Below you will find the link to my slideshow.

This trip was exactly what I wanted. I was able to meet some people who worked with me in 1977 and ’78 on the Sekenke project thanks to the staff at the Stamico office in Dodoma. I was glad to see that the Sekenke gold prospect is now mined after having been unclaimed for more than 40 year.

I saw the Tanzanian way of mining next to the Chinese way. The Tanzania way is labour intensive but does not require much capital investment. Having several groups of people sinking shafts left and right and hammering rock to powder without much care for safety is a concern. Especially if you see that the gold is extracted via mercury in the open air. I hope the distillation of the mercury is done in a more safe manner. It was heartwarming to see the elders in the rundown Sekenke village pouring over the computer and recognising their family members on my old photographs.

My previous trips were done in the dry season so I did not expect the countryside to be so green with many rice fields on the way to Mwanza. All four tourist sites I visited (Kondora, Ujiji, Gombe and Kilwa) lived up to expectation. There was ample accommodation in all price classes along the way. I tend to stay in the more basic local accommodation because if things do not work, as is not uncommon, you don’t feel like complaining because it is included in the price. The roads along the way are excellent. Only some 400 km out of the 4000 km I drove was not surfaced (Kibondo – Kasulu and Uyinzi – Urambo). This is a great improvement since 1977. However I still do not understand why owners of guesthouses do not improve the road to their guesthouse. It would certainly be to their benefit.

There is still not much business development in Tanzania. Most people walk along the roads and sell each other food products. These activities cost little capital investment. Why are there no larger enterprises being set up? Certainly the Government can stimulated investments which would benefit the economy. For example a textile industry or car assembly plants. Is it the bureaucracy or does a daily paid job not fit into the local lifestyle? It should be unethical to siphon off money from entepreneurs who take the risk, make the investment and do work without doing any work yourself.

Rudy Welling

Assen 7-4-2022 Tanzania 2022