THE Rufiji Basin Development Authority (RUBADA) bade farewell to its board of directors that ended its second three-year term recently.
Our Correspondent revisits at what has been achieved by the board under the Chairmanship of Prof. Raphael Mwalyosi.
RUBADA was established by the Act of Parliament No. 5 of 1975 charged with Multi-Sectoral responsibility of promoting, regulating, co-coordinating and facilitating sustainable and balanced by term Ecological and socio Economic development in the Sector of Energy, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism, mining, industry, transport and environment in the basin.
The Authority's mission according to its official website is to promote, regulate, coordinate and facilitate sustainable long-term ecological and socio-economic development activities in the sector of energy, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism, mining, industry and transport in the Rufiji Basin.
The RUBADA board, under the chairmanship of Prof. Mwalyosi is credited for having transformed the authority and helping it shed its "white elephant" tag, the authority had for long been associated with. Upon its appointment, the board set out to ensure it performed its duties diligently in order to realize goals in line with the authority's mission and vision. As board chairman, Prof. Mwalyosi knew RUBADA very well.
After completing his Masters Degree in 1979, RUBADA was looking for an ecologist and he landed the post, which he held from July 1979 until early 1980s when he went back to the University of Dar es Salaam and led an academic life. When he was appointed the board chairperson for the first time in 2006, the institution was in a very precarious situation; a white elephant.
"Everything was in shambles and we had a lot to do to turn this institution around," Prof. Mwalyosi says, adding: "Indeed we have accomplished a lot and our record speaks for itself." Under his tenure the board has enabled mobilization of RUBADA's income from 483,250,000/- in 2010/2011 to 3,146,425,000/- in 2013/14 financial year.
Also the board is leaving while the long awaited Stieglers Gorge hydro power project is taking shape, with a report and proposal for development of the project having been completed and presented to the government. The proposal, presented few months ago followed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between RUBADA and Odebrecht International, a reputable dam construction company late last year.
The proposal will now give a clear picture on the implementation of the project. Once completed, the project will have the potential to produce 2100 MW. On agriculture, Prof. Mwalyosi says that the government has entrusted RUBADA to implement the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) especially in Rufiji Basin and that the work done so far is encouraging and one to be proud of.
He said the out-going board believes that the RUBADA management will closely work with the forthcoming board members and make sure that they accomplish what they have left unaccomplished and push the institution forward. He requests the government to help RUBADA to have its own pool of professionals to enable it achieve its objectives more effectively.
He explains that RUBADA is now in a position to accomplish a lot of things compared to the past but one of the main challenges is that it lacks enough experts who are crucial in bringing the authority to another level.
"The government has to think of helping this institution on this matter," he says. For his part, the Director General for RUBADA, Mr Aloyce Masanja says his organization was happy to work with the outgoing board and accomplished together a number of projects.
"We would like to thank them... their job was exemplary," he says. He says RUBADA passed through a very challenging period but the board working closely with the management managed to rise through hard times and move forward.
A former board member who also doubles as the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Eng. Mbogo Futakamba said the board has accomplished a lot especially in empowering farmers in projects areas run by RUBADA.