TANZANIA plans to strategically exploit the forthcoming historic meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) by marketing its trade and industrial potentials during which President John Magufuli will also be installed as new Chairman of the regional bloc.
The 39th SADC meeting to be held in Dar es Salaam for two days from 17th August this year, will be preceded by the industrial exhibition which is the Fourth SADC Industrialisation Week between 22nd and 26 next month.
Foreign and East African Cooperation Minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi (pictured) stated yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the meeting comes at a right time when Tanzania gears up to industrialisation.
It is expected that the country’s private sector as well as individual businesspeople will take advantage of the regional meeting through creating partnership with their counterparts in other member countries.
The meeting is set to attract about 1000 leaders and top officials from 16 member states. “As we move towards an industrial economy, let’s showcase to other SADC member states what we produce.
In fact we have been selling more to the SADC market than the East African market,” Prof Kabudi noted when he briefed media owners and managers on the next SADC meeting.
The aim of meeting the latter was to prepare them to get in the same boat in preparations and participating in the conference as well as benefiting from opportunities arising from Tanzania taking chairmanship of the regional bloc.
Prof Kabudi said hosting the SADC conference was historical since the last time Tanzania hosted such meetings was 16 years ago.
He said Tanzania chairing the SADC for one year from the next August means a number of meetings would be held in the country.
“This is a big event and historic, we cannot do it alone without engaging the media,” he noted.He asked the media to play their role in educating the public about SADC and its opportunities.
Tanzania has a long history with the formation of SADC since it helped most of the member countries during their independence struggles.
“Hosting the meeting in Tanzania would remind these countries of the times of independence struggles... and they would get chances to visit some of the historic places in Dar es Salaam that have connections with the independence struggle of their respective nations,” he noted.
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda assured that many things will be happening during this time before the meeting to beautify the city as part of preparations.
He also encouraged the private sector in the region to capitalize on the meeting by building partnerships with investors from other member states. “I urge hotels and taxi drivers in the city to treat the visitors well so that they leave the country with nice stories to tell later,” he said.
Meanwhile, he used the same platform to inform the public over today’s official visit of DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi, calling on the residents to show up in big number in welcoming the guest.
When contributing to the speech of Prof Kabudi, some media managers called on the government to ensure that a conducive working environment for journalists is assured during the forthcoming SADC meeting.