DIASPORA SPECIAL STATUS: Samia hints major strides

OSLO, Norway: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has announced that the government is in the process of finalising legal procedures regarding land and immigration issues before granting special status to Tanzanians residing abroad.

Addressing Tanzanians living in Norway and neighbouring countries during her state visit to the Nordic country, President Samia emphasised the government’s commitment to acknowledging the importance of special status for the diaspora community.

Last year, Tanzania unveiled its intention to provide special status, particularly to diaspora, aimed at bolstering their involvement in national development endeavours.

The proposed amendments to immigration laws are set to offer benefits such as inheritance rights and investment incentives.

During the meeting, President Samia urged the diaspora to actively support the government’s initiatives in promoting Tanzania to attract tourists, investors, and entrepreneurs, consequently fostering economic growth.

Acknowledging the diaspora’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, President Samia encouraged them to continue advocating for Tanzania by highlighting its attractions and investment opportunities.

Additionally, she emphasised the importance of preserving Tanzanian culture, including the Kiswahili language and adhering to laws and regulations in their respective countries of residence. Providing insights into Tanzania’s economic and political landscape, President Samia highlighted positive economic growth despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are continuing our efforts to develop our economy, and my visit to Norway is part of our efforts to strengthen economic cooperation. Tanzania is making strides in development and has been named by the International Monetary Fund as one of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world,” President Samia said.

She disclosed that the economy grew by 5.2 per cent last year, a notable increase from the 4.7 per cent recorded in 2022, with projections indicating a further rise to 6.5 per cent by 2027.

Tanzania’s economic strides have been recognised by international bodies, including the International Monetary Fund, which listed it among the world’s fastest growing economies.

Addressing concerns about unemployment, President Samia affirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to empowering youth and women through various initiatives.

Notable programmes include the establishment of better markets for urban youth and the Build a Better Tomorrow (BBT) initiative, aimed at empowering rural youth in agriculture, fisheries, and animal husbandry sectors.

On education and healthcare, President Samia assured the diaspora that Tanzania continues to prioritise fee-free education from primary to secondary levels, alongside offering loans to university and technical college students.

During her speech, Grace Olotu, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Norway and representative for Scandinavian and Baltic Countries, provided statistics indicating the diaspora’s presence across various nations, highlighting their diverse roles as businessmen, workers, and students. She said there are 3,973 individuals in the diaspora in her area of representation. In Norway, there are 1,407, while Sweden has 1,815.

Denmark has 1,001, Finland has 725, Iceland has 11, Estonia has 11, and Ukraine has 4. Represented by Margaret Adaa, a member of the Organising Committee, the diaspora commended President Samia for her efforts in fostering unity, solidarity, and economic growth the country.

Furthermore, at the 2024 Oslo Energy Forum, President Samia emphasised the pivotal role of African nations in the global transition to greener energy. While acknowledging challenges in technology accessibility, she emphasised Africa’s abundant reserves of essential raw materials necessary for renewable energy production.

President Samia highlighted that although Africa may not have the technology for greener energy, the continent possesses significant reserves of cobalt, manganese, and platinum, making it capable of contributing to the global transition towards greener energy.

“So, for practical reasons, energy transition and developing countries should be passed. And properly coordinated. That being said, however, we might not have the technology for greener energy in Africa, but we have the raw materials needed for this purpose,” President Samia noted.

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