WHYS goes to Africa…

t23March 10th will be a special programme for me. World Have Your Say will be coming to you from Tanzania.

I have always had a strong connection with East Africa. My great grandfather chose to migrate to Tanzania from India over a hundred years ago. He came from a small town in the west of India where economic opportunities were bleak – the land in his village was completely barren. He moved to East Africa for a better life and I have had family there ever since.

The family ran a small textile and DIY business in the centre of Dar-es-Salaam which shut down a few years ago. The business was the family’s pride and joy. Many of my relatives, including my parents left Tanzania when the country became socialist under Julius Nyerere.

I never got a chance to meet my  grandfathers, but I would love to know why they chose Africa and not another part of the world as their new home-it was after all a totally unknown land for them. I often wonder if they had not taken that step whether I would have the same opportunities that I have today.

I was in Dar-es-salaam ten years ago. I returned with my parents who were amazed at how much the city had progressed since their youth. According to them, business was booming- but is that still the case today? The down side for them was the increase in crime that came with the economic boom.  So is it still the place that my grandfathers called the land of opportunity?

I am really looking forward to producing the programme from Dar-es-salaam. The BBC team will be there for a big IMF conference looking at how the financial crisis has affected Africa. I’d love to hear from listeners in Africa about how (if at all) they have been affected by the economic crisis. Do you run or work for a small business in Africa? Has your business or job felt the impact of the financial meltdown? And if you are Dar-es-salaam, do you have any ideas about where we could broadcast from?

9 Responses to “WHYS goes to Africa…”

  1. 1 yipe
    March 5, 2009 at 09:24

    Hi Krupa,

    Its great to hear that WHYs will in Dar next week. I run an organisation that assists young entrepreneurs in East Africa and can tell you that the challenges are uphill as a result of the global financial meltdown.

    For one, the export market isn’t as assured as it was before, but on the plus side, this has made business people have to look within Africa to make a profit.

    The usual barriers to enterprise still exist, except that the crisis has also led to the emergence of new business opportunities. The diaspora funds injection isn’t as much as it was which has led to the emergence of pay-day loan operators as well as the rising number of debt collectors!

  2. 2 In singapore
    March 5, 2009 at 10:48

    China has given a lot of aid to AFRICA but the western media either ignore it or criticise it. Are there any TANZANIANS grateful to China or skewed by western media.

  3. March 5, 2009 at 14:51

    Hi Krupa
    BBC Hard Talk: Aid Impoverishes Africa, Stifles Growth
    Pls comment.

  4. 4 Josh Maiyo
    March 5, 2009 at 18:36

    Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are not likely to be impacted too much by the current economic crunch since most of them are not directly connected to the international markets.

    Africa is however going to suffer the most in its raw-materials and extractive commodities exports sectors since these are directly linked to international markets.

    The tragedy of Africa is that the bulk of its (raw materials and extractive commodities) export trade is liked more to the western markets while trade among and within africa is minimal. Thus if there is a slump in global demand for raw materials, then their market value shrinks and Africa suffers.

    I am a Kenyan living in the Netherlands and most economic indicators show that Africa will be affected most by declining remittances from its ever growing diaspora who are currently most affected by the economic crisis. Most have been laid off, or have seen their working hours reduced to a bare minimum. Most employers now prefer to give first priority to their own (European) citizens.

    Recipient families in Africa that use remittances to safeguard their livelihoods, pay for basic services and small investments will suffer the most and this will then have a direct negative impact in their purchasing power, overall consumption and foreign exchange at the macro-level.


  5. 5 Nelson
    March 6, 2009 at 09:52

    I a bit surprised that WHYS has not come to Nigeria. Yet.

  6. March 6, 2009 at 15:20

    Hey Krupa, should i say welcome.. 🙂

    The Crisis affects Africa in a lot of ways, Nigeria my country in particular has been affected – although our political leaders and ministers will say otherwise. But hope you have a wonderful stay in Africa nonetheless 😉

  7. 7 Shakhoor Rehman
    March 7, 2009 at 12:22

    How do Tanzanians feel about Julius Nyerere these days?

  8. 8 suleiman
    March 9, 2009 at 19:27

    please comment why foreigner in south africa are targeted by the south african people, day in day out, are been killed, specially eastern cape.

  9. March 22, 2009 at 00:03

    Your are Great. And so is your site! Awesome content. Good job guys! Interesting article, adding it to my favourites!

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