TANZANIA’S foreign policy focuses on economic diplomacy and has outlined clearly in a segment of its strategies.
The role of the country in terms of its participation and enhancing cooperation in the international community, including the Commonwealth, African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC) and South African Development Community (SADC) cannot be overemphasized.
This year alone, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan represented President John Magufuli in the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, the AU Summit in Mauritania and very recently in a SADC summit in Namibia.
Again, early this year, Tanzania participated in the Commonwealth Heads of state and Government Meeting( CHOGM), which took place from 16th to 20th April in London.
The 2018 CHOGM was chaired by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May and was opened by the Commonwealth Head, Q ueen Elizabeth II. The main theme of the meeting was “Towards a Common Future.”
The conference deliberated on four main priority areas namely; How the Commonwealth can achieve a more prosperous future; future of sustainable development, the most righteous future and the equitable future.
Various issues featured in the meeting including enhancing trade and investment within the Commonwealth countries for the benefit of member states and the whole community; promoting and developing democratic principles; climate change agenda and sustainable development as well as international crime issues such as terrorism, humanitarian crime and human transport.
Hon Samia also met and negotiated with the UK Minister of International Development, Hon Penny Mordaunt. At the meeting, the Vice- President explained the remarkable achievements of President Magufuli’s administration in Education after establishing free education programe for primary school and ordinary level of secondary school.
Ms Samia also appreciated the DFID project which is being implemented in Simiyu Region under the leadership of Regional Commissioner (RC), Anthony Mtaka.
The Vice-President requested that the project be expanded so that more girls could benefit. Ms Samia also commented on how Economic Empowerment Platforms operate in a number of ways as banks now provide loans with cheaper interest rates.
Vice-President also spoke of the various efforts made by the Tanzanian Government in improving business and investment Environment in the country.
After all, the Minister of International Development of UK, Penny Mordaunt congratulated and applauded the 5th Tanzanian administration for its efforts in improving social services and further disclosed that, “UK is ready to assist Tanzania in issues of tax collection and improve teachers’ ability by training them in various programes”.
Furthermore, Hon. Samia Suluhu participated in the African leaders meeting to overview the issue on how to protect endangered species across Africa.
Ambitious proposals to tackle the poaching crime were observed, discussed and debated including opportunities to boost cross border law enforcement so that more elephants and other animals can move more freely and safely in Africa.
According to UK government news site, it is currently reported that, “the numbers are horrific: around 20,000 African elephants are killed by poachers each year”.
Savanna elephant numbers have declined by a third from 2007 to 2014 and there has been a 9,000 per cent increase in rhino poaching in South Africa. Wildlife in many parts of Africa is at crisis levels.
The illegal wildlife trade is a serious organized crime with revenues worth up to £ 17 billion a year, more than the combined income of the Central African Republic, Liberia and Burundi.
On the 2nd July, 2018, Vice- President of the United Republic of Tanzania Hon Samia Suluhu also attended the opening of the 31st Summit of the African Union to represent the President Dr John Magufuli in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The meeting focused on anti corruption issues in Africa, the Joint Trade Strategy, the Defense, Peace and Security issues in DRC Congo, Burundi and the Western Sahara, as well as discussing issues that will bring about productivity in governance and to improve the economy.
During the summit, the Vice- President emphasized that “Tanzania recognizes the fight against corruption requires collective effort at all levels including national, regional and the whole continent”.
Very recently, Hon Samia Suluhu Hassan was in Windhoek, Namibia to represent President Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli in the 38th Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government that was held on 17th -18th August, 2018.
The theme of the summit was “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”.
The Conference discussed various agenda including the election of the chairman and vice- chairman of the SADC, chairman and vicechairman of the SADC Organ of politics, defense and Security, provided reports from the Chairman of the SADC Organ of Politics, Defense and Security, the Secretary General’s statement the Southern African Development Community, the economic situation in the SADC region and reports on the implementation of the Summit of the General Assembly of the Heads of State and Government for 2017.
According to the Vice-President, “the conference discussed the challenges of Peace and Security for the DRC and Lesotho, as well as the general elections in some member states like, Madagascar and the Southern Province”.
Also the Vice-President thanked the SADC for continuing to respect Tanzania and remembering the Father of the Nation, Mwl. Julius Nyerere, by honoring and choosing to have his monument at the African Union Peace and Security Council building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She also expressed her gratitude to the organization when President Magufuli was appointed Vice-Chairman of the SADC for one year, from August 2018 to August 2019. Tanzania will host the next SADC general Summit.
Commenting on Tanzania’s positions in the world community, Abbas Mwalimu, a 3rd year student in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Centre For Foreign Relations said: “Tanzania’s contribution in the UN, AU and SADC is very important and has been playing a significant role in maintaining peace and security in Lebanon, Libya, Comoros and Somalia.’’
Likewise, Farhat Manzi, a graduate from University of Dodoma, in International Relations added: ‘’Tanzania has played a role in the establishment of the African Union (formerly OAU) and the SADC. She has been a pioneer in the liberation struggle of Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and then apartheid South Africa.”
Mbwana Allyamtu, an analyst in International Relations and Diplomacy said, ”Tanzania under the EAC has helped resolve security problems in Burundi and South Sudan.”
- Mohamed Mansour Nassor is an Assistant Lecturer, Department of Geography and Regional Economy & a PhD Candidate in Economics, Department of Political Economy at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow.
- Email: mohamedmansour35 0@ gmail.com; Mob: + 25 5 7 19 9 4 5 14 1