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Tanzania’s First Woman President Meets USA’s First Woman Vice President

Tanzanian’s first woman President, Samia Suluhu Hassan was in New York for a diplomatic tour, last week. She met with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday to condemn the ongoing conflict and emphasise the role of world peace towards the better working of economies and achieving developments in their bilateral ties. Tanzania had earlier abstained on all three resolutions related to the conflict at the U.N. General Assembly along with abstaining to vote. Before their meeting, Harris outlined to reporters three areas of discussion: strengthening democracy, investment and economic growth, and global health.

Initially, it was reported that she was there to witness the World Premiere of Peter Greenberg’s global television special on Monday. The producer and host Peter Greenberg said, “This is a very special, up close and personal journey to and through a country, seen through the eyes of its leader…It’s an all-access pass, a deep immersion into the history, culture and the environment at a critical time in Tanzania’s history.”

Tanzania and the United States have recently signed the “Open Skies Air Transport Agreement.” This agreement establishes a civil aviation relationship between the two countries. The two leaders welcomed the investment of nearly $1 billion from American companies in Tanzania’s tourism and energy sectors, according to a readout provided by the White House.

Suluhu signalled that she wants to steer and enhance Tanzania’s foreign policy from the one that’s inward-looking to one that draws more foreign investment. To achieve the said end, she has been meeting leaders in Beijing, London, Brussels, Moscow and the Persian Gulf.

Suluhu told Harris, “My government would like to see our relationship grow further and strengthen to greater heights…My only request here is to call the U.S. government to encourage more of the private sector from the U.S. to work with us.”

Kamala Harris also said in harmony, “Our administration is deeply committed to strengthen the ties in Tanzania and to African countries in general,” Harris said. “This has been an area of attentional focus and priority for both the president [Joe Biden] and for me.”

Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President, Phil Gordon later tweeted “As @VP told President Hassan of Tanzania, we will continue to work with her to drive progress on COVID-19, women and children’s health, the digital economy, and private sector investments. @VP feels strongly in strengthening ties with Tanzania and Africa more broadly.”

Tanzania is one of 11 African countries the United States is supporting, through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, or Global VAX, to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates in developing nations.

Samia Suluhu, the Tanzanian leader met Harris at the vice president’s ceremonial office adjacent to the White House. It was indeed a remarkably historic encounter between Tanzania’s first female leader and the first American female vice president.