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State Banquet on the occasion of the state visit to Tanzania

Federal President Joachim Gauck during his speech at a state banquet hosted by President Jakaya Kikwete on the occasion of his state visit to Tanzania Daressalam/Tanzania, 3 February 2015 State Visit to Tanzania – Speech at a state banquet © Jesco Denzel

Thank you very much!

This is how I would like to begin my address – by thanking you for such a warm welcome to your country! My delegation and I shall long recall your hospitality. Even though our countries are thousands of kilometres apart, we quickly find common ground – we are close to each other. On behalf of Daniela Schadt and my delegation, I would like to add that we are very much looking forward to exploring the heart of your beautiful and extremely diverse country, and also to visiting Zanzibar.

I have sensed a great deal of openness and dynamism in the conversations I have enjoyed with you and with representatives of the business sector and civil society so far. And I also sensed pride in what you have achieved. After just over 50 years of independence, your country can look back on great economic and political success. Tanzania has achieved high growth rates for years and has become an epitome of regional stability. And Tanzania has ambitious aims. I believe these are aims that your country is quite capable of achieving – even if great efforts will be required. Once again, the time has come to take on ambitious and long term challenges and to seek solutions that bring about progress for all of your country’s citizens. If many are part of success, then it will be carried by many into the future.

Although we intend to talk primarily about the future during my visit, I do not wish to ignore our countries’ past, especially here in this very special place. It is common knowledge that the State House was built during the German colonial period. Rest assured that I am also well aware of the dark side of that period. And I am all the more grateful for the fact that our countries have been united in friendship for many years.

Tanzania has long been one of the most important partners for German development cooperation on the African continent. I’m delighted that this partnership is based on mutual trust and that it is yielding tangible results. Improving the water supply, eradicating poverty, expand-ing healthcare facilities – especially for mothers and children – all of this requires huge investments and great stamina.

If we consider joint projects such as the fight against poaching in the Serengeti National Park, then we see that progress also requires great courage. And, last but not least, modernisation relies on the broad support of the population. I therefore intend to use this trip also as an opportunity to pay tribute to the commitment of the many citizens who breathe life into our bilateral relations. And I would like to extend to you best wishes

• from Dar es Salaam’s city twinning partners in Hamburg

• from the regional partners in Land Lower Saxony

• and from the many schools, associations, churches and parishes in Germany that engage in close dialogue with Tanzania.

All of these institutions wish to continue, or indeed intensify, their cooperation with your country and its people.

A glance at the delegation list hints at another sort of cooperation that I consider to be especially important: German businesspeople are accompanying me on my visit. They are most impressed by the growth rates in recent years and by Tanzania’s development prospects. And they are impressed by the potential of the East African Community! We will discuss regional integration in detail in Arusha the day after tomorrow. However, let me say to you now what I find to be particularly important in this regard: Tanzania is part of a common market comprising 145 million people. This common market not only improves prospects for growth and prosperity. Collective action also opens up prospects for peace and stability in East Africa beyond the borders of your own country. And peace and stability remain the most important foundations for the bright future that so many men, women and children hope for on the African continent.

You, Mr President,

have laid the necessary groundwork for these hopes. I hold your personal commitment in the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the East African Community in high regard.

In addition to paying my own personal tribute, I also wish to convey to you the respect of my fellow Germans. After all, we encounter each other on the international stage not only in the context of state visits or development projects. Tanzanian troops are involved in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations in eastern Congo and in Darfur. And we are working together to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. Examples such as these show that Tanzania and Germany are not only reliable partners in East Africa. They are also partners working for a safe and stable world.

Let me invite you now to join me in a toast:

to the health of President Kikwete and his wife,

to the well being of the people of Tanzania

and to our countries’ long standing friendship!