Tanzania: Two High Profile Visits From U.S. Coming Soon

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PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s recent state visit will be followed by two high level visits from the US in early August and in the coming weeks as well.

In an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News on Saturday’, the US ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Alfonso Lenhardt said that in addition to several continuing technical assistance programmes, the State Department’s Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Ambassador Carlos Pascual will visit Tanzania in early August and the USAID Power Africa/Trade Africa Coordinator is scheduled to visit in the coming weeks as well.

“The objective of these visits is both to identify and advance specific opportunities that might be realised in the next 120 days as well as moving forward with the Power Africa tools that are based on a longer timeframe, such as negotiations for a second compact under the Millennium Challenge programme.”

He also said that Power Africa is designed around a delivery unit model, as is Tanzania’s Big Results Now initiative, another reason why Tanzania is well placed to take full advantage of what Power Africa has to offer.

“We also hosted a technical-level briefing for key government counterparts working on energy sector issues to discuss Power Africa and to identify specific project and transactions which could serve as quick wins to support energy sector growth.”

The envoy also explained that beyond the symbolic importance of the visit, many concrete successes were also achieved. “While in Tanzania, President Obama highlighted Power Africa, a new initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tanzania is among the initial 6 countries that will work with the US and its private sector partners to achieve this ambitious goal.” Over the next five years, the US will commit more than $7 billion to assist in this effort.

The private sector has also committed another $9 billion to this major energy development initiative, he said. “This will mean more reliable and affordable electricity for more Tanzanians and other African people in the near future.”

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