UK opens office in Dodoma, announces investment boost

Mr Mitchell’s visit comes shortly after the publication of the UK's new international development roadmap, underscoring Tanzania's significance as a key UK partner. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The UK is one of the first nations to establish a standalone diplomatic office in Dodoma.

Dar es Salaam. The United Kingdom strengthened its commitment to Tanzania with the official opening of a new British High Commission office in Dodoma on Friday, April 5.

The UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, presided over the ceremony, which signifies a significant milestone in relations between the two nations.

The standalone diplomatic building, which is Britain’s latest across the world, is one of the first of its kind in Dodoma, reflecting the UK's desire for closer collaboration with the Tanzanian government and stakeholders.

Mr Mitchell, joined by Tanzania's Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Mr January Makamba and British High Commissioner David Concar, emphasised the importance of this new chapter.

"Opening our High Commission office in Dodoma during the 60th anniversary of Tanzania's Union is a great honour," Mr Mitchell said. "This signifies not only our confidence in this partnership but also the enduring friendship between our people."

The ceremony also saw the Minister announce a series of new UK-backed initiatives designed to support Tanzania's progress in healthcare, social investment, and inclusive economic growth.

The partnerships include a ‘Mutual Prosperity Partnership’ (MPP) aimed at unlocking investment and trade for sustainable growth and job creation.

The collaboration seeks to generate up to $1.26 billion of UK-backed investment in Tanzania, boost bilateral trade by the same amount, and mobilise an additional $1.26 million in private investment for Tanzanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"Also, up to $18.9 million is dedicated to strengthening Tanzania's health systems. This five-year programme will collaborate with the Tanzanian government to improve healthcare resilience, reduce preventable deaths, and combat disease outbreaks, supporting the country's journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” he told The Citizen.

He added: “$15 million to bolster cooperation on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This extended funding will enable an existing programme to provide high-quality, voluntary family planning services to an additional 900,000 people.”

The collaboration also seeks continued support for Tanzania's Social Action Fund (TASAF), which disburses cash transfers to the poorest Tanzanians, approximately 15 percent of households nationwide.

The initiative aims to increase resilience against economic shocks, food insecurity, and the impacts of climate change.

“Some $6.9 million is allocated for climate change and environmental projects in Tanzania until 2026. These funds will promote clean cooking technologies, access to clean energy, and urban resilience.”

Minister Mitchell's two-day visit to Tanzania encompassed high-level meetings in both Dodoma and Dar es Salaam.

Discussions with Minister Makamba reaffirmed the UK's commitment to partnering with Tanzania on sustainable development, with a focus on boosting bilateral and regional investment and trade.

Additionally, a meeting with the Minister for Investment and Planning, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, explored opportunities to expand cooperation in economic development, particularly through the newly established MPP.

In Dar es Salaam, Mr Mitchell visited a health clinic to witness first-hand the positive impact of the UK's extended $15 million funding for family planning services.

He also joined the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women, and Special Groups, Dr Seif Shekalaghe, at a visit to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Taskforce.

The UK-funded initiative pilots innovative approaches to combat human trafficking and child sexual abuse.

Mr Mitchell’s visit comes shortly after the publication of the UK's new international development roadmap, underscoring Tanzania's significance as a key UK partner.