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Obama's visit to deepen Africa ties

11th June 2013
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US Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso Lenhardt

The United States Embassy in Tanzania has described President Barack Obama’s visit to the country, as aimed at demonstrating the importance US attached to deepening ties with Africa.

Speaking to journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam at the news conference US Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso Lenhardt the visit will reinforce the growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade; strengthening democratic institutions; and investing in the next generation of African leaders.

Lenhardt said President Obama who will be accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, their two daughters and other delegates will be in Tanzania after visiting Senegal and South Africa in the week-long visit between June 26 to July 3, this year.

Lenhardt called upon Tanzanians to produce more for the American market to exploit the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in order to strengthen trade relationship between the two countries.

Meanwhile Ambassador Lenhardt has applauded Tanzania’s Draft Constitution launched recently, saying: “ I am supportive of the development, because the country must develop its own constitution and Tanzania must decide itself how it is going to be governed, as well as to have the right to select its own destiny”.

Earlier, he said the US contributed over USD 750 million in bilateral assistance to Tanzania last year. It is also the largest donor to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

According to the US Ambassador, in response to the global food insecurity and under nutrition, US President Barack Obama created the Feed the Future Initiative, through which the US is helping countries transform their own agricultural sectors to grow enough food to sustainably feed their people.

In Tanzania, 80 percent of Feed the Future’s resources will be focused in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), a region identified by the Government of Tanzania as the most conducive for agricultural and economic growth.

“Presidential Initiatives include Partnership for Growth which President Obama launched in 2011 as a new development model of US government engagement with emerging developing countries,” he said.

He said President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) is the cornerstone of the President’s Global Health Initiative which commits USD63 billion dollars over six years to support partner countries in improving and expanding access to health services. 

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN