Tanzania and US signed open skies protocol of agreement

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Tanzania and US signed open skies protocol of agreement
Tanzania and US signed open skies protocol of agreement

By Faridah N Kulumba

Africa-Press – Tanzania. The government of Tanzania and the United States on 11th June 2022, signed a protocol of amendment to the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (Basa) that is translated into the official opening skies of the two countries.

The new move

The new move came 22 years after the two nations signed an Open Skies Agreement to provide rights for airlines from both countries to offer international passenger and cargo services.

Barriers

According to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) director-general Mr, Hamza Johari, for the last two centuries, the accord has not been formally brought into force due to the lack of strong airlines on the Tanzanian side, and restrictions on the airline reservations system on the US side.

Deleting the provision

With the newly signed amendment to the Basa, Tanzania and US have deleted the provision of the requirement of a computer reservation system to be used by the designated airlines for scheduled operation. The new agreement will create a more liberal environment for the distribution system (including internet booking).

When to start

The Tanzanian government is only still waiting for the approval to start flying to the US. The country’s airlines (with capacity) will have to send requests to the US so that the US can send them (regulator) requirement checklist. The move will give Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) the opportunity of expanding its market by launching direct flights to the US.

How will the accord operate

The accord will provide no limitations on the number of airlines each government may designate to operate services in the US and Tanzania aviation market. The signed agreement authorized both Tanzania and US code-sharing arrangements with third-country carriers.

Tasked

Tanzanian transport experts and airlines are now challenged to come up with a strategy that will enhance the country to adhere to all procedures and standards set by the US for their airlines to be able to fly to the skies. So far all that Tanzania needs now is safety and security.

Purpose of the open skies agreement

The US ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright revealed that the open skies signed agreement was intended to strengthen the two nations’ economic ties further, to make it more affordable for people to travel and market their products to more places at lower cost, and to boost tourism in Tanzania.

Tanzania-US relations in recent years

The relationship between the two nations in the past years was framed first by the cold war. Tanzania and US relationship was tense due to US policies towards Africa and development. But both nations have established a growing partnership in recent years. The tension was characterized by Tanzania’s interest in promoting anti-colonial liberation forces in South Africa, and the United State’s interest in protecting markets and business in Africa. In the late 1980s, the relations between Tanzania and US improved as a result of mutual interests in debt relief, successive refugee crises, the liberation of southern African countries, and an improving Tanzania economy.

The US contribution to Tanzania

The US and Tanzania have an established partnership characterized by mutual respect, shared values, and aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future. The US government provides assistance to Tanzania to support programs in the areas of health, environment, democracy, and development of the private sector. The US Agency for International Development’s program in Tanzania averages about USD20 million per year.

Other contributions

In January this year, US President Joe Biden committed to the fight against Human Trafficking in Tanzania.

The US government is working with the government of Tanzania’s Anti-Trafficking Secretariat under the Ministry of Home Affairs and other stakeholders to increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders while respecting the due process of law and human rights.

US Human trafficking funding in Tanzania

In 2021, the US Embassy awarded Disability Relief Services-Tanzania USD24,998 through the State Department’s Julia Taft Refugee Fund grant to combat human trafficking in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp and Kasulu district. The fund was intended to raise public awareness and discuss how every person can play a role in combating human trafficking in Tanzania.

Why US support has increased during Samia’s administration

During President John Pombe Magufuli’s regime, donors had withheld funding to Tanzania in the allegations of human rights violations, and repressive government policies. The United States publicly expressed concern over the ongoing shrinking of democratic and civil society space, limits on media freedom, and a rise in politically-motivated confrontations and violence. The government of Tanzania opted to use its own internal resources to implement key development projects following a decision by foreign donors to withhold funds.

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