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 have often collaborated in international fora such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth. In the 1990s, Canada supported Tanzania’s move from a centrally directed, one-party political system to a multi-party democracy with a, liberalizing 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. The next general election is scheduled for 2015.

Canada values the stabilizing role Tanzania plays through its active involvement in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). 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 and is now considering a monetary union.

Tanzania contributes personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, including to Darfur under the AU/UN Operation (UNAMID). On March 28, 2013 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  commands this brigade.

Since the 1960s, Canada has supported training for Tanzania’s armed forces.  To date, over 850 officers have been trained. Canada has contributed $1.3 million to build the new Tanzanian Peacekeeping Training Center in Dar es Salaam.

Development Assistance

For the past two years, Tanzania has been the largest recipient of Canada's development assistance. Canada’s support aims to advance the Government of Tanzania’s development priorities notably in health, education and private sector development. Canada is among the largest bilateral donors in the health sector, including significant support in maternal and child health. Canada is a strong supporter of sustainable economic growth with a particular emphasis on the extractive industries, which includes support to the Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Tanzania Mineral Audit Agency.

In 2012/13, Canada’s development assistance through all channels totalled approximately $189 million dollars in 2012/13 (including multilateral and debt relief). Canada’s annual bilateral development assistance has risen from approximately $26 million in 2001/02 to approximately $110 million in 2012/13, making it one of Canada’s most important development partners. It has been a "country of focus" since 2009. Through partnership programming with Canadian organizations, Canada invested approximately $14 million in 2012/13 for a range of projects in community development, agriculture, education, health, governance, micro-credit and economic growth. Canada has contributed more than $1 billion in development assistance to Tanzania since its independence.


Tanzania is of growing importance to Canadian companies: Canadian mining companies are among the largest foreign investors in Tanzania. 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 2012 with cumulative mining assets amounting to $2.45 billion making it the 4th largest destination of Canadian mining assets in Africa. A bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) came into force in December 2013.

Tanzania has been identified as an emerging market with specific opportunities for Canadian businesses in the Global Markets Action Plan. Business opportunities for Canadian companies exist in the emerging oil and gas sector, particularly the latter, with proven natural gas reserves in excess of 43 trillion cubic feet.

Canadian companies are also involved in other areas, including transportation and power infrastructure, mining equipment and services, and the oil and gas sector. 

Currently, two-way merchandise trade is modest but increasing: $84.7 million in 2013 up 47% over the last 5 years. 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 October 2013, Canada sponsored the 3rd  Canada-East Africa CSR conference in Dar es Salaam bringing together representatives from the extractive industry from Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Mozambique, and Kenya with strong participation from the Tanzanian Government, the business community and civil society organizations.

May 2014

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