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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mr Kikwete, President of Tanzania
21 July 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking President Kikwete for his warm welcome and hospitality.
After having met the President a few times in the past – the last time, in May, in Camp David, for the G8 Summit – I am particularly happy to be here in Dar Es Salaam Today
In fact, President Kikwete is one of the most respected voices in Africa - he not only represents this country, Tanzania, but he brings to the global community the voice of Africa, the new Africa, that we like to be friends and partners with.
Tanzania is a key EU partner in Africa and a leading country in the region. My visit here today expresses not only our commitment to our relations with Tanzania, but also the strategic importance that the European Union attaches to the African continent.
Allow me, Mr President, to reiterate my sadness regarding the tragic events off the coast of Zanzibar on Wednesday. On my own behalf and on behalf of the European Union, I want to express, once again, to the President and to the people of Tanzania our deepest sadness and offer our condolences
The EU and Tanzania are likeminded partners. We share common values and principles such as democracy, good governance, and the fight against corruption and I know of the important steps that Tanzania is taking to strengthen its constitutional and democratic system.
Tanzania is also an example of stability – I commended the President for his strong leadership and for his present and past roles in advancing regional peace and security
In fact, Tanzania's active engagement in the East African Community (EAC) and in the South African Development Community (SADC) is central for this region and beyond, and it is deeply appreciated in the European Union.
But more brings us together. The EU is Tanzania's first trading partner, its biggest investor, namely in the services industry, and the main donor to the country – under the 10th European Development Fund (2008-2013), more than 606 million euros have been allocated to Tanzania, focusing on infrastructure, agriculture, energy, trade and regional integration.
And our commitment to Tanzania and its people is clear.
We just witnessed the signing of 6 financing agreements worth 126.5 million euros (almost 250 billion Tanzania Shillings), in support of the government's poverty reduction efforts and progress in the Millennium Development Goals. Specifically, these programmes are geared to infrastructure – rural roads, water supply and sanitation – and to strengthen democratisation.
To be very concrete: the programme on water will improve access to drinking water for an estimated 500,000 people and will enhance the access to sanitation services for 140,000 inhabitants in the towns of Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigoma. So, this is an important contribution that has a meaningful positive impact in the lives of many Tanzanians.
I also confirmed to President Kikwete that the EU is ready to support one of the flagship projects of the country – the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). The SAGCOT aims at developing agricultural growth corridors and addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity and we stand behind it
During our meeting, I welcomed Tanzania's strategic focus on food security and its participation in the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition as one of the pilot countries. Indeed, I recall President Kikwete's important contribution for our discussions on this topic in Camp David.
Another example of Tanzania's determination to foster sustainable growth is the country's participation in the "Sustainable Energy for All initiative." The EU is a leader in this initiative and we have committed to provide access to clean energy to 500 million people by 2030, and we are ready to work with Tanzania in this area.
With our continuous support and with the President's leadership in reaping the benefits not only of the impressive growth rates of the country (averaged 6-7 % per year in the last decade), but also of the recent discoveries of off-shore gas, I am sure that all Tanzanians will enjoy an increasingly prosperous future.
Clearly, our ties are deep and long-lasting. Yet, we should not rest on what we have accomplished so far, but we should look ahead and explore the potential that still remains.
Indeed, today we also discussed ways to deepen our regular political dialogue and to further increase our cooperation in areas like trade, energy, security, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism or migration. These are issues of interest and concern for Africans and Europeans alike and they need to be addressed together. I look forward to the continuation of our cooperation in these important fields.
From our part, Mr President, you can count on a steadfast and committed partner. I am confident that, together, we will provide a better future for our citizens
I thank you for your attention.