Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss on Monday signed a multi-million Swiss franc cooperation accord with Tanzania, one of Switzerland’s focus countries for cooperation and development projects in Africa.This content was published on October 11, 1999 - 11:49
Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss on Monday signed a multi-million Swiss franc cooperation accord with Tanzania, one of Switzerland’s focus countries for cooperation and development projects in Africa.
Even though Switzerland has provided financial support for Tanzania and worked in joint development project there for years, it is the first time that a Swiss cabinet minister visited the country.
The accord, signed after talks with Tanzanian government leaders in the capital Dar Es Salaam, provides a total of SFr31 million ($21 million) in Swiss aid that will go toward supporting new health sector projects, road construction and debt buy-back programmes.
Tanzania has been receiving Swiss government aid since 1981. It was stepped up from 1987 to total about SFr20 million ($13.4 million) annually.
Deiss was in Tanzania as part of a three-nation African tour that also takes him to South Africa and Mozambique.
In South Africa, Deiss' talks will focus on efforts to support democratic development in the country and he will address the security situation on the African continent.
Switzerland and South Africa have set up a joint working group on conflict prevention and pro-democracy measures and Deiss is expected to joint representatives of the group to assess progress and discuss problems.
Deiss is also scheduled to formally extend a Swiss pro-democracy support programme that was set up after South Africa’s first democratic all-race elections in 1994.
The extension of the programme will run from 2000 till 2004 and will see Swiss support to the tune of SFr35 million ($23.4 million).
From staff and wire reports.
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