Because of my deep interest in Tanzania, the following article is for me a great honor.
Tanzanian President seeks US economic cooperation
Saturday 23 May 2009, by Konye Obaji Ori
President Kikwete has visited Silicon Valley to meet with technology giants (CISCO, IBM, Google) to discuss technology growth in Tanzania, he has visited Stanford University to discuss clean drinking water for rural Tanzania, and he has met with president Obama to discuss ways of improving development policy in the fields of health, education, and agriculture, and ways of solving some of the most pressing conflicts on the African continent. Reports claim that he is scheduled to visit international organizations and international financial institutions to discuss the way forward for Tanzania’s economy.
According to reports, the active Tanzanian leader was scheduled to discuss the proposed building of an Information Technology college at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania and the possible laying of a fibre-optic cable in Tanzania with Cisco and IBM. He also met with Google to find ways to speed up development and promote efficiency in Tanzania. In three months from now, Tanzania is expected to establish Seacom, the first of three undersea fiber optic cables which will connect East Africa with Europe.
President Kikwete who is a former military officer and an unswerving supporter of Tanzania’s founding president, Julius Nyerere, on Wednesday recieved an award in Los Angeles for his efforts to improve health on the African continent, and for pushing his administration into increasing the country’s health budget to 11 percent.
The Tanzanian president is the first African Head of State to visit the White House under President Obama’s regime. He sat with president Obama at the white House to discuss the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Somalia, the current political situation in Kenya and the ongoing tension between mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar were discussed in the meeting.
Tanzania has not had the type of internal strife that has plagued many African countries, though it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with many of its people living below the World Bank poverty line, it has had some success in wooing donors and investors. Unlike many African countries, whose potential wealth contrast with their actual poverty, Tanzania has few exportable minerals and a primitive agricultural system.
The Tanzanian President is however commended by observers as doing his bid to continue the good work started by his predecessor (former President, Mr. Benjamin Mkapa) who is credited by the IMF and World Bank as being the driving force behind Tanzania’s extensive economic liberalization, which contributed to the country’s economic growth as well as a considerable drop in inflatio