AS the year 2022 comes to an end, Tanzania will look back at it as one of the most successful years diplomatically.
The East African nation enjoyed huge successes in implementation of economic diplomacy, thanks to President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s fruitful mission abroad during her second year in office.
This year, President Samia made a number of foreign trips within and outside Africa, a move that resulted in the signing of over 62 strategic agreements and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with various countries and development partners.
The MoUs and agreements have been crucial in cementing further the Tanzania multilateral ties, country’s economic diplomacy, attracting investors and tourists as well as increasing export volume.
These are part of President Samia’s strategic initiatives to open and market the country in a bid to speed up development at individual and national level through job creation and income generation.
Some of the countries that Dr Samia has visited from January to date include Mozambique, France, Belgium, and United Arab Emirates (UAE), United States (US) and Uganda.
The list also includes Ghana, Oman, Senegal, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, United Kingdom, Qatar, China and Egypt.
In February this year, while in the UAE during the Dubai Expo 2020, President Samia witnessed the signing of 36 memorandum of understanding worth 7.49 billion US dollars (about 17.8tri/-), between Tanzania and UAE investors. The signed pacts aim at creating 204,575 jobs by the year 2026.
While in China, President Samia and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of 15 agreements to improve bilateral trade relations, transport and expand the market for agricultural products.
More so, China waived a portion of Tanzania’s debt worth 31.4bn/-, being part of 15 strategic agreements signed between the two countries.
The agreements aimed at bolstering bilateral cooperation, trade, and investment. In addition, China has provided a soft loan of 56.72 million US dollars (about 132bn/-) for the development of the Zanzibar International Airport Terminal II project.
Another agreement signed was a protocol on inspection, quarantine and veterinary sanitary requirements for wild aquatic products to be exported from Tanzania to China.
Also, a phytosanitary protocol for the export of fresh avocado fruits from Tanzania to China was signed, paving the way for increased Tanzanian avocado exports to the Chinese market.
China is a leading source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Tanzania, accounting for 1,098 investment projects in Tanzania in October 2022, worth 9.6 billion US dollars, which have created 131,718 jobs.
While in France and Belgium, Dr Samia apart from meeting with her counterparts for official talks, Tanzania managed to secure a grant of 425 million Euros, estimated at 1.15tri/- from the European Commission (EC) to fund various development projects.
The funds are to be used in various development projects for the next three years in the country, President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen made the revelation in Belgium, while meeting President Samia.
A statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications had it that Tanzania planned to spend the 180 million Euros equivalent to 480bn/-, on three projects, including the upgrading of digital systems.
Another area is strengthening the social well-being of Tanzanians based on gender equality where 284bn/- would be spent.
The statement further indicated that 197.3bn/- would go for the Green Cities project, whose first phase would include Tanga, Mwanza and Pemba.
Moreover, President Samia also visited Qatar, where among other schedules; she witnessed the signing of a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chambers of Commerce of Qatar, Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar aiming at strengthening trade and investment relations.
The MoU was signed in Doha by the First Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber, Mohamed Bin Ahmed Twar Al Kuwari, the President of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Paul Koyi, and the Chairman of the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Ali Suleiman Amour.
According to a State House statement, the objective of the MoU is to enhance trade and investment cooperation and partnership between business communities from Tanzania and Qatar, particularly in the areas of tourism and hospitality, infrastructure and energy.
In the same development, Tanzania and the Sultanate Government of Oman signed six memorandum of understandings (MoUs) covering the fields of energy, tourism, natural resources, higher education and training, and national museums.
The MoUs were signed when President Samia visited Oman for an official work visit.
From the six pacts, tripartite MoUs were inked between the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tanzania and the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, and a memorandum between the Investment Authority and the Investment Promotion Authority was signed during the President’s visit.
The two nations also signed a memorandum of understanding for the private sector between the Oman Airports Management Company and Kilimanjaro Airport.
There were also agreements between the Oman Oil Services Association and the Tanzania Association of Oil and Gas Service Providers and between Al-Bashaer Meat and the National Company for Live Animals, and between the Oman Food Investment Holding Company and the Tanzanian Horticultural Society.
During her visit to Maputo in Mozambique, President Dr Samia and her host Filipe Nyusi witnessed signing two MOU’s on Peace and Security and the second one was on Defence Cooperation.
“Tanzania and Mozambique share one of the longest borders in the region and thus the cooperation agreement on defence and security will among others enable us to continue battling terrorists and eventually maintain peace and security,” Dr Samia stated.
Apart from the agreements, President Samia also met for official talks with various State leaders including Joe Biden (US), Emmanuel Macron (France), Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Egypt) Nana-AkufoAddo (Ghana), HakaindeHichilema (Zambia), William Ruto (Kenya), Felix Tshekedi (DRC) and YoweriMuseveni of Uganda.
2022 was also a year in which President Samia dedicated her efforts in promoting tourism.
In April she travelled to the US to launch the Royal Tour documentary that was shot in Tanzania for the sake to be used to market the country’s tourist attractions to a global audience,
The documentary aimed at playing a crucial role in reviving the tourism industry that was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the initial launch in New York on April 18, the film was also launched in Los Angeles on April 21, Dar es Salaam on April 28, and in Zanzibar.
Analysts, who spoke to the ‘Daily News’, commended President Samia’s tireless efforts in marketing the country outside its physical boundaries.
They concurred that President Samia’s trips abroad are crucial in mobilizing funds for the implementation of development projects.
“Through her visits, Tanzania has attracted a good number of foreign investors, who have shown an interest to invest and trade in the country, and more are to come following signing of a number of contracts, MoUs and other agreements,” said Dr Paul Lousilie, a University for Dodoma lecturer.
Speaking in March, this year as she was marking one year in the office, President Samia said her trips abroad have contributed highly in opening up the country and created a myriad of economic opportunities.
President Samia was involved in the recording of the documentary last year, as she travelled to various tourist attraction sites with the American-based film crew.