On 2nd August 2020, President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli accepted the credentials of the new United States Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Donald J. Wright.
As a Medical Doctor and a career member of the Senior Executive Service, Dr. Wright has been a leader in public health and health policy both domestically and internationally for the last seventeen years, including service to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Labor, and the United Nations.
Prior to being named Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Wright served in acting and permanent positions in the U.S federal government including Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Health, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Healthcare Quality and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health – Disease Prevention/Health Promotion.
His roles included directing the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the Office of Occupational Medicine (OSHA). He also served as the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCSFN.)
Ambassador Wright reaffirmed to President Magufuli the strength of the U.S.-Tanzania partnership, stating “I look forward to working to strengthen our bilateral relationship on health, security, governance, and education.”
President Magufuli asked the Ambassadors to motivate US traders and investors to come and invest in Tanzania and reassured him that the Government will be ready at any time to cooperate with them.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in 1961.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) began working in Tanzania in the early 1960s to build human capacity in the public service sector, for which education was a priority.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government aid agency, completed in 2013 its Tanzania Compact, designed to benefit more than five million people by investing in the country through targeted infrastructure improvement projects in transportation, energy, and water. A total of USD698.1m were disbursed.
However, the MCC had suspended its Tanzania Compact II, worth USD472m, after criticizing the 2016 Presidential elections in Zanzibar that were deemed ” neither inclusive nor representative”.
Tanzania-US Trade and Investments
Tanzania is the 126th largest goods trading partner of the US with USD 432 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2018.
Tanzania is eligible for African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits and qualifies for textile and apparel benefits.
Goods exports totaled USD 335 million; goods imports totaled USD 97 million. U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tanzania (stock) was $1.4 billion in 2017 (latest data available), a 2.8% increase from 2016.
US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tanzania (stock) was USD 1.4 billion in 2017.