Monday, December 13, 2021

REMARKS BY H.E DR. ELSIE S. KANZA, AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DURING THE RECEPTION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 60TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY OF TANZANIA MAINLAND

09TH DECEMBER 2021, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Mr. Peter Lord, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa, Sudan, and South Sudan in the Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State;

Your Excellencies Ambassadors;

Senior U.S. Government Officials from the Department of State, Department of Defense and National Security Council;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Ambassador Mark Green, Former US Ambassador to Tanzania;

Mr. Charles Kichere, Controller and Auditor General of Tanzania;

Tanzania Government Officials;

Tanzanian Diaspora Present here;

Friends of Tanzania;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good evening!

Nawasalimu wote kwa jina la Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania!


First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for accepting my invitation to join us as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Independence of Tanzania Mainland. Thank you very much. Asanteni sana!

At the outset, I also wish to sincerely appreciate the cooperation and support that I have received since I arrived in Washington, D.C. at the end of September 2021. Special thanks go to my brothers and sisters of the African Diplomatic Corps; the State Department; United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam; members of the Diplomatic Corps; International Organizations based in Washington, D.C.; various U.S. Institutions, both public and private; think tanks and civil society organisations; American media; members of the Tanzanian and African Diaspora and all Friends of Tanzania. You have made my settling in here in Washington, D.C. smooth and pleasant, which was not easy as I moved from Berlin to Geneva to Dar es Salaam to Washington, DC in four months. Nashukuru sana.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past week, themed Ijue Tanzania we at the Embassy of Tanzania have held a series of activities to celebrate the Independence of Tanzania Mainland.

Investment: On Friday December 03rd, we had a successful visit to Dallas, where we met with officials of the Bush Presidential center, the Mayor of the City and his team, as well as held business-to-business engagements between US and Tanzania business associations. In the evening we hosted the inaugural Tanzania-USA Corporate Gala Dinner where some of your Excellencies joined us. We were also joined by U.S. Government Officials from the Department of Commerce and C-suite executives from across the USA as well as Diaspora from Tanzania, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community. In case you are wondering, we have a common language called Kiswahili, which is also recognized as an official language for Africa by the African Union.

Tanzanian Diaspora: On Saturday December 04th, I met with the Tanzanian Diaspora in Houston Texas. The largest concentration of Tanzanian Diaspora in USA is located in Houston, Texas and Columbia, Ohio.

Citizen Diplomacy: On Sunday December 05th, we visited our friends of Sister Cities International in Durham, North Carolina which is a sister city to Arusha. There we met with the public and private sector leadership of the city led by the current Mayor of Durham, as well as the incoming Mayor and Former Mayor of Durham. We discussed how to expand citizen diplomacy by promoting Sister City relationships across every region of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. We also had a chance to meet with the Tanzanian Diaspora many of whom are in the medical field.

Trade
: On Tuesday, December 07th, we held the first Virtual Tanzania-USA Trade Forum on Agribusiness. It was yet another successful event exploring how to boost non-traditional food exports to the US under AGOA before 2025. We were joined by the Tanzanian Minister of Agriculture, the Mayor of Arkansas, U.S. Government Officials, Agricultural Associations, financial institutions, and other important stakeholders in the entire value chain of the agribusiness sector.

Tourism: And, this morning we launched a tourism social media campaign with the hashtag #KaribuTanzania, where we invite the public to share their Tanzania story and encourage their families and friends to visit Tanzania as soon as they are able to.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

This reception is the culmination of the afore-mentioned series of events. December 09th is a historic day for Tanzania, and for us here in Washington, D.C., it is more special because we also commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations with the United States of America.

Our relations with the United States of America have stood the test of time. The relations between these great nations started even before we got independence from Britain on December 09th, 1961. Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Tanzania’s First Prime Minister and President and the Father of our Nation was first invited to the White House by the then U.S. President, John F. Kennedy in July 1961, five months before the Independence of the then Tanganyika (now Tanzania Mainland).

President Kennedy supported our quest for self-determination and liberation struggles and in 1963, two years after independence, President Kennedy invited Mwalimu Nyerere again to the White House shortly before his sad demise. He was the second African President to be invited after Ghana’s President. The foundation laid down by these two Presidents was solid and has stood the test of time, sixty years later, the friendship between Tanzania and United States of America continues to blossom.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

In the past 60 decades, the United States of America has continued to be an important development partner and has continued to contribute to the peace, stability and socio-economic transformation of Tanzania.

The United States has been supporting Tanzania in various sectors including health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, water, ICT, youth, gender issues and capacity building in different areas. We also have excellent military and security cooperation.

Tanzania is thankful that it has been a beneficiary of numerous U.S. programs and initiatives which have largely contributed to our development endeavors. These include, among others, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR), President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Feed the Future (FTF), and African Contingency Training and Assistance (ACOTA). We are now looking forward to resuming the implementation of the MCC Compact II which was previously scheduled to start in 2016.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also truly grateful to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which also marks 60 years of its operations in Tanzania. The Agency has been instrumental in complementing Government’s efforts to achieve socio-economic development.

In the same vein, Tanzania appreciates the exceptional work by the Peace Corps volunteers since the program was launched in Tanzania in 1961. This important program also marks 60 years of its noble activities in Tanzania. Peace Corps have been important partners in our social development endeavors in Tanzania. I am glad that following a brief break, the program will be reinstated in Tanzania in 2022.

This excellent cooperation between Tanzania and United States is a two-way street. We have also been supporting the United States in various areas, particularly in the multilateral fora, including at the United Nations Funds, Programs and Specialized Agencies.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In our 60 years of relations, Tanzania and the United States have been able to remain dependable friends. A friend in need is truly a friend indeed! In July 2021, for instance, through the COVAX facility, the United States was the first country to donate to Tanzania, more than 1 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In November 2021, the United States donated another 500,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines to Tanzania.

This level of steadfast friendship has been attained due to dedicated attention and hard work of various Tanzania and US administrations, including 16 former Tanzanian Ambassadors to the United States and 18 former US Ambassadors to the United Republic of Tanzania as well as the current Ambassador, my new “best friend”, Ambassador Dr. Donald J. Wright. I commend them all for a job well done! I am humbled and privileged to stand on the shoulders of these giants.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we also mark 48 years of our relations with Mexico which started in 1973, 12 years after our independence. Since then, Tanzania and Mexico have been working together in various area including education, agriculture, and trade. In fact, Mexico was one of the early countries who helped us to develop our Capital city of Dodoma by training our architects, planners and students, and also sending Mexican experts to Tanzania to work on the project. I am grateful that, the relations between Tanzania and Mexico have continued to thrive and we are committed to further advancing them for mutual benefit of both countries and their people.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we commemorate 60 years of Independence, we also mark 59 years of our relations with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Tanzania joined these institutions in 1962 and I would say that we have come a long way. Today, World Bank and IMF are one of our most reliable development partners and the Government is committed to strengthening these relations.

Just this September, Tanzania got USD 567.25 million in emergency financial assistance under the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument to support the government’s efforts in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Strikingly, USD 372.4 million out of that amount, is on full concessional terms. We are most grateful and look forward to qualifying for further assistance in the coming months as we continue to manage the challenges caused by the current pandemic.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this new decade leading to the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, we are determined to live up to the expectations of Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, the sixth and first female President of the United Republic of Tanzania. We are proud of our constitutional and democratic tradition of smooth political leadership transition.We want to ensure that, as we implement the reinvigorated Foreign Policy of Economic Diplomacy, we also work with our partners to support the priorities of the sixth phase Government of President Samia which include the following:


I.  Promoting investment and trade;

II,. Advancing the agricultural sector;

III.  Developing livestock and fishery sectors;

IV. Developing the education sector;

V, Promoting investment in the mining sector under Public Private Partnership;

VI. Developing physical infrastructure, particularly roads and railways;

VII. Improving access to power and promoting energy generation from renewable sources;

VIII. Improving access to quality health services; and

IX. Promoting the tourism sector in the country

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Embassy of Tanzania in Washington, D.C. will play its part to achieve these national priorities, particularly by pursuing three strategic objectives:

One, Strengthening our health and healthcare systems as we manage the Covid-19 pandemic;

Two, Restoring livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic especially by SMEs, which generate the majority of jobs; and

Three, Building resilience by investing in Climate Change solutions, as well as in readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

We look forward to achieving this agenda by the strengthening diplomatic relations with the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico. We want to enhance business and innovation ties with these great nations. We want to work much closer with all Diplomatic Missions accredited to the USA. We want to promote our relations with the World Bank Group, the IMF and all international organizations based in Washington, D.C.

We want to advance our engagements with the U.S. business community, as well as foundations, think tanks, civil society organizations, academic institutions, cultural institutions, and the media. We want to advance citizen diplomacy through Sister City relationships and student exchanges. We want to foster diaspora engagements, particularly with the African and African American community. We too have a long history with among others the American civil rights movement. We are committed to reinforce and create new strong and community-based partnerships for the growth and development transformation of Tanzania.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Talking about these priorities remind me of the growing global trend of travel bans and negative travel advisories against arbitrary countries, especially African countries. Our governments are working very hard to revive our economies which have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. When people cannot travel it affects students, families, employers, and supply chains to mention but a few disruptions to ordinary people’s lives and livelihoods.

All our efforts to address the pandemic are rendered useless and we are starting to threaten the health of our democracies due to governments’ failure to meet the basic needs of their citizens. Having said that, I am happy to note that the Department of State has taken note of our concerns -both individually and as part of SADC- and hope this unfortunate situation will be remedied soon.

We suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic and there will be future pandemics. There must be a better way to cope with this “new normal”.

Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm the Government of Tanzania’s commitment to continue to work very closely with the US Government to advance matters of mutual interest for the betterment of our respective countries and prosperity of our people. You need jobs and we need jobs too. We will continue to promote excellent relations with the United States of America, Mexico and all Diplomatic Missions, International Organizations and Friends of Tanzania based in Washington, D.C.

Before I end, allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the African Diplomatic Corps for my recent election (in absentia) as Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee. Together with Co-Chair Balozi Carlos Dos Santos Ambassador of Mozambique we look forward to serving our beloved continent community and contributing to -among others- a successful US-Africa Leadership Summit in 2022. It’s Africa’s time.

Allow me to wind up by sharing a poignant message from Mwalimu Nyerere, (as reminded by Ambassador Charles Stith) which he shared in Accra during the 40th independence of Anniversary of Ghana in 1997: "Unity will not make us rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to be disregarded and humiliated. And it will, therefore, increase the effectiveness of the decisions we make and try to implement for our development. My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination, and carry it forward." Aluta continua, the struggle for economic freedom continues. Together we can succeed.

Once again thank you all for gracing us with your presence this evening.

I thank you for your kind attention!

Miaka 60 ya Uhuru: Tanzania Imara, Kazi Iendelee!

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