from ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
DAR-ES-SALAAM, (CAJ News) – TANZANIA and the United States are strengthening decades-old ties, with a focus on deepening democracy and economic growth in the East African country.
The two countries also aim to expand partnerships on the fight against COVID-19.
Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania President, is visiting the US, where she has met American Vice President, Kamala Harris.
The visit has generated nearly $1 billion in new investments from companies in the US.
The meeting at the White House is a milestone as both leaders were the first females to assume their respective positions last year.
Hassan’s visit is the extension of bilateral ties that have been in place for more than 60 years, and despite after being tense initially because of Tanzania’s support of liberation movements in Africa, have been solid in recent years.
Harris welcomed the progress made by the administration of Hassan, in particular, the work done to empower women leaders in Tanzania as well support human rights.
Hassan’s predecessor, the now-late John Magufuli, was accused of failure to uphold democracy and perpetrating violations against critics during his tenure between 2015 until his death in 2021.
Harris also stressed on the importance of partnering on global health issues, with a particular focus on COVID-19.
Magufuli came under criticism on his denialism on the virus and his opposition to vaccination.
Hassan has reversed the policy on the pandemic.
Harris maintained her administration was committed to strengthening the ties to Tanzania and to African countries in general.
“This has been an area of intentional focus and priority for both the President (Joe Biden) and for me,” she said.
Hassan’s visit is the first official tour by a Tanzanian head of state since 2009, when Jakaya Kikwete visited.
“My government would like to see our relation grow further and strengthened to greater heights,” she said.
Hassan said Tanzania has made commendable strides in human rights and rule of law and democracy.
“We are committed to taking deliberate measures to ensure inclusion, cooperation, unity, and respect for all Tanzanians,” Hassan said.
She mentioned political parties and stakeholders had convened meetings to deliberate on collective and productive ways of running political activities and safeguarding country’s interest.
Relatiosn were strained between Magufuli’s administration and the opposition.
“So, these meetings have been instrumental in contributing positively to enhancing democracy and strengthening multiparty system in our country,” Hassan assured.
She implored the U.S government to encourage the American private sector to invest in Tanzania.
“There’s a lot to be offered. We have a lot of potential. So, you are welcome,” Hassan added.
Hassan during her visit launched the The Royal Tour programme, created to showcase Tanzania’s tourism and investment potentials.
– CAJ News