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Tanzania - US Relations

The strong bilateral relations between the United States of America and the United Republic of Tanzania began over 50 years ago with the friendship between former presidents John F. Kennedy and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and continue to this day.

In 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar unified to create the country now known as Tanzania. While focusing primarily on education, USAID also invested in community development, conservation and infrastructure projects in order to transport food and water to rural areas. In 1965, Tanzania expelled more than 300 US Peace Corps workers after diplomatic quarrels over Tanzanias receipt of military assistance from the Peoples Republic of China. The US. State Departments protest of Chinese military involvement in Tanzania drew an angry reaction from President Nyerere.

Most notably, in 1966 on behalf of USAID, the Stanford Research Institute studied the potential of a Tanzania-Zambia Highway. Food assistance also began in this decade when, in 1962, Catholic Relief Services began administering the Food for Peace program (created under U.S. Public Law 480) as a response to food shortages. Food assistance continued through a school feeding program.

The US Foreign Assistance Act of 1973 sought to refocus aid in an effort to improve the lives of the poorest majority. For Tanzania, this was the rural farming population, roughly 90 percent of the population. USAIDs mission in Tanzania began to recognize the importance of programs specific to each site, region and even the country that addressed cultural, political and economic conditions in the field. The USAID mission in Tanzania used this strategy to continue developing Tanzanias institutional strength and to increase food production.

The 1970s were marked by an increased focus on large-scale agricultural projects with the goal of increasing small farm outputs. Programs included increasing credit available to farmers, bolstering the extension service within the Ministry of Agriculture, including seed multiplication and distribution. In 1973, the Tanzania-Zambia (TanZam) Highway was completed, linking Tanzania to international markets and increasing accessibility to its own southwestern region. The mission sought to strengthen rural health centers and train health care workers; family planning and maternal health programs also emerged during this decade.

The United States had traditionally avoided direct competition with other nations in Africa. However, In the 1970s the Soviet presence in Somalia and Guinea, the Chinese presence in Tanzania and Zambia, coupled with the political conditions in Mozambique and Angola presented the Communist powers with potential control of resources and logistic bases that would be damaging to the strategic interests of the United States and which complicated relations between African nations.

Building on successes from the previous decade, the 1980s began with USAID supporting policies that met Tanzanias goal of decentralization. USAID fought to empower rural areas to govern themselves well in order to maximize agricultural advances of the time.

Despite progress, a foreign exchange crisis was looming in Tanzania. In 1982, in response to non-repayment of loans, the United States invoked the Brooke Amendment of the Foreign Assistance Act. As a result, no new funds were allocated to the mission, resulting in a phase out plan over a four-year time period. Through negotiations and debt restructuring, the Brooke Amendment was lifted in 1987, breathing new life into the mission.

When USAID began to scale up again in the late 1980s, it was with a new focus. Transportation in rural areas remained a core objective; however, HIV/AIDS was beginning to surface as an important global issue. In 1983, the first AIDS case was diagnosed. By the late 1980s HIV rates were as high as 40 percent in certain sectors of the Tanzanian population. USAID supported the development of the National AIDS Control Program and began to distribute and promote the use of condoms.

Tanzanias Economic Recovery Program (1986) in conjunction with assistance programs finally gave way to growth in the agricultural sector. With the saturation of agricultural aid, the U.S. mission shifted its attention to employment and reproductive health.

While diplomatic coordination between the two countries was limited during the Cold War and security cooperation was even more limited, coordination and cooperation improved sharply after al-Qaeda bombed the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam on August 7, 1998.

Since the election of President Kikwete in December 2005, U.S.-Tanzanian bilateral relations significantly deepened. President Kikwete's pro-Western stance, coupled with an increasing level of U.S. assistance, was the catalyst for this change, enhancing cooperation in sectors from health and education, to counterterrorism and military affairs. President Kikwete visited the U.S. several times since taking office, including an official visit with President Bush in Washington, D.C., in August 2008. A 2008 Pew Global Attitudes Poll showed a 19 percent increase, to 65 percent, of Tanzanians who had a favorable attitude towards the US.

During President Bush's historic trip to Tanzania in February 2008, the relationship was further cemented through the public signing of the MCC compact and, equally importantly, the favorable reaction of Tanzanian citizenry to President Bush's visit to hospitals, factories and schools in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

President Bush returned in December 2011 to make appearances in Dar es Salaam on the occasion of World Aids/HIV day. President Kikwete has visited the United States several times, including an official visit to Washington in August 2008, and became the first African president to be received by President Barack Obama at the White House in May 2009. Secretary Clinton visited the country in June 2011 on a tour of the region to underscore strong relations between the two countries.

The U.S. has provided development assistance to Tanzania since independence, contributing $700 million in 2011, mainly on development and capacity building to promote transparency, address health and education issues, and target development indicators to sustain progress. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided over $340 million in 2011 towards improving public health and quality of basic education, biodiversity conservation, and natural resource management. Feed the Future, launched by Secretary Clinton in June 2011, provided $61.5 million this year to boost agricultural growth and productivity, promote market development and trade expansion along with equitable rural economic growth, invest in global innovation and research, and address mother and child malnutrition.

Through the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States partners with the Tanzanian Government on the largest international health commitment ever by any nation dedicated to a single disease. Since 2004, over $1.8 billion in PEPFAR funds have supported national, international, and civil society organizations in Tanzania in the areas of HIV and AIDS care and treatment, prevention, impact mitigation, and health systems strengthening. As a result, over 300,000 Tanzanians living with HIV infection have received anti-retroviral medications while millions have received HIV testing and counseling and benefited from information about how to avoid HIV infection. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pregnant women receive HIV testing during pregnancy and, if found to have HIV infection, are given medications to prevent HIV transmission to their babies.

Launched in 2005, the Presidents Malaria Initiative (PMI) is an expansion of U.S. Government resources to reduce malaria and poverty in 17 African countries. Since 2006, PMI has dedicated $210 million toward fighting malaria in Tanzania. Funding supports many activities nationwide that have reduced malaria prevalence in Zanzibar to less than 1%, and helped the Mainland to achieve universal bed-net coverage to prevent malaria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assists the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Government of Tanzania in responding to emerging public health threats and infectious disease outbreaks such as H1N1, Rift Valley Fever, measles, and Avian Influenza. Through CDC, over 80 new modern HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Centers (CTC) have opened across the country providing free life saving AIDS treatment services with Anti-Retroviral Drugs (ARV) where well-trained and skilled medical staff provide not only medications but also lab tests, counseling, and social support.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) granted Tanzania a five year $698 million Compact signed in 2008, the largest in MCC's history, to address critical transport, energy and water infrastructure needs. Prior to that, MCC provided Tanzania a two year $11.15 million Threshold Program that helped curb corruption in public procurement, strengthen the rule of law for good governance, and trained over 300 journalists in investigative reporting to support a free media essential to democratic development and transparency.

Peace Corps launched the first volunteers to Tanzania in 1962. Over 2,000 volunteers have served and continue to serve in Tanzania as math and science teachers in secondary schools and teacher trainers in information and communication technology. They lead health education projects that increase basic health knowledge and improve health attitudes and behaviors, and lead environment projects addressing basic village-level needs for sustaining natural resources.

Several exchange programs welcome Tanzanians to the United States through the Fulbright, Humphrey, and English Language program educational grants at the graduate and post-graduate levels. Other exchange programs promote artists, journalists, writers, civil servants, young leaders, musicians, and students. In Zanzibar, the U.S. has sponsored English teaching programs and provided over 600,000 science books to secondary students.

US President Barack Obamas June 2013 visit to Tanzania as the last stop of his African tour, underscored the silent competition with China to tap the countrys growing economic potential. Chinese companies are already at the forefront, leading construction of buildings and infrastructure. But the United States is also looking for a stronger foothold, a priority emphasized by US President Barack Obamas visit to the country.

China and the United States have a very different approach to aid and investment. When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania in March he emphasized his country would always offer assistance with no political strings attached. American public investment however, is often tied to economic and political reforms.

CJTF-HOAs combined joint operational area consists of 7 countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, and Sudan. In addition, it has named another 11 countries as areas of interest: Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen.





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Page last modified: 10-05-2015 19:42:08 ZULU