Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has described his State visit to Tanzania as successful, with talks paving the way for deepened cooperation between the two southern African countries.
“It was an important visit for South Africa, as our aim was to review and strengthen the existing strong bilateral and economic relations between the two countries, since there has been a new administration in Tanzania.
“We are very content with the outcomes of the visit, as we openly discussed and agreed on various issues, particularly economic cooperation including private sector investments, infrastructure development, agro-processing, beneficiation as well as trade and investment,” said President Zuma at the end of his visit.
President Zuma met Tanzanian President John Magufuli during his two-day State visit.
South Africa and Tanzania enjoy excellent bilateral relations, which date back to the days of the liberation struggle and were formalised by the two governments in 1994.
As part of strengthening economic relations, President Magufuli invited South African companies, including State owned entities, to invest in major infrastructure projects that are taking place in Tanzania and the eastern African region, including the building of the long railway that will connect all countries in the Great Lakes region.
President Zuma said talks with President Magufuli encompassed a wide range of bilateral issues including the adoption of strategic interventions to further strengthen the relationship to focus on mutually identified priority areas, particularly in the field of trade and investment, science and technology, agriculture, environment, energy, infrastructure development and retail, among others.
The two Presidents also chaired the inaugural session of the South Africa-Tanzania Bi-national Commission. The BNC will be supervised at the Heads of State and Government Level and it will provide the required impetus to relations between the two countries expanding the areas of cooperation to include the political, economic, security and cultural fields.
During the visit, South Africa and Tanzania signed two critical memoranda of understanding on cooperation in the fields of Biodiversity Conservation and Management as well as on Cooperation in Transport Related Matters.
“We are satisfied with the signing of these memoranda of understanding and we have directed our Ministers and officials to finalise the signing of outstanding agreements and also to fully implement the existing agreements.
“We have agreed to have regular consultations, including annual mid-term review meetinga that will ensure that we monitor and evaluate the implementation of these agreements in a quest to force closer cooperation,” President Zuma said.
SA, Tanzania Business Forum
President Zuma and President Magufuli also addressed the South Africa-Tanzania Business Forum held on the sidelines of the State visit to bolster economic relations between the two countries, both in the public and private sector.
The forum further promoted business-to-business cooperation, aimed at diversifying the economies of the nations.
On regional matters, the two Heads of State agreed that African States need to work together to ensure peace and security in the region, and also to lessen barriers to ensure strong regional economic integration that will help address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
President Zuma was accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor; Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa and Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi as well as a business delegation.