More information about Tanzania is available on the Tanzania Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Tanzania (then-Tanganyika) in 1961. The United States and Tanzania have an established partnership characterized by mutual respect and aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future. President John Magufuli was reelected for a second five-year term on October 28, 2020 in an election that was marred by widespread irregularities and was the culmination of years of systematic intimidation and marginalization of opposition parties, civil society organizations and independent media. This, in addition to lingering concerns around the Zanzibari elections in 2015, has led to a complex political situation that strained relations with the United States and other international partners. The United States has publicly expressed concern over ongoing shrinking of democratic and civil society space, limits on media freedom, and a rise in politically-motivated confrontations and violence. Tanzania sustained relatively high economic growth over the last fifteen years, averaging 6–7 percent a year. While the poverty rate in the country has declined, the absolute number of poor citizens has not due to the high population growth rate. The United States remains committed to strengthening democracy in Tanzania and working with Tanzanians on women’s and children’s health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition and food security, inclusive economic growth, wildlife conservation, sustainable development, and security. Regional security remains a growing concern particularly on Tanzania’s southern border, as violent extremist activity in northern Mozambique expands, including instances of attacks that cross over into Tanzania.
Several exchange programs welcome Tanzanians to the United States, including through the Fulbright Program, Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, and Young African Leaders Initiative, among others. Short term exchanges, small grants, and other public outreach programs support the development of artists, journalists, writers, civil servants, young leaders, musicians, and students. The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation program has funded several restoration projects since 2002, including the historic ruins at Kilwa Kisiwani, and two mosques and an Anglican Church in Zanzibar.
U.S. Assistance to Tanzania
Despite the complex political situation, the United States remains committed to the people of Tanzania. The United States is Tanzania’s largest bilateral donor, and for nearly sixty years has provided development and other assistance to Tanzania for capacity-building to address health and education issues, encourage democratic governance, promote broad-based economic growth, and advance regional and domestic security to sustain progress.
- The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), administered by the Department of State, supports national, international, and civil society organizations in HIV/AIDS care and treatment, prevention, impact mitigation, and health systems strengthening.
- The President’s Malaria Initiative expands U.S. Government resources to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality in 19 African countries, including Tanzania.
- U.S. government investments in health leverage the expertise of agencies including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense to address global health security, training and capacity building for healthcare workers, HIV/AIDS, pandemic preparedness and response, maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition, malaria, and tuberculosis.
- USAID education assistance provides funding to promote early grade reading, provide teacher training and quality teaching and learning materials, increase school enrollment and retention among adolescent girls, and improve community perceptions about the value of educating girls.
- Peace Corps volunteers serve in Tanzania as math and science teachers in secondary schools, teacher trainers in information and communication technology, leaders of health education projects that increase basic health knowledge, and leaders of environmental projects addressing basic village-level needs for sustaining natural resources.
- To promote effective, democratic governance, the United States supports an open, inclusive environment in which media and civil society provide accurate and impartial information that promotes participation, inclusion, and accountability. Department of State and USAID programs strengthen the ability of Tanzanian organizations to monitor, collect, and utilize data for better advocacy and focuses on greater participation and oversight of elections and political processes.
- The United States supports Tanzania’s economic development through USAID and other programming that contributes to Tanzania’s goal to become self-reliant by 2025. Agriculture plays a vital role in Tanzania’s economy. USAID funds programs to strengthen the agriculture policy environment and improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers by boosting agricultural growth and productivity. These programs promote market development and trade expansion with equitable rural economic growth, invest in innovation and research, and address mother and child malnutrition.
- The Department of State and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services provide assistance to build law enforcement capacity in Tanzania to combat wildlife trafficking. These efforts complement USAID programs in natural resource management that support community-based conservation, sustainable livelihoods through conservation enterprises, and reforms to national environmental policies.
- Under the Power Africa Initiative, USAID supports the government of Tanzania’s efforts to adopt and implement the policy and regulatory reforms necessary to attract private investment in the energy and power sectors.
Tanzania is a key U.S. partner for promoting peace and regional stability in East Africa. The U.S. remains committed to supporting Tanzania through the military professionalization and development of the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) while supporting the protection of human rights. The military assistance includes providing training primarily through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program; enhancing maritime domain awareness and maritime security capacity building through the African Maritime Security Initiative (AMSI); peacekeeping capacity building to support readiness for
UN peacekeepers deployed throughout the continent; and support assistance for security forces countering the trafficking of illicit goods and narcotics.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Tanzania has a diverse, relatively stable economy with many opportunities for investment. However, in recent years Tanzania’s business climate has deteriorated, particular for foreign investors. The government’s approach to economic policy and the business community has harmed long-term prospects for investment and economic growth. A constantly shifting regulatory environment and growing government intervention in the economy creates further uncertainty for investors. Agricultural commodities, minerals, and textiles dominate Tanzania’s exports to the United States while imports from the United States include aircraft, machinery, cereals, plastics, and milling products. Tanzania is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Tanzania’s Membership in International Organizations
Tanzania belongs to a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Tanzania is also a member of the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Tanzania maintains an embassy in the United States at 1232 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037 (tel. 202-884-1080).
More information about Tanzania is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: