DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has concluded a sixday official and working visit to the Republic of Korea, leaving the government optimistic about future prospects.

The visit, described as a significant milestone in Tanzania-Korea relations, yielded valuable insights and agreements expected to enhance bilateral cooperation and bring tangible benefits to both nations.

According to government officials who accompanied President Samia, the visit marked the signing of a Framework Agreement with the Republic Korea, which will enable Tanzania to obtain soft loan worth 2.5bn US dollars (equivalent to 6.5tril/-) from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) over the next five years.

Speaking to journalists at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Natu Mwamba outlined the next steps following the agreement.

“We are now tasked with identifying projects for implementation,” she said. “Tanzania has traditionally received assistance from Republic of Korea in various sectors such as energy, transport, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and water. The new projects could fall under these or other areas,” She noted.

Dr Mwamba explained that a systematic approach is being followed, involving the Planning Commission, which is responsible for initiating project proposals.


“These proposals are reviewed and refined, with contributions from Zanzibar through the Zanzibar Planning Commission, before being submitted to the Ministry of Finance for further evaluation and prioritisation.

Once finalised, the projects will be discussed with the Republic of Korea through a policy dialogue process, paving the way for mutually agreed-upon implementations,” she explained.

She added, “The selected projects will align with Tanzania’s priorities and development goals, focusing on areas such as skills and technology acquisition,” Sharing insights gained from the visit, Professor Kitila Mkumbo, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Planning and Investment), highlighted the Republic of Korea’s remarkable progress achieved through self-reliance and significant foreign investments.

He noted the growing presence of the Republic of Korean companies in overseas markets, particularly in Asia, and drew inspiration from their success.

“There is great potential to attract Korean investors to Tanzania, given the abundance of opportunities in the country,” he said.

Prof Mkumbo identified several key areas for collaboration, including agriculture, where Tanzania seeks to enhance productivity through mechanisation and agro-processing, leveraging Republic of Korea’s expertise.

Professor Kitila Mkumbo, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Planning and Investment)

He also mentioned the strategic focus on mineral resources, with Tanzania prioritising in-country mineral processing to add value before export.

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“Trade promotion is another crucial area,” he added, “as Tanzania aims to expand trade with Republic of Korea by adding value to its agricultural, livestock, forestry and mineral products.” Several initiatives are underway to attract Republic of Korean investment to Tanzania.

The Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has signed an agreement with Generating Company Limited, a Republic of Korean firm, to provide information and develop programmes to attract Republic of Korean investment companies.

This is expected to boost Korean investment in Tanzania in the near future. Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye, highlighted the collaboration on startups.

The Tanzania Startups Association (TSA) accompanied the delegation and visited Pangyo Techno Valley (PTV), a hub for information technology, biotechnology, cultural technology, and fusion technology.

Mr Nnauye also mentioned ongoing discussions about establishing an ICT centre in Dodoma, similar to PTV, with Republic of Korea showing willingness to provide a loan for the project’s construction.

Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye

“Tanzania has selected Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha, Mwanza, and Mbeya as smart cities,” Nnauye noted.

“The delegation studied Korea’s smart city initiatives to gain insights for improving Tanzania’s own smart city efforts.” Industry and Trade Minister Dr Ashatu Kijaji explained that Tanzania and the Republic of Korea have signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) aimed at establishing a mutually beneficial trade network with partner nations.

This agreement covers a smaller scope compared to a traditional free trade agreement but emphasises the importance of product quality, continuity and rules of origin.

Dr Kijaji highlighted the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), a World Trade Organisation initiative that promotes economic development by eliminating duties on 10,998 products when imported from designated beneficiary countries. Out of these, 1,126 are agricultural products.

However, Tanzania’s utilisation of this preferential scheme has been limited.

“We need to emphasise areas such as product quality, continuity and the rule of origin in our discussions to benefit fully from these opportunities,” she stressed.

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“We desire that as we begin discussions in all sectors of the economy and production, we emphasise areas such as product quality, continuity and the rule of origin.” Dr Kijaji added. Dr Kijaji further said Tanzania contributes a little because of the product quality, and in the discussions that the government will initiate, they wish Republic of Korea to teach Tanzanians about standards so that they can produce products that meet global market criteria. Another issue, she said Tanzanians are grappling with is that many products lack a rule of origin.

“We have resources here, but what is preventing us from using them up to 80 per cent to produce our products?” she queried. “Another area is continuity, where we want to invite major investors so that when we start production, we can meet market demands,” she noted.

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