U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday congratulated Tanzania’s new president Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first woman to hold that office, and said the United States was ready to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Harris, the first woman and first person of color to serve as U.S. vice president, made the comment in a posting on Twitter.
“Sending best wishes to @SuluhuSamia following her swearing in as Tanzania’s new President – the first woman to hold the office. The United States stands ready to work with you to strengthen relations between our countries,” she wrote.
Sending best wishes to @SuluhuSamia following her swearing in as Tanzania’s new President – the first woman to hold the office. The United States stands ready to work with you to strengthen relations between our countries.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) March 20, 2021
Ms Hassan, who had been vice president since 2015, on Friday urged the country to unite here and avoid pointing fingers after the death of John Magufuli, her COVID-19 sceptic predecessor.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is leading U.S. efforts to forge a new trade and investment partnership with the East African Community, a regional organization that includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Total trade between the two countries was $462 million in 2019. U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tanzania was $1.5 billion in 2019, a 5.2% increase from 2018, according to U.S. government data.
Scoffed at Covid-19
Mr Magufuli was one of a handful of world leaders, alongside former US president Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who scoffed at Covid-19. He even went so far as to deny its presence in the country.
He had declared that prayer had rid the country of Covid-19, refused face masks or lockdown measures, stopped the publication of case statistics and championed alternative medicine, decrying vaccines as “dangerous”.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Grant McCool