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Advice to youth: Don’t take away the respect for elders

Respect your elders, Respect yourself and respect everyone.If you matter, then everyone matters.

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From The Citizen By Saumu Jumanne


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How people treat the helpless, especially the aged, the children and the sick talks a lot about their collective moral character. Yes, if you don’t work, you should not eat, but we also know that we must provide for the children and elderly who cannot work, out of their age. That is what humanity is all about.

When we were young, one would always leave a seat in public transport to allow any old man or woman to sit. Not so easy any longer. In Dar es Salaam for instance, whether one is using a daladala (minibus) or mwendokasi, rapid bus services, young people will sit comfortably without considering the elderly.


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In the good old years, children and youth went to great lengths, not to disrespect the elders. Today it is a different song. We have harrowing stories from towns and villages of youths who verbally keep on abusing their parents and elders.

In most of the African traditional society, elders played many important roles in providing guidance to the family and community. It was a must to respect them. Of course, there were wise and foolish elders, but whichever the case, the younger generation was required to treat them with decorum. In our Tanzanian culture, the traditions of the land, law and order and initiation ceremonies were entrusted to the elderly. It means the elders were pivotal for the general well being of the people.


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In all major faiths in the world; Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism among others, it is a virtue to respect parents and elders. It’s paramount for building up a good society. In some developed countries, nursing homes for the elderly are a huge business. Grown-up children are not able to take care of their elderly parents at home and so they send them to such facilities. In Africa, our elders are our blessings and we love to stay with them and take care of them at home.

According to HelpAge, only about 4 percent of older people in Tanzania receive a pension, which means the large majority have to depend on their families. The government has a few homes for the elderly/aged, where there are no families to cater for them.


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The thoughts about our elders came as I read a story in the media of the government approving payment for retirees in police, prisons and Immigration. It is great that our President, Samia Suluhu Hassan has approved Sh3.877 billion for the payments of retired officials, some of whom have been waiting for some time now. The announcement about the approval was made by the Home Affairs Minister George Simbachawene in Parliament in Dodoma.

As we know, in dear motherland, compulsory retirement age is 60 years. Yes, it is old age and after all, is life expectancy not 65 years in the dear motherland? So, if you delay the pension for 5 years that person, God forbid, could die, before ‘eating” his/her pension!

After someone has worked for her/his country for most of his/her life, it’s only prudent to expedite all their payments, so that one can start a new life. It is unimaginable, the pain some retiree undergo as they wait for so long. Some of them have to borrow money, sometimes, good health is no longer guaranteed.

All the same, the retirees who get a pension in Tanzania are lucky, because the majority of their age-mates, their “pension” is at the mercy of their children. Thus, their children have to take care of them, and when they don’t, it is a huge problem!

Our neighbour Kenyans came up with ‘Inua Jamii Senior Citizens’ scheme social pension’ offering universal pension coverage for all citizens of Kenya once they reach 70 years of age. I think this is a good thing. Kudos to them!

Saumu Jumanne is an Assistant Lecturer, Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE)


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Entertainment

Interview – Adam Matthews, Church of England Pensions Board: “In five years you will see a very different landscape in tailings management”

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The Global Tailings Review (GTR) released last year the first-ever Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, aimed at strengthening current best practices around tailings dams in the mining sector.


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The standard is the result of a more than one-year process started by the United Nations Environment Program, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Council on Metals and Mining (ICMM).

“The collective realization that waste has been managed as an externality was alarming, and despite the good practice that existed within some companies, this was a sector-wide systemic challenge that needs serious focus from investors,” said Adam Matthews, investment team director of the Church of England Pensions Board, in an interview with Global Business Reports:


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GBR: What led to the creation of the Investor Mining & Tailings Safety Initiative?


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Matthews: A few years ago, we developed our ethical policy for investing in the mining sector to identify the key issues, and how to we can responsibly engage and invest. One of the issues highlighted was an ongoing concern around tailings dams, prior to Brumadinho but following the Mariana disaster, where we felt that the companies (BHP and Vale) had been engaged by investors but the sector-wide issue still remained. A sector-wide approach was needed, and we started to put that in place. Then Brumadinho happened.

This was the moment we felt we simply had to mobilize other investors that share the same concern. These disasters were clearly not black swan events, but a recurring set of disasters, and there was a disconnect between the continued growth in waste and the way it was being managed and the risk, both ethical and financial that investors faced.


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GBR: What were the first steps of the initiative, and what is its main aim?

Matthews: In the week following Brumadinho, we initiated a public call between a group of other asset owners and fund managers, including the Swedish pension funds, the major Dutch pension funds, and New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super). From that, we formed an initiative of investors that were going to remain engaged on this issue until it was addressed. The current group now controls over $24 trillion in assets.

In the first instance, the focus was to understand tailings, learn how dams are constructed, how the risk is managed, and what is good practice. The collective realization that waste has been managed as an externality was alarming, and despite the good practice that existed within some companies, this was a sector-wide systemic challenge that needs serious focus from investors. To be clear, we want the mining sector to flourish and succeed, but not to do so with such incidents as Brumadinho. We are committed to work with industry to find practical solutions, but with a clear focus that the outcome will be a reformed sector.

GBR: How much progress has been made by the initiative so far, and what are the implications for companies that do not follow the standard?

Matthews: We made a series of interventions, the first of which was to clearly indicate to every board of every listed mining company that investors are deeply concerned about this issue, that a new standard was needed, and that we wanted to work with industry to achieve this. This led to the launch of the Global Tailings Standard in August. We also asked every board to take a more critical look at their tailings facilities, which many companies did and put additional measures in place. We then made a public disclosure request, to aid our understanding of the risk that companies carry. We have also called for a 24/7 monitoring hub for the highest-risk facilities.

The standard will require implementation, and we are now in advanced discussions with the UN to create an independent institute to take the Standard forward. We intend to make a clear requirement for the continued investment and support of investors, banks and insurers, that companies need to adopt and implement the Standard. Sector-wide reform will take time and it is no small task, but significant steps have already been taken. In five years’ time, I think you will see a very different landscape.

The mining industry needs to succeed, and investors can work proactively on a range of issues to ensure we move the sector forward so that the best practices become widespread. There is an inevitability here, but also an opportunity to work collaboratively to drive the change that is needed.


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Art & Culture

Modelling in Africa: Pursuing dreams, challenging perceptions

So what exactly does it mean to be a model in Africa in 2021?

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France 24


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They were supposed to come from Johannesburg, Brazzaville, Lagos and Abidjan but their travel plans were thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic The eighth edition of the Lomé International Fashion Festival had to recruit models from closer to home instead, with a handful managing to travel to the Togolese capital from Ghana and Gabon. So what exactly does it mean to be a model in Africa in 2021? We hear first-hand from some of those in the industry.


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‘Girls Trip’ already surpasses ‘Rough Night’ in opening weekend

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