It was important for the countries of Africa to work together to achieve the developmental goals they were all striving for, President Jacob Zuma said during a recent visit to Tanzania.
President Jacob Zuma believes Tanzania’s history of support during the apartheid years must serve as inspiration as South Africa and Tanzania face the challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty in both countries.
He was speaking at a recent State Banquet hosted by Tanzanian President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam. President Zuma added that South Africa and Tanzania needed to strengthen the ties between them, to improve intra-African trade.
“For the changing Africa which Mwalimu (Mwalimu Julius Nyerere) spoke about to achieve the developmental goals and objectives we are all striving for, we have no choice, absolutely no choice but to work together.”
During the visit President Zuma and President Magufuli reviewed and discussed ways to strengthen existing economic relationships between the two countries.
The softening of border controls and barriers to trade would help implement the African Union Agenda 2063 and create inclusive growth on the continent.
Speaking to media before his return to South Africa, President Zuma said: “We are very content with the outcomes of the visit as we openly discussed and agreed on various issues, particularly economic cooperation including private sector investments, infrastructure development, agroprocessing, beneficiation as well as trade and investment.”
Opportunities for public and private sector
During the visit President Zuma addressed the South Africa-Tanzania Business Forum. The business association is made up of public and private sector enterprises and works to find projects that are mutually beneficial to both countries.
“We had a successful engagement with business from both countries. We have agreed to invest in energy and infrastructure, among other priorities, to address the economic development challenges and remove trade barriers in order to facilitate intra-Africa trade and regional integration.”
At the same meeting President Magufuli invited South African state-owned enterprises and the private sector to find opportunities in the major infrastructure projects his new administration was planning.
Most important of those is the railway projects that connect all the countries of the Great Lakes region.
Peace and security
A united Africa promised not only economic growth but was also the best way for the continent to ensure a peaceful and stable future for all.
Tanzania’s position makes the country unique, as both a member of Southern African Development Community and of the East African Community. On issues of peace and stability, President Magufuli is able to share and shape the visions of both organisations.
President Zuma ended his remarks with a quote from OR Tambo: “Tanzania has always been at the heart of initiatives and collective efforts directed at consolidating and expanding united action and cooperation in every field of sub-regional, regional and continental endeavour.”.