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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

New Norwegian minister in Tanzania for two-day visit

8th May 2012

Newly-appointed Norwegian minister for International Development Heikki Holmås is in the country for a two-day visit.

A statement availed to The Guardian yesterday said that the minister's visit started yesterday and would end today.

It said Holmås had chosen Tanzania to be the very first African country he visited following his recent appointment as Norwegian Minister for International Development.

It said further his visit was a sign of the strong partnership between the two countries.

While in the country, Holmås would meet with minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Prof. Anna Tibaijuka.

He would also travel to Mufindi to learn about Norwegian-Tanzanian collaboration in the area of forestry and the role of local villages in sustainable forest management and income generation.

The minister was very interested in how Tanzania and Norway work together to increase Tanzania's own income-generation capacity as well as equitable distribution of the income.

"Tanzania is rich in natural resources. An important part of our collaboration today is aimed at improving Tanzania's own income generation, through improved tax administration. This is critical to achieve our shared vision for pro-poor development," said Norwegian Ambassador Ingunn Klepsvik.

During his stay in Tanzania the minister would also officiate at the opening of a seminar on illicit financial flows, which has been organised by the Bank of Tanzania. Illegal capital flows across national boundaries represent a huge financial loss to governments all over Africa.

It is estimated that Tanzania lost between USD 5.1 billion and USD 6.7 billion between 1970 and 2004 due to illegal capital flight.

“I am very happy that the minister will participate in this seminar on illicit capital flows. Studies have shown that enormous amounts of money flow illegally out of Africa every year. Illicit capital flows undermine state building, promote corruption, facilitates crime and destabilise the financial system,” the ambassador further said.

In 2011 Norwegian development assistance to Tanzania amounted to USD 107 million, out of which USD 43 million USD was provided as general budget support.

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