Hope for improved ties as new US envoy presents credentials

03Aug 2020
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
Hope for improved ties as new US envoy presents credentials

TANZANIA has expressed hope for stronger relations with the United States of America after its new envoy presented his credentials at the State House in Dar es Salaam.

This comes after nearly four years without a fully empowered envoy from Washington DC, during which the chargé d'affaires manned the US embassy in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Donald Wright becomes the 19th US Ambassador to Tanzania, succeeding Mark Bradley Childress, a non-career appointee who served from May 2014 to October 2016.

Speaking at the ceremony, Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said the posting of the envoy would enhance bilateral relations between Tanzania and the US.

“We really commended President Donald Trump for appointing the new ambassador. We have a very strong relationship with the US, and I’m sure that with the coming of this new ambassador, the relationship will improve,” he said.

The minister said that in 2018 the US government provided Tanzania $682m to implement various health projects covering malaria and tuberculosis (TB) in particular.

“We so far spent $450 million of the funds. Last year, the US government added $55.2m to support the health sector and several other fields.”

So far a total of 3,179 projects have been implemented by US companies, which have in-turn generated at least 550,000 employment opportunities over the past three decades.

Last year, Tanzania exported goods worth 119bn/- to the US, which the minister said it shows that trade relations between the two countries are growing.

In their conversation, Ambassador Wright assured President John Magufuli that he is going to work hard to strengthen cooperation between the two countries..

President Magufuli also received diplomatic credentials from the Vietnamese Ambassador, Nguyen Nam Tien.

The two envoys expressed satisfaction for the reception and discussion with the Head of State, promising to ensure that longstanding relationships between the two countries and Tanzania are bolstered and deepened.

They promised to strengthen existing links on further economic engagement by promoting trade and investments in various sectors.

Dr Wright, the new US ambassador served as a young volunteer (Peace /Corps) in the medical field in Zanzibar more than 30 years ago, and expressed his strong sense of engagement in coming back to Tanzania as ambassador of the United States.

“Tanzanian people are generous, warm. So I am so excited to be here again. We want a very strong diplomatic relationship with Tanzania,” he said Wright, the US ambassador.

Ambassador Wright has been a leader in public health and health policy both domestically and internationally for 17 years, including service at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Labor, and the United Nations.

Prior to being named Ambassador to Tanzania, Ambassador Wright served as the acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  He has also directed the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the Office of Occupational Medicine (OSHA). In addition, he served as the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCSFN.)

Prior to entering government service, Dr. Wright spent nearly two decades as practicing physician in his home state of Texas, focusing on family medicine and occupational health. He is joined in Tanzania by his wife Kathy.

For his part, the Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Nam Tien said Vietnam always respects the bilateral relations with Tanzania. “Tanzania is a very beautiful country, I am happy to be here and I believe with the relationship between the two nations, we will witness more development.”

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