British High Commissioner Dianna Melrose hosted a reception to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 88th birthday at her Residence on 18 June.
Guests included a wide array of representatives from government, private sector, education, civil society and diplomatic circles. Hon Bernard Membe, Tanzania’s Foreign Minister, was the Guest of Honour.
Speaking at the event, the High Commissioner praised the “excellent bilateral relations and longstanding friendship links between the people of Tanzania and the United Kingdom”.
Highlighting the breadth of the relationship, she pointed to the UK’s ranking as the No 1 investor in Tanzania, with an impressive 35% of Foreign Direct Investment. She said Britain’s objective was to “work together to increase trade and investment to benefit both nations, working in partnership to help Tanzania reach middle income country status through accelerated, inclusive private sector led growth”.
Ms Melrose noted that in the past year President Kikwete had visited the UK four times, including on a very successful Guest of Government visit in March, when he met Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Andrew, the Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Africa Minister Mark Simmonds, amongst others. In addition, Africa Minister Mark Simmonds and DFID Secretary of State for Development Justine Greening had both visited Tanzania twice in the last 12 months, and Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, had visited once.
The High Commissioner noted the imminent departure of Marshall Elliot, Head of DFID, and thanked him for “deepening our development partnership with the Government of Tanzania through supporting the President’s Big Results Now! Initiative, working closely with development partners on Budget Support, and piloting new approaches to private sector led economic growth”.
“Under Marshall’s leadership”, she said, “ DFID’s programmes and staffing have grown by 50%. This demonstrates Marshall’s commitment to making a difference as well as his formidable influencing skills with UK government spending under significant pressure”.
“As Her Majesty’s representative in Tanzania, I am extremely proud of my country being the first G8 country to have met the goal of allocating 0.7% of GNP to international development”, Ms Melrose said.
Guest of Honour Bernard Membe echoed the High Commissioner’s warm words and dismissed as completely unfounded the recent comments made in Parliament about the High Commissioner.