Jakaya Kikwete

President Jakaya Kikwete

The United States government has said that Tanzania remains to be one of its strategic partners in the world and attaches a great deal of importance to the partnership.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ in a telephone interview, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Bill Burns, said in his recent mission to the African Union in Addis Ababa, that Tanzania remains to be a model of democracy in the continent.

Mr Burns said that Tanzania has lived up to her promises in pursuing responsible policies on democracy, rule of law and economic reforms among other key matters. “We will continue to partner with Tanzania in future programmes,” he reiterated.

He also praised President Jakaya Kikwete’s leadership, saying that it was because of his outstanding performance that US President Barack Obama chose him as the first African leader to meet him after his being elected in office. He also said that the country had achieved a lot on Presidential Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under the Global Initiative programme.

Local journalists in Tanzania took part in the interview at the US embassy in Dar es Salaam recently joining other journalists in media houses across the continent.  Mr Burns’ interaction with regional journalists occurred on the margins of the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa.

“I am very pleased to be in Addis Ababa.  My visit to Ethiopia concludes a week-long trip to Africa, which also included visits to Ghana, Uganda, and South Sudan,” he said. He added that his trip came on the heels of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s visit to West Africa last week, which reaffirms the high priority the Obama Administration attaches to Africa.

“It highlights our ongoing commitment to work with African partners in order to seize opportunities and address common challenges,” he said. America’s commitment to the continent is underscored by our work to support gains in democratic governance, sustainable development, economic growth, and the peaceful resolution of conflict, he added.

“This includes our support for democracy and governance programmes across the continent, our ongoing efforts to strengthen commercial ties between the US and Africa, and our steadfast support for the protection and promotion of human rights,” he explained.

By JAFFAR MJASIRI, Tanzania Daily News

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