As it marks its 60 years independence anniversary, the United Republic of Tanzania has expressed satisfaction over its achievements in the last 60 years.
The United Republic of Tanzania High Commissioner to Nigeria, Benson Alfred Bana, while briefing journalists in Abuja ahead of the anniversary, said as Tanzania celebrates her 60th Independence anniversary, the country and its people have gone through a number of highs and lows during the period.
Bana however said Tanzanians are proud of innumerable remarkable achievements the country has achieved in the last 60 years.
He listed the achievements to include building a nation out of 120 tribes inherited at independence in 1961, and Tanzania’s attainment of nationhood.
“Today, Tanzania is a nation-state with people who are sharing a common history, core values, aspirations, and other unifying cultural attributes,” Bana said.
The Tanzanian High Commissioner further said institutionalizing a common language for all, Kiswahili, which is the country’s lingua franca and indeed, one of the tools that helped build one nation, the United Republic of Tanzania, was also one of the achievements of Tanzania.
He noted the exemplary contributions of Tanzania to the liberation struggles in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Angola, as well as ending apartheid and white minority rule in South Africa.
“Tanzania under the leadership of the late Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, was the founder (together with Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana) and Chairman of Frontline States for the Liberation of Africa from the 1960s to 1980s,” Bana also said.
While also noting the championing of the cause for Pan-Africanism and African unity as attested by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar on 26 April 1964, as one of its achievements, the Tanzanian envoy said the move led to the creation of one sovereign state, the United Republic of Tanzania, which is the only surviving union of states in Africa.
“The late Presidents Nyerere and Karume of Zanzibar are the only post-colonial African leaders to have lived the continent’s ideal of Pan-Africanism,” the Tanzanian envoy stated.
Bana also said Tanzania, in the past 60 years, defended its territorial integrity and sovereignty, following the invasion of the Uganda army during the dictatorship and fascism of Idi Amin Dada.
His forces invaded and occupied 700 square Kilometers of Tanzania’s territory, looting and killing innocent people. The gallant forces of Tanzania under the able leadership of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, then President and Commander-in-Chief, had no other option but to fight a war that was imposed on Tanzania by the dictator Idi Amin Dada. The war culminated in the downfall of Idi Amin who fled to Saudi Arabia where he disgracefully died,” Bana further said.
Bana added that Tanzania has so far witnessed a peaceful transfer of power from one presidency to the other through perioding fair and free elections as provided in its constitution.
“Presidents have changed hands six times through periodic elections during the period of 60 years of independence,” he noted.
Bana disclosed that over 60 years of Independence, Tanzania has pursued a foreign policy based upon the principles of non-alignment, friendship with all nations, African Unity such as encouraging optimal cooperation among African states.
“The main thrust of Tanzania’s foreign policy is to preserve the national interests, including peace, security, unity and foster development,” the Tanzanian High Commissioner explained.