President John Magufuli this week received diplomatic credentials from five new ambassadors to Tanzania. The new envoys who on submitted their diplomatic credentials to President Magufuli included ambassadors from Norway, Palestine, Kuwait, Sweden and Belgium. The event, which was held at the State House in Dar es Salaam, was broadcast live via state-run broadcaster, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC).
In the meantime, a group of traders from 40 companies from have met with experts from Sweden in the wake of addressing the existing trade imbalance between the two countries and open up new markets for their products particularly in agriculture. The Acting Director of Trade Promotion at the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TANTRADE), Mr Boniface Michael said in an interview on the sidelines of a seminar on how to export to Sweden and the European Union Internal Market. On his part, the First Secretary Political and Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of Sweden, Mr Ludvig Bontell said the gathering aims to introduce traders from Tanzania with all questions concerning rules and requirements for exporting to Sweden and the European Union (EU) which is the world’s largest market.
Tanzania’s national external debt has been reduced by $619.4 million (Sh1.3 trillion) in July in a month on month basis, this is according to Bank of Tanzania (BoT). The BoT’s Monthly Economic Review for August indicated that the significant decline was due to the weak US dollar. “The decrease was largely on account of appreciation of the US dollar against other currencies in which the debt is denominated,” the BoT noted. The central bank says the national debt, which comprises borrowing – both the public and private sectors – was $19.8 billion in July from $20.5 billion in June this year. Similarly, Tanzanian government has received Sh265 billion in new financial assistance from the European Union (EU) to promote productivity and competitiveness in the agricultural sector. The financing support, dubbed “agri- connect,” would help to promote horticulture, coffee, tea, food production and nutrition security in the country.
While Tanzania is doing well in debt repayment, the World Bank has confirmed it is withholding 50 million dollars of grant meant for Tanzania because the bank was deeply concerned about restrictions that the government has placed on freedom of speech concerning statistics. The grant was intended to support government statistical activities in Tanzania but latest reports indicated that this support may have to wait longer. “We are in discussions with the government of Tanzania on whether further support to building sustainable statistical systems is appropriate at this time,” the bank in a terse statement said. President John Magufuli was expected to sign into law the new Statistics Act which was passed on Sept. 10, by Parliament. Sources indicated that the new act seeks to criminalize the collection, analysis, and dissemination of any data without first obtaining authorization from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).