Dar es Salaam. The Embassy of Switzerland in Dar es Salaam celebrated the 732nd National Day at the Swiss Residence in the city, involving guests from the Swiss community, representatives from public and private sectors, civil society, international organisations and diplomatic missions, and from areas as varied as art, media and the sciences.
Since 1891, August 1 has been celebrated as the Swiss National Day. The date refers to a historic alliance concluded in 1291 by the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden.
The cantons joined together and signed the Federal Charter that founded the Swiss Confederation. This year, Switzerland also celebrates the 175th anniversary of the Swiss Federal Constitution, founded in 1848.
A national holiday in Switzerland, the day is celebrated exclusively within the communities; a radio or television broadcast by the President of the Swiss Confederation is the only exception to this esteemed federal principle.
A statement released Friday by the Embassy said that in their respective remarks, the Swiss Ambassador Didier Chassot and Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba highlighted the many areas of cooperation and excellent relations between the two countries.
“We are proud and grateful for this partnership which has contributed to improving the lives of millions of Tanzanians,” Mr Chassot said.
Minister Nchemba commended Switzerland for its continued support to Tanzania as a development partner and, increasingly, as a trade and economic partner.
The official launch of the Switzerland–Tanzania Chamber of Commerce (STCC) took place
earlier in February during the presence of the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger Artieda and the Deputy Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade Exaud Silaoneka Kigahe.
The launch of the Chamber of Commerce reflects Switzerland’s interest in engaging with Africa more broadly. The Swiss Federal Council has set out, as part of its Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy, trade and economic affairs as one of five priorities in its relationship with Africa.
With a population of fewer than 8.7 million, Switzerland is a mountainous landlocked country in South-Central Europe bordered by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Liechtenstein.
The government of Switzerland has been active in Tanzania since the early 1960s. Its physical presence was strengthened in 1981 with the opening of a cooperation office, now an integral part of the Swiss Embassy.
Apart from Swiss official development assistance, there is a long tradition of Swiss philanthropy and commerce, including from missionaries, scientists, and sisal and coffee traders.