Dar reaps rewards of economic diplomacy

TANZANIA: AS 2023 comes to an end, the government has listed benefits brought in through diplomacy, including attracting new investments and trade and strengthening bilateral ties with several countries.

According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Mr January Makamba, the country has reaped big following foreign missions by top government officials to countries like India, Morocco, Zambia, Cuba, United States of America, Qatar, South Africa and others.

On the other hand, foreign missions to Tanzania by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Hungarian President Katalin Novák and many others.

Mr Makamba disclosed this during a press conference held in Dar es Salaam yesterday to outline achievements recorded by the country in the area of diplomacy as well as churning out the way forward.

He noted that the achievements were the result of the implementation of the country’s foreign policy which focuses on economic diplomacy, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Election Manifesto of 2020-2025, Tanzania Development Vision 2025, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and directives from the top leadership.

“In the year 2023 tangible gains have been recorded in the area of diplomacy and economic diplomacy….in the course the country has obtained many new friends, strengthened existing ties with various countries and international corporations,” said Mr Makamba.

He pointed out that throughout the year President Samia Suluhu Hassan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation embarked on major reforms which have contributed to making big strides.

The achievements have been categorised into five key thematic areas including strengthening bilateral relations between Tanzania and other countries. The same applies to strengthening existing cooperation between Tanzania and International Organisations and Institutions globally.

Mr Makamba also mentioned boosting trade, investment and increasing the number of tourists in the country as among key achievements which led to the increase of capital as well as expanding the international market for the country’s products.

Another area was mobilising resources geared towards financing the country’s development projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project.

He revealed that discussions and meetings were held between Tanzania’s top leaders and senior officials with heads of financial institutions in the world such as the World Bank, Saudi Fund for Development, Kuwait Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and African Development Bank (AfDB).

“In November 2023 when Dr Samia attended the Africa Investment Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco, a total of 34.82 billion US dollars was secured as commitments by various investors. Out of the funds, around 5.49 billion US dollars was allocated for financing two projects in Tanzania including the Mangapwani Port Project (Zanzibar) and the Mtwara – Mbambabay – Mchuchuma/Liganga Railway project.

Furthermore, the year saw Tanzania scaling up its influence, participation and voice in cross-cutting international issues.

Examples of the areas which Tanzania championed by taking bold measures included the issues of climate change, gender parity, clean energy and food security.

Similarly, Tanzania’s participation at the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month saw the country becoming a champion of clean energy, whereby Dr Samia launched a project on green cooking aiming to support rural women. At the meeting, Tanzania expressed its position on the issue of climate financing.

He noted that Tanzania attended the meeting at the level of the Heads of State, Ministerial Meetings as well as senior government officials, whereby the country maintained its stance on the global impacts of climate change, leading to the signing of three agreements between Tanzania and UAE in the area of education, technology and diplomacy.

On the other hand, strengthening good neighbourliness, regional integration and peace and security in the region were other notable successes.

In boosting investment and trade, the work has also been undertaken through President Samia’s participation in the different business and investment forums which convened between Tanzania and Zambia and Tanzania and India among others.

Likewise, other joint forums in which the ministry had its representation were Tanzania and France, and Tanzania and the United Kingdom.

He pointed out that Tanzania has continued to broaden its market of agricultural produce in the year 2023 particularly such as pigeon peas (India), Cashew (India and Vietnam), sisal (China and Brazil) and avocado (China and Europe).

“The efforts to expand the market of our products and investment are geared towards increasing the rate of employment for the youths and incomes among the people,” he said, indicating that implementation of economic diplomacy and responsibilities of the ministry has to a large extent acted as a catalyst to the development of the country.

Touching on the plans, the Minister observed that the ministry will work on finalising the new foreign policy and process of instituting special status for Tanzania’s Diasporas as well as opening new embassies.

He said in the coming year Tanzania is expected to take over the chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

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