Union @60: Pillars of success

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday revealed three factors, which make the Union to remain unshakable, citing some as faith and strong determination by the Union founders-the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Abeid Amani Karume.

In her televised address to the nation to mark 60th Anniversary of the Union, the Head of state noted that the two leaders were at the forefront in the Pan-African Movement of Eastern and Central Africa (PAFMECA). The PAFMECA focused on building unity, solidarity and cooperation among Africans, who formerly were under colonialism.

Quoting Mwl Nyerere, she said in one of the PAFMECA meetings: “We must pressurise offices of the colonialists with the aim of not only demanding for the freedom of Tanganyika, then Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar, but also for the liberation of the whole East Africa as one political union.”

Also read: Dozen African leaders to witness Tanzania’s 60’s union parade

President Samia further stated: “Therefore, the decision to unite our countries was not something which came overnight but was as a result of strong determination of wanting our countries to unite.”

Elaborating, she added that the issue of historical brotherhood/sisterhood was another factor, arguing that Zanzibaris and Tanganyikans were only separated by colonial borders, originally, they were people of one community. “For instance, many fellows in Tanga, Coast, Lindi, Mtwara, Morogoro, Mwanza Shinyanga and Tabora regions have their blood relatives in Zanzibar.

This has also contributed to strengthening our Union,” she affirmed, adding: “Therefore, it’s a political Union which is built on the historical social foundations.”

She said under the Union, citizens are free to move from one side of the country to another, adding: “Build houses and get married to bring forth a new generation of Tanzanians, who do their daily activities with ease.”

Dr Samia said the socio-economic mingling has increased the pace of the people to associate more among themselves.

“There are people travelling by dhows from Unguja and Pemba to Pangani, Mkwaja, Saadani, Bagamoyo, Mafia, Kilwa and so on.

There are also people coming from Coast areas in Mainland entering Zanzibar through Fuoni Port, Kizimkazi, Fumba and Mkokotoni. Also, there are those using modern boats or planes.

“Without the Union, all these people would have been forced to follow difficult procedures to travel, perhaps involving seeking visa, passports and even securing employment permits,” she pointed out.

President Samia went on mentioning the presence of strong leaders who put their people and national interests first as well as their spirit of serving the public for the benefits of the majority, as all having contributed to the growth of the Union.

“It is our duty to put in place a more friendly environment for our people to cooperate, build unity and national solidarity so that our Union lives on generation after generation and brings more benefits,” said President Samia. On the achievements registered in the past 60 years, the Head of State said the Union has successfully brought the citizens together, adding that it enabled Tanzanians to cherish freedom and protect the January 1964 Zanzibar Revolution.

“I am pleased to inform you today that our borders, our independence and revolution are all safe under the Union,” she noted.

Likewise, Dr Samia said that the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) will mark 60 years since its establishment in September 1964.

“We are obliged to continue strengthening our defence and security organs for them to keep on protecting the country’s borders, maintain peace, protect people and their properties,” she noted. Equally, according to her the Union has also helped the nation to practice and strengthen good governments in both sides of the Union.

She said the Union has offered opportunities for recognition of human rights in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania as well as that of Zanzibar. It has also re-established the spirit of multiparty system in the country way back in 1992 and the establishment of Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG).

Moreover, President Dr Samia said the Union led to the merging of Afro-Shiraz Party (ASP) and Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in 1977.

The formation of CCM was a major step in giving a clear reflection of true and strong Union. In a related development, the Head of Stare said because of the Union, Tanzania has gained diplomatic influence at both regional and international levels.

“Our nation has been able to develop diplomatic ties with various nations across the world and both sides of the Union are benefiting from the bilateral relationship,” she said.

Dr Samia emphasised that Tanzania has been in the frontline in resolving conflicts in the Great Lakes region and participated fully in the liberation struggle for Southern African countries.

Her list also included the current economic diplomacy, where the country has managed to attract investors, Foreign Direct Investments (DFIs), promote technology and find markets for the country’s produces as well as selling services abroad.

President Samia added that in 1964, when Tanganyika merged with Zanzibar to form Tanzania, the two countries’ economies were in bad shape and majority of the citizens were poor, the production sector especially agriculture was performing poorly and social services such as health, education, water services and electricity supply were all limping and were offered unequally.

But 60 years later, things have changed, the economy is growing at a satisfying point and social services have been improved. “Today, 60 years later, the country’s GDP has increased to 170.3tri/- as per 2022 data, while the GDP per capita has increased to 2.8m/-, according to 2022 data,” she pointed out.

The Head of State added that life expectancy for Tanzanians has also increased from 45 years of 1964 to 67 years in 2024. She added that the country has achieved the lower-middle income status.

Thus, it is currently classified as a lower-middle income country. She also mentioned that the movement of people from one side of the Union to another, also stimulates economic growth and has brought positive impact in promoting culture.

Moreover, President Dr Samia said in the period of 60 years, six censuses have been conducted with the latest one in 2022 showing that the country now has a total of 61.7 million people.

She added that the government has continued to implement various development projects in both Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

She mentioned some of the projects as Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), Marine and Coastal Management Project (MACEMP) and Agricultural Sector Development Programme–Livestock (ASDP-L), Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance Support Programme (MIVARF). Others are Expanding Rice Production Project (ERPP) and the Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (CDCF).

On education sector the Head of State said in the past 60 years, the number of universities in the country has reached 49, where 19 are public ones and 30 being private owned.

She added that 46 of them are in Mainland Tanzania and the rest in Zanzibar.

President Samia said in 1964 the country had only 14 higher learning students but in 2023/2024, the figure rose to 240,523 students in higher learning institutions across the country.

Moreover, since the establishment of the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB), a total of 705,622 students have benefitted from loans worth 6.69tri/-.

On gender equality, she said so far, the number of female Members of Parliament is 148, which makes 37.75 per cent of all 392 the legislators.

She said compared to 1964, the nation has made a big step since there is a big number of women holding various positions including in decision making bodies.

“Today, two women are leading two pillars of the State out of three,” she noted.

President Samia said the country has passed through various good and difficult times, but Tanzanians have always stood together.

“Between 2001 and 2007, we had some political challenges in Zanzibar, where some of development partners suspended aid and grants to the country, however all these challenges made us strong and we stood as one,” she noted.

She added: “Tanzania has also faced HIV-AIDS, Covid-19, birds’ flue and many other diseases but still we remained strong.”

She said that in the period of 60 years, the country has continued to promote communication through freedom of press and expression, promoting uses of mobile phones and other means of communications.

“Today, it is estimated that at least 72 million simcards have been registered in Tanzania,” she said.

Also, since its establishment, Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) has managed to build 1435 communication towers which serve 16 million people in 1,306 wards and 3838 villages.

The Head of State said for Tanzanians to maintain the strong Union, the government has come up with 4Rs philosophy.

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