US, Gates extend helping hand

PRESIDENT John Magufuli bids farewell to visiting Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Chairperson Bill Gates who paid a courtesy call at the State House in Dar es Salaam, yesterday. Right is the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu. From left are Diplomatic Advisor to the President, Ms Zuhura Bundala, Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr Charles Tizeba (third left) and delegates who accompanied the Foundation Chairperson. (Photo by State House)

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  • Tanzania set to benet from 1.3tri/- grants

TANZANIA’s development drive got a major boost yesterday with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and US government pledging 780bn/- and 500bn/-, respectively in support of key sector projects.

They separately made their promises to the government at their meeting with President John Magufuli at the State House in Dar es Salaam. Totalling about 1.3tri/-, the money is planned to fund projects in agriculture, health, electronic information systems, education, nutrition and good governance, according to a statement from the State House Communications Department.

The Foundation Co-chair, Mr Bill Gates, assured to support the country shortly after talking with President Magufuli. And, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam Inmi Patterson said the US government would disburse 225 million US dollars (about 500bn/-) in the next fiscal year to support the projects.

Mr Gates explained that in the spirit of cooperation between his foundation and Tanzania in improving health services to wananchi, more resources would be allocated to execution of projects in the health sector.

He said the focus would be on reducing maternal deaths, fighting malaria, improving nutrition and countering malnutrition. Mr Gates further pointed out that financing agriculture is of critical importance to boost agricultural production through improved seeds and modern livestock keeping for higher productivity.

He appreciated Tanzania’s economic development and the national leadership, singling out President Magufuli’s determination to see all projects delivering to public expectations.

The world’s richest person vowed to frequently visit Tanzania to strengthen the cooperation and closely monitor the execution of the foundation funded projects.

Delighted by the support, President Magufuli thanked Mr Gates for his huge contribution to different projects, assuring him of proper management of the funds to get the envisaged results.

The meeting between President Magufuli and Mr Bill Gates was attended by Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Charles Tizeba and Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu.

Ms Patterson hinted that for the US, having strong cooperation with Tanzania was the key factor for additional funds to the projects in the country. Dr Magufuli thanked Ms Patterson for the support that the US has been extending to Tanzania, saying the government will sustain the cordial and strong cooperation between the two countries.

Meanwhile, President Magufuli asked the diplomat to encourage US investors to invest and conduct business in Tanzania, where there are abundant opportunities. He appealed to the US to help in the construction of the major national hospital in the designated capital, Dodoma, to boost the region’s capacity in provision of health services.

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