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Canada - Tanzania Relations

Diplomatic relations and official representation

Canada established diplomatic relations with Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in 1961 following its independence.

In Tanzania, Canada is represented by the Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam. The Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam is also accredited to the Republic of Zambia, the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Seychelles. Tanzania is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Ottawa.

Prime Minister Harper visited Tanzania in November 2007 on a State Visit, and President Kikwete made a State Visit to Canada in October 2012.

Bilateral Relations

Canada and Tanzania have a longstanding bilateral relationship and often collaborate in international fora such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth. Canada and Tanzania are both members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.  In the 1990s, Canada supported Tanzania’s move from a centrally directed, one-party political system to a multi-party democracy with an open, liberalized economy. President Jakaya Kikwete of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) political party, which has been in power since independence, won a second five-year term in office in 2010. A referendum on the constitution is expected to be held in 2014 and the next general election will be held in late 2015.

Canada values the stabilizing role Tanzania plays through its active involvement in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In 2012, Tanzania took on the chairmanship of the political and security organ of SADC, and in this capacity is driving efforts to send an intervention brigade to eastern DRC and to make headway on the political stalemate in Madagascar. Tanzania plays a positive role in the Great Lakes Region and hosts the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Tanzania also hosts the East African Community which launched a Common Market on July 1 2010.

Tanzania contributes personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, including to Darfur under the AU/UN Operation (UNAMID). On March 28, the UN Security Council unanimously approved the creation of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to conduct “targeted offensive operations” against rebels in eastern DRC. Tanzania will command this brigade.

Since the 1960s, Canada has supported Tanzania through the Military Training and Cooperation Program, and also contributes to Tanzania’s capacity to train peacekeepers through support to the Tanzanian Peacekeeping Training Center in Dar es Salaam. To date over 850 officers have been trained. 

Development Assistance

Canada has contributed more than $1 billion in development assistance to Tanzania since its independence. DFATD's annual bilateral development assistance has risen from approximately $26 million in 2001/02 to approximately $119 million in 2011/12, making it one of Canada’s most important development partners, confirmed by its designation as a "country of focus" since 2009. DFATD is among the largest bilateral donors in the education and health sectors, including significant support in maternal and child health. DFATD is also very active in promoting sustainable economic growth with a particular emphasis on the extractives industries, which includes support to the Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Tanzania Mineral Audit Agency.

Through DFATD's partnership branch, Canadian organizations working in partnership with Tanzanian NGOs invested approximately $10 million in 2011/12 for a range of projects in community development, agriculture, education, health, governance, micro-credit and economic growth. Taken together, Canada's development assistance through all channels (including multilateral) totalled approximately $135 million dollars in 2011/12, placing Tanzania among Canada’s top five aid recipients.

In February 2002, Canada wrote off the $83.6 million debt owed to it by Tanzania in the context of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, which is aimed at easing the burden of debt for the world’s poorest countries.


Tanzania is of growing importance to Canadian companies: Canadian mining companies are among the largest foreign investors in Tanzania. During President Kikwete’s State Visit to Canada in October 2012, Canada and Tanzania signed a Declaration of Intent on the conclusion of the negotiations of a bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

Due to issues of commercial confidentiality, official Canadian direct investment figures for Tanzania are not available. However, according to Natural Resources Canada, there were 16 Canadian mining companies active in Tanzania in 2011 with cumulative mining assets amounting to $2.3 billion. Canadian companies are also involved in other areas, including transportation and power infrastructure, mining equipment and services, and the oil and gas sector. 

Canada’s trade relationship with Tanzania has increased considerably. In 2012, two-way merchandise trade reached $89.4 million, which represents a 33.8% increase from 2011. In the framework of Canada’s Market Access Initiative for Least Developed Countries, Tanzania has duty-free access to the Canadian market for almost all commodities.

Canada is a strong advocate for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Tanzania. In December 2011, Canada sponsored a CSR conference in Mwanza with strong participation from the Tanzanian Government, the business community and civil society organizations. A second CSR conference took place in Arusha in October 2012.

May 2013 

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