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Gilmore will meet with his US counterpart in Tanzania. Associated Press Photo
Gilmore in Tanzania

Gilmore begins three-day visit to Tanzania

The Tánaiste will meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Dar es Salaam as part of the visit.

EAMON GILMORE HAS begun a three-day visit to the east African nation of Tanzania today.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs is visiting a country that Ireland provided over €31 million in bilateral aid to last year and has been supporting since 1975.

Gilmore is expected to visit projects that benefit from Irish aid as well as meet with the country’s president Jakaya Kikwete and prime minister Mizengo Pinda along with representatives of Irish NGOs.

Kikwete is serving his second term as president having been re-elected last year although with a much lower vote share than in 2005 with opposition candidates claiming electoral fraud.

He is described by the BBC as having perpetuated his predecessor’s work of turning Tanzania into a free-market economy whilst respecting the socialist policies of the nation’s founding father.

However critics argue that many Tanzanians remain impoverished with a life-expectancy in the country of less than 60-years-old.

RTÉ reports that the visit comes amid a debate over Ireland’s budget for overseas aid which at €670 million, represents over half a per cent of GNP but which the coalition government has pledged to increase to 0.7 per cent in line with a UN target by 2015.

The Tánaiste will also co-host what is described as a a “High Level Forum on the fight against hunger” with with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, as part of ongoing co-operation between Ireland and the US to tackle global hunger and malnutrition.

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