TANZANIA: SOME analysts have reacted to the recent visit by President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan in Zambia, saying it promoted the country’s trade and investment opportunities.
They described the Head of State as a visionary and entrepreneurial leader who sees socio- economic and political opportunities for betterment of the nation.
They aired their views on Thursday after the conclusion of a three- day state visit by President Samia to Zambia, which saw the two countries signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), of which among others provide solutions to various challenges facing the two countries.
President Samia visited Zambia from October 23 to 25 this year following an invitation by her counterpart, Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
Among other activities, President Samia graced the 59th Anniversary of the Independence of Zambia, in a historic diplomatic gesture.
A business expert, Dr Sylvester Jotta said the visit by President Samia demonstrated her commitment to increase visibility of various opportunities available in the country while promoting partnership for investment.
Dr Jotta, who doubles as a lecturer at the Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) congratulated President Samia for her heartfelt promises of smoothening flow of goods and services from Zambia in a bid to strengthen bilateral relations due to the fact that over 90 per cent of the Zambia’s cargo pass through the Dar es Salaam Port.
“After attracting an investor (DP World) at the Dar Port, now Dr Samia is attracting more customers who will use the port, she has been commercialising state visits for promoting the country’s economic opportunities available, I call her an entrepreneurial president,” Dr Jotta said.
He said her visit will further facilitate trade between Zambia and Tanzania, whereby investors will continue utilising the Dar es Salaam Port as their main gateway together with the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA).
TAZARA is a bi-national railway linking the Southern Africa Regional transport network to the Dar Port for freight and passenger transportation between and within Tanzania and Zambia.
He said the trip signals Tanzania’s openness on embracing the long-existed bond on socio-economic and political cooperation initiated by the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and his counterpart, Mr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.
Mwanza based international relation analyst, Mr Wilfred Medard, said Dr Samia has been utilising her economic diplomacy to foster unity and understanding with different countries across the world.
Mr Medard advised the two nations to think of modernising the TAZARA’s Railway from Metre Gauge (MGR) to Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to boost its operation.
During the visit, Dr Samia said they have agreed with President Hichilema, among other things, to renovate the TAZARA railway and expand the Tanzania-Zambia Oil Pipeline (TAZAMA).
Political Analyst and Historian, Mr Fredrick Pundo, on his part said President Samia’s visit to Zambia demonstrated efforts of keeping the long relations of the two countries.
“When you are surrounded by neighbouring countries, it is very important to visit them to create an enabling environment for sustainable cooperation.
Since Tanzania and Zambia share borders, mutual understanding and cooperation is a must,” he said.
He seconded Dr Samia’s commitment of allocating 20 hectares at Kwala Dry Port in Coast Region to handle Zambia’s cargo, a move which will cut transportation cost of Zambia’s cargo to boost trade and enable the government to generate more revenues.
“The revenue collected from trade can boost our country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Per Capital Income,” he said.