Courtesy visits, MoUs, Special agreements and further explorations
Rene Vesper/Detlef Müller-Mahn
Morogoro 28th of August
During an extended visit to Tanzania, Detlef Müller-Mahn, Rene Vesper, Jono Jackson and the local counterpart of CRC228 in Tanzania, Dr. Theobald Frank Theodory from Mzumbe University (MU), have been able to bring the CRC closer to the field work in rural Tanzania.
What happened before…
With the help of Dr. Theo and Mzumbe University, Detlef and Rene have each received national research permits by COSTECH, the responsible institution Tanzania. Although the permit is valid from June 2018 to June 2019, actual research may only start is once a few other bureaucratic steps have been taken (An internal CRC-document on Visa, Research Permit and Residence Permit in Tanzania is available for download).
Similar to the CRC, COSTECH works cross-scalar. After obtaining the national research permit, the relevant regional officials (e.g. Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Dodoma, etc.) must be informed about the intended research, after which also district and then village officials can be payed official visits. It is only after those three to four levels have been informed (in the right order!), when actual research may start.
Achievements in late August 2018
Very important for our future work in Tanzania was a first meeting with Mr. Geoffrey Kirenga, the CEO of SAGCOT at the SAGCOT centre in Dar es Salaam. The meeting was also attended by Ms. Rose Odengo, the SAGCOT public relations officer, Prof. Julia Verne and a student group from Bonn, and Dr. Stefan Ouma of the University of Frankfurt. The meeting of almost two hours was helpful in order to introduce the CRC and explore future contacts with SAGCOT.
On Thursday the 23rd, Detlef, Rene and Theo visited the Regional Secretariat in Morogoro. It took us only about 20 minutes, a few photos and handshakes, before we travelled further through Mikumi, right into the Kilombero Valley, all the way to Ifakara. The drive in a 4-wheel-drive car – given to us by MU – took us 4:30-5 hours.
In Ifakara we planned to a) visit the district officials to inform them about the upcoming research of the CRC, b) familiarise with Ifakara and the Kilombero Valley at large, which Detlef and Rene had not visited before, c) meet up with Jono who had used the comfortable train from Dar – which was on time, cheap, comfortable and took about 7 hours and d) visit the house that the CRC has been renting for a couple of months now.
A long day in Ifakara
On Friday 24th Detlef, Rene, Jono and Theo started their day with official visits of several offices in Ifakara. Although many officials were absent, we managed to speak to enacting officials. We used the opportunity to introduce our research team, to distribute CRC-material, including our CRC-tea-cups, shook officials‘ hands and took some pictures.
The officials were warmly welcoming us to Ifakara District and promised to write an introduction letter which CRC-members need to use when making research in the ward and village level. After those official visits, we explored the region south from Ifakara, a potential research region for some PhD students. We travelled to the mountainous village of Mahenge (70km and 90 min. drive from Ifakara), and further south to Mwaya and Ilonga villages along difficult tracks.
In Ifakara we visited the project house, where Bisrat, Matthias Langensiepen and Tibu, the new Tanzanian PhD student of project A03, had just done some field work. The house needs some repair, but is well suited to accommodate 5 to 6 researchers.
The CRC-house is circumvened by a wall and wire for security. It is situated in a quiet neighbourhood 2-3 kilometers outside the city centre of Ifakara and has at least five bed rooms, a kitchen, a living room, etc. for CRC-members.
Earlier that day the rent agreement had been extended by Bisrat and Tibu. Additionally, a list had been given to the landlord of what still needs to be rearranged, repaired and changed in the weeks and months to come, so that the house in ready, when more PhD students and enumerators for the survey will make their way to Ifakara.
Memorandum of Understanding and Special Agreement with Mzumbe University
On Saturday the 25th, Bisrat and Tibu had left for Daressalam early, before also Detlef, Rene and Theo made their way back to MU campus, where meanwhile 17 Master students from the Geography Department oft he University of Bonn (UoB) had been doing a joint field school with Tanzanian master students on methods of development geography.
After working on the text of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UoB and MU, as well as the Special Agreement (for buying the CRC-cars) on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, both contracts were finally signed on Tuesday, the 28th of August.
The MoU, combined with the Special Agreement, will enable the UoB to wire CRC-money to our Tanzanian partner university Mzumbe for the purchase of the CRC-cars (probably two new Toyota 4-wheel drive cars Hilux, or 1 Hilux and 1 Landcruiser – we are still struggling with budget and prices) in 2018, as well as the money for the upcoming research and residence permits.