Last Sunday, President John Magufuli accepted the credentials of a new US ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Donald J. Wright, at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Wright becomes the 19th full-time American ambassador to Tanzania following Mr Mark Childress’ departure in October 2016.
For nearly four years thereafter, the world’s leading economic powerhouse was represented in Tanzania by the US chargé d’affaires, Dr Inmi Patterson, until last June.
Then the US government appointed Dr Wright as a full-time emissary to the country. The Texas-born diplomat has been a leader in public health and health policy at both the domestic and international levels for the last seventeen years, focusing mainly on family medicine and occupational health.
Clearly, Dr Wright is held in high esteem by the government of President Donald Trump.
Therefore, his solemn pledge to President Magufuli (when he presented his credentials) that he is fully committed to ensuring that the partnership between the two nation-states remains strong is most welcome indeed as being both credible and creditable.
In the economic development stakes, for example, the US is among the three top sources of foreign direct investments in Tanzania, having so far invested $4.7 billion in 3,179 development projects – thereby creating about 550,000 jobs for Tanzanians.
In terms of grants-in-aid, the US government allocated $682 million two years ago in support of our country’s health and healthcare needs.
That was when US relations were under a chargé d’affaires, not an ambassador-plenipotentiary with full powers to represent, decide and/or act on behalf of their home government and country.
Dr Wright is such a full-fledged plenipotentiary – and, as such, we have every reason to take his pledge to bolster US/Tanzania relations at face value.
‘Welcome to the fold, Dr Wright,’ we happily chorus.