PRESIDENT of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso today held talks at the State House in
with H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete President of the United Republic of Tanzania in which they both expressed commitment to increase cooperation and dialogue between the two sides. The Commissioner for Development of the European Commission, Andris Piebalgs and EU officials from Headquarters in Dar es Salaam Brussels accompanied President Barroso and met with Senior Ministers of the Government and EU Heads of . Mission
The visit is meant to reinforce the high-level political dialogue and to strengthen economic cooperation between
and the European Union. Six new development programmes were launched to improve access to water and sanitation; strengthen the road transport sector and rural road infrastructure; good governance and social accountability; as well as capacity support for the Government in the area of programme management, policy dialogue and broader donor coordination. Tanzania
President Barroso stated: "
Tanzania has become one of the EU's main partners in Africa, and is also playing an increasingly important role in the stability and the inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the whole region. We now want to deepen our regular political dialogue with Tanzania and further increase our cooperation in areas like energy, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism or migration; issues which are of concern both for Africa and the European Union."
Noting the considerable prospects for economic transformation in
, he added: "I am also pleased to further increase our development cooperation by launching new programmes that will encourage inclusive and sustainable growth and help us to make even more of a difference in the fight against poverty." Tanzania
During the visit, six new financing agreements were signed, worth a total of Euro 126.5 million. This new support will help to rehabilitate more than 200 km of roads and provide access to drinking water for 500,000 people; improved sanitation infrastructure and services for some 140,000 inhabitants; strengthen democratisation and good governance.
The signature of the East African Community (EAC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is also high on the agenda of the discussions as
's commitment will be instrumental to reaching an agreement soon. Tanzania
On his part, President Kikwete expressed his appreciation of the unprecedented historical socio-political and economic cooperation between European Union and
; and added “the EU is one of our key Development Partners both in terms of magnitude of financial support and commitment to our development initiatives”. Since 1975, Tanzania has benefited significantly from grant aid from the EU of about Euro 1.8 billion (TZS 3.8 trillion). Tanzania
Going forward, President Kikwete commended the EU’s decision to consider using our national development strategies and Plans to develop future financing programmes rather than developing a parallel separate strategy as it has been the case in the past. He added “this is a commendable decision and would like to once again thank you for recognizing that our development strategy documents are sound and could be relied upon”. He pointed out great challenge on addressing supply-side constraints which are inhibiting achievement of significant poverty reduction, especially in rural areas where majority of population live. Therefore, he requested, during the programming of the 11th EDF, the European Commission to consider road transport sub-sector, rural infrastructure and General Budget Support as focal sectors in order to assist the Government to address these challenges.
President Kikwete expressed his Government’s commitment to strengthen unprecedented historical cooperation between
and the EU and said he looked forward to working together towards this end. Tanzania