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Press Releases 2008

President Bush Makes Historic Visit to Tanzania

February 18, 2008
President Bush and Tanzanian President Kikwete are welcomed to State House in Dar es Salaam by hundreds of Tanzanian citizens. The two leaders held talks and later signed the $698.1 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. (© AP Images)

President Bush and Tanzanian President Kikwete are welcomed to State House in Dar es Salaam by hundreds of Tanzanian citizens. The two leaders held talks and later signed the $698.1 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. (© AP Images)

President George W. Bush departed Dar es Salaam this morning aboard Air Force One on his way to Arusha in the northern part of Tanzania. He and First Lady Laura Bush, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. Mark Green, will spend the day touring U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) sites, including a District Hospital that distributes vouchers to obtain insecticide treated nets. President Bush will visit a mosquito net factory which serves as a perfect example of how the innovative private sector in Tanzania has teamed up with PMI to save millions of lives, not only in Tanzania, but across the African continent. President Bush and Mrs. Bush will conclude the Arusha portion of their Tanzanian visit by touring a girls' school for the Masaai community that receives support from the Africa Education Initiative. The United States shares Tanzania’s strong interest in dramatically improving education and health throughout the country.

President Bush and his delegation spent Sunday in Dar es Salaam in bilateral meetings with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and members of his administration. The leaders held a joint press conference following the signing of the historic Millennium Challenge Compact for $698.1 million dollars that will provide roads, clean water and energy to Tanzania over the next five years through major infrastructure projects. The United States is channeling foreign assistance to responsible leaders who govern justly, advance economic freedom, and invest in their people. Implementation of the proposed Compact will strengthen Tanzania’s infrastructure network to stimulate economic growth and increase opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment toward the further reduction of poverty.

The two Presidents also visited a health clinic that receives support from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. PEPFAR is the largest commitment any nation has ever made for an international health initiative dedicated to combating a single disease. By the end of this fiscal year, the U.S. will have provided $817.1 million to combating HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. Efforts include providing care and treatment to HIV+ patients, prevention efforts for youth and married couples, and the provision of anti-retrovirals to extend the lives of those infected with the disease. President Bush participated in a roundtable with HIV+ Tanzanians, including a mother and married couple who have given birth to children who are HIV-negative thanks to efforts carried out with PEPFAR funds.

In 2008, the United States will provide more than USD 400 million in direct bilateral foreign assistance, making it the largest donor to Tanzania. The breadth of activities in which the United States is partnering with the Government of Tanzania is impressive -- combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, increasing education performance in math and science, conserving Tanzania’s fragile eco-systems, and building Tanzania’s peacekeeping capacity.

The link between development and democracy underpins the United States Government's support for Africa as a whole and the East African region in particular. Through programs as diverse as USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Department of Defense's Humanitarian Assistance program and the State Department's small grant funds, the United States government is helping Tanzania strengthen its democratic tradition. The long-standing partnership between the people of the United States of America and the United Republic of Tanzania is growing stronger by the day and President Bush's visit has cemented the mutually beneficial friendship between our two nations and demonstrated the U.S.'s commitment to Africa.