Transcript of Ambassador Childress’ Remarks at Donation of Science Textbooks

Amb Mark B. Childress
Amb Mark B. Childress
Amb Mark B. Childress

Ingawa naendelea kujifunza lugha ya Kiswahili, ningependa kusema kwamba… Ili kujifunza, lazima msome.  Na vitabu kama hivi ni ufunguo wa maendeleo ya siku zijazo – elimu ya sayansi na teknolojia ni msingi wa ustawi wa kiuchumi.  Uwekezaji wetu kwa watoto Watanzania ni muhimu zaidi kuliko wowote, kwa sababu wao wanabeba mustakabali wa Tanzania.  (Translation:  Although I am continuing to learn Swahili, I would like to say that… in order to learn, you have to read.  And books like these are the key to future development — science and technology education is the foundation for economic and social prosperity. Our investment in the children of Tanzania is more important than any other investment, because they carry Tanzania’s future.)

What’s happening today, this extraordinary event, which will affect millions and upon millions of students in this country –  at the base, it reflects the vision of two presidents – President Kikwete, who is sitting here, and my president, President Obama.

Every day I have so many opportunities, and so many unique challenges I find in the strength of our partnership here in Tanzania.

But this particular one is one that the President and I talked about more than once.  And the exciting thing about this is how the vision started with those two Presidents, and it is now working its way to every part of this country.

First Lady Salma Kikwete, President Jakaya Kikwete, and U.S. Ambassador Mark Childress pose with students from Mtakuja Secondary School during a textbook handover event held at the school in Kunduchi Dar es salaam.
First Lady Salma Kikwete, President Jakaya Kikwete, and U.S. Ambassador Mark Childress pose with students from Mtakuja Secondary School during a textbook handover event held at the school in Kunduchi Dar es salaam.

We just visited some of these classrooms, and it was extraordinary to see these students.  And I said Mr. President, I guarantee you — there are students in this classroom today who will become scientists, because President Kikwete visited them in their classroom with these new books – and that’s extraordinary.

And let me just take one minute to say something else, and the President and I know this, many times because the challenges that the United States and Tanzania take on together are such big challenges, such unique opportunities for advancement, we face unusual difficulties.  And one difficulty we faced was we finally got these textbooks here – we got them here in record time and they are fantastic textbooks — and the President made sure they got swept into the country, and then we had to figure how to get them out to every student in the country in time.  And the TPDF came through, the TPDF brought these books to everywhere in the country on time.

And I bet when … and President Kikwete and President Obama thought this up, they didn’t think the TPDF would take it around, but that’s the beauty of Tanzania – you always find a way.

Thank you very much, this is a great day.