At UN, Tanzania – ‘as a country of refuge to many’ – stresses importance of regional stability

Augustine Phillip Mahiga, Minister for Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

23 September 2017 – Tanzania has integrated ‘sustainability’ into its development plan 2016-2021, with an eye towards becoming a middle-income country by 2025, its top foreign affairs official told the United Nations General Assembly today.

“Tanzania has set a target growth from an average of 7 per cent in 2015 to 10 per cent by 2020 in order to reach a middle-income status by 2025,” said Augustine Phillip Mahiga, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, during the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

He said this growth will ensure equity in the society by reducing the unemployment rate from the current 10.3 per cent to 8 per cent and reduce proportion of population below poverty line from the current 28.2 per cent to 16.7 per cent by 2020.

Collaborating with development partners and other stakeholders, the Government has developed frameworks for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include communication and dissemination strategies to make the goals understood to everyone, he said.

Dissemination is in both English and Kiswahili, a national language spoken by all Tanzanians, he added.

Tanzania has been a country of refuge to many for decades, actively participating in regional and international peace initiatives including the ongoing Burundi peace process. The peace talks are still on track, and it is encouraging to note that in some parts of Burundi, the security situation has significantly improved to permit the voluntary return of some 12,000 refugees out of almost 250,000 refugees who have been in Tanzania since 2015, he said.

Tanzania has also intermittently for decades been receiving and hosting refugees from pockets of troubled areas in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said, expressing hope that the 31 December 2016 Peace Agreement, with its promise of timely elections, is fully implemented.


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Augustine Mahiga, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tanzania addresses the general debate

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