Joint Press Release between President Kikwete and President Barroso
EU, Tanzania leaders pledge more cooperation, dialogue
PRESIDENT of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso today held talks at the State House in Dar es Salaam with H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete President of the United Republic of Tanzania in which they both expressed commitment to increase cooperation and dialogue between the two sides. The Commissioner for Development of the European Commission, Andris Piebalgs and EU officials from Headquarters in Brussels accompanied President Barroso and met with Senior Ministers of the Government and EU Heads of Mission.
The visit is meant to reinforce the high-level political dialogue and to strengthen economic cooperation between Tanzania and the European Union. Six new development programmes were launched to improve access to water and sanitation; strengthen the road transport sector and rural road infrastructure; good governance and social accountability; as well as capacity support for the Government in the area of programme management, policy dialogue and broader donor coordination.
President Barroso stated: "Tanzania has become one of the EU's main partners in Africa, and is also playing an increasingly important role in the stability and the inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the whole region. We now want to deepen our regular political dialogue with Tanzania and further increase our cooperation in areas like energy, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism or migration; issues which are of concern both for Africa and the European Union."
Noting the considerable prospects for economic transformation in Tanzania, he added: "I am also pleased to further increase our development cooperation by launching new programmes that will encourage inclusive and sustainable growth and help us to make even more of a difference in the fight against poverty."
During the visit, six new financing agreements were signed, worth a total of Euro 126.5 million. This new support will help to rehabilitate more than 200 km of roads and provide access to drinking water for 500,000 people; improved sanitation infrastructure and services for some 140,000 inhabitants; strengthen democratisation and good governance.
The signature of the East African Community (EAC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is also high on the agenda of the discussions as Tanzania's commitment will be instrumental to reaching an agreement soon.
On his part, President Kikwete expressed his appreciation of the unprecedented historical socio-political and economic cooperation between European Union and Tanzania; and added “the EU is one of our key Development Partners both in terms of magnitude of financial support and commitment to our development initiatives”. Since 1975, Tanzania has benefited significantly from grant aid from the EU of about Euro 1.8 billion (TZS 3.8 trillion).
Going forward, President Kikwete commended the EU’s decision to consider using our national development strategies and Plans to develop future financing programmes rather than developing a parallel separate strategy as it has been the case in the past. He added “this is a commendable decision and would like to once again thank you for recognizing that our development strategy documents are sound and could be relied upon”. He pointed out great challenge on addressing supply-side constraints which are inhibiting achievement of significant poverty reduction, especially in rural areas where majority of population live. Therefore, he requested, during the programming of the 11th EDF, the European Commission to consider road transport sub-sector, rural infrastructure and General Budget Support as focal sectors in order to assist the Government to address these challenges.
President Kikwete expressed his Government’s commitment to strengthen unprecedented historical cooperation between Tanzania and the EU and said he looked forward to working together towards this end.
The first Financing Agreement that was signed at the occasion of the visit of President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs, amounting to €45 million is for the support of improvement of road transport network in Tanzania. With a specific objective of supporting priorities specified in the Transport Sector Investment Programme, focusing on the road maintenance with particular emphasis on rural road sub-sector and effectively promoting the dialogue on maintenance related strategy and policy with a view to progressive coverage of the maintenance needs. The second Financing Agreement under MDG Initiative, worth €51.51 million, is for Water Programmes in the towns of Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigoma. The third Financing Agreement, amounting to €22 million, is for support to improvement of rural roads with the objective to support national decentralisation strategy in improving connectivity and accessibility to markets and service facilities by removing bottlenecks on selected local roads in three regions. The fourth Financing Agreement amounting to €3 million is for programme to support Non-State Actors in Zanzibar with the overall objective to strengthen democratisation and good governance and support civil society initiatives on accountability, participatory development and policy advocacy. The fifth Financing Agreement, worth €2.5 million, is for programme to support National Authorising Office for managing EU portfolio in the country. While the last Financing Agreement worth €2.5 million, is for Technical Cooperation Facility aimed at providing a flexible instrument for capacity development and policy and expert advice to strengthen EU programmes implementation and formulation, policy dialogue and broader donor coordination