Visiting UK Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds MP concluded a two day visit to Tanzania on 09th July upbeat about the UK-Tanzania bilateral relationship and High Level Prosperity Partnership.
Following a bilateral with Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe, Mr Simmonds praised the “excellent relations between the UK and Tanzania” and said the High Level Prosperity Partnership was “already paying dividends, helping both countries to increase trade and investment for their mutual benefit”.
UK-Tanzania High Level Prosperity Partnership
During his visit, Mr Simmonds co-chaired the first UK-Tanzania High Level Prosperity Partnership dialogue with Hon. Samuel J Sitta, Minister for East African Cooperation.
The Prosperity Partnership was agreed between Minister Simmonds and President Kikwete in June 2013 and formally launched by Prime Minister Pinda and Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development on 5 November 2013 in Dar es Salaam, and by Mark Simmonds and Justine Greening, with the Tanzanian High Commissioner in London on 19 November.
Minister Sitta and Minister Simmonds welcomed the strength of bilateral relations and close co-operation between the two countries. Both noted that since the Prosperity Partnership was agreed in June, there had been an increase in Ministerial visits in both directions, culminating in President Kikwete’s visit to the UK on 31st March/1st April as Guest of the Her Majesty’s Government, with a delegation of seven ministers.
The Ministers reviewed progress against the objectives of the Prosperity Partnership in the four priority areas: oil and gas, agriculture, renewable energy, and strengthening the business environment, in addition to the joint area of interest on capital markets development. They also agreed on concrete objectives for further strengthening the partnership.
Launch of New British Chamber of Commerce
During his visit, Mr Simmonds and British High Commissioner Dianna Melrose launched the new British Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania (BCC).
The British Chamber of Commerce is designed to help achieve the objectives of the Tanzania/UK High Level Prosperity Partnership in increasing bilateral trade and investment to the benefit of both countries
Speaking at a reception to launch the Chamber the British High Commissioner said:
“The role of the new British Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania is to step up support to UK companies wanting to do business in Tanzania. It will be headed by its newly appointed Director Petronella Mwasandube, OBE and initially be co-located with UK Trade & Investment and the British High Commission in Umoja House. With the British Business Group in Tanzania, which has over 200 member companies, the British High Commission and Tanzanian private sector organisations, the Chamber will engage in dialogue with the government of Tanzania on improving the business environment. The Chamber will also facilitate business to business networking and partnerships between Tanzanian and UK companies”.
Mr Simmonds added: “The UK Government’s ambition is to maintain our number 1 position as the top foreign direct investor in Tanzania. The UK Government aims to double UK exports worldwide to £1 trillion p.a. by 2020, and assist an additional 100,000 UK companies to become exporters by 2020.” Creating a new network of British Chambers of Commerce in important markets like Tanzania is part of our plan to achieve these objectives.”
Minister Simmonds also announced new UK funding to help in the fight against the Illegal Wildlife Trade
The UK is the Number 1 investor in Tanzania with 35% share of foreign direct investment. According to the Tanzania Investment Centre, UK companies invested around $ 5.1bn (TSh 8,415,000,000,000) in Tanzania in the period 1990-2013 (June), creating 271,000 jobs – almost four times as many as any other investor. Bilateral trade was worth $ 340 million (Tsh 561,000,000,000). British firms play an important role in all the major sectors including energy, communications, construction, banking, agriculture, and the nascent oil and gas sector, where the British company BG Group alone has invested in excess of $ 1 billion (Tsh 1,650,000,000,000), with substantially more in prospect.
The UK has pledged to help Tanzania achieve middle income status through accelerated and inclusive, private sector led growth. This will be an increasing focus of UK development cooperation in Tanzania, and will include sharing UK experience of public private partnerships and promotion of partnerships between UK and Tanzanian companies to maximise local job creation and develop local skills.
Tanzania is one of only five African countries with which the UK has signed a High Level Prosperity Partnership, focussing on 4 priority areas: agriculture, extractives, renewable energy and improving the business environment. We are also working in partnership with the Government of Tanzania to implement a G8/Tanzania Land Transparency Initiative.
Tanzania is one of DFID’s largest African country programmes. Our development budget for Tanzania for this year alone (2014/15) is £165 million (Tsh 452 billion). Of this figure, £71.5 million (Tsh 196 billion) is direct budget support to the Government of Tanzania. An independent review of donor support to the Government’s budget last year concluded that UK funding had enabled Tanzania to expand services, especially in education and roads, throughout the country, making an important contribution to improving lives and opportunities for poor people.
The UK also does a lot of work on English Language Teaching, Education and the Arts, creating opportunities for young Tanzanians to engage with other cultures and develop international perspectives. This is helping young Tanzanians access the best educational opportunities at home and abroad to improve their skills in preparation for study and work. For example, the British Council has some 300 school links between Tanzania and the UK through which 3,000 school leaders and 30,000 teachers have been trained in 25 hubs around Tanzania. We are also creating opportunities for young Tanzanians to study abroad on scholarship programmes like the Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship Schemes.
UKTI is a UK Non-Ministerial Government department. Its mission is to connect UK business to the world’s top commercial opportunities, support UK companies to grow through international trade, and attract high quality inward investment to the UK.