Norway and Tanzania’s relationship is broadening: The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Børge Brende, visited Tanzania recently

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The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, and Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad in conversation with President John Pombe Magufuli and Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Mahiga at the State House. Photo by: Ingrid Kvammen Ekker

The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Børge Brende visited Tanzania 29th – 30th June. Mr. Brende met with President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli and several Ministers of the Government of Tanzania to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest.

Norway and Tanzania have a close relationship after fifty-five years of development cooperation. A relationship that in recent years have been broadened to include international issues of mutual interest such as climate change, education, health, as well as increased private sector development and business engagement.

Mr. Brende met H.E. President Dr. Magufuli and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahiga for successful discussions. The two Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the establishment of regular consultations and dialogue with Tanzania on a wide range of issues of common interest.

“Today we are entering a new chapter in our relationship – where there will be a strong focus on political dialogue and private sector development”, Mr. Brende said during the visit.

Norway has been a long-term supporter of capacity building in Tanzania, and several thousands of students and staff in governmental institutions were trained in Norway. Together with Hon. Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Mpango, Mr. Brende launched further Norwegian support for Tanzania’s tax reform and new commitments to the Tax Modernisation Programme in Tanzania (NOK 90 million 2017-2019). The Minister of Foreign Affairs also launched further Norwegian support for sustainable management of petroleum resources through the Oil for Development Programme (NOK 50 million 2017-2020). The Programme aims to share Norway’s experiences in natural resource management and provide capacity building and assistance to Tanzania’s effort to manage its petroleum resources in a sustainable manner.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister commended Tanzania for hosting more than 310 000 refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A humanitarian crisis that receives little international support. Norway supports host communities in Kigoma through OneUNFund in Tanzania and Norway will contribute additional NOK 21 million (approximately USD 2.5 million) in support to the refugees.

In the new phase that the bilateral relationship is moving towards, economic cooperation and investments are increasingly important. During the visit Mr. Brende, together with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Mwijage, were opening Statoil’s Energy Forum regarding the future LNG plant in Tanzania. An investment that, if realized, will be the largest single investment in Tanzania’s history and will also be the largest investment abroad in Statoil`s history.

Mr. Brende’s visit and the signing of the MoU are underscoring Norway’s commitment to develop further the strong and special friendship between the two countries.