Tanzania, Mexico ready for strategic relations

The Minister for Defence and National Service, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi made the commitment on Monday when he met in his office the Honorary Consul for Mexico, Mr Reza Saboor, who paid him a courtesy call.

Mr Saboor is a Tanzanian, whom the government of Mexico has appointed its Honorary Consul in the country. The Minister also noted that Mexico was fairly advanced in defence technology and armament industries that could benefit Tanzania, once there were co-operation agreements in place.

He expressed hope that such cooperation would also include training opportunities for the country's defence and security personnel. On his part, Mr Saboor said the strong desire and intent to see upped relations between Mexico and Tanzania, which ideally should be "natural" partners due to the history of sisal farming, which was introduced into the country from Mexico.

He further said that Mexico would like to work with Tanzania on low cost housing, an area which Mexico, again, has a lot of experience. In Mexico, he said, the concept was approached on a holistic basis, experience that Mexico was ready to share with Tanzania.

Other areas of cooperation, he said, include tourism and a range of many other sectors that Mexico could offer world class experience and technologies. Tanzania is currently grappling with a serious problem of illegal migrants mainly from Somalia, Ethiopia and Pakistan as the horn of Africa remains a hot spot of insecurity for the entire East African region.

Mexico, a developing economy, shares an extensive border with the United States of America (USA) and has over time acquired considerable experience on how to curb undesirable migration as its citizens continually seek illegal entry into the US. Sisal, also dubbed "green gold" was introduced to Tanzania by the Germans originally from the Yucatan region of Mexico in the 1890s.

It is still called "Katani" in many parts of the country. Production peaked 230,000 tonnes in the 1960s when sisal topped the country's export commodities and Tanzania led global production of the crop. Brazil is currently the major world producer of sisal at some 125,000 tonnes, still about a half only of what Tanzania used to produce.  The world's coarsest fibre, sisal became indispensable for thousands of uses. It easily blended with polyethylene to make light durable materials for toys, doors, boats, planes and even parts of tanks.

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