The CEO Round Table hosted an appreciation farewell dinner reception for the outgoing US ambassador to Tanzania, Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt, whose tenure in Tanzania ends in October this year.  The ambassador through numerous initiatives of the US government has supported and promoted Tanzania’s economic growth by providing unique partnership opportunities for businesses in Tanzania.

Ali Mufuruki Chairman, of the CEOrt appreciated the Ambassador for using his role to grow the relations between the United States and Tanzania and for the continued support in health and infrastructure sectors in Tanzania.

“Tanzania has greatly benefitted from your efforts during the last four years that you have served your nation as Ambassador to Tanzania. You have reached out more than any of your predecessors as far as I know and in the process you have helped unlock new business opportunities for the private sector as well as provided much needed support through donor agencies and projects such as the Millennium Challenge Account Compact.  Diplomatic and trade relations have tremendously grown in recent years thanks to you.” Mr. Mufuruki said.

He added, “We are cognisant of the fact that it is through your efforts that President Obama during his recent visit, chose Tanzania as a base from which he announced his now famous Energy-Africa and Trade-Africa initiatives that will form key planks of US engagement with the African continent going forward. On behalf of all the members of the CEOrt and on behalf of the private sector of Tanzania, I thank you for your leadership and we the private sector of Tanzania will forever consider you a friend of our country and welcome you and your lovely wife Jackie to come back to Tanzania again.”

In his remarks, Ambassador Lenhardt said, “The US government has contributed more than $ 750 million to various initiatives and programs in Tanzania. These initiatives have increased household incomes, raised the quality of life, targeted infrastructure investments in the transport, energy and water sectors and have contributed to economic growth. This contribution, however only scratches the surface of what is needed to unlock the potential of this great country. The private sector has the power to drive economic growth as well as support infrastructure and social investment in Tanzania.”

He noted that the private sector will need to take a more central role in growing the middle-income bracket of the country’s economy as well as boost economic growth. “If Tanzania is to grow and industrialize, the private sector will need to partner with government and other stakeholders to ensure infrastructure projects are implemented, especially in the energy sector, as emphasised by President Obama during his visit in Tanzania. In everything you do, always think about Tanzania Kwanza. When I go back home, I will try to tell every corporate and organisation about Tanzania.  It is upon you to utilize the opportunities,” he said.

The US government is involved in numerous activities in an effort to boost Tanzania/US relations in different levels, in both public and private sectors. Among them is a pact signed to partner in power regulation capacity building, a step meant to solve energy problems through ‘power Africa project’ initiative and the Millennium Challenge Pact II that will support the development of infrastructure in the water and transport sectors as well as numerous initiatives in the health sector through its donor agencies.

The CEOrt is a leading private sector forum in Tanzania. The forum constructively engages the Government and other stakeholders in creating a more conducive environment for businesses to prosper and contribute to economic growth for the country. The forum has over 80 leading companies who account for more than 40% of the total tax revenue collected by the government.