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Ambassador Kirk Focuses on Expanding Two-Way Trade During Second Day in Tanzania

06/07/2011 - 4:31pm

Continuing his trip in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania today, Ambassador Kirk met with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. He commended the President on his leadership, noting that Tanzania is a major partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. is betting on Africa through investments in initiatives such as the Millennium Challenge Account, Feed the Future and the Partnership for Growth (PFG). PFG, a new Obama Administration initiative, is designed to promote economic growth in a small number of developing countries that show a demonstrated commitment to development and democratic governance. Tanzania is one of only four countries worldwide to be selected. Ambassador Kirk shared with the President his vision for Tanzania’s economic development, including his hope that Tanzania can take greater advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

He also met with Tanzanian Minister of Industry, Trade and Marketing, Cyril Chami, during which they discussed U.S.-Tanzania trade and investment, AGOA and aid for trade. Ambassador Kirk encouraged continued cooperation and progress under the United States-East African Community (EAC) Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

After the meeting, Ambassador Kirk visited with Bernard Mchomvu, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Tanzania, at the MCA-Tanzania Development house to examine their MCA compact which focuses on transport, electricity and water. The Millennium Challenge Corporation, which was established by Congress in 2004 to deliver assistance to developing countries, has granted $698 million to Tanzania – the largest of all MCC compacts. Ambassador Kirk noted that transport projects are particularly important to improving agricultural production and trade in Tanzania. He also expressed interest in the progress of the various transport and energy projects as critical to stabilizing Tanzania’s economic growth. Two American subcontractors, Symbion Power and Pike Electric, have won contracts under the Tanzania MCC compact to expand electricity transmission and distribution systems in Tanzania.

Ambassador Kirk then participated in a discussion with local international trade and business graduate students from the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Mzumbe at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. There he emphasized to the students the importance of trade in promoting economic growth in both Africa and the United States. He also highlighted the urgent need to prepare the next generation of government and business leaders for the demands of an increasingly competitive global economy.

Ambassador Kirk ended the day meeting with key Tanzanian private-sector business leaders to discuss the U.S.-Tanzanian trade and investment relationship.