TZ, France cement ties

PARIS, France: TANZANIA and France have signed the Paris Declaration to strengthen existing bilateral diplomatic and economic cooperation.

The declaration was signed on Tuesday in Paris, France, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba and French Minister of International Development, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou.

The cooperation agreements cover energy, climate change, transport and infrastructure development, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.

Following the signing ceremony, the ministers submitted the documents to Presidents Samia Suluhu Hassan and Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris.

According to a joint declaration issued yesterday, the two Presidents also agreed to strengthen bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of energy transition and climate change mitigation, the blue economy, transportation infrastructure, agriculture, and gender equality.

In this regard, President Macron applauded projects such as the financing of the Shinyanga solar power plant and the upcoming FrancoTanzanian business meeting, which will be place in Dar es Salaam on May 27 this year.

The leaders also addressed the subject of regional stability, including the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for which they urged for a return to dialogue among stakeholders and regional collaboration in the fight against human and drug trafficking.

While Tanzania co-organized the Summit on Clean Cooking Methods in Paris, Macron commended President Samia on her dedication to all global issues and reiterated France’s support for this strategy, which is consistent with the Paris Pact for People and the Planet.

President Samia co-chaired the Summit in Paris on Tuesday, following a request from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) executive director.

The summit focused on clean cooking energy for Africa. It aimed at elevating the issue on the global agenda and mobilize support for clean cooking efforts.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by ambassadors from both countries, including Tanzania’s Ambassador to France, Ali Jabir Mwadini, France’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Nabil Hajlaoui, the Director of the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Noel Kaganda, and other senior officials accompanying the two leaders.

This is President Samia’s second meeting with Macron, the first being in February 2022, where they reaffirmed their shared commitment to gender equality, deeper economic exchanges, political dialogue, and security cooperation.

As a result of the meeting, last year 13 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from France visited Tanzania for a three-day visit in search of market and business opportunities.

Trade volume between Tanzania and France reached 241.5 million US dollars (about 563bn/- ) in 2022, from 171.7 million US dollars (about 400bn/-) before 2021, according to former Tanzanian Ambassador to France, Dr Samwel Shelukindo, who is currently the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

According to the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade), By 2021, Tanzania imported an average of 80.14 million US dollars per year, and the main imports were machinery and mechanical appliances, parts of aircraft/spacecraft, petroleum oil lubricants, malt, plastics, smartcards, electrical machinery, and pharmaceutical products. Exports by 2021 were only 17.7 million US dollars, primarily agro-products.

As of the latest available data, Tanzania’s exports to France in 2023 amounted to 28.08 million US dollars.

The trade volume between Tanzania and France includes a variety of goods, with the top exports being coffee, tea, mate and spices, tobacco and its substitutes, and fish, among others. Meanwhile, in a significant move to bolster economic ties, Mr Makamba has welcomed a business delegation led by the French Business Confederation (MEDEF), which is set to participate in a business forum scheduled for May 27-29 in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Mr Makamba extended this remark during a meeting in Paris with the Frencj Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness, Francophonie, and French Nationals Abroad, Franck Riester.

Their discussions emphasized the importance of strengthening trade and investment cooperation between Tanzania and France, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation. Both officials expressed optimism that the forum would catalyze numerous business opportunities, fostering stronger economic bonds between the two nations.

Mr Makamba expressed gratitude to the French Government for its ongoing support of various development projects in Tanzania. These projects span critical sectors such as energy, transport infrastructure, clean water provision, agriculture, and health.

“The French Government has been a reliable development partner, contributing significantly to our national development goals,” Mr Makamba remarked. He said that continued collaboration with France would be pivotal in achieving Tanzania’s economic and social development objectives.

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