The Harper-Tanzania connection

Tanzanian school children greet Prime Minister Harper
DAR ES SALAAM – A mob of singing Tanzanian school children greeted Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his 2007 visit to Tanzania. (DAVID AKIN)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosts Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Parliament Hill this afternoon. It’s not the first time the two men have met. In fact, their personal relationship goes back to 2007, when Harper made his first trip to the African continent as Prime Minister. Harper was in Africa then to attend the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda. I was part of the press contingent that travelled with Harper to cover that meeting.

After CHOGM ended, Harper headed east to Tanzania to meet Kikwete in the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam on the shores of the Indian Ocean. We only spent an afternoon there. During his trip Harper and Kikwete visited a school where mobs of young children, many waving Canadian flags, greeted Harper like he was a rock star. (And I don’t think it was because of Harper, rather they seemed excited to be greeting a Canadian Prime Minister and head of G8 state). After the school ceremony, we moved to Kikwete’s official residence, The White House in Dar Es Salaam, where the two men held a joint press conference.

Since then, the two men have met at other international fora to work together on development issues. Some background, from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs:

“In follow-up to the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, launched at the 2010 G8 Summit hosted by Canada, Prime Minister Harper and President Kikwete were invited by the United Nations Secretary-General to co-chair the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health. The result of the Commission was a report, “Keeping Promises, Measuring Results”, that was officially launched at the UN Secretary General’sEvery Woman, Every Child high-level event attended by Prime Minister Harper and President Kikwete in September 2011. Prime Minister Harper and President Kikwete also both participated in the Camp David G8 Summit in May 2012 which launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

This will be Kikwete’s first official visit to Canada though he has been here before as president in an unofficial capacity and was here several times before that when he was a minister in the Tanzanian government.

Here’s some more pix I snapped from that 2007 afternoon in Dar Es Salaam:

Kikwete and Harper at school
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete (blue shirt) and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visit a school house during Harper’s 2007 visit to Tanzania. (DAVID AKIN)
Harper mobbed by school kids
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears a little overwhelmed by a mob of singing Tanzanian schoolchildren during his visit there in 2007. (DAVID AKIN)
Tanzania White House
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – This is the White House in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam that is the official residence of the Tanzanian president. The current president, Jakaya Kikwete, met Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper here in 2007 (DAVID AKIN)
Filing room in Tanzania
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – This is the filing room in the White House used by Canadian media covering Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 2007 official visit to the official residence of the Tanzanian president (GEORGE PAPADIONYSIOU)




2 thoughts on “The Harper-Tanzania connection”

  1. Great story. Often, what Canada does in Africa is not adequately made known to Canadians.
    Best wishes and many thanks,

  2. Well done and well covered. It is important for Canada to establish trade and co-operation for business in Africa. It is a place or extra-ordinary opportunity for our expertise in base metals and precious metals and rare earth element industries. Tanzania especially, is well governed and has strong leadership. All the ingredients for good long term relationships.

    A good read
    Paul M.

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