DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania made a number of achievements in 2019. But, at the same time, the east African nation was not relieved of troubles, including heavy rains that destroyed infrastructure and an Ebola outbreak scare.
Tanzania boasted of making achievements in various areas this year, including maintenance of peace and unity, improving the business environment and delivery of social transformation.
On political front, Tanzania's President John Magufuli continued to sustain the country's unity and peaceful environment.
According to the 2018 Global Peace Index Report released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Tanzania was ranked the 7th in Africa and the 1st in the east African region.
Since he took office in 2015, President Magufuli's administration continued to tackle bureaucracies in doing business by creating a conducive, friendly, and accountable business environment to both locals and foreigners.
In 2019, Tanzania continued to undergo economic transformations through the Vision 2025 that aims to make the country move from low to middle income economy by 2025.
Under his administration, Magufuli is overseeing the implementation of flagship projects, including the 2.9-billion-U.S.-dollar construction of a 2,115-megawatt Julius Nyerere hydropower project.
Tanzania is also currently using its own money to implement a standard gauge railway project stretching from Dar es Salaam to the new capital of Dodoma.
Believing that corruption was the main source of poverty in the resource-wealth economy, Magufuli vowed to confront the social evil head on.
Following Magufuli's anti-corruption crusade, Global Corruption Barometer Africa released in July 2019 a research report on anti-corruption efforts covering 35 African countries, which shows 70 percent of Tanzanians surveyed "think the government is doing well in tackling corruption."
DEEPENED RELATIONS WITH CHINA
The year 2019 saw Tanzania marking the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.
Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Palamagamba Kabudi said Tanzania-China relations have endured and grown into an all-weather relationship and China also assisted Tanzania with a variety of economic aid programs.
According to data from the Chinese embassy in Tanzania, bilateral trade volume in 2018 reached about 3.97 billion U.S. dollars, registering a year-on-year growth of 15 percent.
Meanwhile, China's total investment in Tanzania has exceeded 7 billion dollars, which made China a leading foreign investor in the east African nation. China is also the largest project contractor in Tanzania with investments ranging from infrastructure, mining, agriculture to manufacturing, hotels, real estate and banks.
The year 2019 also saw China awarding former Tanzanian Prime Minister and top diplomat Salim Ahmed Salim the Friendship Medal. Salim was among the six foreigners who were granted the medal for their great contributions to supporting China's socialist modernization, promoting exchanges and cooperation with China and safeguarding world peace.
In 1971, Salim, then representative of Tanzania to the United Nations, spearheaded the campaign for the People's Republic of China to restore its lawful seat in the United Nations.
EBOLA SCARE AND HEAVY RAINS
In Mid-2019, the social media in the country went viral when it circulated rumors indicating that two people had died from the deadly Ebola, which had killed more than 2,000 in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
However, Tanzanian health authorities refuted rumors of the Ebola outbreak, urging people not to get scared by the rumors.
"We don't have Ebola patients in Tanzania," said Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health.
Mwalimu admitted that there were two patients who had died from what doctors described as a strange disease but results from tests conducted by the Ministry of Health of their samples showed negative.
She said it was only the Ministry of Health that was entitled to announce the outbreak of epidemics such as Ebola, adding that announcing the outbreak of diseases in other outlets, including social media, amounted to cybercrime.
The minister said the government had put in place response and preparedness strategies aimed at controlling the Ebola disease from getting into the country.