Saturday, April 26, 2014

Today's African Holidays - 26 April 2014

Today the people of Tanzania celebrate Union Day.

This holiday marks the day in 1964 when Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form what was eventually called (six months later) the United Republic of Tanzania.

Last year, the Tanzania Daily News in Dar es Salaam reported with regard to the holiday:
World leaders including US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis have saluted Tanzanians for maintaining the 49-year-old Union between the then Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

In their separate congratulatory messages to President Jakaya Kikwete, the leaders wished Tanzania a prosperous Union and vowed to cement current co-operation with the country in all spheres of life.

President Obama said that the US would continue with the existing friendly relations with Tanzania, as the two countries have common vision on various issues such as democracy, economic prosperity and peace among nations.

"As your country continues to forge a more perfect Union to preserve and strengthen achievements of a modern and peaceful Tanzania, you will continue to have a steadfast friend and partner in the United States," President Obama was quoted as saying in the statement.

In his message sent through the Holy See in Dar es Salaam, Pope Francis said: "I send cordial greetings to you (President Kikwete) and your fellow citizens on the happy occasion of the Union Day.

"At the beginning of my pontificate, I gladly commend the Republic to the Providence of Almighty God and pray that its citizens may enjoy peace and well-being."
This year's Union Day falls on the fiftieth anniversary of the uniting of Zanzibar and Tanganyika.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued this statement of congratulations on Friday, April 25, 2014:
On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the citizens of Tanzania as you commemorate 50 years since the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar into the United Republic of Tanzania.

The United States remains committed to working with the people of Tanzania and building on the strong history of friendship between our nations.

We continue to work together in the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS, and we celebrate our shared achievements in agriculture, education, and the environment. These accomplishments lay the foundation for a more secure and prosperous future.

As you celebrate in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Zanzibar, the American people wish you a joyous and peaceful Union Day.

Hongera na Kila la kheri!
For more information about the country, check out Tanzania: A Peace Corps Publication and the State Department's "country notes."