Cablegate: Scenesetter for Tanzanian President Kikwete's Official U.S.

DE RUEHDR #0536/01 2351214
R 221214Z AUG 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Over the past three 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, education, and natural resource management 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 USG 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 President Bush's February 2008 visit to Tanzania. The
level of cooperation between our military and the Tanzania People's
Defence Forces is deeper than ever, 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 the 82 percent of the electorate 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, President
Kikwete fired the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, the Prime
Minister and four other key ministers resigned, and the entire
cabinet was reshuffled. However, subsequent GOT action on grand
corruption cases has been incomplete.

Political and Economic Background
3. (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.

4. (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. There are positive signs that HIV/AIDS prevalence is
not increasing and may be on a downward trend, as the HIV prevalence
rate for 15-49 year-olds has decreased from seven percent (2003) to
5.7 percent (2007). 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.

5. (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

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to a growth rate of nearly 7.2 percent, sharp increases in food
prices during the first half of 2008 once again threatened growth.

U.S.-Tanzanian Bilateral Relationship
6. (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, including two
meetings with 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 signing of the MCC compact
and, equally importantly, the favorable reaction of Tanzanian
citizenry to President Bush's visit to hospitals, factories and
schools in Dar es Salaam and Arusha. A 2008 Pew Global Attitudes
Poll showed a 19 percent increase, to 65 percent, of Tanzanians who
have a favorable attitudes towards the U.S.

7. (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 that the GOT believed should be handled by the Human
Rights Council.

8. (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.

9. (SBU) President Kikwete pledged to Secretary of State Rice in
September 2007 to send three peacekeeping battalions to Darfur; one
battalion has been 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 and the
need for an African peacekeeping mission to be put in place.
Tanzania has long played a constructive role in the Burundi peace
process and a lead role within SADC on Zimbabwe. However, Tanzania
has been quiet on Zimbabwe since the flawed second round of the
presidential election.

U.S. Strategic Priorities
10. (SBU) The USG's strategic priorities in Tanzania are:
(i) building the GOT's counterterrorism (CT) capacity.
(ii) strengthening Tanzania's democratic institutions and
accountability, through 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 significant investments in
transport, energy and water infrastructure, 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.

11. (SBU) The USG supports 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

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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.

12. (SBU) To ensure that corruption does not undermine development
efforts, we are 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 law 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; no major official has
thus far 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 June. Delay
in the report's release and President Kikwete's announcement in
August that action against implicated parties would be deferred have
been disappointing.

13. (SBU) In the wake of the 1998 Embassy bombing, we are 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 significant
USAID malaria control and education programs. MCC will rehabilitate
and improve up to 36 kilometers of rural roads in Pemba under the
Compact. 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 data.

Zanzibar's Political Impasse
14. (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.

15. (SBU) In January 2007, official reconciliation talks finally
began between the CCM Secretary-General Makamba and CUF's
Secretary-General Malim Seif Hamad. However, nearly eighteen months
later, the talks appear to be at a stalemate.

16. (SBU) CUF leaders remain adamant that 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; they have warned that their membership is becoming
increasingly restless and disillusioned with the democratic process.

17. (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
18. (SBU) Under the Kikwete administration, the GOT has

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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. The first battalion has already been
trained, and the training of the second battalion will commence in
late August 2008. These battalions will not only contribute to UN
deployments but will also constitute part of an AU regional standby
brigade. (Note: Tanzania demonstrated its intent to become more
active in peacekeeping by deploying 75 military police to Lebanon in
January 2007 to help secure the UNIFIL mission. Under ACOTA, the
USG will train a third company to rotate into UNIFIL.)

19. (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 USG provided logistical
assistance to support the African Union-led military operation in
the Comoros Islands.

Health Challenges: HIV/AIDS and Malaria
20. (SBU) Tanzania faces a mature generalized HIV epidemic,
with a prevalence rate of approximately 5.7 percent and 1.4
million people living with HIV/AIDS. An estimated 440,000
individuals are clinically eligible for antiretroviral treatment;
however, available services can support less then half of those in
need. In FY 2008, PEPFAR will provide Tanzania with over USD 313
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: the need for stronger leadership in line ministries; poor
health infrastructure; a shortage of
health care workers; a weak government procurement system; and
allegations of corruption in the public and private sectors.

21. (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)
22. (SBU) In February 2008, Presidents Kikwete and Bush signed the
largest MCC Compact to date, USD 698 million. The Compact will
strengthen Tanzania's infrastructure network in three key areas:
transportation (roads and the Mafia Island airport), water, and
energy. It is expected to enter into full force and effect in
September 2008. Our message continues to be that a Compact is an
agreement of reciprocal responsibilities; 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

23. (SBU) Tanzania also received MCC Threshold funds--USD
11.2 million--from FY2005 to 2007. The Threshold program, which
closes in September 2008, has focused on, among other things,
enhancing civil society's capacity to demand anti-corruption reform
and fighting corruption in public procurement. The program trained
more than 250 journalists in investigative reporting skills; some of
these journalists were involved in breaking grand corruption
stories. The program also enhanced local-level accountability by
helping establish a network of more than 63 public expenditure
tracking committees. Finally, and most importantly, the Threshold
program helped the country's procurement regulator carry out several
audits of the procurement practices of key GOT entities; in February
2008, one of these audits sparked and informed a Parliamentary
investigation which resulted in the resignation of the Prime

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