President Samia to grace Zambia independence today

ZAMBIA: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan will today grace the 59th Anniversary of the Independence of Zambia, in a historic diplomatic gesture.

The Tanzanian leader will also address the Zambian Parliament tomorrow.

President Samia has been invited by her counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema for a three-day State visit starting yesterday.

Among other things, she will hold official talks and officiate the opening of a business forum for businessmen from the two countries.

While in Lusaka, President Samia and President Hichilema will discuss the best way to improve and strengthen the joint infrastructures, including the Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA), Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) and Tanzania Zambia (TANZAM) Highway.

According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, Dr Samia’s tour of Zambia is expected to strengthen cooperation in strategic areas and identify new opportunities for mutual benefit and cooperation.

“President Samia’s visit entails five main objectives, including upholding the existing cooperation between the two countries, especially in strategic areas such as transport, energy and infrastructure,” Minister Makamba briefed the media recently.

“We will also discuss how to create a conducive environment for businessmen and transporters in the countries to ensure smooth operation of their activities.”

He said President Samia will also hold talks with the Zambian business community about the major improvements being undertaken at the Dar es Salaam Port.

“There are major improvements that are underway at Dar Port and we believe this visit is an opportunity to explain how the developments are beneficial so as to build confidence in our ally to continue using and trusting our port,” he underlined.

“Along with the objectives that are mentioned, the general expectation of the visit is to strengthen the relationship and strategic cooperation that exists between our two countries and to create a friendly environment for business people,” he added.

The Minister also revealed five agendas that are in line with the objectives of the visit which will be discussed in detail, including the efficiency of the Dar es Salaam Port, TAZARA, energy (TAZAMA), immigrations, business and investment.

“The huge market of our Dar Port is on transit cargo destined to Zambia. Currently about 80 per cent of all cargo entering Dar Port and being transported to other countries pass through the border of Zambia, so port matters will be a very big agenda during this visit,” he noted.

The Minister said the bilateral ties between the countries existed for so long as it was pioneered by the founding leaders, the late Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda, from Tanzania and Zambia, respectively.

Mr Makamba revealed that in a period of six years, the trade volume between the two countries continued to rise from 143.74 bn/- in 2016 to 394.25 bn/- in 2022.

According to data revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the exports between two countries increased from 70bn/- in 2016 to 183 bn/- in 2022.

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