Ministry of Foreign Affairs offices at Kivukoni front Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The history of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation dates back soon after independence in 1961. Up to December 1963, it was a department under Prime Ministers Office.
In 1964 it became a fully fledged Ministry under the name of Ministry of External Affairs.
Since the elections of 1975, the name of the Ministry has changed twice from External Affairs to Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs to the current Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (1997).
For four decades since the sixties, the Ministry’s operations were guided by Presidential Circular No. 2 of 1964. The Circular specified foreign policy priorities that evolved around racial equality, collective self-reliance, and world peace, on the basis of the socio-economic realities of sixties and seventies. e.g. the challenges of colonial domination and neo-colonialism, the super power rivalry, in the then bipolar world, unfavourable economic situation of developing countries, and the fragility of statehood in Africa - all demanded such response. The policy served Tanzania well over the years.
Specifically, its consistency of view enabled Tanzania to emerge as an active player in the world scene, whether in decolonization, the struggle against racism and apartheid, the defence of the principle of social equality and for the rights of nations and people fostering unity and solidarity especially in Africa and within the developing countries, in the spirit of promoting the policy of non-alignment.
However, both domestic and international economic and social political shifts in the eighties and nineties necessitated the revision of foreign policy and as a consequence the redefinition of the Ministry’s roles and functions. Specific contributory factors included the disintegration of the bipolar system of international relations and the whole range of major political and economic consequences that followed. For example, the global shift towards market - led economies and the process of regionalization, globalisation and liberalisation, the shift from development aid to trade and investments, the resurgence of intra-state and inter-state conflicts, the movement towards greater embrace of multi-party democracy, human rights and good governance, the emergence of new shared challenges such as international terrorism, illegal immigration, the preservation of the environment, advances in science and technology, fundamentally altered the international system.
- To become an effective promoter of Tanzania's economic and other national interests abroad
- Conduct an effective diplomacy which will generate economic activity and facilitate Tanzania’s rapid transformation and sustainable development.