Tanzania Foreign Policy

For many donor countries, Tanzania is one of the continent’s “model pupils” and also enjoys a good reputation among other African governments as a “haven of peace”. The German-Tanzanian relations are considered to be largely problem-free and friendly. Tanzania supported African liberation movements in the struggle for independence, but otherwise remained largely neutral in terms of foreign policy. Magufuli himself has been significantly less involved in foreign policy than his predecessors since taking office. He justified his absence at UN general assemblies or swearing-in by other heads of state by saving government money and instead being represented by his foreign ministers.

For decades, Tanzania took in more refugees than any other African country. Numerous refugees from neighboring countries plagued by civil war, such as DR Congo or Burundi, were cared for by international aid organizations in Tanzania, but nevertheless put the affected regions in the west of the country to the test. The unrest after the election in neighboring Burundi resulted in further refugee movements, the number of which has now risen to over 200,000. Tanzania wants them promptly back to Burundi deport. The total number of refugees from neighboring countries is currently over 330,000 people.

The renewed amalgamation of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – expanded to include Burundi and Rwanda in 2007 – to form the East African Community (EAC) is trend-setting and of far-reaching importance for the member states. The community secretariat is on Tanzanian soil (Arusha). In 2010 the protocol for a common market was signed. Even if the development in Tanzania is very dynamic, there is a lot of catching up to do in many areas, especially with neighboring Kenya – including the concern that the community could bring more disadvantages than advantages for Tanzania.

According to computergees, Tanzania is also the northernmost member state of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, mostly spoken as “Sadec”. Most of the SADC countries originally fought the white minority regimes in southern Africa as so-called ‘front-line states’. They were also united by the will to form a counterweight to the economic superiority of South Africa through unity. The hope that with its accession in 1994 South Africa would also increase the economic development of countries like Tanzania has not really been fulfilled.

The relations with the People’s Republic of China have a long tradition in Tanzania. China’s growing interest in Africa is also, and especially, very visible in Tanzania: the volume of trade has increased by a factor of almost 20 since 2001 and the number of Chinese living in Tanzania has grown from 30 to 3,000 in the same period.

Tanzania has good diplomatic relations with the USA. The cooperation between the two countries is mainly in the areas of health, food supply, sustainable development and exchange programs.

There are unresolved disputes between Tanzania and Malawi over the border course at Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi), in which oil / natural gas is suspected. Malawi insists on the borders drawn during colonial times, according to which Tanzania would not have a claim to the lake. Tanzania, on the other hand, sees the border in the middle of the lake and refers to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

German-Tanzanian cooperation

Multilateral and other bilateral partners

A large part of international development cooperation in Tanzania focuses on the health sector, with over a third. Further areas are the expansion of infrastructure and educational facilities. In recent years, however, government benefits (ODA) have declined somewhat overall.

The bilateral partnerships are to be harmonized as far as possible with the efforts of other actors. To this end, numerous bilateral and multilateral actors have come together to form a Development Partners Group. The country’s civil society should be involved as much as possible.

Besides Germany, Tanzania’s most important bilateral partners are the USA (USAID), Great Britain (DFID), Japan (JICA) and the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden (SIDA) and Denmark (DANIDA).

Furthermore, as a stronger player, China has become a close partner for Tanzania. Above all in the areas of infrastructure, in the health and education sector as well as in military support, the People’s Republic has made numerous investments and is therefore valued by the Tanzanian government as a business partner. However, the role of China in the development of Tanzania is controversial: allegations of corruption and the exploitation of Tanzania’s natural resources are recurring criticisms of China’s Tanzania policy.

The most important of the multilateral organizations and institutions active in Tanzania are AfDB, EU, IMF, UNDP, World Bank, WFP.

Private foundations (such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) that are involved in development policy are also increasingly appearing.

Another trend in development cooperation, which can also be found in Tanzania, is the promotion of development by the private sector. Proponents of this approach emphasize the opportunities for finance mobilization and job creation. However, this approach also meets with criticism that such measures are a form of our own foreign trade promotion.

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