Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority has a new conservator in the person of Dr. Freddy Safieli Manongi who was appointed by President Jakaya Kikwete to head the NCAA on 30th October 2013. Dr. Manongi, who previously served as Acting Rector at the prestigious College of African Wildlife Management Mweka in Kilimanjaro Region is aiming to create a balance between conservation, tourism and human existence at the World Heritage Site.
An expert ecologist and conservator at heart, Dr. Manongi obtained his Technician Certificate and Ordinary Diploma in Wildlife Management from the College of African Wildlife Management, Tanzania (Mweka).
The new NCAA conservator also holds a Certificate in Conservation Project Planning from the University of Bradford, England and has earned a Bachelor Degree in Zoology and Wildlife Ecology from the University of Dar Es Salaam and a Masters Degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
He also earned a Ph.D. in Religio-culture and Ecology from the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom. Religio-culture and ecology is a new area of study engaged in exploring religious and cultural worldviews, in order to broaden the understanding of human interaction with the ecosystem and to better manage the complex nature of current wildlife and environmental concerns.
As a scholar in this area, Dr. Manongi is academically poised to address the multifaceted issues of interactions between the indigenous people of Ngorongoro, wildlife management and the development of tourism in the NCA.
Dr Manongi worked at Mweka College since 1991 and during this tenure he held various other positions, including Tutorial Assistant, Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Director of Customer Care and Deputy Principal Academic, Research and Consultancy.
The conservator is not new to the field of wildlife management, law enforcement and environmental planning in Tanzania having started his career in the Wildlife Division as Senior Ranger at Moyowosi Game Reserve in 1982.
Between 1982 and 1991, Dr. Manongi worked with the Anti-Poaching Unit (Northern Zone) and taught at the Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute of the Wildlife Division in Mwanza. He also worked with the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Planning Unit between 1992 and 1994. During his time with TANAPA, Dr. Manongi was involved in the development of the Management Zone Plans for Serengeti, Tarangire and Ruaha National Parks.
Also, he was involved in the preparation of General Management Plans (GMPs) for several National Parks in Tanzania. During the same period, Dr. Manongi participated in the establishment of the Planning Manual and Development, Action and Lease Procedures for TANAPA. In 2006 and 2010, Dr Manongi facilitated the design and review of the GMP for NCAA, respectively. Dr Manongi has worked with the people of local communities in various places and in a myriad of ways. In addition to teaching community wildlife management for 23 years at Mweka, Dr. Manongi had been involved in the design of Resource Zone Management Plans (RZMPs) for more than 12 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the country. He has also facilitated community level trainings in various parts of Tanzania.
Dr Manongi also has international experience. He worked with the Ministry for Finance and Development Planning in Botswana between 1999 and 2001, as Environmental Technical Advisor. He also worked, for short-term contracts, in Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya.
When asked about his priorities at NCAA Dr. Manongi stated, “Ngorongoro is a complex ecosystem that has evolved over more than 5 million years. Understanding these complexities very quickly, for less than 5 million years, is my number one priority”.
‘’Again in order to deal with the complexities and challenges facing NCA, comprehensive management frameworks in the form of policies, plans, structures and procedures are required. My second priority, therefore, would be to work with NCAA, local communities, stakeholders and international community teams to put up systems to address staff matters, existing human-wildlife interactions and tourism development issues” he said. “The NCA is also rich in archaeological resources and history. These, too, need systems to promote and protect them. I will spend the rest of my official time in Ngorongoro working as a team member to implement these management frameworks. I also know that there are some immediate staff, community and tourism investment issues to address; I already have started to work with my teams to address them.’’