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N°95 - Troisième trimestre 2011

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El Salvador
  Une coopération interparlementaire centrée sur des projets concrets
  Un potentiel de développement prometteur
  Au pied du Kilimandjaro, le trésor bleu de la Tanzanie
Sri Lanka
Enjeux Économiques
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Partenaire Lettre Diplomatique
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Tanganyika Expedition
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  S.E.Mme Begum Karim Taj / H.E. Begum Karim Taj

An Eastern African Linchpin

Fifty years after claiming independence, Tanzania is one of the most dynamic economies on the African continent and a key player in the East African integration process. Thanks to its Indian Ocean border, it has also become a highly sought-after partner for emerging Asian powers. H.E. Begum K. Taj, the Ambassador of Tanzania to France, expounds on the strides her country has made and its high hopes for shoring up its ties with France.

The Diplomatic Letter : Mrs Ambassador, this year Tanzania is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. Could you describe the legacy of the Tanzanian nation’s founding father, Julius Nyerere, and tell our readers how your country has changed over the years ?

H.E. Begum K. Taj :
Tanzania, the then Tanganyika, became independent on 9th December 1961 from British colonial administration. Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere became its first president. Mwalimu Nyerere played a very crucial role in the consolidation of independence in four main areas: unity, liberation, one party state and the socialist policy. 
Unity took two distinct faces, i.e among Tanzanians by bringing together over 150 ethnic tribes and languages into one nation with a common lingua franca, Swahili. And unity between Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania on 26th April, 1964. Zanzibar had just become independent under the Presidency of Aman Abeid Karume, through a revolution to remove the rule of the Sultan of Oman.
Tanzania under Mwalimu Nyerere embarked on the liberation struggle of other African countries which were under colonial yoke namely: Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. It was his staunch belief that as long as other African countries had not yet achieved independence, Tanzania could not be fully independent. Tanzania was strongly opposed to the Apartheid Regime in South Africa and an ardent supporter of the Liberation Movements of all Southern African countries. They all sought refuge in Tanzania while some established their headquarters in the country.
Tanzania was a One Party State until 1992 when the Constitution was changed to allow a Multiparty Democracy. The one party system served very well the needs and aspirations of Tanzanians during the time, but changes in the world and changes in the outlook of Tanzanians following the end of the liberation struggle, necessitated a change in the political system that would respond to the changing environment.
In 1967 the government of Tanzania embarked on the socialist policy which emphasized on the nationalization of all major means of production. This process led to the control of economic sectors by the state. The education system of the country was geared towards implementation of the socialist policy which emphasized self-reliance, respect and equality among the people, eradication of ignorance, disease, poverty and corruption. These measures enabled Tanzania to be among the few African countries to attain high level of social and economic development. 87% of the citizens had 7 years of formal education while adult education was very popular.
However, just like the change in the political system, a wave of change on socio-economic system was sweeping across the world and Tanzania was not to be left behind. A policy of market economy ensued and Tanzania opened its doors to world business.
Mwalimu Nyerere will always be remembered for emphasizing and maintaining  peace, equality, unity and self-reliance. He stepped down from power voluntarily in 1985 and since then the world has witnessed successive democratic change of leadership in Tanzania. The current president Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is the 4th president of Tanzania since independence.

T.D.L.: After his reelection on 31 October 2010, President Jakaya Kikwete began his second term in office by naming a Constitutional Review Commission, at the behest of the political opposition. In which areas of the Tanzanian Constitution do you expect to see the deepest changes ?

President Kikwete was re-elected for the second term on 31 October, 2010 and during his inauguration speech he stated that his government was going to consider the views of the people with regard to the constitutional changes. He formed a special committee that is responsible to collect the views of the citizens regarding the
areas to be changed. The committee has already started the process of collecting the views.
The areas that have been highlighted by the people include: the union government, the land issue, women rights with regard to ownership of land and property, separation of powers between the pillars of the state, checks and balances, establishment of an independent electoral commission, independent candidates for presidential elections etc. 

T.D.L. : A referendum on establishing a national unity government was approved on 31 July 2010, marking a turning point for the Zanzibar. Could you share your thoughts on this key advance? What could be its effects towards a sustainable apeasement of the recurrent political tensions in the archipelago ?

The referendum of 31st July 2010 which was held in Zanzibar marked a turning point to the politics of the archipelago which for so long was dominated by friction, mainly between members of the ruling party CCM and the opposition party Civic United Front (CUF). The results of the referendum showed that 66% of the votes were in favour of a government of national unity; this meant that the two parties had agreed to share all state powers. In this case if CCM won by majority it had to appoint president and the opposition party had to provide the vice president.
In view of this agreement, the 2010 presidential election in the Islands facilitated the implementation of the accord. The current leadership in Zanzibar is led by president Ali Mohamed Shein from CCM ruling Party and his vice president is Mr. Seif Sharrif  Hamad from CUF opposition party.
When president Kikwete took power in 2005 he promised to iron out the political impasse which prevailed in Zanzibar for so long. He formed a commission which comprised of members from the two parties in question to discuss a number of issues concerning the union government as well as that of Zanzibar.

T.D.L.: East Africa’s second largest economy, Tanzania has achieved a relatively high growth rate, hovering around 7% since 2000. While new benefits are expected from the launching of production in the recently discovered gas fields, how the Tanzanian government intend to support this development dynamic ? Economic sectors such as tourism and the mining industry are booming in your country, and various public firms are being privatized. What kinds of opportunities does the Tanzanian market hold for foreign investors, and French investors in particular ?

It is true that Tanzanian economy has been growing at the annual growth rate of 7%. This growth rate was due to a number of significant measures taken by the government which include liberalization of the economy and encourage both foreign and domestic private investment.  Other measures include establishing policies which aimed at reducing budget deficits and improved monetary control, restructuring the financial sector, privatization of state owned enterprises whereby around 325 out of 425 parastatal entities have been privatized.
Tanzania has created a conducive environment to attract foreign direct investment in various major economic sectors including mining, tourism, industry, energy and agriculture. In order to facilitate the above objective the government established Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) with the aim of facilitating investment transactions. These efforts taken by the government have helped to improve the national economy whereby the mining sector, tourism, agriculture, livestock and fisheries have shown a positive growth.
The current trade statistics between France and Tanzania show that there are 22 French companies which are operating in Tanzania, an increase from only four companies in 1960s. Tanzania could benefit more from the French expertise and technology in the areas such as energy, agriculture and livestock, tourism and transport. In view of the above situation Tanzania invites more French investors to invest in the areas mentioned.
We also invite more French tourists to Tanzania for a lifetime experience.  Tanzania is considered the number one choice for wildlife and adventure safari tourism due to the existence of the 5 big game (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhinocerous) in their natural habitat in large numbers than in any other part of the world.  Tanzania also boasts of eco-tourism and cultural tourism and has been recognized as an example of best practice in the sector.  Tanzania, the land of Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Zanzibar offers endless opportunities for climbing the highest mountain in Africa, vast game parks and reserves totaling 24% of the land mass with seven natural reserve sites registered under the UNESCO World Heritage list and beach, diving and other water sports in Zanzibar.

T.D.L.: Tanzania held the rotating presidency of the East African Community (EAC) until April of this year. Have strides been made toward implementing the common market and the monetary union launched by the 1 July 2010  accord? In addition to the massive railway corridor project, are any other common infrastructures being built to help cement economic unity within the EAC? How do you see the next of stages of the regional integration process unfolding ?

The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organization comprising the five East African countries, namely, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. However, recently there are other countries which have applied for membership. These include Republic of Sudan and Southern Sudan.  Other countries that have shown an interest of joining the bloc are Somalia, Malawi and Comoro.
The EAC was originally founded in 1967. It collapsed in 1977 and was officially revived on July 7th 2000. Among the key institutions are an East African parliament, a regional stock exchange and a joint court of justice.
The chairmanship of the Community is for one year, on rotational basis. Tanzania was chair until April 2011 after which Burundi took over the chairmanship. The achievements of the Community until this year include:
- Establishment of the EAC customs union
- Establishment of the EAC
Legislative Assembly
- Establishment of the EAC Court of Justice
- Launching of EAC Common market for goods, labour and capital within the region with the goal of having a common currency by the year 2012
The East African Community has also embarked on various infrastructure projects that will ease transportation in the region and promote socio-economic development within the region. With regard to the infrastructure development the project to construct new railway system within the region and improving the existing railway system has been given priority. The new railway project is expected to link several cities and ports within the region. Apart from railway system there are also road projects which have been planned to link the capitals of member countries.
On the issue of energy, identification of projects on EAC energy master plan has been carried out. These include fossil fuels, new and renewable source of energy and power. There is also a project on power interconnectivity that will facilitate border flow of electricity supply in the border towns of the member countries.
With regard to agriculture, there is a comprehensive East African Agricultural and rural development strategy which has been adopted. This strategy is aimed at improving agriculture and to attract more direct foreign investment to the region.
On the aspect of promotion of tourism within the region a number of activities have been carried out including:
- completion of the first phase of the study on the development of Regional Tourism in East Africa;
- establishment of the EAC Tourist Council;
- identification of Regional Training Centers, schools on tourism;
- study on the standardization of hotels.
Foreign investors are invited to invest in the region because of its economic opportunities and the ready market of more than 127 million people.  The EAC is also linked to other regional economic blocs namely; the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa-(COMESA) and Southern Africa Development Community-(SADC). The three blocs comprise of 26 countries with a combined population of 527 million people.

T.D.L.: President Jakaya Kikwete made a State visit to Pretoria on 23 July 2011, further bolstering your country’s long-standing ties with South Africa. Outside of the cultural cooperation agreements already in place, is there good potential for strengthening relations between the two countries in other areas, starting with the economic arena ? What are the vital aspects of their cooperation within SADC, in your view ? How would you assess this organization’s mediation capacity, in light of the crisis in Madagascar, and prior to that in Zimbabwe ?

Tanzania and South Africa have a long historical link that dates back to South Africa’s struggle against the apartheid regime. Former Tanzanian president Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere opened up Tanzania’s door to exiled South Africans and the African National Congress (ANC) established its first offices in Tanzania in 1960’s following the banning of all political parties in South Africa by the South African Apartheid regime. Tanzania also hosted other Southern African Liberation Movements such as FRELIMO of Mozambique, ZANU-PF of Zimbabwe, MPLA of Angola and SWAPO of Namibia.
On political and social dimension the two countries have excellent relations since 1994 after the dismantling of the apartheid regime. Bilateral cooperation has been promoted by opening diplomatic missions on both sides.
On economic front the two countries have enjoy good economic cooperation. There is strong trade cooperation between the two countries. More than 150 South African Companies operate in Tanzania in mining, telecommunication, banking and agricultural sectors.
On the occasion of President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete official visit to South Africa on 19-23 July 2011 the two leaders had an opportunity to further strengthen bilateral relations and signed several bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in key areas of cooperation, in trade, mining, agriculture, arts and culture, infrastructure development and water, science and technology.
All these new agreements aim at promoting trade, investment and job opportunities in the two countries. President Jakaya M. Kikwete was accompanied by a business delegation which met their counterpart in South Africa to discuss more areas of promoting trade and investment.
The two leaders also discussed international pertinent issues like the reforms of the UN Security Council, the global financial institutions and African Union matters and regional integration.
Concerning the issue of conflict in Madagascar, mediation efforts through SADC Committee led by Former Mozambican President H.E Joachim Chissano are still going on to bring the conflicting parties to the table in order to enable them to form a government of national unity. These efforts are aimed at bringing together all former presidents of Madagascar to participate in a process that will end the political impasse in the island.
On the Zimbabwean issue South Africa under SADC had played a crucial role of mediation which culminated into the formation of the government through power sharing.

T.D.L.: Tanzania helped broker the resolution of several conflicts in the Great Lakes region, most notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi, and has pursued a policy of openness towards conflict victims. Could you pinpoint the biggest problems still plaguing this region for our readers? Is your country working to help resolve them through any specific cooperation projects ?

 H.E.B.K.T.: Since Independence in 1961 Tanzania has maintained its policy of helping other countries facing social or political problems including wars, famine and liberation struggle. This policy resulted into welcoming of over one million refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Somalia, DRC and others.
In cooperation with the International Community, Tanzania played a crucial role in mediation efforts of Burundi, DRC, Sudan (Darfour) and Rwanda conflicts which culminated into signing of various peace accords which led to achievement of peace and political stability in the region.
Nevertheless the Great Lakes Region faces serious challenges, despite progress in some areas and relative stability. Tanzania will continue to cooperate with the regional bodies and international community in ensuring peace, security and democratic institutions are well protected for the betterment of the people of the region.

T.D.L.: In addition to the close ties it has forged with the United States, Tanzania is also diversifying its partnerships with emerging countries, as witnessed by Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Dar es Salam in February 2009. How does this help the Tanzanian economy ?

Tanzania has maintained good relationship with countries including America, China and  European Union member states. Since independence Tanzania has been exercising its non-aligned policy which has enabled it to have friends from whatever blocs east or west as it was the case during the Cold War era.
With regard to the Chinese president’s visit to Tanzania in February 2009, the Chinese leader, held talks with Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and other officials. They exchanged views on bilateral ties and discussed  implementation of  measures announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (IOCAC) and the global financial crisis.
The two leaders also discussed how to consolidate and promote the traditional friendship and cooperation (in various economic and social aspects) which was created by the founders of the two countries Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Mao Tsetung.
During the visit president Hu Jintao signed a number of agreements including on development and cooperation in agricultural sector. Tanzania has invited more Chinese Companies in Tanzania to invest in the abundant resources in Tanzania to boost agricultural production and marketing.

T.D.L: Your country was the first African nation to sign an Interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU). What do you hope to gain from strengthening your ties with the EU ?

European Union is still the most important trading partner for Tanzania, close to 25% of Tanzania’s exports are destined to the European Union while 17.5% of Tanzania imports originate from the EU including machinery and transport equipments, pharmaceutical products, chemicals and related items.
Tanzania has made considerable progress in implementing aid effectiveness and donor harmonization agenda. The European Commission is supporting the government’s poverty reduction strategy, called MKUKUTA and participates with other donors in the joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania.
The main focus of previous EC development programme has been to assist the government’s poverty reduction strategy, mostly through budget support, in primary education, roads, water, legal and judicial reform, health and agriculture.
The EC is supporting Tanzania in its efforts to promote regional integration, particularly in the East African Community Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community. Furthermore, the EU is negotiating a new economic partnership Agreement with Tanzania, a comprehensive trade agreement that includes trade alongside development cooperation.

T.D.L.: President Jakaya Kikwete chose Paris for his first official trip to Europe, in May 2006, confirming the great importance France holds for your country. Are you pleased with the direction bilateral affairs have been heading? Could bilateral cooperation be expanded through specific projects, like the convention for fostering the teaching of the French language ?

The bilateral co-operation between The United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of France can be traced way back in the 18th century. It is worth recalling that the first diplomatic mission of France in East, Central and Southern Africa was established in  Zanzibar in 1842 and the French Embassy in Tanzania was opened in Dar Es Salaam on 9th December 1961, the day Tanganyika became independent. Ever since, our bilateral relations have remained good.
French goods and services sold to Tanzania have remained modest. According to the available data, in 2005 France exported to Tanzania goods and services worth €58 million while French imports from Tanzania fetched €24 million.  The main exports to Tanzania included  pharmaceutical products worth 48% of the total imports while Tanzania exported food products amounting to 56% of its total exports. Thus trade balance is unfavourable to Tanzania so far.
French companies that have invested in Tanzania so far include Total, Lafarge (cement); Alcatel (mobile communication), Sodexo, CFAO, Group Bolloré, SDV and AGS. French oil group, Maurel & Prom is involved in the exploration of gas in Mkuranga, Dar es Salaam.
The political relations between the two countries are very good and have been illustrated and strengthened by exchanges of visits by both sides. The visit to Paris by H. E. Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania on May 15th - 16th, 2006 as well as the visit to Tanzania by two French Ministers for Cooperation, Development and Francophonie - Hon. Brigitte Girardin, (former Development Minister) on 23rd - 26th November 2006 and Hon. Alain Joyandet in May, 2009 added new impetus to the existing relations between these two countries.
Following the visit to Tanzania by Hon. Gerardin in 2006, Tanzania and France signed a Partnership Framework Document (PfD) setting out the main guidelines of French Government cooperation with Tanzania for five years (2006 – 2010). Through PfD, France issued a grant to be used in the sectors of water and sanitation, education and tourism development. Partnership framework also includes other four cross cutting sectors: Concerning Water and Sanitation sector, the document emphasizes the implementation of 9 Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Programme as well as Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Projects.  In 2010 Tanzania received through AFD a soft loan to assist in various projects. With regard to education, the teaching of French language from primary school level until university was emphasized.
The cultural relations between Tanzania and France are based on the following institutions:
- The Alliance Française of Dar es Salaam and Franco-Tanzanian Alliance of Arusha (since the year 2000) whereby French language is taught.
- The French School, which enrolls pupils for primary education and caters for ‘‘Centre National d’ Enseignement a Distance’’ (CNED) / National Centre for Distance Learning secondary education programs.
The francophone population of Dar es Salaam since 2001 is benefiting, from broadcasting programmes in French language by RFI on FM over a public local radio station (Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation).
Given the close relationship that Tanzania maintains with other francophone neighbours; the development of Inter African Economic and Cultural Exchange; the development of international tourism, the demand for French language training is increasing in Tanzania. Thus, France is providing support to Secondary Schools where French is taught, the language department at the University of Dar es salaam, the modern language laboratory at the Centre for Foreign Relations at Kurasini, the Chang’ombe University College, and the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA).
Finally to answer to your second question, I would say that the French have a very good and efficient transport system, notably urban mass transit, and long distance train system. They are also good in the construction sector and have good technical know how in agriculture and livestock development and energy. To facilitate easy movement of people and goods within Tanzania and connectivity with our neighbours, we welcome French companies to invest in this sector. The use of tramway, metro and bus system could help solve the transportation nightmare facing the city of Dar es Salaam. The consolidation, improvement and consequent electrification of the Tanzania Central Railway, using our gas energy resources, leading to the establishment of a high speed train services could be considered.
Agriculture is the backbone of Tanzania's economy but the sector is still very weak. Tanzania is also the third country in Africa with a high number of cattle (19.1 million) yet it has minimum contribution to the economy due to lack of technology and expertise. Tanzania thus invites French businessmen to invest in agriculture and livestock development especially in agro-industry.

T.D.L.: Tanzania and France share the desire to ensure security in the Indian Ocean. What shape does military cooperation between the two countries take? What can be done to enhance the bilateral dialogue on strategic issues ?

France and Tanzania share the same concern for peace and security on the African continent, but also in the Indian Ocean. To that effect, Tanzania has shown keen interest for the reinforcement of the ties between its army and French military forces in the southern Indian Ocean zone.
In June 2000, the Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces, along with other African armies, took part in the multinational military exercise " GERANIUM 2000 " which was conducted in the French Island of ‘La Reunion’ and again in late 2003 in Zambia. The third peacekeeping exercise based on Recamp concept (Renforcement des Capacités Africaines au Maintien de la Paix - reinforcement of African peacekeeping capabilities) was organized in Tanzania in February 2002.
The "Tanzanite-Recamp-3" which was later on conducted in Tanga gathered 30 countries and international organizations. Its economic impact was considerable and our military co-operation has received a new impetus. Training sessions are regularly organized by France whereby representatives from the Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces are invited. Moreover, French warships pay one or two official - courtesy calls per year to Dar es Salaam. In June every year, France organizes an International Forum on the African Continent (FICA) on Peace and Security for Civil Servants and Military Officers.  Tanzania participates in these fora.
On the security concerns emanating from the problem of piracy and organized crimes along the Indian Ocean and Somalia, Tanzania has changed its penal code to enable the country receive and try in court the alleged pirates. However we lack capacity in prison facilities and in the judicial system. France and other major countries of the world are welcome to augment cooperating with countries bordering the Indian Ocean and those affected by the menace of piracy to work together.    

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