Næringsministerens innlegg på Tanzania-Norway Business Forum

                                                                                          *Sjekkes mot fremføring

 Your Royal Highnesses,           

Your Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Norwegian government, I would like to wish you all a very warm welcome to this Tanzania-Norway Business Forum.

And let me express my heartfelt gratitude to the organizers at NABA, the Norwegian African Business Association, for bringing us together today to explore how more cooperation and closer ties can be established between our two countries.

Ties that unite us in our common aspirations.

Green ties of business and trade.


We are half a world apart: Norway close the pole, Tanzania almost on the equator.

But in our time, distance is not an obstacle.

On the contrary: it is exactly by lifting our gaze that we see new opportunities arise.

Africa’s role in realizing a green, sustainable future on this planet is beyond question.

There is clearly an opportunity to leapfrog some of the challenges created by reliance on fossil fuels and vulnerable value chains.

And I believe Norway has a role to play in realizing this potential – as world leaders in technologies such as ocean wind, hydrogen, CCS and, perhaps more surprisingly, solar.

Or perhaps not: because when you have as little sun as we do, it only stands to reason that you want to learn to harvest it as much as possible. 

That is one of the reasons closer cooperation with Africa is on our agenda.

To think forward, we have to think global.

This is the view of the government, and the view of Norwegian companies.


Tanzania is in many ways a gateway to Africa.

This has been the Norwegian experience for a long time.  

And this year marks the anniversary of our formal relationship – 60 years since we established collateral bonds.

That is evidence of the longstanding trust between our two countries.

And it is evidence of Tanzania’s enduring stability and outward orientation.

Which forms the basis for attracting investment, for establishing partnerships, indeed of taking on an important role in the global transition at hand.


Now, many Norwegians, especially this time of year, may harbour dreams of Zanzibar and the African sun.

I’m not sure to what extent the reverse is true.

But what is certain, is that as tourist destinations – determined on sustainable economic growth– we can clearly learn from each other.

Norwegian businesses look to Tanzania for opportunities to partner up in several sectors: agriculture, health, and not least sustainable energy.

We are half a world apart, but we share a history of managing our natural resources in a way that opens up for a greener future.

Our common reliance on hydropower is one of them.

And I believe that this can pave the way for joint ventures in new forms of sustainable business partnerships.


Ladies and gentlemen: it is not just about what we do, but how we do it.

Norway is far ahead in innovation and digitalization.

We are a transparent, stable democracy – a fundamental characteristic of which is a strong partnership between government and private enterprise. 

That means value chains that stand up to scrutiny, both by today’s standards and by tomorrow’s.

We are talking about sustainability in a broader sense.

I know that Tanzanian oil and gas companies have looked to Norwegian suppliers for exactly this reason.

And I know that the same reasoning is valid in all the sectors I have mentioned.


I want to end by pointing out our common interests as ocean nations.

Norway has made a commitment to fight fisheries crime, which is not just a problem for sustainable ocean management, but also creates unfair market conditions.

In 2018 Norway and eight other countries adopted an international declaration against transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry.

Today 60 countries have signed it, and I encourage Tanzania to join this group.

The Blue Justice initiative supports countries in implementing the declaration and in taking advantage of the support it offers, building capacity in the fields of digitalization, governance, and fisheries law enforcement.

This includes access to surveillance data from the Norwegian fleet of micro-satellites designed for ocean monitoring, which will be available this year through the Blue Justice initiative.

Such data sharing – working together with digital tools, using the solutions that technology now allows for – points to the grander scheme of possibilities that open when countries partner up and commit to common goals.

For Norway and Tanzania, I believe that there is much to gain if we look at our respective resources, experiences, needs, and opportunities.

And see how more cooperation, closer ties – greener ties – may quicken the arrival of tomorrow’s fully sustainable economy in both our countries.

Thank you.