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Vodacom Tanzania says Sylvia Mulinge denied work permit

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Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, with Ms Sylvia Mulinge at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Telecom operator Vodacom Tanzania has confirmed that the work permit application for Sylvia Mulinge who had been appointed chief executive officer was declined by the Labour Commissioner.

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE)-listed telco said on Friday, in a brief statement, that it would now recommence the search for Ms Mulinge’s replacement.

“Vodacom Tanzania remains fully committed to identifying a candidate that will not only inspire confidence in investors but also have the requisite governance capability as CEO of a listed company,” the mobile operator said.

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“Naturally, we are disappointed, and we regret the Labour Commissioner’s decision. We will be engaging with the authorities. We are confident that Vodacom Tanzania has a strong management team in place to lead the company effectively until the search for a suitable candidate is finalised,” Vodacom Tanzania Chairman Ali Mufuruki said.

The statement did not explain the reasons for the government’s decision but the media reported that the authorities believe there are more experienced Tanzanians to take on the task. Efforts to reach the Labour Commissioner’s office proved futile as telephone calls went unanswered.

The Vodacom statement came out following the news that Ms Mulinge was picked back to Safaricom #ticker:SCOM after nearly five months of unresolved work permit issues, which locked her out of Tanzania.

Ms Mulinge, Safaricom’s former marketing director, should have started her new job in June after taking over from Ian Ferrao.

Currently, Mr Hisham Hendi is the mobile company’s acting chief executive officer.



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Firm roots for PPPs in universal healthCARE

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General Manager of General Electric (GE) Health for sub-Sharan Africa, Eyong Ebai

The government has been urged to engage the private sector more in funding universal healthcare in the wake of Covid-19.

General Manager of General Electric (GE) Health for sub-Sharan Africa Eyong Ebai said the pandemic had demonstrated that governments alone cannot fund public health systems.

“There are two sides to the discussion and the first is in regards to supporting governments to create demand-side activity so there is appropriate funding that the supply side can then provide services to the general public,” said Mr Ebai in a recent interview. 

“On the demand side, we need to focus on instruments that can share risk and typically this will be in the form of health insurance programmes that can be national health insurance schemes like in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa,” he added.

In the upcoming 2021/2022 budget, the National Treasury has allocated Sh121 billion to the Health Ministry, representing an increase of Sh3 billion from the current financial year that ends in June. 

Treasury has allocated another Sh47.7 billion for the universal healthcare plan, bringing the total allocation to the country’s health sector at Sh168 billion for the 2021/2022 financial year. 

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However, this represents 1.7 per cent of the country’s GDP and is below the international average spending for low-income countries that stood at 6.3 per cent as of 2019.

According to Ebai, governments can also tap into regional authorities through developing state or provincial-wide health insurance schemes that will directly benefit local communities, thus easing the pressure on central governments. 

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“The real trick for Africa is to tap into the informal sector as well as the formal sector,” he explained.

“This means everyone pays a small premium towards a pot which then goes towards providing coverage for individuals when they become unwell.” 

This is especially crucial as more than 80 per cent of patients on the continent still meet trig healthcare bills through out-of-pocket payments.

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The upside of waiving the patent on Covid-19 vaccines

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The patent holder gets a monopoly to make money if the patent is commercialised.

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Regulator cracks whip on rogue digital Saccos

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Regulator cracks whip on rogue digital Saccos

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