The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

Tanzania is a stable regional ally of the United States and an integral member of both eastern and southern African regional organizations. Recognizing the challenges it faces, the Government of Tanzania continues to solicit support, partnership, and coordination of defense and law enforcement activities with the U.S. Government. U.S. assistance to build Tanzania’s criminal justice sector capacity will allow it to consolidate and build on recent gains.


Although Tanzania has made significant economic and political progress, it continues to face criminal justice and transnational crime challenges. Tanzania is vulnerable to terrorism and piracy, as demonstrated by the 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar Es Salaam and pirate activity in its coastal waters. Wildlife trafficking and related criminal activity are also growing concerns. Further, Tanzania is located along major heroin and cannabis trafficking routes from Southwest and Southeast Asia. Tanzanian institutions have minimal capacity to combat drug trafficking, and corruption reduces that capacity still further.


INL’s vision is for the Tanzanian police (TZPF) to provide security in an efficient and just manner, including in crowd control situations, which will promote accountability, public trust, and policy improvement. Although the elements of the criminal justice sector – law enforcement, justice, and corrections – are deeply interconnected, INL is directing support to the TZPF, a very visible face of the Tanzanian government, as a foundation on which to build future criminal justice reform. These reforms will help bring criminals to justice and deter criminal acts, including terrorism and drug trafficking, that threaten both U.S. and Tanzanian interests.


INL is assisting the TZPF to develop a forensics laboratory, create a proactive and responsive approach toward the appropriate use of force, and promote cooperation between the police and the community. INL has equipped the TZPF’s forensics laboratory with a gas chromatography system and a digital firearms imaging system to improve the TZPF’s capacity to identify explosive materials, perform crime scene investigations, and gather evidence. INL will use Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism funding to maintain a resident legal advisor to update Tanzania’s counterterrorism laws, enhance police ability to combat violent extremism, and extend support and training for the country’s forensic laboratories.

INL is collaborating with the government and civil society to develop Tanzania’s substance use prevention and treatment system. INL has supported the UNODC TreatNet program in Tanzania since 2011, which is aimed at addressing gaps in the country’s treatment system through capacity building and training of treatment professionals.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future