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Ambassador Kirk Travels to Tanzania

Ambassador Kirk is in Tanzania this week to highlight the Obama Administration’s commitment to support Tanzania’s leadership through initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Account, the Partnership for Growth and Feed the Future. He is also highlighting the important role that trade and investment can play in Tanzania’s economic growth. His visit includes meetings with various government and business leaders to discuss the current and potential positive economic impact of U.S.-Tanzania trade and investment.

This morning, Ambassador Kirk met with leaders of several U.S. tourism companies, which are critical to Tanzania’s foreign exchange generation, job creation and infrastructure development in Tanzania. Travel and tourism services earned nearly $1.2 billion in 2009 for Tanzania, and these U.S. companies are some of the largest contributors to building Tanzania’s economy. The U.S. is committed to working closely with Tanzania to ensure the continued growth and sustainability of this vital sector.

Ambassador Kirk then visited a flower farm outside of Arusha, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Solomon. Flower seeds produced at the Solomon’s farm are exported to America and Europe by MultiFlower, a flower exporter based in Arusha that is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Solomon’s explained to Ambassador Kirk that the income they have generated from the sale of flower seeds has allowed them to put all of their children through school and build a new, modern home.

Ambassador Kirk at the Solomon flower farm
Ambassador Kirk at the Solomon flower farm

Ambassador Kirk Visits the Solomon flower farm
Ambassador Kirk Visits the Solomon flower farm

Following the flower farm, Ambassador Kirk toured Pendo Farm, a small, family-owned coffee farm and processing facility in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Pendo exports most of its coffee beans to U.S. companies, including Starbucks. The farm was recently able to purchase new, modern Kenyan-made cleaning and shelling equipment that improves the taste, quality and value of the coffee. Coffee has long been one of Tanzania’s principal export products and accounts for 36 percent of all U.S. imports from Tanzania.

Ambassador Kirk Vists Pendo Coffee FarmAmbassador Kirk Visits Pendo Coffee Farm

Ambassador Kirk Visits Pendo Coffee Farm
Ambassador Kirk Visits Pendo Coffee Farm

In the evening, Ambassador Kirk delivered remarks at a reception being held as part of the 2nd Annual African AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He was joined by representatives of more than a dozen African AmChams, local Tanzanian private sector business leaders and senior Tanzanian government officials. At the Summit, he highlighted the progress made under AGOA to date, but also emphasized the need to do more to increase U.S. exports to Africa.

Ambassador Kirk was joined at all of his events today by U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso Lenhardt and Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S., Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar.

Ambassador Kirk will head to Lusaka, Zambia later in the week to participate in and lead the 10th Annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. He will be joined there by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and representatives of numerous government agencies who will meet with trade and other ministers from 37 AGOA-eligible countries, as well as private sector and civil society.