President of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, was conferred with the Order of Excellence by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at a brief ceremony at King’s House in Kingston on Wednesday night (November 25).
The President received the honour just prior to a State dinner at King’s House hosted by the Governor-General for both Mr. Kikwete and his wife, Tanzanian First Lady, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete. The couple was in Jamaica for a three-day State Visit which ended on Thursday (November 26).
The honour of the Order of Excellence is ranked equally with the Order of the Nation, which is reserved for Jamaican Governors-General and Prime Ministers upon whom the Order of National Hero has not been conferred. Persons in receipt of this honour are addressed as the Most Honourable. It was previously bestowed on former South African President, Thabo Mbeke, in 2003, the same year it was introduced, and on Spain’s King Juan Carlos in February this year.
Earlier on Wednesday, the President addressed a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, at Gordon House in Kingston, where he expressed a desire for increased co-operation between Jamaica and Tanzania.
Their Excellencies attended the unveiling of the newly installed statue of Olympian gold medallist, Hon. Herb McKenley, at the National Stadium in Kingston, which also took place on Wednesday.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (second right), greets President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (left), when he arrived at King’s House last night (November 25) for a State Dinner and to receive the Order of Excellence, the highest national honour reserved for a foreign Head of State or Government. Beside the President is his wife, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete, while at right is the Governor- General’s wife, Lady Allen.
Their activities also included: visit to the Bodles Research Station, St. Catherine, with Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton; tour of popular attractions in St. Ann, such as Mystic Mountains, Dolphin Cove and Dunn’s River Falls in St. Ann, with Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
They also visited Liberty Hall, built in memory of Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Right Excellent, Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and the National Gallery, both located in downtown Kingston.
Additionally, Lady Salma Kikwete, was accompanied by wife of the Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, Lorna Golding, on visits to the Hope Valley Experimental School, which caters to the educational development of both disabled and able-bodied children; and the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.
The President’s other activities included bilateral talks with Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding at Jamaica House in Kingston, as well as courtesy calls on the Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and former Prime Minister, the Most Hon P.J. Patterson.
Jamaica and Tanzania established diplomatic ties in 1971, with both countries enjoying good relations since then. However, this has been largely attributable to collaboration in their efforts to achieve common goals in international bodies such as the Commonwealth and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.
Their Excellencies left Jamaica on Thursday (November 26).