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Waging Peace

Tanzania also joined other Great Lakes nations in a regional Carter Center initiative to repatriate Rwandan refugees and curb violence in the region.

+Working for Peace in Africa's Great Lakes

Following the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the presidents of Uganda and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) asked President Carter to facilitate a meeting between themselves and the presidents of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania - countries collectively known as the Great Lakes region of Africa - to negotiate a regional initiative to combat the climate of genocide, repatriate 1.7 million Rwandan refugees, and curb violence in the region. President Carter was joined in this effort by former Tanzania President Julius Nyerere, former Mali President Amadou Touré, and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

After summits in Cairo and Tunis in March 1996, the presidents agreed to:

1. Prevent cross-border raids into any country;

2. Halt arms flow to rebel groups;

3. Remove people stirring fears that it is unsafe to return to Rwanda from refugee camps;

4. Return military equipment to its country of origin, including Rwandan equipment held in Zaire;

5. Turn over individuals indicted for genocide crimes to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; and

6. Allow some 300 human rights observers in Rwanda to work with returning refugees.

However, despite these important commitments and strenuous efforts to implement them, there was little support from the international community, and most refugees finally returned to Rwanda only when full-scale violence broke out in Zaire in October 2006.

Fighting Disease

The Carter Center's Agriculture Program and the Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture worked together from 1988 to 2005 to build a future of better food security.

+Increasing Food Production

From 1988 to 2005, The Carter Center collaborated with the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture to increase food security. Part of a joint venture between The Carter Center and the Sasakawa-Africa Association and led by the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, the effort helped more than 8 million sub-Saharan African small-scale farmers improve agricultural production.

To combat the food deficits caused by Tanzania's erratic rainfall, the program worked with communities to demonstrate soil fertility restoration technologies; held workshops on quality protein maize cultivation; hosted community field days where farmers learned about new farming techniques; and experimented with various cultivation methods and drought-resistant produce.

In addition, The Carter Center collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to train small-scale farmers on rainwater harvesting and construction of underground water storage tanks as a means of increasing water availability at household level.

Farmers also learned new animal practices and techniques for better controlling oxen during cultivation. Credit was provided for fertilizers and seeds for farmers to grow production test plots. Following successful harvests, these farmers taught their neighbors about the new technologies, creating a ripple effect to stimulate food self-sufficiency in the nation.

The Tanzania program also helped farmers identify local markets for their surplus crops. A program focused on post-harvest technologies, including methods for processing and storing grains, was so effective that it became a regional showpiece, with program workers from Ethiopia, Malawi, and Zambia traveling to visit storage sites in Tanzania. And the first village-based savings and loan organization was established in Tanzania, as part of a new movement in Africa to provide farmers in remote areas with the credit they need to purchase new crops, tools, and fertilizers.

These successes and others led The Carter Center Agriculture Program to end its in-country agricultural activities in Tanzania in September 2004.

Read more about the Carter Center's agriculture work—with the Sasakawa-Africa Association—in Tanzania >

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