Tanzania and Japan—Connecting the highest peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Fuji


H.E. Dr. Batilda Salha Burian
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Republic of Tanzania to Japan
I am delighted, greatly honored and privileged to serve in Japan as the 10th Tanzanian Ambassador. I am excited not only because Japan is the world’s 3rd largest economy, but also due to the special friendship between the two nations. We have a Swahili saying which emphasizes the importance of people to people friendship and connections. It says “Milima haikutani, lakini binadamu ukutana” which means in English “Mounts do not meet, but People do”.

Tanzania and Japan share a long history, starting with the first Japan diplomatic mission in 1966, after Tanganyika gained Independence on December 9, 1961. Japanese experts were first sent to Tanzania in 1965, and in 1966 the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) offices were officially opened there.

Tanzania, as well as being rich in marine and mineral resources, also has the world’s greatest collection of wildlife. In fact, Tanzania has about 20% of all Africa’s largest mammal population. It is also home to famous destinations, including the Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Ngorongoro crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Zanzibar to name a few. The economy continues to perform strongly, developing industries have driven an average growth of 7% for over 10 years. Tanzania has continued to maintain a healthy fiscal position, keeping deficit at sustainable levels and managing expenditure growth—all made possible by our history of peace and stability.

Tanzania appreciates Japan’s continued support in areas including infrastructure, education and agriculture. Investment and ODA from Japan are also increasing significantly each year, as are the country’s exports to Japan. Our coffee, sesame, tea, cashew nuts, and tinga tinga are very popular here. Plenty of opportunities exist in growing industrial sectors. The discovery of natural gas reserves to the tune of 55.08 TCF have heightened expectations of Tanzania becoming major gas-producer. Currently, the government is preparing regulations to manage gas-related projects, including liquefied petroleum gas production, compressed natural gas as well as fertilizers and petrochemical production. We welcome the Japanese private sector from the both big corporate and SMEs for win-win investment ventures.

I believe that with Japanese skills, technology and strong commitment, both at the bilateral level and through TICAD, we will achieve our 2020 vision and the 2063 Africa Agenda which aims to achieve “An integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa.”

I look forward to a successful tour of duty whereby I will be able to enhance the relations between Tanzania and Japan, share our values and culture, enjoy Japanese food and also introduce Tanzanian cuisine, and also setting up a Swahili learning center.

For more information about Tanzania, please visit the official website: www.tanzaniaembassy.or.jp.

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