzanian authorities that the amendments, if implemented, could have serious impacts on the generation and use of official and non-official statistics, which are a vital foundation for the country's development," the Washington-based lender said late on Tuesday.

The World Bank said was talking to authorities about whether it would continue supporting a programme to produce systems to create "reliable and timely statistics".

Government spokesmen were not immediately reachable for comment, though the finance ministry was expected to make a statement, an official there told Reuters.

Under the amendments, people who question the accuracy of official statistics will face a fine of at least 10 million Tanzanian Shillings ($4,370), at least three years in jail, or both.

"The saying 'research is discredited by other research' will lose its meaning in Tanzania because researchers will not allowed to criticise official data," said Richard Mbunda, a Political Science lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam.

Local businessmen and foreign investors have said economic activity in the country has dramatically slowed since Magufuli took office in 2015 pledging to limit foreign ownership in critical sectors such as mining.

The government denies that it is trying to curb dissent and argues that corruption has robbed Tanzania of profits from its resources for years.

The finance ministry forecast in June that the economy will grow by 7.2% in 2018, up from around 7.1% last year.

ALSO ON ITWEB AFRICA

Big data's role in Africa's fight against malaria Published on 15 October 2018

Newly launched data visualisation tool to be deployed in Zambia, Senegal and Ethiopia.

ContinuitySA celebrates a decade in Mozambique with plans for growth Published on 16 October 2018

ContinuitySA, Africa's leading provider of business continuity and resilience solutions, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its business in Mozambique. The company's Mozambiquan journey began with a small work area recovery facility and data centre at Matola, just south of Maputo, in 2008.

A Higher Intelligence: Huawei Unveils HUAWEI Mate 20 Series Published on 17 October 2018

Huawei Consumer Business Group unveils the HUAWEI Mate 20 Series.

Crypto-backed solar programme launches in Uganda Published on 09 October 2018

Wala, CP-EM partner to create utility-scale, grid-connected renewable power systems.