SPEECH BY HON. PROF. PALAMAGAMBA JOHN KABUDI (MP)
THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EAST AFRICAN COOPEATION
Your Excellency, Ahamada El Badaoui Mohamed Fakih, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the Union of the Comoros to the United Republic of Tanzania;
Hon. William Tate Ole Nasha(MP), Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation,
Hon. Ambassador Brigadier General Wilbert Ibuge, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Excellencies and friends, in the spirit of friendship, allow me to welcome you all in this meeting. On behalf of the Ministry, I take this opportunity to thank you for honouring my invitation to meet today despite your busy schedule. Your presence in this meeting is evidence of the value you attach to our existing relations and to the culture we have established of meeting with Members of Diplomatic Corps whenever we get an opportunity. As I always say when we meet, this meeting does not replace the traditional sherry party organized every year.
Let me at the outset, start by thanking The Almighty God for the blessing of life and health that made it possible for us to meet again today. Since, we are meeting for the first time after the start of the year 2021 in this setting, let me use this opportunity to wish all of you A Happy New Year! It is my belief that, we have all started the year 2021 in good spirit.
On behalf of the Government, I wish to welcome the new Ambassadors, High Commissioners and New Heads of International Organizations who have joined the Diplomatic Community since the last time we met. I wish to assure you my personal, my Ministry and the Government full support during your tour of duty in the country.
Your Excellencies, This is also the first time we are meeting after the conduct of the 2020 General election. I was overwhelmed by Your Excellencies’ warm congratulatory and best wishes messages following my re-appointment to this portfolio on 12th November, 2020 and the appointment of my Deputy on the 5th of December, 2020. I and the Deputy Minister sincerely thank you for that humbling goodwill gesture.
Elections and Election Observations
Your Excellencies, as witnessed by all of you, the year 2020 marked another milestone in Tanzania’s realization of the fundamental human right of freedom to participate in public affairs and in upholding democracy. We held the General Elections in October in which H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli and H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) were declared winners in the Presidential Election in the Mainland and Zanzibar respectively.
Our assessment on the conduct of the election is in line with the conclusion indicated in the reports of many electoral observers that, The General Elections of 28 October 2020 were held in a free, fair and peaceful manner. We are grateful that, the 2020 elections were observed by 97 local organizations and 20 international organizations from the region and outside who fielded a total of 5,496 observers nationwide.
Your Excellencies, you will all agree with me and certainly. I must admit that there has never been a “perfect election" in the world, especially in a nascent democracy like ours. However, we believe the 2020 General Elections absolutely reflected the will of Tanzanians. It is important to note, however that, democracy and elections are processes that take place within an agreed institutional framework. It is therefore expected that any electoral grievances will be channeled through the existing institutions. We will continue to embrace opportunities for constructive engagements with all who are aggrieved by the outcome but in a manner that respects our Constitution, national values, sovereign equality and that safeguards our National Unity.
I congratulate our National Electoral Commission for an excellent organization that enabled Tanzanians en masse to exercise their democratic rights smoothly.
We also appreciate your support before, during and after election process. Your support has proved that our relations are all weather relations.
Direction of the Second Term of the 5th Government
Your Excellencies, The election is over and the election mood is gone, Tanzanians are in a great mood and spirit of developing this country. The formation of the Union Government and that of Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has been done by H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar respectively.
We are also heartened that in Zanzibar where the 2020 General Election drew the attention of many, the main opposition party ACT-Wazalendo joined the Government of National unity as required by the Constitution. To that effect, on 10th December 2020, H.E. Seif Sharif Hamad was sworn in as 1st Vice President of the Government of National Unit. As it has always been a culture in Zanzibar, they have always been able to come with solutions for the interest of Tanzanians at large. You are witnesses of how energetic the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar has kicked off delivering on the promises.
Your Excellencies, the formation of the two Governments is the beginning of the implementation of the priorities of the Government in the next five years. In his speech to officiate the 12th Parliament on 13th November, 2020, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, stated the direction and priorities for his second term. H.E. President Magufuli, among other things, pledged to: “continue strengthening relations with the international community with a focus on Economic Diplomacy. Enhancing good neighbourliness, continue participation in regional and multilateral initiatives, participating in the Regional Blocks (EAC, SADC, AU, UN) and in peace keeping activities”.
In addition to foreign relations, the Government in the coming five years will among other things, work to improve the economy, reduce poverty, reduce the level of unemployment and ensure it creates 8m new employment opportunities.
As you have witnessed, in the last five years, the Government made a remarkable achievement in the health, energy, fisheries, agriculture, education, water, livestock, infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, trade and tourism sectors. In the next five years, H.E. President Magufuli has pledged to intensify the Government focus on these key economic and productive sectors of the country.
The Government has over the past five years made serious investment on these sectors and it has insisted on attracting serious investors to come and invest in these sectors. In a number of occasions the Government has pledged to ensure the existing investments are protected and secured. This is evidenced by the Government’s commitment to reduce business disputes in the next five years.
Your Excellencies, it is on this spirit that, in the next five years, the Government has pledged to enhance its focus on creating an enabling environment for investment and business to prosper in the country. To achieve this objective, H.E. President Magufuli moved the Tanzania Investment Centre to his Office to curtail administrative red tapes that appeared to discourage and delay investment registration. The President is ambitious in ensuring that the private sector takes advantage of the available investment and trade opportunities in the country and they get investment permit/license within 14 days.
Your Excellencies, it is a fact that, we depend on investors from your respective countries and we are determined to work together to ensure that we attract more investors from your countries. Over the past few years, the Government has done major legal, institutional and fiscal reforms and reforms in the public sector to ensure easiness in starting and doing business in the Country.
I believe you are aware of Tanzanian’s unmatched investment incentives some of which include a stable political environment; sound economic policies; strong macro-economic performance; unlimited investment opportunities; attractive investment climate and incentives; unwavering investment guarantees; dynamic emerging private sector; pro-business government; sizeable skilled labor force, huge market and low cost of labor given the very huge working age population (demographic dividend), regional markets of over 500m people under the East African Community and Southern African Development Community where United Republic of Tanzania is a member.
Your Excellencies, the Government believes in the private sector, is mindful of the critical role the Private sector plays in the development of our economy and its contribution to the attainment of the Government’s Agenda of Industrialization. Mindful of this role, the Government is committed towards promoting and nurturing the private sector.
Your Excellencies, our cooperation in all the sectors is largely dependent on how we dialogue and agree on the type and scope of cooperation in these sectors. We have largely benefited from among others the Joint Permanent Commissions (JPC). In the next five years, and to start with in 2021, the Ministry will continue to pursue the Joint Permanent Commissions (JPCs) as a platform to define, design and follow up on the implementation of various cooperation agenda. Tanzania has been using the Joint Permanent Commission Meetings to strengthen economic and political ties with many countries. Thus, in the financial year 2020/2021, the Ministry will continue to make arrangements for such meetings with the countries of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Kuwait, and JPC with Malawi, Burundi, Mozambique, DRC and Rwanda have already been scheduled.
In recent years, we have witnessed an increasing trend within the international system moving towards unilateralism. In this regard, the United Republic of Tanzania once again reiterates its commitment to multilateralism and calls upon all member states to embrace multilateralism not only in order to combat global challenges such as eradicate poverty, combat climate change and achieve Inclusion, but also in order to maintain international peace and security as well as to achieve just and better world.
Your Excellencies, in these regard, we take note on the efforts undertaken by the UN, AU, SADC and EAC in which we are active members in ensuring peace and security prevails. We are grateful that Tanzania has being a beacon of peace on the continent and remains committed to supporting collective measures to attain global peace and stability. In demonstrating this commitment, Tanzania has contributed about 2,311 peacekeepers in six different peacekeeping missions, including in MUNUSCO in DRC where we have the largest number of peacekeepers and we are now ranked the 12th among 123 Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs). As an active member of SADC and in collaboration with other Member States, Tanzania continues to make sure that peace and security subsists in the SADC region and is a committed troop contributor of FIB under the umbrella of SADC. As you are well aware, the SADC region is now faced with a security situation in the Northern Mozambique. We in the SADC are closely working together to stabilize the situation in Mozambique, and we urge the International community to support SADC initiatives in this respect.
Your Excellencies, as H.E Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania alluded while inaugurating the 12th Parliament; Tanzania will continue with our commitment to regional integration in the AU, SADC and EAC. Over the years, increased regional integration and cooperation have long been high on our agenda. We are believers of the wide recognition that regional cooperation is vital to tackle development challenges that cannot be solved at a national level. We also believe that, regional integration is key in assisting nations to advance economically, socially and politically. It is on this belief that, in the next five years we will continue our active involvement in the regional integration.
Your Excellencies, The African Union has embarked on institutional reforms to transform itself into an effective and efficient Organization. Tanzania will continue to support these initiatives to ensure that the African Union plays its rightful role in driving and achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063 vision of inclusive economic growth and development and its flagship projects.
Just like Asia, Europe and Americas, Africa is an important trade partner to Tanzania with the East African Community and SADC as our biggest trade destinations. In the next five years we will continue to advocate for the Sstrengthening of Intra-African trade as is very important for the economic development and integration of the continent. While addressing the 39th SADC Summit of Heads and Government in 2019, H.E Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania expressed his concerns on how low Intra-African trade is compared to the other Continents. It is a matter of concern that the share of Intra-African trade remains low at an average of 16.6 percent over the period of the last seven years from 2013 to 2019. This is way below the level of other intra-regional trade especially for Europe and Asia which are at 59.4 percent and 55 percent of the total trade respectively. For 2019, the volume of Intra-African trade was almost 11 Billion US Dollars. Tanzania accounts for only 9 million US dollars. As such, it is only prudent that industrialization and trade facilitation should be pursued vigorously in order to boost intra-African trade.
Your Excellencies, in 2018 at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government in Kigali, Rwanda The Agreement establishing the AfCFTA was signed. AfCTFA aims to create a single market for goods, services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent. Tanzania is among the 54 countries that have signed the agreement and we are in the advanced stage to ratify the same.
From the experience gained from EAC and SADC, the AfCFTA is expected to increase Tanzania’s intra-African trade through tariff liberalization and removal of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) on trade with the rest of African countries. Currently, more than 80 percent of our intra-African exports are destined to the two regional economic communities (RECs) the country belongs. The AfCFTA therefore presents an opportunity for Tanzania to boost its intra-African trade; particularly with countries belonging to other RECs. Tanzania is expected to be among the top three countries beneficiaries of the AfCFTA in Eastern Africa with its intra-African exports increasing approximately by 20 per cent. The Government’s efforts in investing in strategic infrastructure such as roads, ports, energy and airports create a better environment for the country to trade under AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA represents a unique opportunity to accelerate Tanzania’s industrialisation; increase the intra-African foreign direct investment (FDI); and stimulating job creation especially to the youth and women. Tanzania stands to benefit more on exports of agricultural and industrial products in the available markets in Africa.
New areas of cooperation;
The 2020-2025 CCM Manifestos has strongly earmarked blue economy as a priority area in the development of the economy and for building strategic partnership between the Government and the Private Sector. While inaugurating the 12th Parliament and the House of Representatives, H.E Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar respectively, insisted the need for Tanzania to take advantage of blue economy in the coming five years. The CCM Manifesto 2020/2025 has tasked the Ministry to strengthen Tanzania’s participation in various associations including Indian Ocean Rim Association, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission. Most of your countries are members to these associations and have advanced in the areas of blue economy; we are set to create partnerships with you in these areas and gain some advantages, with deep sea fishing as our high priority. In securing the gains in blue economy and especially deep sea fishing, we have established the legal and institutional framework by the enactment of Deep Sea Fisheries Management and Development Act of 2020 and strengthening of Deep Sea Fisheries Authority. These reforms are geared to improve management and development of deep sea fishing in the country's jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean waters. We appreciate the assistance from IFAD to purchase 8 new fishing vessels in our initial efforts for takeoff.
Good Governance, rule of law and human rights;
Your Excellencies, over the past five years, Tanzania has been praised on the efforts and achievement it registered in the fight against corruption, embezzlement and drug trafficking. Tanzania was ranked 1st out of 35 countries in Africa on fighting corruption by the Transparency International. We were also ranked 38 out of 136 countries in the World by the 2019 World Economic Forum Report on the proper use of public funds. These achievements will be maintained in the next five years as the Government is committed to intensify its efforts on these areas. Mindful of the need for cooperation in this area, we will join efforts in the UN, AU, EAC, SADC and other International organization to ensure that we continue with zero tolerance to corruption and ensure that the Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court is equipped to discharge its mandate.
Your Excellencies, Good Governance, Rule of Law and protection, promotion and adherence of human rights have been the areas that drew a lot of concerns in the last five years. Concerns were raised at the UN level, in the African Commission, by NGOs, International Organizations and some of the Members of Diplomatic Corps raised the same in our bilateral talks. In many occasions, I and other Government officials have made clarifications on the allegations and concerns and we will continue doing so. It is unfortunate that most of these claims and allegations are repetitive, unfounded and bad enough those who give out these claims have decided to take sides with consulting with the Government for clarifications. We urge Members of the diplomatic Corps to not take sides on such claims just like the United Republic of Tanzania does not take any side when allegations are aired against your respective countries.
Your Excellencies, as a signatory of many human rights instruments at the international and regional level is mindful of its human rights obligations and is committed, guided by the Constitution to fulfill its human rights obligations. In compliance with the Paris Principles, the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance continues to play a pivotal role in realization of human rights and good governance. In ensuring Tanzanians enjoy their rights and they are remedied when their rights are violated, the Government continues to strengthen the Judiciary to facilitate access to courts. Efforts to assist citizens to access justice go hand in hand with the implementation of the Legal Aid Act to ensure legal aid for all.
The Government of United Republic of Tanzania shall continue to play its role in the promotion and protection of human rights with the welfare its people at the forefront of its agenda. The impetus is for civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to remain a reality for Tanzanians.
Covid 19 and Tanzania Contribution;
The year 2020 has gone into the history books as the World faced and is still facing a public health emergency of international concern caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Despite some signs of easing, the magnitude, complexity and severity of the pandemic has been unprecedented.
As many of the countries take measures suitable to their local situation, Tanzania has been doing the same while following the general agreed health principles set out by the WHO. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to cooperate with the SADC and EAC to promote intra-trade in the Regions and beyond. In SADC for instance we led development of Regional Guidelines on Harmonisation and Facilitation of Cross Boarder Transport of Goods operations across the Region. The implementation of these Guidelines ensured the seamless flow of trade in the region, even as we also mitigate the negative health impacts of COVID-19. Through our collective resolve, the region remains better saved. Tanzania will not go back to those strict measures but will continue to urge its citizen to exercise vigilance and care while continuing with their economic activities. The country has so far managed to avoid the risk of starvation and economic instability.
With or without COVID 19, The provision of public health services to its people remains one of the primary duty of the Government's.
Tanzania position in bilateral or multilateral relations
We appreciate the existing bilateral cooperation with your respective countries; the technical and material support extended to us through cooperation in various sectors has assisted us economically, socially and politically. We are committed to continues to take these relations to higher heights;
We will continue to embrace our foreign policy with emphasis on the defense of freedom, justice and equality; Safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the United Republic of Tanzania; The promotion of the respect for the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states; The support for the practice of the policy of non-alignment; The support for the United Nations in its search for international peace and security; and The Promotion of Good Neighborliness;
We will continue to protect our sovereignty and ensure non-interference in internal affairs. As I have previously said, Tanzania does not compromise on matters of its sovereignty. We respect all nations that treat us with mutual respect, tolerance and who deal with us in the context of our current political, social and economic situation;
We will continue to remind Members of the Diplomatic Corps of the Uniqueness of the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. But mostly on the fact that issues of Foreign Affairs are strictly Union issues as per our Constitution and which my Ministry is the one with the mandate to deal with them;
We will continue to engage and dialogue with Members of the Diplomatic Corps on the importance of adhering to the principles of International Law, the Laws that govern diplomatic relations namely, the Vienna Conventions, and other established diplomatic principals. We are in a process of reviewing the Diplomatic handbook to enable all of us make reference to it in order to facilitate our day to day interactions;
We recognize the importance of all Embassies/ High Commissions/ International Organizations to be accorded with the same treatment as enshrined in various International guidelines and treaties governing diplomatic affairs especially on the area of Immunities and Privileges. In providing our services to Diplomatic Corps and families, adherence of International instruments such as Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963. In view of the importance of providing quality service to the Diplomats now the Protocol Department has began to make changes by starting with reviewing our Diplomatic handbook that shall clearly indicate the provision of Privileges and Immunities as per existing laws guiding the same.
As you are aware, the Government has moved its operations in Dodoma. Our Ministry continues to maintain a mini office in Dar es Salaam and the Protocol Department. There might be some administrative challenges faced by Members of Diplomatic Corps on how to deal with the Government. We are open to receive the faced challenges and engage others in rectifying them. In the spirit of ensuring our services move fully to Dodoma, we will continue to insist you honour the efforts of His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania to allocate land to all Embassies and International Institutions. H.E the President demonstrated on 30thJuly 2018 by demo title deeds for land allocated to members of Diplomatic Corps to build Diplomatic enclave in Dodoma. Since then, the turnout to collect the title deed has been very low. Out of 67 title deeds issued, only ten (10) have been collected so far. Members of Diplomatic corps who have not collected their title deeds are reminded to collect them. Those who have collected their title deeds are requested to see possibilities of starting developing their land and this shall be in support of the Government’s efforts to relocate to Dodoma.
Your Excellencies, as I conclude my remarks, allow me Excellencies to once again thank you for honouring our invitation and attend this meeting. Let me reassure you that, the Government will continue to work closely with you in a pragmatic, constructive and sincere way for the benefit of all of us as individual countries, global community and mankind.
I thank you for your kind attention.