Cablegate: Tanzania: Scenesetter for Visit of Codel Nelson


DE RUEHDR #0393/01 1771353
R 251353Z JUN 08





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 062146

1. (SBU) Over the past two years, the U.S.-Tanzanian
bilateral relationship has witnessed a sea change. With the
election of a charismatic, pro-Western President, and
increasing levels of U.S. assistance, cooperation has expanded in
areas ranging from health and education to counterterrorism and
military affairs. As a nascent
democracy with an impressive record of peaceful political
transition, Tanzania is a stabilizing influence in a turbulent
region. Despite daunting challenges--HIV/AIDS, poor infrastructure,
corruption, and political stalemate in
Zanzibar--the Government of Tanzania (GOT) remains committed to
furthering both economic development and
democracy. Providing more than USD 400 million in direct
bilateral assistance to the GOT in FY 2008, the Mission aims to
advance several strategic priorities such as enhancing Tanzania's
counterterrorism capability and strengthening the checks and
balances of Tanzania's democracy. A USD 698 million MCC Compact,
the largest Compact to date, was signed during the February 2008
POTUS visit to Tanzania. The level of cooperation between our
military and the Tanzania People's Defence Forces is deeper than
ever before with active USG peacekeeping training programs and USG
assistance to support Tanzania's role in African Union operations.

2. (SBU) On anti-corruption and transparency, President
Kikwete, well aware of the importance of government accountability
to 82 percent of the electorate (Source: National Electoral
Commission of Tanzania) who voted him into office and to the donors,
allowed press freedoms to strengthen, particularly investigative
reporting. During the second year of his administration, one
corruption case after another was aired in the press. Some major
donors even threatened to reduce "medium term" assistance levels
without greater transparency and accountability. Over the last
year, with our assistance, the Tanzanian press was further energized
resulting in a huge increase in corruption reporting. Partly as a
result, in less than four months, the Governor of the Bank of
Tanzania was fired by President Kikwete, the Prime Minister and four
other key ministers resigned, and the entire cabinet was

3. (SBU) The Mission as a whole has dramatically increased our
public diplomacy and messaging. We now produce and distribute fact
sheets and "back packet" card in both English and Swahili that
summarize all the facts of our work, so every Mission employee can
be an "ambassador" in telling America's story. Mission members
travel all over Tanzania, appearing in the press each week with
stories of America's generosity. We have designed a "From the
American People" logo in both languages as informal letterhead and
event banners to shine a light on the projects we are supporting.
End summary.

Political and Economic Background
4. (SBU) In 1992, Tanzania opened the door to multi-party
democracy, transitioning from a single party, socialist
state. Under the stewardship of former President Mkapa,
fundamental macro-reforms were introduced and Tanzania began its
transition toward free-market capitalism. With the landslide
election of President Kikwete in 2005, Tanzania underwent its third
peaceful transition to a new President. Taken together, political
and economic reforms introduced since 1992 have made Tanzania an
example of peace and stability in the region.

5. (SBU) Formidable challenges remain. Located in a
turbulent neighborhood, Tanzania is neighbor to eight countries, all
with porous borders and a 1,500 kilometer coastline. Tanzania is a
member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an
association of its southern neighbors. Tanzania is also a member of
the East African Community (EAC), an association of its East African
and Great Lakes neighbors. Infrastructure remains rudimentary; red
tape and corruption impede private sector
development; and HIV/AIDs prevalence hovers around seven
percent. While elections on the Mainland have been free and fair,
Tanzania is still a state dominated by the executive branch and the
ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. In Zanzibar, serious
irregularities and sporadic violence marred elections in 1995, 2000,
and 2005.

6. (SBU) While Tanzania has achieved major macroeconomic
reform over the past decade, macro-stability has yet to
translate into significant gains at the micro level. More
than one third of Tanzanians live in abject poverty and per
capita GDP is USD 340. In a 2007-08 UN Development Program (UNDP)
report, Tanzania ranked 159 out of 177 in the Human Development
Index. In 2006, the Tanzanian government had to revise its growth
forecasts downward (from 7.2 to 5.8
percent) due to a food shortage and an ongoing power crisis. The
lack of electricity, coupled with rising oil and food prices,
caused inflation to increase from approximately 4 to 7 percent.
Tanzania's oil import bill quadrupled and its business climate
suffered set backs. While in 2007, the economic forecast rebounded
to a growth rate of nearly 7.2 percent, sharp increases in food
prices during the first quarter of 2008 once again threatened

U.S.-Tanzanian Bilateral Relationship
7. (SBU) Since the election of President Kikwete in December 2005,
U.S.-Tanzanian bilateral relations have significantly deepened.
President Kikwete's pro-Western stance, coupled with an increasing
level of U.S. assistance, has been the catalyst for this change,
enhancing cooperation in sectors from health and education, to
counterterrorism and military affairs. President Kikwete has
visited the U.S. five times since taking office, meeting President
Bush in Washington D.C. (May 2006, September 2006) and attending the
UN Assembly in September 2007 at which time he met the Secretary of
State in Washington. During President Bush's historic trip to
Tanzania in February 2008, the relationship was further cemented
through the public singing of the MCC compact and, equally
importantly, the favorable reaction of Tanzanian citizenry to the
POTUS' visit to hospitals, factories and schools in Dar es Salaam
and Arusha.

8. (SBU) As a member of the UN Security Council (January
2005-December 2006), Tanzania supported key resolutions
sanctioning North Korea and Iran. Tanzania did not fully
support the USG's effort to address Burma's human rights
situation in the Security Council, insisting the issue be
dealt with in the Human Rights Council instead. With respect to
country specific human rights resolutions in the Third Committee,
Tanzania was also not completely cooperative and abstained from
votes or voted to close the discussion on some key human rights
resolutions which the GOT believed should be handled by the Human
Rights Council.

9. (SBU) Tanzania has started to play an increasingly
prominent role in the region on issues ranging from Sudan to
Somalia. Standing up to Sudan, the Kikwete administration was
outspoken in its support of a UN peacekeeping mission to take over
the African Union (AU) mission in Darfur and against Sudan assuming
the AU Chairmanship in January 2007. During the January 2008 AU
Summit in Addis Ababa, President Kikwete was elected AU Chairman for
the next 12 months. While still in Addis, he worked to garner
Africa's support
for a strong Security Council statement against the
deteriorating situation in Chad. Over the next year, Kikwete will
be playing a pivotal role to resolve conflicts on the continent from
Kenya, to Darfur and Chad, to Zimbabwe.

10. (SBU) President Kikwete pledged to the Secretary of State in
September 2007 to send three peacekeeping battalions to Darfur;
these troops are presently being trained under the Department of
State's ACOTA program. Tanzania has also been supportive of our
policy in Somalia and joined the Somalia Contact Group. At the
United States' behest, President Kikwete swiftly voiced his support
for Ethiopia, the need for an African peacekeeping mission to be put
in place, and offered to train 1,000 Somali troops to help stabilize
the situation. Tanzania has long played a constructive role in the
Burundi peace process and a lead role within SADC on Zimbabwe.

Strategic Priorities
11. (SBU) The Mission's strategic priorities in Tanzania are:
(i) building the GOT's counterterrorism (CT) capacity as guided by
the Mission's Interagency Counterterrorism Working Group.
(ii) strengthening Tanzania's democratic institutions and
accountability focused on parliamentary capacity building and
anti-corruption efforts.
(iii)improving education by combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, and
increasing access to school for underserved children such as Muslim
(iv) improving health by combating HIV/AIDS and malaria.
(v) spurring economic growth through policy reform and improved
natural resource management; and
(vi) influencing public opinion especially among Tanzania's Muslims
who tend to view U.S. policy as anti-Islam.

12. (SBU) We support these strategic priorities with active
diplomatic engagement and a generous foreign assistance program.
Although Tanzania enjoys the support of numerous
donor countries, the U.S. is one of the top donors in Tanzania in
dollar amounts. In FY08, the total USG bilateral assistance will
amount to nearly USD 400 million including presidential initiatives
such as PEPFAR and PMI. Taking into account the U.S. share of
contributions from multilateral donors such as the World Bank and
African Development Bank, U.S. assistance will total USD 662 million
in 2008. This does not include major private U.S. benefactors such
as the Gates Foundation. Other major bilateral donors include the
U.K., Norway, Sweden, and the European Union.

13. (SBU) To ensure that corruption does not undermine development
efforts, the Mission is sharply focused on supporting President
Kikwete's anti-corruption campaign. The Kikwete administration has
taken steps to combat corruption, appointing a new Director General
of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and
passing two new pieces of legislation: the Anti-Money Laundering
Bill and the Anti-Corruption Bill. While pleased with passage of
these bills, we are disappointed that the Anti-Corruption Bill does
not adequately safeguard the independence of the PCCB. A steady
drum beat of corruption allegations featured in the press over the
past year have involved many of Tanzania's senior leaders; until
now, no one had been brought to justice for their alleged actions.
However, with respect to the Bank of Tanzania, President Kikwete
fired the Governor in January 2008, and announced an investigation
of the Central Bank's activities with the report due in six months.
President Kikwete's willingness to take actions, including criminal,
against alleged corrupt officials will go a long way in determining
how serious he is.

14. (SBU) In the wake of the 1998 Embassy bombing, the Mission is
actively engaged in furthering counterterrorism
(CT) cooperation with the Tanzanian government. The Mission has an
integrated strategy involving modernization of Tanzania's law
enforcement as well as winning the hearts and minds of the Tanzanian
people. Our work in Pemba--a majority Muslim island--exemplifies
this strategy. We have knit together cultural preservation projects
to repair mosques, self-help projects to improve rural livelihoods,
and small USAID projects including the donation of generators to
provide electricity to two hospitals. In addition, CDC is providing
HIV prevention and treatment services at the central hospital in
Pemba. USAID and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa
(CJTF-HOA) have partnered to build and furnish a primary school and
the Mission has plans to inaugurate an American Corner in Pemba to
advance Islamic outreach efforts. Another key component of the
Mission's strategy is helping the government establish its own
national, interagency CT Center to collect, share and analyze CT

Zanzibar's Political Impasse
15. (SBU) In his December 2005 inaugural address, President
Kikwete pledged to address Zanzibar's "political problem,"
which involves the bitter divide between two political
parties - CCM and the Civic United Front (CUF)- and between
Zanzibar's two islands--Unguja and Pemba. In 1995, 2000 and again
in 2005, the Zanzibar elections were marred by
irregularities. A National Democratic Institute observer
team reported "serious problems in Zanzibar's urban region
where 40 percent of the registered voters reside." While 2005 did
register some administrative improvements and
violence was contained, the elections still concluded in an impasse.
CUF contested the elections and refused to recognize President
Karume's government.

16. (SBU) Throughout 2006, neither party made any formal
reconciliation attempt. Among CUF members, there appeared to be
disagreement between older members urging patience and time for
President Kikwete to address the problem, and the CUF youth wing
which was increasingly frustrated and
impatient. Within CCM there also appeared to be a divide
between moderates recognizing that there was a problem in
Zanzibar and more hard-line members, including President
Karume, denying that any real problem existed. In January 2007,
official reconciliation talks finally began between the CCM
Secretary-General Makamba and CUF's Secretary-General Malim Seif

17. (SBU) Nearly eighteen months later, the talks appear to be at a
stalemate. CUF leaders remain adamant their bottom line is the
formation of a power-sharing government in advance of the 2010
elections. CUF leaders have repeatedly emphasized that without a
government of national unity, the 2010 elections will be neither
free nor fair and have warned that their membership is becoming
increasingly restless and disillusioned with the democratic

18. (SBU) The CCM party, particularly President Karume and his inner
circle, appears unwilling to implement a power-sharing agreement
prior to the 2010 elections and have called for a referendum on the
issues. However, a referendum election without proper oversight in
place risks raising tensions in Zanzibar even higher. While
President Kikwete has personally monitored progress of the talks, he
has not yet wielded his position as CCM party chairman or his
offices as Head of State to successfully broker an agreement that
would be fair and equitable to both sides.

Military-to-Military Relations
19. (SBU) Under the Kikwete administration, the GOT has
expressed its intent to begin participating in international
peacekeeping operations. In 2006, Tanzania became our newest
partner in the African Contingency Training and Assistance (ACOTA)
program. With Kikwete's offer to deploy a peacekeeping brigade to
Darfur under UN auspices, the Mission's goal is to train three
Tanzanian battalions by 2009. These battalions will not only
contribute to UN deployments but constitute part of an AU regional
standby brigade. (Note: Demonstrating its intent to become more
active in peacekeeping, Tanzania deployed 75 military police to
Lebanon in January 2007 to help secure the UNAFIL mission.)

20. (SBU) The Tanzanian government has also signaled its desire to
deepen military-to-military ties with the U.S. more broadly. In
December 2006, the GOT gave approval to CJTF-HOA to establish a
Civil Affairs presence on the Swahili Coast. The Civil Affairs team
is carrying out humanitarian projects and helping build civil
military operations capacity within the Tanzania People's Defence
Forces (TPDF). In early 2008, the Department of State authorized
up to USD 1 million of peacekeeping operation (PKO) assistance in
support of any African Union-led mission to the Comoros Islands.

21. (SBU) The Tanzanian government has repeatedly requested
military equipment from the U.S. but its failure to sign
Article 98 is an impediment. To respond to the GOT's requests for
increased training opportunities, the Mission
will use IMET funds to send promising officers from Tanzania's army
and navy to the U.S. for educational exchange programs. We also
used funds from a State Department source (NADR-EXBS) to provide
equipment to Tanzanian coastal security forces to strengthen the
country's maritime security capacity. Finally, using DoD Section
1206 funding, we provided nearly USD 1 million in FY07 to train
Tanzania's military in Special Forces Operations with an emphasis on
patrolling the country's borders.

Health Challenges: HIV/AIDS and Malaria
22. (SBU) Tanzania faces a mature generalized HIV epidemic,
with a prevalence rate of approximately 7 percent and 1.4
million people living with HIV/AIDS. In FY 2008, PEPFAR will
provide Tanzania with over USD 300 million to support
treatment, care, and prevention programs. The PEPFAR program is on
track to exceed its original targets: 150,000
individuals on anti-retroviral drugs; care for 750,000
individuals, including orphans and vulnerable children; and
prevention of 490,000 new HIV infections. Although the U.S. has
fostered positive relationships with the Tanzanian
government in the health sector, significant challenges remain
including: poor health infrastructure; a shortage of
health care workers; a weak procurement system; and occasional
allegations of corruption.

23. (SBU) Malaria is the number one killer of children in
Tanzania and continues to be a major cause of maternal mortality.
As a focus country under the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI),
Tanzania will receive up to USD 34 million in FY08 to support the
delivery of long-lasting, insecticide treated bed-nets, the care and
treatment of malaria, the malaria in pregnancy program, and indoor
residual insecticide spraying. Since 2006, USAID has focused its
efforts on the isles of Zanzibar, successfully controlling malaria
on both islands; the program on the Mainland is on track to attain
the PMI goal of reducing malaria deaths by at least 50 percent by

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
24. (SBU) In September 2007, the MCC Board approved Tanzania for the
largest MCC Compact to date, USD 698 million. The Compact will
strengthen Tanzania's infrastructure network in three key areas:
roads, water, and energy. Tanzania's MCC Compact was signed by
President Bush and President Kikwete in Dar es Salaam in February
2008. Even after this Compact signing, our message continues to be
that a Compact is an agreement of reciprocal responsibilities, and,
to sustain it over five years, Tanzania must pay heed to its
corruption index and be vigilant at all levels to ensure
transparency and accountability in governance.

25. (SBU) Tanzania also received MCC Threshold funds--USD
11.2 million--from FY2005 to 2007. The Threshold program, which
focuses on good governance and anti-corruption projects, consists of
four components: (i) public procurement reform; (ii) a rule of law
initiative with focus on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption
Bureau; (iii) civil society strengthening; and (iv) technical
assistance to establish a Financial Intelligence Unit.

26. (SBU) In sum, our bilateral relationship is extremely robust.
In addition, President Kikwete's current position as the African
Union Chairman (January 2008 to January 2009) is key to our regional
and Africa-wide objectives. As a democracy in transition, we
believe Tanzania is poised to continue to mature as a model of
stability, enjoying peaceful transitions of power, and steady
economic growth. During the same time period that Tanzania's
democracy and regional influence have strengthened, the Mission has
been working toward and met the goals of consolidation and
right-sizing well ahead of schedule. During these past two years,
we have made some extremely difficult choices, overturned many
long-held practices and, in some cases, learned to do with less.
Yet, within the context of the historic changes taking place in
Tanzania, our entire Mission Community has consistently kept the
Mission Strategic Plan as our vision and objective, and has worked
confidently to realize substantial achievements to advance the
United States, goals in Tanzania and East Africa.


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