4Rs bedrock of Samia’s feats

TANZANIA: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan marked three years in office yesterday, marking a journey of enormous socio-economic and political feats.

Since ascending to the highest office in 2021, President Samia has piloted the country through a period of profound transformation, ushering in an era defined by hope, inclusivity, and progress.

As the first female president of Tanzania, Samia’s inauguration symbolised more than just a transfer of power; it heralded the dawn of a new chapter in the nation’s story.

Central to President Samia’s vision for Tanzania are the principles encapsulated in her 4Rs philosophy: reconciliation, resilience, reforms, and rebuilding.

“Through these 4R’s we aim at creating a modern, competitive, vibrant and inclusive economy that provides opportunities for all,” says President Samia, hyping her well-received philosophy.

She insisted that the 4Rs are essential for addressing the current social, political and economic issues in the country.

Building reconciliation
President Samia put it clearly that she will build a better Tanzania, in which its people live harmoniously, united and empathetically.

“I wish to foster unity regardless of our political, religious or ethnic differences,” she said, arguing that would be possible if everyone enjoyed equal rights before the law, if there is no discrimination and if there are equal economic opportunities for all.

Under President Samia, Tanzania has continued to thrive as a peaceful and politically stable country.
President Samia has kept her words by embracing political pluralism, upholding tenets of democracy and the rule of law, after lifting the long-standing ban on political rallies.

The President directed the police and other security forces to allow parties to hold rallies without undue hassles, albeit reminded politicians to uphold civilised and constructive politics, and observe the country’s laws.

Through such gestures of goodwill and acts of forgiveness, she has succeeded to bridge the gap between opposing factions, fostering a sense of unity and solidarity among Tanzanian citizens.

Former ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe applauds President Samia’s efforts to keep Tanzanians united regardless of ideological differences.

Mr Kabwe noted that President Samia’s efforts since taking office, including individual meetings with political party leaders and the establishment of a task force to align stakeholder perspectives on multi-party democracy, have led to a notably stable political environment in the nation.

“You can do everything in this country for development, but generations will remember you for your ideas and what you’re doing… what you’ve explained in the 4R, is a way to show how you commit to a united country,” he said while attending President Samia’s public rally at Lake Tanganyika Stadium in Kigoma Region in October, 2022.

Chadema Chairman Free Mbowe, whose party has held a number of political rallies across the country since the lifting of the political party rallies, applauded President Samia for demonstrating political maturity through reconciliation.

“Without mincing words, I stand in front of Mwanza community and the world in general to express my gratitude to President Samia for being tolerant in various meetings which aimed at encouraging reconciliation for the national interests,” he said.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) Chairman, Mr John Cheyo, also commended President Samia for opening the doors for the engagement of all political stakeholders in enhancing the democratic space and political activities.

Resilience
President Samia has all along inspired Tanzanians to stand strong and united in pursuing national development goals, leading her people steadfastly towards achieving socio-economic growth.

“Throughout our journey, we will encounter challenges and obstacles in various aspects such as economics, politics, society, and the environment.

However, it is crucial to remain resilient as we have no alternative country to turn to,” she says in her 4Rs philosophy.

She led the way in this by becoming the first President in Tanzania to participate in a Royal Tour documentary in an effort to revive the tourism sector which had been adversely affected by the Covid-19.

Since its premiere in April 2022, the documentary has already started yielding positive results, evident in the increasing number of visitors each year.

The tourist arrivals surged by 24.3 per cent to a record-breaking 1,808,205 visitors in the year ending December 2023, compared to 1,797,347 in the previous period, attributed to the tourism sector’s recovery and resulting increase in travel revenue.

As reported by the Parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources, and Tourism, the sector generated 3.3 billion US dollars (approximately 8.25tri/-) by last December.

The Bank of Tanzania’s Quarterly Economic Review for the final quarter of 2023 indicates the sector has created 1,600,000 direct jobs, accounting for 11 per cent of all employment opportunities in the country.

Reforms
Upon assuming office, President Samia committed to implementing reforms in the realms of politics, the economy, and electoral legislation.

“Electoral law reforms will level the political playing field, empowering the electorate to choose their desired leaders. Economic reforms will broaden access to economic opportunities, benefiting a larger segment of the population,” said Dr Samia.

She has since accented three electoral reforms Acts which were passed by Parliament in February 2024 aimed to reshape the country’s political and electoral landscape.

They are the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Act, 2023, the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections Act, 2023 and the Political Parties Affairs Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

They seek to establish an independent electoral commission and address key democratic reforms that aim to level the political playing field in the upcoming elections.

President Samia has introduced several reforms aimed at boosting Tanzania’s economy. Her efforts to modernise the agricultural sector, enhance production, and improve efficiency have largely been successful through the implementation of various government subsidies and credits.

Moreover, President Samia’s government has implemented effective financial policies to ensure price stability, growth and strengthen control in the financial sector.

From 2021 to 2023, Tanzania recorded robust economic growth, with investments soaring to record high levels on the back of ongoing business reforms to improve Tanzania’s business climate.

As a result, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth increased from 4.7 per cent in 2022 to 5.0 per cent in 2023, according to Bank of Tanzania.

The robust growth place Tanzania among top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa in 2023.

The government has also initiated reforms of public entities aimed at ensuring that those with commercial aspects prioritise customer satisfaction and operate profitably, with President warning non-performing entities will be deregistered, while others will be merged.

On the other hand, President Samia has expedited educational reforms as a key element of her vision for Tanzania’s economy.

The government’s commitment to education is evident in increased investments in infrastructure and overall educational standards.

As a result, there has been enhanced school accessibility, higher enrollment rates, and reduced dropout rates

Rebuild
The sixth-phase government has continued with major construction projects in the infrastructure, energy and mining sectors in efforts to attain sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

In terms of land transportation, the government has continued to complete the construction of roads, bridges, and ferries in various regions.

“I am aware that people cannot eat reconciliation, resilience or reforms. At the end of the day – as did my predecessors Benjamin Mkapa, Jakaya Kikwete and John Magufuli – our main goal should be economic growth,” says President Samia.

She adds that the envisaged economic growth should be sustainable enough to create employment to Tanzanian youth and open up opportunities to all social groups in the country.

“In agriculture we are going to institute more reforms to ensure that the crucial sector starts to have an important contribution to the economy,” he adds.

Her government launched a modern agriculture programme called ‘Build a Better Tomorrow’ (BBT) to increase production, stimulate processing industries, and create jobs for the youth.

The sixth phase government has given priority to the mining sector, with the country eventually witnessing a 6.4 per cent increase in the value of produced minerals and a 5.8 per cent increase in minerals exported abroad, reaching 3.15 billion US dollars.

In recognising the significant contribution of small-scale miners, the government purchased five drilling machines for them to increase efficiency and their contribution to the mining sector in 2023.

In major leap to power production, the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) has successfully begun electricity generation trials after connections with the transmission lines of Chalinze Substation.

Under President Samia, significant efforts have been made to enhance healthcare services in the country by hiring professionals, purchasing medicines, medical equipment, and tools.

In 2023, the government employed a total of 17,309 professionals and allocated 190.9bn/- for the purchase of medicines.

The government’s investments in medical equipment have included the installation of five MRI and thirty CT scan machines in healthcare centres across 24 out of 26 regions. Furthermore, 140 machines for early cervical cancer treatment in women have been provided.

President Samia’s administration has also distributed 369 ambulances for patient transport and healthcare coordination nationwide.

To encourage students to pursue science, President Samia introduced the Samia Scholarship Program. In 2022, nearly 3bn/- were used to fund 636 students in science courses at various universities, while in 2023, the government allocated 6.7bn/-, benefiting 1,019 students.

The President is praised for promoting openness within the country and enhancing both multilateral and bilateral relationships, thereby elevating the country’s reputation on the global stage.

President Samia’s diplomatic visits have enabled Tanzania to enhance its economy through Foreign Direct Investment.

She has worked diligently to establish and reinforce economic ties with nations in Africa, Europe, America and Asia.

Her efforts have successfully earned the country financial support to undertake its ambitious development projects including the standard gauge railway, the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project, ports, roads, and various other initiatives.

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