Tanzania excitement as US VP Harris due to jet in

US Vice-President Kamala Harris is expected to arrive in Tanzania shortly for a three-day official visit – the second stop on her three-nation tour of Africa.

She will first meet President Samia Suluhu Hassan, before going to the Tanzania Start-up Association (TAS) to speak to upcoming entrepreneurs.

Expectations are very high among Tanzanians, especially within the business community, as they expect her visit to improve bilateral relations across the board.

The US and Tanzania enjoy a trading relationship that is valued at $424m (£344m) a year, while US investment in Tanzania amounts to $1bn.

Ms Harris is the first high-ranking official from President Joe Biden’s administration to visit the East African nation.

Tanzania and the US have long historical diplomatic ties – though they became a little strained under the tenure of Mrs. Samia’s predecessor, John Magufuli.

The US has always been committed to strengthening democracy and working to improve women’s and children’s health, HIV/Aids, nutrition and food security.

Mr Magufuli, who died in office two years ago, was not shy of showing his intolerance for multiparty politics.

He was also infamous for scuppering an attempt to overturn the stipulation that pregnant schoolgirls be expelled from school.

Mrs Samia has sought to improve relations and visited the US 11 months ago when she met Ms Harris in Washington DC.

Ms Harris’s visit also comes at a time when there is a growing debate on LGBT issues in East Africa – and she is likely to touch on the topic. Parliament in neighbouring Uganda last week passed a law to crack down on homosexual activities, prompting widespread condemnation.

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