- New policy in offing
- Revels on democratic space
TANZANIA may soon have new foreign policy, as the government now finalises review of the document to reflect changes and new developments in the world, President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed on Monday.
President Samia disclosed this at an event to mark the New Year Diplomatic Sherry Party, which was held at the State House in Dar es Salaam, on Monday.
“The new policy will continue to focus on economic diplomacy and reflect on new developments such as blue economy, environment and climate change, digital economy and promoting Kiswahili as a tool for diplomacy.
“Among other importance of the new policy include promoting trade, enhancing diaspora engagement as well as the country’s national development,” said President Samia.
The Head of State noted that the country also welcomes the decision by UNESCO to adopt and commemorate world Kiswahili Language Day on every July 7.
“We are grateful to all those who supported the resolution as it means a lot to the country, since Kiswahili is not only a tool for everyday communication but a beacon for identity, historical value and visions.
She pointed out that Tanzania remains committed to continue extending its use and inspiring the world with the rich values of the language
She also noted that the review of the policy will be a major step towards catalysing the country’s relations with foreign countries in key areas of cooperation and partnerships across multiple sectors of the economy.
President Samia said the country will continue its mutual cooperation with various governments at the international forums as Tanzania counts on their support and cooperation on issues of particular interest to the country and continent.
“The country is pleased with the progress it is making with other countries, fostering regionalism is one of the key tenets of Tanzania’s foreign policy.
“We place firm belief on the role of regional organisations to address regional challenges and attain collective developmental aspirations of peace and security, democracy, trade and investment in the infrastructural and social sector,” affirmed the president.
The president also pledged to accord all necessary support as well as ensuring infrastructures and services are available for the diplomatic missions to carry out construction of their missions and residence in the capital city of Dodoma, where they were allocated with plots.
Highlighting on the country’s political situation and diplomatic space, she said that Tanzania has continued to enjoy peace and stability in all spheres of life, giving room for the government to focus its efforts to strengthen the economy and improve the social well-being of the people.
In the country’s efforts to enhance democracy, she said the government has continued to allow freedom of expression through mass media.
Similarly, the President recounted a meeting convened by the Registrar of Political Parties, which gathered political parties and other stakeholders to brainstorm and collect views on best ways to improve the country’s democratic situation.
The Head of State observed that the parties were free to express their concerns and their final recommendations had been gathered.
“A follow up committee has been established to work on the recommendations and we in the government are waiting for their report to chart the way forward,” stated the president.
President Samia further reminded the diplomats over her government’s priorities including strengthening democracy, good governance and rule of law, transformation and simplification of tax collection and tax administration, enhancing private sector and public-private partnership, managing and maintaining economic growth and industrialisation.
Others are promoting investment and improving the business environment, continuation of investment on infrastructure and social services to improve lives of Tanzanians, as well as improving bilateral regional and multilateral relations.
On other hand, she highlighted a number of achievements the country has made in development targets in different sectors.
In the health sector, she said, the government has increased the budget from 933.3bn/- in 2020 to 1.03tri/- in 2021.
“In ensuring inclusive development, we have allowed the dropouts to resume their studies. We believe that without inclusive education our industrialisation agenda remains elusive,” she argued.
She added: “We remain on track for the construction of flagship infrastructure projects that were initiated by my predecessor, including roads, railway, air and water transport and major energy projects.”
She said the government has made strides in implementation of construction of tarmac roads network and rural electrification projects undertaken by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), noting that as of December last year the programme managed to electrify 70.1 per cent of all villages.
The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was also progressing well, with construction of Lot 1 and 2 almost done and the government has made advance payment for Lot 3 from Makutupora to Tabora and Lot 4 and 5 were at initial stages of implementation.
On the other hand, the construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP), which is the core energy source for industrialisation drive, has reached 53.3 per cent, she said.
In her opening remarks, the Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, indicated that the country harbours 43 Ambassadors and High Commissioners, 19 Heads of International Organisations, six current Charge de Affairs, 11 Charge de Affairs representing the Heads of Mission in the country and 12 Honorary Consuls’.
Amb Mulamula said since President Samia assumed office, the country has received not less than 15 ambassadors and managed to post 24 Tanzanian ambassadors in other foreign countries.
She extended recognition to the president for giving the country’s foreign policy a new breadth and new life to fly high.
“Since assuming office we have diligently carried out your call to reach out to our friends and partners across the world and build good relations.
“With your message of engagement and good will no door was difficult to open and no request was turned down,” maintained the Minister.
Commenting, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, who is Ambassador of the Union of Comoros in Tanzania, Dr Alhamada El Badaoui, remarked that they (diplomats and international organisations) congratulate President Samia for orienting the country towards development, fighting against corruption, maintaining good governance and promoting gender parity.
Amb Badaoui commended President Samia for the way she maintained socio-economic development despite Covid-19 pandemic and attracted investors and created more jobs for youth.
“We are ready to support your initiatives that require our inputs, including fight against corruption, jobs creation and welfare of Tanzanians,” he assured.