June 20, 2024

READ – Full remarks by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania before bilateral meeting in Washington

United States Vice President Kamala D. Harris hosts President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania at the White House on Friday, April 15, 2022. Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa, Washington DC
United States Vice President Kamala D. Harris hosts President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania at the White House on Friday, April 15, 2022. Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa, Washington DC

APRIL 15, 2022: Vice President’s Ceremonial Office: 10:44 A.M. EDT 

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Okay, good morning, everyone.  It is my great honor and pleasure to welcome President Hassan.  I bring you greetings, of course, from President Biden as well.  And we welcome you for this trip. 

As, Madam President, you know, the United States feels very strongly that Tanzania is a very important partner.  And we know, of course, and many Americans have appreciated the incredible natural wonders of Tanzania — be it the Serengeti or Mount Kilimanjaro, where many Americans have traveled and come back with stories that have lasted a lifetime in terms of the memories. 

You, of course, in Tanzania have a vibrant multicultural society, stretching from the savanna of the mainland to the beaches of Zanzibar. 

So, we do appreciate all that Tanzania represents, both historically and in terms of just the natural beauty of your country. 

And over 60 years ago, we, the United States, sent some of our first Peace Corps volunteers to Tanzania.  And the relationship, of course, has grown stronger and warmer ever since.  And we’ve seen great progress during this time, but we also recognize there is more to do. 

I’m looking forward to our discussion today.  There are three areas that I know we will focus on in particular.  One is with regard to what we will do together to strengthen democracy.  And we welcome the progress that you have made during the course of your leadership and, in particular, the work you have done to empower women leaders in Tanzania and the work you have done to support human rights. 

Our conversation will also cover the importance of the economic growth of Tanzania, which I know is one of your highest priorities and a main purpose for your visit to the United States.  We welcome, of course, the attention you are giving to that and that the focus of this trip includes, in the United States, focusing on the investment opportunities as it relates to the economy as a general matter, but also in the area of tourism. 

And your trip has also generated nearly $1 billion in new investments from companies in the United States.  And that has and will contribute, no doubt, to the economic growth of Tanzania but, in that way, will contribute to the growth — the economic growth and jobs in the United States as well. 

The third matter that we will discuss that has been a priority for our two nations and for the world is the issue of public health, global health, and, in particular, COVID-19 and other health issues.  We will discuss today what we will do together to address those needs and those issues. 

It is our strong belief that as COVID is an issue for any country, it is an issue for all of us.  And it is with that spirit that we approach this discussion and our role, as it relates to Tanzania and the work that you are doing to address the issue of COVID, but also the work that you have prioritized around the health of women and children in Tanzania.  So, I look forward to our conversation on that. 

And I’ll conclude these comments by saying that our administration is deeply 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 and for me. 

And with that, again, welcome, Madam President.  And I look forward to our discussion. 

PRESIDENT HASSAN:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, Madam Vice President.  And I must say that I’m pleased to be here at the White House.  And I thank you, Madam Vice President — I thank you, Madam Vice President, for having me here. 

It makes more exciting to be here for obvious reason: that we’ll be able to exchange a lot of experiences in what we are doing, as you have also mentioned.  And on that note, I bring goodwill message of friendship from — and solidarity from the government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania. 

And as this is the first time we are meeting in person since assumption of office, I would like to congratulate President Joe Biden and yourself, of course, Madam Kamala, and the Democratic Party for their resounding victory during the presidential election in 2020. 

We, in Tanzania, have been following very closely that election because there — for the first time, there was a woman contesting for the vice president position.  So, we were very inspired. 

So, let me say that the United States and Tanzania have enjoyed excellent relation for the last 60 years.  My government would like to see our relation grow further and strengthened to greater heights. 

I would like to express my government’s appreciation to the U.S. government for their invaluable development assistance and great work the USAID has been doing in Tanzania over the years, particularly for socioeconomic development and in uplifting the lives of many Tanzanians through various programs and initiatives, including PEPFAR, the Presidential Malaria Initiative, Feed for Future — or Feed the Future for food security, just to mention a few of them. 

Talking on COVID-19, my country is indeed grateful to the U.S. support in its donation of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.  To date, the U.S. has so far contributed close to 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to my country. 

It was just last month I had a virtual meeting with the USAID Administrator, Madam Samantha Power.  And during our conversation, she revealed that Tanzania was one of the 11 beneficiaries of the Global Vaccine Initiative launched by President Joe Biden.  Yeah.

So, talking on human rights and rule of law and democracy, Tanzania have made commendable strides in these areas, as you have mentioned, and we are committed to taking deliberate measures to ensure inclusion, cooperation, unity, and respect for all Tanzanians. 

And in so doing, the political parties and stakeholders convened meetings to deliberate on collective and productive ways of running political activities in our country while, at the same time, safeguarding country’s interest.  So, these meetings have been instrumental in contributing positively to enhancing democracy and strengthening multiparty system in our country, in Tanzania. 

Now, talking on trade and investment, I must say that I’m excited about the prospects of promoting further trade and investment ties of mutual — for mutual benefits.  And in — cognizant of that, we need to create an — an ease of doing business.  And my government, in close collaboration with the private sector, has put in place better conditions and favorable environment for the private sector to thrive. 

So, my only request here is to — for the U.S. government to encourage more the private sector from the U.S. to work with us in Tanzania.  There’s a lot to be offered.  We have a lot of potential.  So, you are welcome. 

Moreover, the government is collaboration — with the collaboration with the private sector, is in the process of enacting the Tanzania Investment Act, expected to set the tone for creating the safe lending for investors.  So, we are creating — we are doing all what we can to make the private sector working comfortably in Tanzania. 

Finally, Madam Vice President, I wish to inform you that while I’m here in the United States, I’ll also launch “The Royal Tour” program.  This program is created to showcase Tanzania’s touristic and investment potentials. 

The selection of United States, the place for launching, was not by accident.  We are aware that — and we did it intentionally, knowing that this is where the lovers and shakers of entertainment and leisure reside.  (Laughter.) 


PRESIDENT HASSAN:  And that’s creating an excellent platform for the visibili- — visibility of the program across the globe.  

Indeed, it is my hope that the launch of this program will inspire so many people to visit our wonderous country in the not-so-distant future. 

Madam President, I once again thank you for having me here — for having me here in the statehouse, and looking forward to fruitful discussion. 

Thank you, Madam Vice President.  Thank you.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Thank you, Madam President.  Thank you, Madam President.  Thank you. 

                         END                 10:54 A.M. EDT

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments