TAWA for e-auctioning of hunting blocks soon

14May 2019
Henry Mwangonde
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
TAWA for e-auctioning of hunting blocks soon

THE Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) is to introduce a new auctioning system for big game hunting blocks next month, in a drive to enhance transparency and curbing corruption in that part of the tourism sector.

A statement issued by the state-run wildlife watchdog said that the system expected to start next month will enable TAWA auction 26 hunting blocks for the first time since its establishment.

Currently, there are 26 vacant hunting blocks within Game Reserves (GRs), Game Controlled Areas (GCAs) and Open Areas (OAs) that are immediately available for e-auctioning.

TAWA said eligible hunting companies can be allocated up to five hunting blocks each, which shall be of different categories. Auctioning will commence on 10th June and last for seven consecutive days, it affirmed.

Allocation of hunting blocks by government officials to tourist companies has been dogged by suspicions of impropriety and loss of revenues, hence the new initiative is expected to end apparent malpractices.

 “TAWA invites applications ... for the allocation of tourist hunting blocks through electronic auctioning (e-auctioning),” the statement reads in part.

Most hunting blocks are located in the 50,000 square-kilometre Selous Game Reserve ecosystem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for large herds of elephants, lions, zebras, black rhinos, giraffes and other exotic species.

Anyone wishing to apply needs to have a company registered with the Registrar of Companies in Tanzania (BRELA), intending to engage in the hunting of animals.

 Eligible applicants must have at least have one of its directors have five years experience in wildlife based business and conservation in Tanzania.

The applicant must also ensure the company meets requirements of Section 39(3)(a) of the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Tourism is the main source of foreign currency in Tanzania, best known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Revenues from the sector were put at $2.43 billion last year, up from $2.19 billion in 2017, on the bass of official data.

Tourist arrivals totalled 1.49 million last year, compared with 1.33 million a year ago.

The Tanzanian government wants to bring more than two million tourists a year by end of next year and five million by late 2025.