June 20, 2024

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris hosts President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania at White House, says U.S. will help the African nation strengthen democracy, bolster economic growth and improve healthcare

United States Vice President Kamala D. Harris hosts President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania at the White House on Friday, April 15, 2022.
United States Vice President Kamala D. Harris hosts President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania at the White House on Friday, April 15, 2022.

United States Vice President Kamala D. Harris hosted President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania at the White House on Friday and highlighted three key areas of cooperation both nations will be focusing on, including strengthening democracy, bolstering economic growth and improving healthcare.

Vice President Harris told President Hassan that the United States “feels very strongly that Tanzania is a very important partner” and that “many Americans have appreciated the incredible natural wonders of Tanzania.”

She listed some natural and historical beauties such as Mount Kilimanjaro, where she said, “many Americans have traveled and come back with stories that have lasted a lifetime,” and said Tanzania has a “vibrant multicultural society, stretching from the savanna from mainland to the beaches of Zanzibar.”

AREAS OF COOPERATION

“There are three areas that I know we will focus on in particular,” Harris said. “One is with regard to what we will do together to strengthen democracy.”

She said the United States welcomes the progress that President Hassan has made during the course of her one year leadership, “in particular in the work you have done to empower women leaders in Tanzania,” as well as 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 the main purpose of your visit to the United States,” Harris said, adding that Hassan’s 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,” she said.

“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 initiatives like COVID-19 and other health issues,” added Harris.

President Hassan, who is the first female President in Tanzania Congratulated President Biden and Vice President Harris for winning the 2020 presidential election, calling it a “resounding victory.”

She said the government of Tanzania would like to see “our relationship grow further and strengthen to greater heights.” She thanked the United States government for supporting Tanzania in many areas, including on social economic development, and in uplifting the lives of many people through various programs and initiatives including the presidential Malaria Initiative.

She said the United States has donated close to 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to her country.

The Tanzanian leader then went ahead to list her own achievements, saying that she has made considerable strides including strengthening democracy and improving human rights in the country.

During their bilateral meeting, Vice President Harris was accompanied by Tina Flournoy, Chief of Staff- Phil Gordon, National Security Advisor- Safia Mohamoud, Special Advisor for Africa- Dean Lieberman, Special Advisor for Asia- Taryn Wolf, NSC Director for Tanzania- Molly Phee, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa- Donald Wright, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, while Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, was accompanied by Ambassador Liberata R. Mulamula (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation- Dr. Lameck Nchemba Mwigulu Madelu (MP), Minister of Finance and Planning- Dr. Ashatu Kachwamba Kijaji (MP), Minister of Investment, Trade and Industries- Hon. Mohamed Simai Said, Minister of Tourism and Heritage – Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar- Ambassador Dr. Elsie Sia Kanza, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United States of America- Dr. Kassim Mohammed Khamis, Personal Assistant to the President – Speechwriting and Ag. Diplomacy- Ambassador Swahiba Habib Mndeme, Director of the Department of Europe and America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

White House: What Harris discussed with President Hassan

In a statement, the White House said during their meeting, the Vice President underscored that the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to strengthening ties with Tanzania and with countries across Africa, based on the principles of mutual respect and equality.
 
“The Vice President welcomed President Hassan’s efforts to strengthen democracy and human rights in Tanzania. They reviewed a number of areas of cooperation in our bilateral relationship, including health, agriculture, and infrastructure.
 
“The Vice President underscored the importance of our economic and commercial partnership, and discussed recent reforms and others needed to further strengthen our investment relationship. The two leaders noted they are looking forward to the entry into force of an Open Skies Air Transport Agreement, which establishes a modern civil aviation relationship between the United States and Tanzania and agreed it will promote increased travel and trade and help spur economic growth. They also welcomed nearly $1 billion of new investments by U.S. companies in Tanzania in tourism, conservation, and clean energy sectors.
 
“The Vice President discussed our efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including through Tanzania’s participation in the U.S.-led Global VAX Initiative, and our donation of nearly 4.9 million vaccine doses provided to Tanzania since the beginning of the pandemic. They discussed broader global health security and global health issues, including supporting women and children’s health.
 
“Lastly, they discussed several regional and global issues of concern. The Vice President emphasized the importance of the world standing together in support of international rules and norms, including the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. The Vice President condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its ongoing brutal attacks against the people of Ukraine and noted there must be severe costs for Russia’s actions,” added the White House.

A senior administration official said on Thursday that, “In their bilateral meeting, they will discuss strengthening democracy in Tanzania, expanding our economic and commercial partnership, partnering on global health security and global health issues, and other regional and global issues of concern,” the senior administration official said. “The United States and Tanzania have an important partnership, and the Vice President looks forward to reviewing the progress made in Tanzania and the work underway to continue that progress.”

According to the official, “This meeting further demonstrates the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to strengthening ties with Tanzania and with countries across Africa based on the principles of mutual respect and equality.”

In September 2021, the Vice President met with President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Hichilema of Zambia. Earlier this month, President Biden spoke with President Ramaphosa of South Africa.

Remarks by Vice President Harris and President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania Before Bilateral Meeting

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.) 

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Indeed.

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

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