IN her first official visit since taking over from her former running mate, the late Dr John Magufuli following his untimely death in March 2021, Tanzania’s first female president, Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan paved the way for the unfreezing of US government aid while overseeing $1bn in new business deals in the fields of tourism, conservation, and clean energy sectors.
Built around the launch of Peter Greenberg’s documentary Tanzania: The Royal Tour, Samia’s visit started with a White House meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris on 15 April during which the pair discussed “Hassan’s efforts to strengthen democracy and human rights in Tanzania” and a “number of areas of cooperation in our bilateral relationship, including health, agriculture, and infrastructure,” according to a White House readout of the meeting.
That did not end at the level; instead it opened several routes and new avenues to the grassroots as well as reinforcing the Tanzania and US relations that has all along been cordial. Historically, the United States established diplomatic relations with Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in 1961 characterized by mutual respect and aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
In the course, the US has remained committed to strengthening democracy in Tanzania and working with Tanzanians on women’s and children’s health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition and food security, inclusive economic growth, wildlife conservation, sustainable development, and security.
Again, several exchange programmes bring Tanzanians to the United States, including the Fulbright Program, Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, and Young African Leaders Initiative. Short term exchanges, small grants, and other public outreach programs support the development of artists, journalists, writers, civil servants, young leaders, musicians, and students.
The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation program has funded several restoration projects since 2002, including the historically significant Swahili town of Kua, historic ruins at Kilwa Kisiwani, and two mosques and an Anglican Church in Zanzibar.
U.S. assistance to Tanzania.
The United States is Tanzania’s largest bilateral donor, and for 60 plus years has provided development and other assistance to Tanzania for capacity building to address health and education issues, encourage democratic governance, promote broad-based economic growth, and advance regional and domestic security to sustain progress.
Under the Power Africa Initiative, USAID supports the Government of Tanzania’s efforts to adopt and implement the policy and regulatory reforms necessary to attract private investment in the energy and power sectors.
Peace Corps volunteers have also served in Tanzania as teachers, leaders of health education projects, and leaders of environmental projects.
Tanzania is a key U.S. partner for promoting peace and regional stability in East Africa.
The U.S. remains committed to supporting Tanzania through the military professionalization and development of the Tanzania People’s Defense Force (TPDF) while supporting the protection of human rights.
Military assistance includes providing training primarily through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, enhancing maritime domain awareness and maritime security capacity building through the African Maritime Security Initiative (AMSI); peacekeeping capacity building to support readiness for UN peacekeepers deployed throughout the continent; and support assistance for security forces countering the trafficking of illicit goods and narcotics.
Bilateral economic relations
Tanzania has a diverse, relatively stable economy with many opportunities for investment. In recent years, the Government of Tanzania’s (GoT) approach to economic policy and the business community has improved long-term prospects for investment and economic growth.
Continuing with development strategies, President Samia has made improving Tanzania’s economic environment one of her top priorities and has publicly highlighted restoring domestic and international confidence in Tanzania’s business climate.
Agricultural commodities, minerals, and textiles dominate Tanzania’s exports to the United States while imports from the United States include aircraft, machinery, cereals, plastics, and milling products. Tanzania receives preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
The United States is committed to Tanzania’s long-term development as a stable, reliable, and democratic partner that is committed to growing its economy through private sector led growth to support the health, education and human rights of its people, as well as promoting peace and security domestically and regionally.
Tanzania’s membership in international organizations Tanzania belongs to a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Tanzania is also a member of the African Union, East African Community, and the Southern African Development Community. Take the example of how a sister city agreement between Milwaukee and the District of Tarime, Tanzania was signed on 11th November, 2016, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Common Council Chair of the Sister Cities Committee, said the international agreement with the district, had been in the works for months, and was supported by mutually strong enthusiasm and interest.
“The partnership between our two cities is both exciting and encouraging. I’m confident that it will prove equally valuable for the citizens of Milwaukee and the citizens of Tarime,” he said.
The agreement offered benefits for both cities with investments for business, and opportunities for diplomacy and cultural exchange. Moses Matiko Misiwa, Mayor of the then Tarime District, said while welcoming the partnership, especially for medical and technology cooperations.
“We share some historical things in common, between Milwaukee and Tanzania. The environment looks very much the same. But we don’t have snow,” said Mayor Misiwa.
“We love the citizens of Milwaukee, and we invite them to come visit us.” As part of the Tanzanian delegation’s visit to Milwaukee, the officials also visited various companies, organizations, and institutions for education, art, economic, technical, and municipal exchanges.
“I would also like to thank the work of the Sister Cities Committee, the Mosorec International Foundation team from Tanzania and the U.S., and all others who have helped form this relationship,” Alderman Stamper said. Christine R. Thompson Mosore, Founder and President of Mosorec International Foundation in the U.S. and Tanzania, said she was excited to serve in the organization that connected both cities, especially in the areas of agricultural development and tourism.
“The vision I had for connecting these two cities is because when I left home, I went to school in Whitewater. And before I start working, I came to Milwaukee,” said Mosore.
“This is where my life started, in Milwaukee. When I had problems, who is there to support me? Tanzania is very far. It was members of the Milwaukee community who supported me.”
She believed this partnership will help strengthen global peace, and she looks forward to a successful relationship built on cultural understanding, cooperative, and mutually beneficial programs. “I know that a signed paper is not enough, we need respect and understanding, through commitments and friendships,” said Mosore.
“From partnerships we will nurture this relationship, with Milwaukee and Tarime on the global stage, because we are a global community. I really believe that the Sister City program helps to do provide a lot of international opportunities.”
Milwaukee is officially affiliated with Sister Cities International, a programme with more than 50 years of promoting people-to-people diplomacy. As a result, Milwaukee’s city-to city relationships, including former friendship cities and unofficial sister cities, are now moving forward. Medan, Indonesia, Galway, Ireland, uMhlathuze, South Africa, Zadar, Croatia and Bomet County, Kenya are Milwaukee’s current Sister Cities.
Earlier, the then Tanzania Ambassador Mwanaidi Maajan along with her Minister of Information/ Communication, Mindi Kasiga travelled to Wisconsin from Feb. 19-22 to present investment/ trade opportunities in Tanzania to Wisconsin business and government leaders.
The Ambassador and Mrs. Kasiga came to Milwaukee for a series of events that took her from MATC to Growing Power to the Mayor’s Office.
She later travelled to meet in the Governor’s office with Lt. Governor Kleefisch, WEDC officials, and Wisconsin sustainable energy businesses.
From Madison, her next stop was Organic Valley in LaFarge, WI, to meet with Organic Valley’s leadership team and tour the facilities of one of the largest agriculture co-ops in the U.S. Following that stop, her visit concluded in La Crosse, WI to meet with Gundersen Lutheran Healthcare/ Global Partners officials to discuss health in Tanzania, as well as tour the Gundersen Lutheran facilities