Dar, Berlin to boost ties

TANZANIA: THE future prospects of economic and trade relation between Tanzania and Germany are set to hit new heights, with the visit into the country by the latter’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier starting today.

In the course, Germany’s top leaders will visit four African countries this week, including Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who departed Berlin for Nigeria yesterday, on what is his third trip to Africa since taking office almost two years ago. He will also visit Ghana.

Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is set to do likewise today, when he will arrive for a three- day working visit in Tanzania before heading to Zambia. Their talks in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia will focus on strengthening economic ties.

These visits are linked to the reform of Berlin’s “Compact with Africa” initiative ahead of the November 20, 2023, meeting of African and G20 countries in Berlin.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation’s Communication Unit, the delegation of President Steinmeier will include other government leaders and investors of 12 large companies.

“The delegation will arrive in the country through the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam today and will be received by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Mr January Makamba,” read part of the statement.

According to the statement, President Steinmeier will hold official talks with his counterpart, President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan at State House in Dar es Salaam tomorrow. After the talks, both presidents will have the opportunity to brief journalists on the important issues reached during their talks.

Moreover, the statement noted that both presidents will participate in the Business Forum jointly organised by Germany Embassy in Tanzania and Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) in Dar es Salaam, which will involve businessmen and investors of the two countries. Among other things, the leaders will receive the information discussed by the forum.

When Steinmeier meets with representatives of the German and Tanzanian business communities, the focus will be precisely on the economic prospects and trade.

On the same day, President Steinmeier is expected to meet and hold talks with young Tanzanian entrepreneurs (start-ups), who are involved in the innovation of new technology especially in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) sponsored by Germany.

Also, President Steinmeier will visit Twiga Cement Factory in Dar es Salaam, which is run in partnership with the Scancem International Company of Germany.

On Wednesday, President Steinmeier will travel to Songea District in Ruvuma Region, to visit the Majimaji War Museum and the Majimaji Primary School, which are the only museums in Tanzania showing the great history of the Majimaji War in the liberation movement against Germany colonialism.

“Tanzania and Germany have good diplomatic relations that have lasted for more than 60 years. These two countries have been collaborating on various strategic sectors, especially in trade and investment, water, health, gender equality, women’s empowerment, biodiversity conservation, finance management, tourism, heritage and culture” read part of the ministry statement.

According to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Tanzania has been selling goods to Germany with an average of 42.04 million US dollars per year and the main products that Dar es Salaam sells to Berlin include coffee, tobacco, cotton, honey, fish, wax and minerals especially precious stones.

Tanzania imports products from Germany with an average of 237.43 million US dollars per year and these are medicines, medical devices, oils (perfume, cosmetics), cars, appliances and electrical machines.

According to the TIC, Germany is among the ten leading countries for investment in the country, where until August 2023, 178 German projects worth 408.11 million US dollars were registered and generated about 16,121 employment opportunities.

On the part of Zanzibar, the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority ZIPA has successfully registered 15 projects worth 300 million US dollars, which have generated 905 employment opportunities.

On the other hand, the statement noted that German companies’ investments in the country are mostly involved in the sectors of agriculture, industry, renewable energy, construction, tourism, art and culture.

“The visit is evidence that the country’s diplomatic economy under the sixth government is flying high,” the statement added.

Steinmeier’s trip to Tanzania comes as no surprise, says Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, head of the German Chamber of Foreign Trade in neighbouring Kenya.

“The investment framework for German companies has improved significantly in the two years since President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been in power,” she told DW.

According to Diale-Schellschmidt, Tanzania is catching up on infrastructure, energy and environmental technology- a sector that is of particular interest to Germany. German companies are looking beyond northern and southern Africa and opening more and more new locations in the west and east of the continent, she says.

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