What Abiy’s visit mean

DAR ES SALAAM: ETHIOPIAN Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s state visit to Tanzania is envisaged to deepen security and economic cooperation between the two countries, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Mr January Makamba said yesterday.

Welcoming the Ethiopian leader, who arrived at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Makamba said the state visit would also bolster joint efforts to combat human trafficking.

Prime Minister Ahmed is in the country for a three-day state visit. Minister Makamba added that Ahmed’s tour of the country will open up markets, investment and trade in key sectors especially in agricultural products including coffee and tea.

“Ethiopia is globally renowned for coffee and tea production, Tanzania’s tea and coffee are equally popular, therefore, how to access markets together will be an integral part of bilateral agreements during this visit. It is important that we collaborate to effectively reach these markets,” Mr Makamba said.

He said Mr Ahmed’s visit serves as a platform for exchanging experiences in the livestock sector given that Ethiopia is ranked first in terms of having a large number of cattle, while Tanzania holds the third position.

He emphasised that the meeting will create new opportunities for trade between Tanzania, with a population of over 61 million, and Ethiopia, with a population of over 100 million.

This partnership can lead to an increase in trade volume between the two countries. Tanzania is also expecting to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) from Ethiopia and vice versa.

The two countries will use the platform to strengthen efforts on promoting peace, security and ending human trafficking involving Ethiopia nationals who have been trafficked to other countries through Tanzania.

The minister recalled that for long time, Tanzania has been collaborating with Ethiopia and other international immigration bodies to destroy human trafficking networks, hence, Ahmed’s visit will cement cooperation among security’s organs of the two countries on curbing illegal immigration.

Mr Ahmed is expected to hold bilateral talks with President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan at the State House in Dar es Salaam.

Analysts are optimistic that Ahmed’s visit will broaden ties between the two nations, especially in areas of common interest.

President of the Tanzania Association of Accountants (TAA) Mr Godvictor Lyimo, emphasised the potential economic benefits for Tanzania, particularly in the aviation sector.

He noted that Ethiopian Airlines’ strength, efficiency, and modern infrastructure could contribute significantly to Tanzania’s economic prosperity.

Mr Lyimo suggested that learning from Ethiopia’s aviation industry could enhance the performance of Tanzania’s national carrier, ATCL.

Moreover, Mr Lyimo highlighted the opportunity for Tanzania to gain insights from Ethiopia’s experience in managing large-scale hydroelectric projects, such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

He underscored the potential for knowledge transfer between the two nations, particularly regarding the successful operation and maintenance of such projects.

Mr Lyimo highlighted coffee production as another area of interest, where Ethiopia has excelled, stressing the importance of Tanzania drawing a leaf from the success attained by the Horn of Africa nation and strengthen its position in the global coffee market.

Furthermore, Mr Lyimo pointed out the significance of cooperation in the water sector, given the interconnectedness of water resources between the two countries, notably the White Nile River, which sources water from Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

The Public Relations Manager and lecturer at the Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR) Mr Innocent Shoo, highlighted the deep-rooted historical and diplomatic relationship between Tanzania and Ethiopia, initiated by leaders such as Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and the late Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

He emphasised their contributions to the liberation of the African continent and the establishment of the African Union (AU).

“The two leaders played crucial and important groundwork on the liberation of the African continent during the 1960s and 1980s across Africa and they were among 32 founding leaders of the organisation of Africa Union which stands today as Africa Union AU,” Mr Shoo said.

Mr Shoo underscored the diverse sectors where Tanzania and Ethiopia share common interests, including livestock agriculture, crop production, electricity, textile industry, and aviation.

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