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US Vice President Harris Meets Africa’s Only Female President
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday pledged continuing cooperation with Tanzania as she met with the country’s president, the only female head of state in Africa, in the middle of her first official visit to the continent. Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, took office when former President John Magafuli died in 2021. She is credited for rolling back some of his unpopular policies, such as his resistance to COVID-19 vaccinations, his ban on pregnant schoolgirls and his limits on freedoms of expression. The United States will provide $560 million in bilateral assistance to Tanzania next fiscal year. And on Thursday, Harris said Washington would expand U.S.-Tanzania commercial engagement; work toward the delivery of battery-grade nickel from Tanzania to the U.S. and the global market as soon as 2026; expand affordable broadband; and cooperate in areas such as democratic development, biodiversity, women’s empowerment and health projects. “Thanks to the progress of your administration, you have made a champion – you have been a champion of democratic reforms in this country and in that way have expanded our partnership,” Harris said. “So, today, then, is part of the strengthening relationship between our countries and, under your leadership, I have full confidence that we will be able to do just that.” "Today Tanzania has had another historic milestone, with two female leaders, the vice president and the president, meeting here today,” said Hassan, who is known by Tanzanians as “Mama Samia.” She added, “What an inspiration and a testimony to Tanzanian young girls.  I truly thank you, Madam Vice President, for honoring my invitation and coming to visit me.” The president made several requests of Harris, including an expansion of the long-term visa program for Tanzanians in the U.S., a 10-year extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and a future presidential visit. “Tanzanians are now anxiously waiting for President Joe Biden’s visit in Tanzania,” she said. “And please kindly convey our greetings and our invitation that Tanzania is waiting to host him.” Several hundred college students waited for hours at the airport and at the statehouse to see whom many described as the most powerful woman in America. “She motivates us and she gives us many opportunities, so we are proud of her,” said Emliia John, 26, a student of diplomacy. “I’m expecting a lot of changes, in education, in politics, also in finance, economics,” said student Faith Moses, also a student of diplomacy. "We really need to be like America, at least to reach America in economics.” Harris also paid her respects to victims of a deadly 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing. She heads next to Zambia, her final stop on this weeklong trip.   

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