What Tanzania visit by US Vice President means for relations
- It will be the first visit made by a senior US official since President Joe Biden assumed office in 2021, thus further strengthening relations that have existed between the two countries since 1961.
Dar es Salaam. US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit is of significant importance to Tanzania as it will strengthen relations that have existed between the two countries for many years, the government said yesterday.
Bilateral relations have enabled Tanzania to benefit through investment and aid from the US over the years.
It will be the first visit made by a senior US official since President Joe Biden assumed office in 2021, thus further strengthening relations that have existed between the two countries since 1961.
Foreign and East African Cooperation minister Stergomena Tax told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that cooperation between the two countries was mainly in the areas of investment, tourism and trade.
At least 266 American investment projects worth $4.778 billion (Sh11.178 trillion) had been registered with the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Dr Tax added.
She said the projects had employed 54,584 Tanzanians and also noted that tourist arrivals from the US had increased to 100,600 in 2022 from 66,394 in 2015.
“Through the visit, the two countries are expected to maintain bilateral ties in trade, tourism, education, health, agriculture, environment, information and communication technology (ICT), as well as security and defence.”
Dr Tax added that Tanzania was also benefiting from the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar), the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and Feed the Future programme.
Pepfar announced in February a budget of $827.8 million that will be utilised between January 2024 and September 2026.
“Implementation of Pepfar has significantly reduced HIV transmission among Tanzanians and enabled 88 percent of people living with the virus to know their status as well as enrolling 85 percent of them on antiretroviral use,” Dr Tax said.
Tanzania and the US also cooperate in agriculture through Feed the Future programme, which seeks to ensure food security and nutrition availability.
Tanzania is among eight countries in which the programme is being implemented and the US has allocated Sh1.9 billion for the initiative.
“This is the outcome of efforts made by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to improve relations with other countries. This particular programme was announced during the US-Africa Summit last December,” said Dr Tax.
Since 2010, Tanzania and the US have also been implementing an education programme which seeks to ensures that children get food in schools.
The US has so far committed $67 million to 231 schools in Mara Region, where attendance has improved dramatically.
Some 200,000 learners are estimated to have benefited from the programme.
In the health sector, USAID is implementing a programme called M-Mama in partnership with Vodafone.
The scheme seeks to improve health services for expectant mothers and newborns across the country.
Ms Harris is expected to arrive in Dar es Salaam tomorrow and will be received at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) by her Tanzanian counterpart, Dr Philip Mpango.
She is scheduled to meet with President Hassan at State House in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.