In honor of the 245th anniversary of U.S. Independence
The 60th anniversary of the start of U.S.-Tanzania Relations
On July 4, Americans celebrated the 245th anniversary of our independence. Our nation’s struggle for independence was inspired by certain values: equality, freedom, and universal human rights as well as the pursuit of progress, prosperity, and dignity for all people. These core values continue to guide us today.
These values also form the foundation of the close friendship between the U.S. and Tanzania, a friendship which marks its 60th anniversary this year.
On this month, sixty years ago, Tanzania’s founding father Mwalimu Julius Nyerere met U.S. President John F. Kennedy for the first time. From that first meeting came an admiration felt by Kennedy and the American people for Tanzania, and a commitment to support the young nation’s development. That commitment has never wavered.
For six decades, the U.S. has stood side by side with the people of Tanzania in support of achieving the nation’s development goals.
When newly independent Tanzania needed help expanding its infrastructure, the U.S. responded by building thousands of kilometers of roads, most notably the Tanzania-Zambia highway which helped connect Tanzania’s southern agricultural corridor with international markets.
To help realize Mwalimu Nyerere’s vision of increasing access to education for Tanzania’s people, the U.S. sent Peace Corps Volunteers to rural schools. We also helped build numerous higher learning institutions, including Sokoine University of Agriculture, the College of African Wildlife Management at Mweka, the Institute of Public Administration, and teacher training colleges in both Iringa and Dar es Salaam.
When President Ali Hassan Mwinyi decided to pursue economic and political reforms, the U.S. was a strong partner in achieving this vision. Our programs helped enlarge the private sector and strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations and the free press.
When President Mkapa committed Tanzania to combatting the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, the U.S. joined the fight by launching the PEPFAR program, the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in human history. Since PEPFAR started in 2003, AIDS-related deaths in Tanzania have declined by almost 75 percent.
When President Kikwete told President Obama about the need to expand access to electricity to rural areas and boost agricultural productivity, again the U.S. rose to the challenge. The $700 million Millennium Challenge program, launched in 2008, enabled the installation of 3,000 kilometers of power lines and built 800 power sub-stations. The Feed the Future initiative, begun in 2012, has benefited 800,000 Tanzanian farmers by harnessing technology to boost productivity on over 3.6 million hectares of farmland.
The U.S. is proud of the support we have provided to Tanzania over the decades, but we are also grateful for the assistance that Tanzania gives to us. Through its efforts to support African independence movements, harbor refugees from humanitarian crises, and provide troops for regional peacekeeping operations, Tanzania has long been a force for stability and peace. All the world, including the U.S., owes a debt of gratitude for these efforts. I would be remiss if I did not also mention the assistance Tanzania gave to the U.S. following the devastating terrorist attack that destroyed our embassy in 1998. Tanzanian first responders and law enforcement agents provided aid and comfort to our wounded and helped bring the perpetrators to justice. For this act of friendship, I, and the American people, are eternally grateful, and we will never forget.
Today the partnership between our nations is closer than ever. The U.S. and Tanzania are working together
- To reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as AIDS, malaria, and COVID-19;
- To strengthen delivery of health care, especially for mothers, children, and the most vulnerable;
- To expand access to quality education;
- To empower women, youth, and marginalized communities;
- To strengthen democratic institutions and ensure human rights are protected; and
- To boost economic growth and trade to create greater prosperity for both our countries.
Over the coming months, the U.S. Embassy will be celebrating the six decades of friendship between Tanzania and the U.S. through a campaign we are calling “Pamoja 60.” I encourage everyone to follow our social media platforms to learn more about the many activities and events planned.
As U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, I am committed to strengthening our partnership, so that the next 60 years are as productive and rewarding as the previous sixty. Together, I know there is nothing we cannot achieve.
U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania