Marking King’s day with a twist of new areas of cooperation

A royal family of Netherlands in a group photo.

Tanzania and the Netherlands are among the countries with a long shared history of cooperation over more than 50 years.

For several decades, we have witnessed the cooperation between Tanzania and the Netherlands taking a new shape where in recent years it has more shifted to trade and investment.

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Tanzania, Wiebe de Boer in his interview with the Citizen newspaper at his office in Posta, Dar es Salaam said that the new strategy of cooperation concentrates on improving the enabling environment for business, stimulating the technification and export drive of the Tanzanian agriculture sector,      investing in logistics and in sustainable tourism.

Emphasizing the issue, Ambassador de Boer highlights the visit of Queen Maxima in October, 2022 who came to Tanzania in her role as Special Advocate of the Secretary General of the United Nations for  financial inclusion.

"During her visit, Queen Maxima held talks with President Samia, the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania and other officials. Thanks to succesfull Tanzanian policies a lot of small entrepreneurs have succeeded in getting access to the financial sector and they discussed strategies to further improve this., " he explained.

The embassy also works closely with the Tanzanian Startup Association (TSA) with the aim of stimulating the existence of a good  startup ecosystem which enables innovation, job creation, entrepreneurship, attracting investment and other benefits to Tanzania’s economy. Under such a focus, the embassy also supports the recently established Fintech Association, TAFINA

To  support especially women entrepreneurs and youth in Tanzania, the state-owned Netherlands Development Bank (FMO) signed an loan worth 125 million US Dollars with NMB Bank for  Smallholders that can get the loan without putting up collateral.

"We have also been financing groups of women entrepreneurs; example is  Waendeleze- a group of about 15 women agricultural entrepreneurs who managed to expand the scope of their businesses and run them more professionally," explains the Ambassador.

In unlocking investment opportunities for foreign companies in the country, the Embassy facilitated a capacity building program for TRA officials, specifically on how to deal with international investors in the country. The program was set up by the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), which is located in the Netherlands.

Agriculture is another key area of focus. Ambassador de Boer says that Tanzania is one of the countries whose economy depends on agriculture to a large extent and he believes that Tanzania is going to be the  food basket for the whole East African region and will be able to export more agricultural products, especially to the European, Middle East  and Asian markets in the near future. Tanzania and the Netherlands are working together on a platform for quality seeds and seed potatoes, horticulture in general, poultry  and alternative proteins for animal feed.

The Dutch embassy is also active in logistics activities in the country where Ambassador de Boer believes that DAR port with the right investors and operators could grow importantly to serve Tanzania and the various landlocked countries around it, in an efficient manner. 

"We have many logistic companies that work closely with TAHA in the transportation of agricultural products and we also work with Trademark Africa, who are helping to strengthen the logistic systems and the establishment of an one-stop centre,” explains the Ambassador.

Another priority is sustainable tourism, where the embassy collaborates with relevant stakeholders. The government expects that the amount of tourists grows from 1 to 5 million in the coming years, is important that this takes place in a sustainable way, to conserve the beautiful destinations Tanzania is famous, and attractive for. .

The ambassador is impressed by the steps taken by the President Samia in the democratization agenda.  The embassy in partnership with Tanzania Center for Democracy (TCD) last year already convened a dialogue of young leaders from political parties who are members of TCD.” Last year we facilitated a dialogue between young leaders of political parties in the country including CCM, Chadema, CUF, NCCR to discuss the cross-cutting issues going on in the country, you could see the trust and understanding, necessary for collective decision making, building between them” explains Ambassador de Boer.

As the green agenda becomes the world’s focus, the embassy has worked with Tai-Tanzania, an organization that creates storytelling animations that educate young adults about the effects of climate change. Last year Tai-Tanzania created an animation for awareness on climate change and to inspire the students to take action called ‘Kijana Kijani.’

King Willem-Alexander’s Birthday Celebration

The Dutch Embassy delegation paid a visit at Makumbusho Secondary School to plant 56 fruit trees with students in  honor of the King’s day celebration, he  will become 56 years. This event brought together a set of topics the Embassy focusses on: sustainability, youth involvement and climate action.