President Jakaya Kikwete’s efforts in promoting and executing sound and practical health programmes in Tanzania on Wednesday made him become the first African Head of State to receive a US Doctors for Africa award.
US Doctors for Africa Founder and Executive Chairman Ted Alemayhu presented the award to the President, who is on an eight-day official tour of the US, at a dinner party in Los Angeles.
The dinner was hosted by the US Doctors for Africa and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC) and Alemayhu applauded the President, saying: “When President Kikwete speaks, the whole African continent listens.”
“I accept this award with all my heart and with great respect not only for my recognition but as a sign of recognising the efforts made by Tanzanians and their leaders and our friends all over the world in extending health services,” the President said, as he received the award.
He elaborated on the efforts made by his administration in improving health services in the country, including implementing a ten-year health development programme and significantly boosting the health budget.
President Kikwete had earlier had an audience with American tycoon Elliot Broidy, who hinted on his intention to establish projects in Tanzania’s special economic zone.
The President was later yesterday expected to have talks with his host, US President Barack Obama at the White House’s Oval Office in Washington, DC.
Their talks would centre on, among other things, global challenges like the global financial crisis and instability in Africa.