Samia lists areas of focus in foreign policy review

President Samia Suluhu Hassan (left) speaks during a meeting with Tanzania’s ambassadors prior to the opening of the envoy’s conference in Zanzibar yesterday. PHOTO | STATE HOUSE

What you need to know:

  • She said the current foreign policy was adopted 20 years ago, and during that time, the workplace had seen a number of changes that called for a readjustment

Zanzibar. President Samia Suluhu Hassan detailed 10 areas that Tanzanian diplomats serving the nation abroad must consider as they study the new foreign policy that has been suggested.

According to President Hassan, the current foreign policy was adopted 20 years ago, and during that time, the workplace had seen a number of changes that called for a readjustment of the current strategy.

“The document will be presented to you, and we need your advice on it. It should be focused on the changes the world is going through, such as the effects of climate change, global health issues, international crime, and the fourth industrial revolution,” she noted.

Additionally, the Head of State spoke on changes in international politics, saying: “Our foreign policy should address this as we are currently experiencing the re-emergence of wrenching politics between superpower countries, which want to drag African nations into their conflicts.

She continued: “We need also to look at the global impacts resulting from such conflicts on currencies, energy, and food security.”

President Hassan asserted that Tanzanian envoys should also think about how their country might gain from the Asian economy, which generates at least 40 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the world’s leader in terms of production, innovation, and business and investment.

 “Please share your thoughts on the strategies that will allow Tanzania to participate in such a forum and profit greatly from what will be offered to our country. However, our strategy should also be in line with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” she said.

“This should also reflect on what is happening within the East African block, where the number of its members increased from five to seven following the recent admission of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),” she added.

Furthermore, President Hassan desired that the policy under consideration take into account the country’s needs, which include the new-fang led blue economy, and that all Tanzanian diplomatic missions sell to the global.

“This is a new vocabulary, and we need to take it on board with us, wherever we are; we need to sell it; we need to have some mechanisms through which the blue economy is to be implemented,” she noted.

The president, on the other hand, noted how Swahili is thriving and rapidly growing and that it was both foreign policy and ambassadors’ duty to work for the country’s benefits. Media reports have it that Swahili is among the ten most widely spoken languages in the world, with more than 200 million speakers.

With the language’s origins in East Africa, Swahili speakers have spread into more than 14 countries.

“Another thing that I would like to have your input on is the Tanzania Diaspora issue. We are supposed to create a conducive environment for their engagement, thus effectively contributing to the country’s political, socio-economic, and cultural development, as well as their welfare in their respective countries of domicile,” said the Head of State.

Earlier, among other things, Dr Stergomena Tax, the minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, said the contribution of the country’s diaspora to the country’s economy was immense, noting that their remittances were worth $569.3 million.

 “The contribution of the country’s diaspora cannot be ignored; in fact, their contribution has increased from $400 million in 2020 to the current figure of $569.3 million this year. “They have also invested Sh3.9 billion in the UTT schemes as well as procured property worth Sh2.3 billion,” she said.

Information available at the ministry indicates that, given the economic and socio-political shift that has occurred in the domestic and international scene, Tanzania adopted a foreign policy focusing on economic diplomacy to secure its core national interests as a sovereign state.

The policy manifests itself in active international engagement, which is basically leveraged upon the pursuit of economic objectives while at the same time preserving the gains of the past and consolidating the fundamental principles of Tanzania’s traditional foreign policy.

President Hassan was gracing the seven-week meeting, gathering all 45 Tanzanian envoys representing different countries abroad.

During the meeting that started on November 14, 2022, they had the opportunity to meet stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including Zanzibar’s President Hussein Ali Mwinyi. Today, they are expected to visit different strategic development projects, including the Malindi Port and Manga Pwani.