TANZANIA 
 
 

Statement 

by

His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa
President of the United Republic of Tanzania

at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development

Johannesburg, South Africa
3 September 2002

President of the Summit;
Your Majesties and Excellencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

             I congratulate you, Mr President, and all members of the Bureau, for being entrusted with this enormous responsibility. I commend you, and the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and his team, for the exemplary manner in which all of you. continue to guide the proceedings of this historic Summit. You have our full support.. I thank you President Mbeki and the People of South Africa for so warmly hosting us, and facilitating our work. The world has come to this country; a most fitting tribute to the near South Africa following the hard-won victory of justice over injustice, equality over inequality, dignity over indignity and the end of the terminal, evil policy of apartheid. All these are matters of great pride and satisfaction to all of Africa.

Mr President,

            This Summit is about sustainable development. The assumption is that we are all -developing the developed who would like to sustain their status of development,  and the developing who would like to sustain their pace of development. But. for most beast Developed :Countries, this assumption is wrong. For them, it is not even a question of being. The least developed; it is the reality or threat of not developing at all, in, the modem sense of the concept. In some African countries, the national income today is lower than it was in the early 1960x: At best, some of us stand at. the starting line of the. development race, but are not yet at a level of development worth sustaining!!

              Agenda 21 was designed to achieve a balance between the needs of people and. their environmental. balance between the basic requirements of the living, and our inescapable, collective obligations to future generations.

             But the poor, the hungry and the diseased cannot be expected to put the preservation of their environment above their snuggle to survive this very day. So they mine soil nutrients, cultivate steep slopes, cut trees for wood fuel, and overgraze range lands. Many of them know this is harmful to the -environment. But, for theta, it is not the quality of life that is at stake, it is life itself. For them, sustainability is a secondary concern the primary one is to get the wheel of development turning, and turning faster.

               The wheel must turn to guarantee food security. Of all the indicators are our "not developing", the most striking is food insecurity; it is the indignity and extreme anxiety at not being able to decently feed ones family.

              Hunger and poverty reinforce each other. It does not matter how lard a poor person toils on the farm. With a hand hoe for a tool, without credit for - inputs, and subsisting on rain fed agriculture, such a poor person can neither attain food security not break away from poverty. This is the reality for 94 per cent of the- 3.5 million farming households in Tanzania, who also, for lack of proper storage facilities, lose up to 35 per cent of their crop in post-harvest losses. This Summit m produce a commitment to help' break this vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.

Mr President,

            The wheel of development must turn to provide. and guarantee safe water, to secure source of water, and to develop the capacity to access it at affordable cost. Here again, the lime. between water and sanitation on the one hand, and poverty and. disease on the other is firmly established. Children die to thousands from preventable water- borne diseases. I have people going blind in my country from trachoma for lack of water to wash their faces every day. Let this Summit make firm commitments to provide safe water and sanitation for everyone.

Mr President,

             The wheel mug turn to provide environment friendly energy sources, for the poor. To five, the poor must eat, and to eat they have to cook, and to cook they use mainly wood- bionics fuels. It does not matter if they know this leads to deforestation, with its local and global consequences. They must have an alternative source of energy, and the capacity for massive affore station. At the household level in Tanzania, electricity accounts for only 3 per cent of energy sources, and petroleum based ones only 7 per cent. The rest is wood fuel. This Summit needs to come out with firm commitments to deal with this problem.

Mr. President, 

             The wheel of development must turn to address the health issues that lead to premature death, or debilitation. Malaria, MWAIDS, Tuberculosis and waterborne diseases deserve more global commitment and support in terms of curative and palliative care, prevention, education and counselling. HIV positive patients occupy half of the beds in urban hospitals in Tanzania. Between 70,000 and 80,000 III positive babies are born each year. The cost of basic nursing and. drugs for one patient, at current reduced rates, is USD 300 a year against a per capita income of only USD 260.. Malaria kills at least 100,000 people a year and in a population of 32 million, there are at. least 18 million cases of malaria each year. The resultant. loss of productivity is estimated at 3.4 percent of GDP. Only when such-pressing health issues are personal  addressed will this Summit. and my attendee be meaningful, to millions of poor people in Tanzania, and in the world.

Mr. President,

                 The wheel must  turn to narrow the education and technological gap between those countries that are not yet developing and those that are developed or developing; If this is a knowledge driven world;. there can be no . hope for the developed Countries if they are not helped to narrow this gap. In half of my country, net primary enrolment rate is below 50 percent. There are only S telephone lures and 3 p nat computers for every 1,!000 people. A commitment to narrowing this gap is what we hope for. 

Mr President;

           The wheel must turn and provide market access natural resources for those products we can produce competitively, including agricultural commodities. With fair prices and assured market at a; we can earn our own resources with which to get the wheel of development turning sustainable, with dignified decent labour. Tanzania's largest export to the EU is fish fillets from Lake Victoria. These exports provide a steady income for 700, 000 workers and small scale fishermen. over 2 million Tanzanians are indirectly dependent on this sector. I do not have to tell you the disastrous effect that a EU ban on exports of fish fillets to their territory caused between April 1999 and March 2000.

            The other issue that puts brakes on our own development efforts is the debt burden. To ask. a poor country, as I have described it, to repay these relatively colossal sums, is unconscionable, especially as debt cancellation for the poor will hardly create a ripple in global and national financial, markets.

             These actions, which we ask for on the part of rich developed countries, will enable us to use our own resources to accelerate economic growth; and reduce poverty. But our own efforts cannot be sufficient in view of. the work that needs to be done. I thank those. development . countries that have committed themselves: to, substantially increasing their support to our development efforts. For, clearly, in addition to market access, fair prices and debt relief; other measures of external support are called for.

               I believe in genuine partnerships can work- The parcel debt relief we got is Tanzania has. been directed to priority areas for poverty reduction determined by us in the Tanzania. Strategy Together with a soft loan from the World Bank and mom grant assistance from our bilateral development partners we have more than doubled primary school enrolment from 0.7 million in 1999 to 1.6 million this year, attaining a 100.4 Gross Enrolment Rate. With such genuine partnership the wheel of development can turn, and turn faster. I once again thank all our partners in this dramatic venture upon Tanzania's development. 

                 It is my hope that this Summit will not only focus on sustainable development, but also trigger- development in those countries that have nothing to. sustain in terms of development, countries that are not yet developing. At the very least, previous commitments in support of our development efforts should be met.

            This Summit must build the consensus for ensuring a viable, responsible and productive future, by agreeing on a course of action, wed means of its implementation, and spelling out yardsticks for its success. This Summit must remove remaining obstacles to the flow of resources for the further implementation of Agenda 21. The challenges of the time render obsolete exclusions views of life, and call into question our modes and scale of production and consumption. In the new century and millennium, our vision of international co-operation must be forged by the needs and constraints of a planet that leas suddenly shrunk This is the occasion to pledge for the eradication of gross global income inequality, abject poverty and the marginalization of vast segments of humanity. This is my message from a national point of view, and especially in my capacity as Co-Chair of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. There is no painless solution: But, with political will, this is a realizable goal, a goal to which I commit my country.

I thank you  for your attention.