My travels are paying off in a big way: Samia

Monday October 18 2021
Samia pic

President Samia Suluhu Hassan waves at Arusha residents as she leaves Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium after holding a public rally in Arusha. PHOTO|STATE HOUSE

By Alex Nelson Malanga
By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha/Dar. President Samia Suluhu Hassan has defended her trips outside the country since assuming the presidency last March, saying the trips have been beneficial to Tanzanians.

She cited her official visit to Kenya in May, saying it has raised trade between the two neighbours sixfold.

President Hassan said this here yesterday when she addressed a gathering in Arusha as part of her ongoing working visit to the region.

President Hassan - who took over from the late President John Magufuli on March 19 this year following the latter’s death on March 17 - travelled to Uganda in April where she met with her Ugandan counterpart, President Yoweri Museveni, and other stakeholders in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

In May, she made a two-day state visit to Kenya where she and her Kenyan counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta, discussed improving trade relations between the two countries.

In the same month, she made a day trip to Kampala to witness the swearing-in of President Museveni, following his win in the 2021 Uganda general election.


In June, President Hassan went to Mozambique’s capital Maputo for a Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) where they discussed issues of regional integration, cooperation and development.

In July, she went to Burundi in an effort to increase business co-operation between the two countries.

In August, the President visited Rwanda.

In August, she went to Malawi’s capital Lilongwe where she took part in the 41st Sadc Heads of State Summit.

Later in the same month, she went to Zambia to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Hakainde Hichilema.

In September, President Hassan attended the 76th UN General Assembly (Unga) meeting in New York City.

Data show that it was her first trip to Kenya that saw to the latter lifting its ban of maize and other imports from Tanzania in the spirit of good neighbourliness.

“I am told the volume of traded goods at the Namanga border post has gone up by six times,” she said at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium.

According to the EAC, Tanzania exports to Kenya hit a record $167 million in the six months to June this year.

The phenomenal 75 percent increase - despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic - has been attributed to the thawing relations between the two neighbours.

President Hassan scorned those who claim she has been travelling too much outside the country, saying the trips were beneficial to the economy.

Last month, she was in New York where she addressed the UN General Assembly as Tanzanian head of state in years.

She also used the occasion to hold discussions with a number of leaders of international organizations, including the country’s development partners.

She also announced that some Sh.90.2 billion was to be released as a stimulus package to the Covid-19 ravaged tourism sector.

The cash will shore up the sector whose earnings dropped steeply after the outbreak of the pandemic in December 2019.

Meanwhile, the government said yesterday that the water woes that Arusha residents have been grappling with for years will be a thing of the past by June next year. This, President Hassan said, follows the implementation of a Sh520 billion project whose water supply will be much higher than demand.

Speaking earlier on the matter, Water Minister Jumaa Aweso said that, upon completion of the project that is being implemented by the Arusha Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (Auwsa), some 200 million litres of water will be produced daily against the current demand of 109 million litres.

The project construction has now reached 75 percent.

Speaking at Chekereni in Arumeru District President Hassan said the impact of the project will start to be felt with effect from December this year.

“We are optimistic that the challenge of clean water supply in Arusha will come to an end by June next year,” she noted, asking taxpayers to keep paying their dues for the general good of the country.

President Hassan also inaugurated a Sh2.5 billion modern Hospital for Arusha city.

The Head of State applauded the Arusha city for constructing the hospital using its own money. She assured tourisms sectr players of the government’s commitment to improving they sector after the Covid-19 pandemic, saying some Sh90.2 billion from the Sh1.3 trillion International Monetary Fund loan will be spent as stimulus package for tourism against the pandemic.