British Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, arrived in Dar es Salaam
British Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, arrived in Dar es Salaam today on a two day visit to the country. This is Mr Simmonds’ third visit to Tanzania in just over a year, showing the importance the UK attaches to relations with Tanzania.
One the key objectives of Mr Simmonds’ visit is to review progress on the UK-Tanzania High Level Prosperity Partnership agreed between Mr Simmonds and President Kikwete last June. Mr Simmonds kicked off his visit by co-chairing together with Hon Samuel Sitta, Minister for East African Cooperation, a high level review of progress in the Partnership’s four priority areas: oil and gas, agriculture, renewable energy and strengthening the business environment.
Another key focus of the visit will be on poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, following up on the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade that President Kikwete and Minister Nyalandu attended in February. Accompanied by Hon Lazaro Nyalandu, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Simmonds will see for himself the challenges facing Tanzania and confirm UK support for action against organised crime. Mr Simmonds will also launch the new British Chamber of Commerce during his visit.
Speaking at the outset of his visit Mr Simmonds said:
“I am absolutely delighted to be back in Tanzania again, almost a year to the day of my last visit. The UK sees Tanzania as one of its key partners in Africa. I am here to review the progress made on our High Level Prosperity Partnership. Our ambition is clear: to work in partnership with Tanzania to increase our bilateral trade and investment, support development, and generate prosperity for both our countries. I will also be visiting the Selous with minister Nyalandu to see stepped up efforts to tackle poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. The UK will continue to look for every opportunity to build on the strong partnership we have with Tanzania across an increasing range of shared priorities”.
Notes for Editors
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.