6.6TRI/- DEAL: What it means for TZ

SEOUL, South Korea: TANZANIA and the Republic of Korea have signed a framework agreement that will enable the East African nation to obtain concessional loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) worth 2.5 billion US dollars (about 6.6tri/-) over the next five years.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her host Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea, witnessed the signing of this historic agreement in Seoul yesterday. The deal will span from 2024-2028.

Additionally, the two nations signed a Joint Declaration to establish an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), including one for the stable supply of strategic or critical minerals from Tanzania to South Korea.

The EPA aims to deepen the strategic relationship between Tanzania and Korea, particularly in areas such as trade, investment, industry and transportation. Tanzania is one of only three African countries, alongside Morocco and Kenya, engaged in discussions leading to an EPA with Korea.

President Yoon hosted a luncheon for President Samia ahead of the two-day Korea-Africa Summit, which convenes for delegations from 48 African countries this Tuesday and Wednesday.

During their meeting, the leaders emphasised the importance of strengthening cooperation to ensure a stable supply of critical mineral resources essential for the fourth industrial revolution. Tanzania is rich in minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel, crucial for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The two sides signed the MoU on securing the critical minerals supply chain, as well as another on blue economy cooperation, enhancing ties in the marine resources and fisheries sectors.

Dr Samia is on an official visit to Korea at the invitation of President Yoon. President Yoon expressed hopes for a swift EPA resolution to diversify and boost trade between the two countries. Korean companies have a history of participating in major infrastructure projects in Tanzania, including railroads and bridges.

Tanzania and Korea established diplomatic ties in 1992, and this visit is the first by a Tanzanian leader in 18 years. President Samia expressed her hope for continued collaboration to promote trade and investment between the two countries.

READ: Tanzania, S. Korea signs Us$2.5bilion deal

She emphasised that her official visit aims to strengthen bilateral relations and foster a cooperative relationship.

The MoUs signed include the Blue Economy Cooperation, in which Tanzania and South Korea will collaborate in fishing, seafood processing, fishing port construction, marine technology and research.

To add value to strategic minerals like nickel, lithium and graphite, Tanzania’s Ministry of Minerals and South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will collaborate on research, investment, extraction and capacity building.

President Samia also proposed cooperation in new sectors, including natural gas energy development, the creative sector (arts and film), and opening Korea’s job market to Tanzanian youth through the Employment Permit System (EPS).

Her two-day official visit concluded with a transition to a working visit to attend the Korea-Africa Summit. Seoul described the meetings as a critical step for Korea to enhance strategic cooperation with Africa amid transnational crises.

The Korea-Africa Summit is the largest multilateral summit hosted by President Yoon since his inauguration in May 2022. Delegations from 48 African countries will attend, excluding six African Union member states with suspended memberships due to internal issues and the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

During the summit, Seoul and Gyeonggi Province authorities announced special measures to reduce traffic congestion, anticipating partial traffic jams in central districts and expressways along the Han River.

They will deploy approximately 2,200 police officers to manage traffic congestion.

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