The Ambassador’s word on the occasion of the National day
Abstracts of Madam the Ambassador’s speech for the reception of the 14th of July at the Residence of France in Dar es Salaam, the 14th of July 2017.
Hon. Minister Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East-African cooperation
Hon. Mayor of Dar es Salaam,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy to once again be in a position to celebrate our National Day with all of you : Tanzanian officials and friends, fellow diplomats, partners of all nationalities and my French compatriots. I would like to remind you all that our “14 juillet”, or “Bastille Day” as our English speaking friends call it, highlights our well known national motto, to which French citizens are so attached, namely: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.
As you know, France has elected a new President of the Republic, in the person of Emmanuel Macron and a largely renewed National Assembly is in place. The drive for reforms (the President even refers to “transformation”), the rejuvenation of the representatives of the nation, the non-accumulation of mandates, the inclusion of civil society and gender equality are, in a nutshell, the main characteristics of the new French governmental and legislative apparel.
Today I will focus specifically on an important element brought to the forefront by the Presidential election, namely the attachment of France to the European Union and the alignment with Emmanuel Macron’s project to further deepen European integration.
Within and outside the borders of Europe, in Tanzania and elsewhere, France presents itself as one of the best promoters of the European Union. In a recent interview, President Macron described his vision of Europe: a space where individual liberties are respected and social equity is in place, thanks to the underlying principles of solidarity and to democratic values. This calls for a pro-active demarche aiming at a stronger integration within the Euro zone (with a common budget) and a Schengen space allowing for free movement of people across the European Union as a whole, which forms an integral part of our European citizenship.
The President summarized his line of thinking through an already widely disseminated sentence: “Europe is not a supermarket. Europe is a common destiny”.
As you know, France also belongs to other circles of solidarity which do influence its diplomacy: its attachment to the United Nations –and its statute of permanent member of the Security Council-, to the large circle of “la Francophonie” with its 82 Members or Observers and of course to Africa.
To mention but the latter, the 27th Africa-France Summit brought together 52 countries and multilateral organisations in Bamako, Mali in January 2017. Tanzania was represented by yourself, Honourable Minister. Indeed African countries and France share not only a history and a long lasting cooperation but also a thrive for the economic development of the African continent as well as its security, as was illustrated over the last few years by our military engagement in Mali and in Central African Republic. On this occasion, the French President praised the attendance of non francophone countries and recalled that “France wants to work with the whole of Africa”.
The French-Tanzanian relationship has indeed developed and diversified over the last years. Let me just mention a few highlights: the visit of two Ministers last year (the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Environment, in her capacity of Chairperson of COP 21), the doubling of financial commitments by the Agence française de Développement for projects in priority areas ( water and sanitation, energy and transports) and the organization by our Embassy of the first ever France-Tanzania Business Forum, “la Semaine de la France” last April in Dar Es Salaam.
To the friendship between Tanzania and France!