Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — Being the transcripts of the remarks by Vice President Harris and President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania in joint press conference on March 30, 2023.
Tanzanian Official: Hello, Your Excellency, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan; Honorable Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America; distinguished guests; members of the press. Good afternoon.
Madam Vice President, you’re warmly welcomed to Tanzania, the beautiful land of Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and Zanzibar, just to mention a few. In front of you are journalists — local journalists and international journalists — from different organizations who are ready to hear your remarks.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan, karibu sana.
President Samia: Thank you so much. Your Excellency Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States of America; senior government officials from Tanzania and the United States; members of the press: A very good afternoon.
Today, Tanzania has made another historic milestone with two female leaders, the Vice President and a President, meeting here at the State House in Dar es Salaam. And to put a shirt on top of all this, the meeting takes place during this very important month, Women’s History Month. Much.
What an inspiration and a testimony to Tanzanian young girls. I truly thank you, Madam Vice President, for honoring my invitation and coming to visit me.
Karibu sana. You’re welcome — very much welcome.
Madam Vice President and dear sister, I thank you for accepting, as I said, my invitation and putting Tanzania — placing Tanzania among the country — priority countries to your visit in Africa. It is also a demonstration of a country’s desire to invigorate its relation with Africa, a very important move and something we have always sought to pursue.
Your visit speaks volumes of our existing bilateral relations in various fields of occupation. High-level visits by our various officials have continued to cement further this relations.
With your visit, I’m sure Tanzania and I — Tanzanians are now anxiously waiting for President Joe Biden’s visit in Tanzania. And please kindly convey our greetings and our invitation that Tanzania is waiting to host him.
It is truly a delight to host you here. Karibu sana. Welcome to Tanzania.
Vice President Harris: Thank you.
President Samia: I hope you know some few Swahili words, at least karibu. You know what karibu, means, yeah? Yeah?
Vice President Harris: Yes.
President Samia: Jambo? Safari? All those Swahili words. I hope you know them.
Vice President Harris: (Inaudible.)
President Samia: Yeah.
Vice President Harris: I know that one.
President Samia: Oh, okay. Great. (Laughter.)
Your Excellency, for over six decades, Tanzania has been a beneficiary of invaluable support from the United States of America. The support has greatly contributed to our national efforts to improve the lives and livelihoods of our people here.
We appreciate the U.S. support in complimenting Tanzanians’ development in Davos, in different sectors such as health, education, water, sanitation, agriculture, food security, natural resources, infrastructure development, human rights and democracy, and good governance, of course.
For instance, in health or health sector, HIV and TB are no longer life-threatening to our people. HIV/AIDS infection has greatest reduced from a prevalent of 7.2 percent in 2012 to 4.7 in ’16, ’17. But it has been reducing further by ‘21.
The new TB infection have reduced from 306 people per thousand to 208 per thousand people, while pregnant women who are infected with HIV are now sure — are assured of giving birth and raising the child free from HIV infection.
And these are those — all the efforts of PEPFAR. So, thank you very much.
Through your support, malaria deaths, which were (inaudible), have now been reduced from 7.7 million in 2015 to 3.5 million in 2021. So we have gone halfway, and I’m sure, with more efforts, we are going to reduce further.
Our goal is toward having a malaria-free society. We count on such program to achieve this — our — this goal. And we’re ready to support interested investors who want to establish manufacturing plants in Tanzania for a manufacturing era in RVs and insecticide bed nets. We are very keen on such investors.
And this is because we want to shorten the supply chain. If they’re producing in Tanzania, then the supply could be very easy.
Madam Vice President, as the world is grappling with food insecurity due to drastic climate effects, Tanzania is grateful to the U.S. government for reinstating it to the food — the Feed the Future program — Feed the Future Initiative. This move have come at an opportune moment, given our national agenda, of boosting agriculture-led economic growth by transforming this sector.
So the government of Tanzania commends the initiative and commitment by the government of United States of America towards strengthening ocean governance and sustainable utilization of blue economy resources in Tanzania.
I’m informed that our dear gentleman is going to launch the U.S. project on Respect the Ocean. Or in Swahili, we say “Heshimu Bahari,” Respect the Ocean.
Vice President Harris: Right.
President Samia: Today, afternoon.
Vice President Harris: He is.
President Samia: I think he’s doing it now.
Vice President Harris: Yes.
President Samia: This will indeed complement our efforts in promoting blue economy-related policies and initiatives in Tanzania.
We particularly welcome cooperation in following areas: fishing, especially deep-sea fishing; aquafarming; salt mining; gas exploration; blue tourism; and marine transportation. These are the potential areas of investments in Tanzania with a blue economy.
Tanzania still enjoys several other assistance interventions from the great people of United States of America, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act — AGOA.
We request for an early renewal of AGOA because it’s only — it is only through business — the business and trade is growing only through AGOA. And so we are requesting an extension of at least — we are aware that this program is going to terminate in 2025. But the African countries — Tanzania, one of them — we’re requesting for an extension of at least 10 years so that the investors who are now investing in Tanzania, taking advantage of that market, have to be sure of the availability of the market. So if we go up to 2030, that would be great for us. Thank you so much.
Madam Vice President, acceptable democratic space has been a major concern of my government. We have endeavored to build a democratic state that upholds transparency and respect of the rule of law. And in this connection, I’m grateful to the President Joe Biden for inviting me to participate in the Summit for Democracy in 2023, which I did virtually.
This invitation sends a clear message that the fathers of democracy recognize our efforts in building a democratic nation.
As an important partner in our pursuit for democracy and good governance, this recognition from the U.S. leadership means a lot to the government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Madam Vice President and members of the press, it is our firm belief that this visit will not only offer an opportunity for our country to strengthen the existing relation, but also will provide a platform to explore new areas of cooperation.
And I understand we have signed some of the memorandum of understanding. Have we signed already? Yes? Some of the memorandum of understanding. And these include port cooperation. We have signed on commercial dialogue and information communication technology. We have also signed on — yeah, information communication technology, commercial dialogue, and port cooperation — three of them — of which each one is having a lot in it. I think the technical teams are going to work on them, and we’ll see how we start working on them after identification of the issues in the MOU.
My most important request now is to ensure full implementation of those agreements. Madam Vice President, I take the liberty of assuring Tanzanian — the commitment of the government of Tanzania in honoring those agreement. So I took the liberty of assuring on behalf of fellow Tanzanians.
And last but not least, the issue of visas to facilitate the movement of people, goods, and services between our two countries. And in this respect, Tanzania welcomes the readiness of the government of the United States of America to review the existing visa status to enable the citizens of our two nations to benefit for a long-duration visa.
We believe, under this arrangement, our two countries will register a significant increase in trade, tourism, and investment.
And in conclusion, I take this opportunity to reaffirm Tanzania’s commitment to further promoting our bilateral relation with the U.S. — USA — for mutual benefit of our two countries and people.
Madam Vice President, thank you once again for visiting me and my country. And I look forward to fruitfully discussion together.
Please, you may proceed.
Vice President Harris: Thank you, Madam President. Thank you. (Applause.)
Well, I thank you for the warm welcome to Tanzania.
President Samia: Thank you. You’re welcome.
Vice President Harris: It was my honor to host you at the White House in April of last year and then to meet again in December of last year at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. And both times you invited me to visit your beautiful country, and I’m glad to have been able to make the trip and to see you today. So thank you for the warm welcome.
The U.S.-Tanzania relationship has deep and historic roots. President Kennedy met with Julius Nyerere in 1961, several months before your nation’s independence.
Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all have traveled here in recognition of our strong partnership.
And thanks to the progress of your administration, you have made a champion — you have been a champion in terms of democratic reforms in this country and, in that way, have expanded our partnership. And so today, then, is part of the strengthening of the relationship between our two countries.
And under your leadership —
President Samia: Yes —
Vice President Harris: — I have full confidence that we will be able to do just that.
President Samia: That’s my commitment. Thank you.
Vice President Harris: And the Biden-Harris administration is committed to strengthening this relationship going forward.
Today, we will discuss many topics; we have discussed a few already. But the topics we will continue to discuss include the issue as you have raised of democracy and good governance. We will discuss and continue to discuss the issue of long-term economic growth for Tanzania, the climate crisis, and then regional and global challenges.
On the subject of democracy and good governance: As I said in Ghana, polling tells us the vast majority of Africans support democracy over other forms of government. This reflects a shared desire between us.
And the United States will continue to work alongside democratic governments in support of democratic aspirations and the democratic aspirations, in particular, of the people of this continent.
Madam President, under your leadership, Tanzania has taken important and meaningful steps. And President Joe Biden and I applaud you.
President Samia: Thank you.
Vice President Harris: You have been open to working with the political opposition. We have discussed that.
You have lifted the ban on political party public rallies. You worked to improve the freedom of the press. And just yesterday, you participated, as you mentioned, in the Summit for Democracy.
On the subject of economic growth, good governance delivers predictability, stability, and rule of law, which businesses need to invest.
Working together, it is our shared goal to increase economic investment in Tanzania and strengthen our economic ties. To do so, I am pleased to announce a series of new initiatives:
One, the Export-Import Bank will sign an MOU with Tanzania, which will facilitate up to $500 million in U.S. exports to Tanzania in the areas of transportation, infrastructure, digital technology, and clean energy projects. Two, we are launching a new partnership on 5G technology and cybersecurity. As I have been making clear on this trip to the continent, I believe that the innovation and ingenuity that is taking place here on the continent will shape the future of the world and will benefit the world.
In Tanzania alone, thanks to your leadership, Madam President, and partnership with the private sector, work is currently underway to build the first-of-its-kind processing facility on the continent for minerals that go into electric vehicle batteries. This will deliver battery-grade nickel to the United States and global markets as soon as 2026.
This project is an important and pioneering model, using innovative and low-emission technology and high labor standards.
Importantly, raw minerals will soon be processed in Tanzania, by Tanzanians. It will help address the climate crisis, build resilient global supply chains, and create new industries and jobs.
There is so much potential for growth here. So our administration is now working with partners to identify additional opportunities for critical minerals from the region to be processed in this new facility.
On the issue of security, I thank you for Tanzania’s contribution to peace and security in the region. You and I will discuss the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine on food supplies and how we can best support Tanzania’s efforts toward climate adaptation and resilience.
We will also highlight and I will highlight the important work you have done to support the women in Tanzania as a historic female leader on the continent.
As I have said many times, women around the world must be able to fully participate in economic, political, and social life. And they must be able to participate equally, including in leadership roles.
When you lift up the economic status of women, you lift up the economic status of families, of communities, and all of society benefits.
And yesterday I was proud to announce more than $1 billion in public- and private-sector commitments to support the empowerment of women on the continent.
My last point is to commend the Tanzanian government for its transparent response to the Marburg virus. Your continued coordination and information sharing with international partners has been critical to contain the spread of the virus.
Our governments remain in close contact, and our work together builds on decades of collaboration on public health issues.
Through USAID, we plan to provide another $1.3 million to support your response efforts. And we are providing personal protective equipment to help Tanzanian responders.
On all of these issues, Madam President, our administration looks forward to working with you and to continuing to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Tanzania.
And I thank you for the warm welcome again. Thank you.
President Samia: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Vice President Harris: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)