Trade, investment to dominate Zuma visit
Trade and investment opportunities as well as regional and international co-operation will feature high on the agenda during visit by South African President Jacob Zuma who is expected in the country tomorrow for a three-day state visit on the invitation of President John Magufuli.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, told a news conference in the city yesterday that the South African leader’s delegation will include six ministers and 80 businesspersons.
The visit by President Zuma follows a meeting with Dr Magufuli during the 28th African Union (AU)’s Heads of State meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “President Zuma will arrive in Tanzania on May 10 (Wednesday) evening and he will be received by his host, President Magufuli,” Dr Mahiga explained.
During the visit, the two leaders will as well witness the signing of three agreements on co-operation in environment, energy and transport. Apart from the three agreements, the two countries are presently in negotiations on other areas of co-operation such as health, education, infrastructure and trade in addition to trade, investment, tourism and irrigation farming.
On May 11, this year, President Zuma and his host will hold private talks and thereafter take part in a meeting to include delegates from the two countries.
“It is after the meetings that the two leaders will witness the inking of the three agreements on environment, energy and transport,” Dr Mahiga, a veteran diplomat, told reporters.
Adding; “Discussions are also underway on co-operation in other areas, including the education sector where we plan to have exchange programmes for teachers to share experiences in addition to cooperation in media.” Dr Mahiga revealed further that the two countries have so far inked 15 agreements on co-operation covering education, science and technology, culture and agriculture.
“During the visit, President Zuma will also take part in a luncheon to be hosted by business communities from South Africa and Tanzania and thereafter attend a business forum to bring together businesspersons from the two countries,” he explained.
Trade volume between Tanzania and South Africa has been recording an increase over the past years from 900 million US dollars in 2007 to 2.4 billion dollars as of last year. “South Africa is an important partner in investment, it is the second country with huge investments in Tanzania after Kenya,” Dr Mahiga remarked.
Investors from South Africa have invested in about 225 projects with a value of 803.15 million US dollars in various sectors of the economy, employing 20,916 people. Tanzania on the other hand exports to South Africa fresh-cut flowers, coffee, live animals, garments, jewelries, tobacco and edible oil.
Dr Mahiga challenged the business communities from South Africa and Tanzania to make use of trade and investment opportunities in the two friendly countries. President Zuma is the current Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) while Dr Magufuli chairs the regional grouping’s organ on politics, defense and security, SADCTroika.
The two countries share historic relation dating back to the anti-apartheid era when Tanzania offered support to the African National Congress (ANC) to end the white minority government.
The co-operation has been cemented further through close relations between Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and ANC. Also on the timetable of the visit is the official launching of the South African High Commission in Tanzania and a tour at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI).
There will also be a meeting of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) on May 11 between the two presidents to be preceded by Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) meeting by ministers from the two countries.