Samia stresses fight for economic independence

ZAMBIA: PRESIDENT Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan reached out to Tanzania and Zambia next generation of leaders, including those in the private sector, to fight for economic independence to realise vibrant development of their countries.

She equally appealed to both the two countries to act now instead of dwelling on mere rhetoric which was not doing any good in pushing through the development of the nations.

Dr Samia made the call on Tuesday while gracing the Tanzania-Zambia Business Forum which convened in Zambia on Tuesday as part of her three-day State Visit in Zambia at the invitation of her counterpart, President Hakainde Hichilema.

“While our visionary founding fathers fought for political independence, we the next generation of leaders, including the private sector, should fight for economic independence,” said Dr Samia, indicating that the countries were not poor, but all that is needed is knowing how to best utilise the available resources.

She added: “We must work together towards eliminating any forms of market restrictive measures… Please remove these barriers. Our economies need to complement each other, not compete with one another.”

In order to arrive at the course, President Samia said the path she was leading is mainly guided by her 4Rs philosophy (reconciliation, resilience, reforms, and rebuilding), stressing the State Visit makes part of the endeavour.

According to her, the goal is to create a vibrant economy and one that is inclusive and provides opportunities for all, including neighbours and all interested parties.

She invited the Zambian business community to join hands with their counterparts from Tanzania to elevate the relations in bringing together the fortune and prosperous future of the countries. This new level of cooperation, President Samia said, will focus on a stronger level of collaboration and prosperity of the people.

“Politically, Tanzania is a peaceful and stable country and one that holds the tenets of good governance, respect of human rights and rule of law just like Zambia,” she noted.

She invited the Zambia business community to come to Tanzania in good numbers to trade, form collaboration and partnerships so that the two countries can elevate the level of trade volumes.

Elaborating, Dr Samia observed that Tanzania was fast growing, whereby the size of the market and supportive infrastructure are a key aspect that continues to attract investment to its growth.

“In the first quarter of the current financial year which covers the period between July-September, Tanzania’s GDP grew at a rate of 5.6 per cent, whereas during the Covid-19, the country dropped to about 4 per cent,” she said.

She noted that the country is optimistic that in the coming two years, the GDP growth will return to its post Covid-19 level averaging to over 6 per cent, indicating that Tanzania is relatively close to reaching there.

“Tanzania is the country of the present and future. If you are not investing in the country, you’re missing the action…do it now,” she stated.

She emphasised that Tanzania was ready to do business with the Zambian businesses community as the doors are wide open. She said they should not hesitate to call the government on various issues ranging from challenges to success recorded so that the country can assess all deliberation outcomes.

She equally advocated for the two-business communities to embrace networking and building partnerships so that they can work closer and easier.

Expounding further, the President underscored that the political will between the two governments is evident as it can be witnessed among the countries, urging them to take advantage of the conducive value by investing in agricultural value addition of maize, sorghum, cassava and oil seeds.

For his part, Zambian President Hichilema encouraged collaboration between the Tanzania-Zambia business community, indicating that the relationship must be live 24/7.

He pointed out that the two countries should not continue to export raw materials, indicating that the reason the economies are crawling in growth is because there was little value addition.

“We must work together to help each other move quickly, to move to 24-hour economies on both sides of the border. Nothing should stand in the way…Infrastructure development is very important,” said President Hichilema.

He observed that with a digital advancement, there should be a nonstop border as the one border post mechanism was also a factor for spending money and time.

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