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Monday, October 7, 2013

President Kikwete bids farewell to the US Ambassador

H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania escorted out H.E. Alfonso E. Lenhardt, Ambassador of the United States of America in Tanzania who has just completed his four years tenure.  The President bids farewell to the Ambassador earlier today at the State House.  (photo by the State House)

President Kikwete (2nd left) and Ambassador Lenhardt in a photo together with First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete (right) and Madam Lenhardt.  (photo by the State House) 

President Kikwete bids farewell to the US Ambassador


President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete has said that the diplomatic ties between Tanzania and the United States have grown stronger for the past few years due to the outstanding leadership of the outgoing US Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt.

“It is my utmost hope that your predecessor will further strengthening the strong foundation of bilateral ties that exist between our two countries,” President Kikwete told Ambassador Lenhardt.  According to the Press Statement issued by Ms. Premi Kibanga, President's Assistant (Press), Ambassador Lenhardt had paid a courtesy visit to the President at the State House earlier today, to bid farewell after ending his four years tenure. 

On his part, the US Ambassador said that Tanzania has captured his heart and will continue to be so in his future endeavors.  “I thank your Government for your cooperation and ever readiness to assist when needed.  I want to assure you that in my heart, I will forever be the Ambassador of Tanzania,” said Ambassador Lenhardt.

Ambassador Lenhardt has served as the US Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania for the past four-years, to which his tenure has ended with an historical visit of the US President Barack Obama in July 2013.  

Hon. Deputy Minister Maalim shares a moment with US Ambassador Lenhardt during a farewell luncheon. (photo file - pic by Tagie Daisy Mwakawago) 
Recently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation also took time to bid farewell to the US Ambassador.  

Hosting the occasion was the Deputy Minister Mahadhi Juma Maalim (MP), with participation from the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Juma Alfan Mpango who is also the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi and other members of diplomatic corps in the country.

During his opening remarks, Hon. Maalim said that Ambassador Lenhardt has been a colleague and a dear friend of Tanzania, and that bidding farewell brings mixed emotions of sadness and of satisfaction.

“Satisfaction comes from having a diplomat of your caliber, Ambassador Lenhardt, and we are here to celebrate a job well done for stewarding the partnership of these two countries,” said Deputy Minister, adding that Tanzania will forever remained indebted for his service.

Hon. Maalim also highlighted the tireless efforts that prompted high level visits in the country that included the US President Barack Obama, the former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others.   “The visits created a momentum that is more substance to the existing ties,” said the Deputy Minister, adding that the predecessor will equally receive support and cooperation whilst in Tanzania.

He further noted that the Government of Tanzania will continue to work closely with the Government of the United States to ensure that economic cooperation is given priority to further strive and cement the existing ties.

“The two countries have been molding and nurturing excellent diplomatic relations for years, and we take pride of the fraternity bond established beyond political and economic cooperation,” said Deputy Minister Maalim.   

Ambassador Lenhardt has been a champion of awarding grants since 2009 upon his arrival in the country and continuously to September 2013.   Since 2009, the grants given by the US Government totaled over Tsh 300 million and have had a positive impact to the communities concerned from various regions such as Dar es Salaam, Geita, Iringa, Kigoma, Mbeya, Shinyanga, Rukwa, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.

On his part, Ambassador Lenhardt thanked the Government of Tanzania for its undying support and dedication whenever needed.  “I have had the best four years of service here in Tanzania,” said Ambassador Lenhardt, promising to visit back in the near future.

To the latter, the Deputy Minister also extended his invitation to the Ambassador and Madam Lenhardt, welcoming them back to the shores of Tanzania before too long.

Tanzania has enjoyed a great partnership from the United States of America in various development ventures that include education, health, agriculture, trade and investment, and many others.   The US support also extends through programmes such as Millennium Challenge Corporation-1 (MCC 1), the US President’s Emergency Programme for AIDS Relieve (PEPFAR), Feed the Future and many others.


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