Why Maputo visit worth it

LOCAL analysts have described President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s recent three-day state visit in Mozambique as a catalyst for bolstering trade, investment and security between the two neighbouring countries.

During her visit to the country, President Samia was also invited by her host, President Filipe Nyusi to attend and address the 12th Congress of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) in her capacity as National Chairperson of ruling party in Tanzania CCM.

Commenting on the visit during telephone interviews with ‘Daily News’ yesterday, the analysts said the visit is crucial for boosting inter-regional trade between the two countries, which are also member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“Tanzania and Mozambique have a lot of opportunities which can be exploited for the benefits of their people. The state visit was thus important for consolidating good neighbourhood between the two countries,” an expert on diplomacy, Prof Kitojo Wetengere commented.

Adding; “The most important thing is for traders and citizens across the two countries to make best use of available opportunities. Trading at regional level is less cumbersome since our standards are the same as opposed to global markets, whose quality standards for products are very strict.”

Prof Wetengere pointed further that Tanzania and Mozambique share a lot in common since their people intermingle with each other across the border separating the two countries.

“There is no way that the two countries can avoid conducting trade amongst themselves, yet their people share historical relations,” he stated.

The expert further explained that the visit was also crucial for strengthening defence and security along the border between the two countries.

“Joint efforts between Tanzania and Mozambique in strengthening security will enable people to mingle freely and eventually boost trade and tourism,” he explained.

Commenting on the same, a political and diplomacy analyst, Mr Goodluck Ng’ingo, said President Samia’s visit in Mozambique was vital in promoting Mtwara Port as an economic corridor for southern parts of Tanzania and northern Mozambique.

“Construction of the Umoja Bridge which links Tanzania and Mozambique across River Ruvuma was among efforts aimed at boosting trade between the two countries.

“However, trade volume has been minimal over the past few years due to security concerns in some northern parts of Mozambique. The visit was thus important in laying out strategies of how trade could be revitalised,” he reasoned.

Available statistics indicate that trade volume between Tanzania and Mozambique has declined from 53bn/- to 26bn/- over the past one year.

Mr Ng’ingo was optimistic that the visit would play a crucial role in exploring and exploiting trade and investment opportunities, which are available across the two neighbouring countries.

“For instance, as we speak there are no direct flights between Tanzania and Mozambique which would have facilitated smooth and fast movement of people and goods between the two countries,” he explained.

Giving his views on the state-visit by President Samia, a lecturer at Tanzania Centre for Foreign Relations, Mr Abbas Mwalimu, pointed that expansion of Mtwara Port is one of the important factors for boosting trade along the border between Tanzania and Mozambique.

“The visit was also important in promoting good neighbourhood as part of economic diplomacy being championed by the government of Tanzania,” the diplomacy expert explained.

Mr Mwalimu was equally optimistic that issues which have been hindering trade between the two countries could be raised and addressed through the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) of the two countries.

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