South Africa
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Tanzania: Switzerland New Programme to Strengthen Institutions, Health Sector

SWITZERLAND has unveiled a four-year new programme for cooperation with Tanzania that seeks, among other things, forti- fying state institutions, protecting and promoting civic space, improving the health and livelihoods of youth.

The programme (2021- 2024) was launched in Dar es Salaam over the weekend at a brief ceremony to celebrate 40 years of Tanzania-Switzerland development cooperation.

"This programme comes at the moment when the world is battling Covid-19 pandemic, I trust its implementation will make a positive contribution in the recovery of key sectors affected by Covid-19 in our economies," Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Amb Liberata Mulamula stated during the launching.

Amb Mulamula argued that it was difficult to talk about Tanzania and Switzerland relations without mentioning Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

She said the two countries have been enjoying excellent relations and development co- operation for decades.

"Indeed, Switzerland has remained one of the strategic and reliable development part- ners to Tanzania," she said.

Over the past 40 years, Tanzania has received more than 1 billion USD from the govern- ment of Switzerland dedicated in improving the lives of Tanza- nians.

In health sector, SDC has been a front-runner in the fight against Malaria, which is the leading life threatening disease in the country. "Of a particular interest to me is economic development support on promotion of private sector in agriculture, special fo- cus being centered on women and youth through promoting vocational skills development," she explained.

Touching on trade and investment as one of the priority areas of the sixth-phase gov- ernment, she pointed out that Switzerland has continued to be among the reliable trading partners of Tanzania.

However, the pace of trade between the two countries was still low, hence called for further cooperation in this sector to realize the untapped potentials.

The government and pri- vate sector are working closely to formulate policies that will protect and facilitate private sector to grow.

"I would therefore like to assure you that Tanzania is and shall continue to strive to be the best investment destination," she assured.

Given the efforts being un- dertaken by the government and through combined efforts from both sides, there are more potential for trade and investment between Tanzania and Switzerland.

On her part, Patricia Danzi, Director of the SDC said the organisation will also further continue working on nourishing skills and empowering young entrepreneurs, taking into account that the group may have good ideas but cannot go out to the market.

"Training and skills devel- opment is very important. We will closely work with private sector. We need private sector that develops itself. We are here to reduce some of the risks when they invest," she stated.

She said the SDC will make sure that private companies in- vest responsibly in their country.