Switzerland and Tanzania enjoy friendly bilateral relations, reflecting the long and fruitful partnership between the two countries. This is mainly based on the 30 Swiss companies represented in Tanzania, the 250-strong Swiss expat community, and a substantial cooperation programme launched by the Swiss government.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has set out a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for 2021–24.
Tanzania is part of the Great Lakes region, where Switzerland is committed to supporting peace, protecting basic human rights, and promoting quality basic education and vocational skills development, which helps create jobs.
Political relations are good, and bilateral relations with Switzerland mainly concern the SDC's annual contribution of USD 24 million to help reduce poverty in Tanzania.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on international mutual assistance in criminal matters on 21 October 2016 in Dar es Salaam.
Trade between Switzerland and Tanzania rose from CHF 330 million in 2019 to CHF 782 million in 2020, driven by a more than 160% increase in imports (mainly gold). The Tanzanian economy today relies on Swiss know-how in tourism and hospitality, international transportation and commodities trading.
Direct flights between Zurich and Dar es Salaam have been operating for over 40 years, and help to facilitate bilateral contacts particularly for trade and investment, as well as tourism.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Tanzania can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
The current five-year Swiss cooperation programme in Tanzania covers three main areas:
- Health – equitable access to and use of quality health services;
- Employment and income – pro-poor and gender-equitable agricultural growth;
- Governance – strengthening the rule of law, social justice, distribution of power and economic stabilit.
Swiss nationals in Tanzania
According to the statistics on the Swiss abroad, at the end of 2020 there were 244 Swiss nationals living in Tanzania; 290 Tanzanian nationals were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
In 1927 Switzerland opened a consulate in the coastal city of Tanga. It was later relocated to Dar es Salaam and upgraded to a general consulate, then an embassy.
Switzerland recognised Tanganyika's independence in 1961 and Zanzibar's in 1963. Fully-fledged diplomatic relations were established in 1964, when the United Republic of Tanzania was created.
Switzerland and Tanzania have signed a series of agreements to bolster bilateral relations in technical and scientific cooperation (1966), civil aviation (2004), mutual investment protection (2004) and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (2016).