The 2016 Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America (DICOTA) Conference took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dallas Texas from April 28th to May 1st 2016. H.E. Wilson M. Masilingi, the Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United States read the Keynote Address on behalf of H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. In addressing Tanzania’s economy to participants of the convention he stated that:
“The Tanzanian economy has continued to perform strongly, recording growth of 7% over the last decade. This growth is projected to remain above 7 percent, while ably supported by public investments in infrastructure, particularly in the transport and energy sectors. I therefore, take this opportunity to register my gratitude to my predecessor, H.E. Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, for handing over to me a very stable country both, economically and politically.
Despite achievements recorded in all socio-economic sectors, we are still facing major hindrances on our way to achieving our destination as a prosperous middle-income country. Poverty, unemployment and corruption have remained to be among the major challenges confronting us. You might have heard from your brothers and sisters at home or through media that, since we came into Office, we have been taking serious measures on various issues to overcome these challenges; including; reducing bureaucratic red-tape, cutting unnecessary Government expenditures and fighting corruption and tax evasion. We are also making efforts to promote discipline, accountability and transparency in the Government and the public sector. Furthermore, the government is making sturdy efforts to collect revenues so as to enable the country to become a middle-income nation by 2025.
The World is increasingly becoming a global economy integrated in terms of markets, social norms and financial systems. This is yet another opportunity for the Diaspora to better integrate Tanzania in the global market. And it can be achieved through feeding Tanzania’s ever-growing supply chain demand with inputs from the USA, improving distribution of Tanzanian products into other markets and marketing our country as a highly preferred tourist and investment destination. It is worth noting, that Tanzania has effectively become East Africa’s largest tourist destination in terms of footfall and we believe, with more concerted efforts in conjunction with the diaspora, we can be Africa’s top tourist destination.
I wish to take this opportunity to strongly affirm the commitment by my government in recognizing and engaging Diaspora as an important partner for the country’s development. The Government recognizes the Diaspora contribution, small or large in terms of financial remittances, skills and knowledge transfers towards the country’s economic development. Apart from remittances, the Diaspora has increasingly become an important source of unique skill sets and experiences that are much needed in capitalizing on Tanzania’s ‘new’ economy. The Diaspora has also been a market for Tanzanian products ranging from agricultural produce to entertainment products which provide an alternative source of income to our growing entertainment sector.”
“On a special note, I want to recognize the role of US Agencies, the World Bank, US Business, Honorary Consuls and Friends of Tanzania, among others, in forging partnerships with the Tanzania Diaspora and working closely with them to build bridges for trade, investment, tourism, education and culture between Tanzania and the United States.”
“My Countrymen in Diaspora;
I wish to take t/his opportunity again to encourage you to remain goodwill ambassadors of your country and promote Tanzania’s many wonders of tourism, oil and gas, agriculture, infrastructure and the likes.
In addition, I would like to remind you not to forget your families at home, any amount of money you send back home can greatly transform the lives of your brothers and sisters at home, through better education housing and healthcare.”