Dubai-Dar deal dystopia: If you don’t feel port pact, please stand

Saturday July 15 2023

Dar es Salaam Port, Tanzania. PHOTO | ROB BEECHEY | WORLD BANK


The Dar port issue is stressing us out, man. Tanzanians are speaking out about it, and it looks like the general opinion is a strong No!

We want to be involved, we want transparency, we want to know what the contract says, we want to know if they’re going to put in machines that will take away human jobs. If the government is in the driving seat or the Legislature; when and why and how they did pass this “agreement” and then surprise us all with it.

People are speaking out on it and getting threatened, I see Dr Willibrod Slaa has a speech out. We don’t like surprises, not right now.

Read: Dubai deal exposes inefficiences at Dar port

On behalf of the overlooked Generation Xers: listen, we are sandwiching hard here. We have ageing parents, some of whom nurse broken hearts watching this country they helped to build straining under pressure. We don’t know what to say to them. And we have the young ones coming up and they are smarter and faster and stronger and often kinder, and I could go on.

And we have our careers, and also there are wildfires, and the climate people are telling us that we might have crossed over into an environmental apocalypse and the war in Ukraine.


So, here we are, going to recitals and games and also reading the doctors’ prescriptions because, yes indeed, we do read in cursive and write in cursive as well.

And AI ads keep popping up on our devices to tell us our jobs are in jeopardy — as if we don’t know. We watched the movies, hey.

Terminator, The Matrix. We’re still making movies and shows, imaging the present and the future. Stories, because we are humans, that is how we transmit knowledge and we explore ideas and we cope, and we escape and get a break. Or try to read into the future?

And this future is here now. And, thinking out loud, maybe so many of us have tattoos, not just because it is a beautiful thing but because we are trying to record our histories, or heal a trauma, or keep a talisman close. Or all three, and more.

And we braid our hair, or shave our heads, or lock it like the ancestors did to feel real, connected, safe, soothed. Lest we go adrift in this confusing world, where we don’t get enough sleep because of evangelical revivals and Zumaridi is naming herself G-d and at least one teacher has said that some of the children are starting to believe it. But we are needed.

Read: ULIMWENGU: A deep dive into dubious Dubai-Dar deal

We are the workforce. And these are times of change, trying times. Apparently, the past can only give so much in terms of how to cope with the future. So, we tend to our careers or jobs and in between we recommend books, movies, music and other content to each other. Therapists, priests, gardening experts, doctors specialising in geriatrics or paediatrics, schools, comedians.

This plays out in its own version wherever you are, life finds you wherever you are. So, if we are not happy about the port deal with this company from Dubai, please understand. And we mean it: We need to know; we need to talk. Is it good for us all?

Elsie Eyakuze is an independent consultant and blogger for The Mikocheni Report; Email [email protected]