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Partnership strengthens historic ties

Written by Bathandwa Mbola

International relations

South Africa and Tanzania have agreed to form a partnership to better address mutual challenges and improve the lives of their citizens.

President Jacob Zuma recently met the President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. They talked about ways to improve cooperation in various areas including the fight against poverty, underdevelopment and HIV and AIDS.

To this end, the two presidents signed an agreement to establish the binational Commission, which will increase cooperation between the two countries.

In line with this agreement, they will meet every year to identify and discuss mutual challenges. They will also look at how they can work together to create opportunities to ensure economic and industrial development leading to job creation and alleviation of poverty.

Historic relationship

South Africa and Tanzania have been in a historic relationship that stood the test of time, especially relating to South Africa’s freedom. During apartheid, many South Africans went to Tanzania as a hiding place.

Tanzania now expects South Africa to do the same to help other African countries in crisis situations. “We applaud South Africa’s leadership. South Africa is Africa’s only economic, political and military power of significance. South Africa therefore has a leadership responsibility on the African continent,” Kikwete said.

The country is already helping to bring peace to other countries like Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, among others.

Arts and culture

During the meeting, an agreement was also signed on cooperation in the fields of arts and culture. It will promote mutual knowledge and understanding of the cultures, history and way of life in the two countries.

Zuma and Kikwete also discussed the importance of strengthening partnerships in the fields of energy, agriculture, mining, infrastructural development and water.

Important beacon

“This historic visit will go down in the annals of history as an important beacon of relations between our two nations, who will forever be bound by a history of struggle, sacrifice and common dedication to freedom, justice and the creation of a better life for all,” said President Zuma.