President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania has called for increased security cooperation and trade with South Africa.
Tanzania’s first female president, Hassan, met South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Thursday, where her Cabinet ministers discussed trade opportunities and potential agreements with their South African counterparts.
This is Hassan’s first official visit to South Africa since becoming Tanzania’s president after the death of her predecessor, John Magufuli, in 2021.
“We have agreed to strengthen our cooperation in trade and investment, given that South Africa is one of Tanzania’s main sources of direct foreign investment,” Hassan said. She went on to say that tourism and manufacturing are the top investment sectors.
According to Ramaphosa, trade volumes between Tanzania and South Africa have increased but could be improved further.
“Promoting trade and investment between our two countries is an important aspect of our bilateral cooperation,” Ramaphosa said. “President Hassan and I will be attending the South Africa-Tanzania Business Forum later today, which will bring together businesspeople from both countries.”
Agriculture and agro-processing, oil and gas, mining, and infrastructure development are among the industries being discussed at the business forum, according to him.
The two leaders also emphasised their countries’ long history of cooperation dating back to the anti-colonial struggle.
Many South African anti-apartheid activists who fled the country to escape the repressive white minority government or to join the African National Congress’s underground armed movement found refuge and military training in Tanzania.
Among the global challenges, the leaders highlighted the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on African nations, including the disruption of agricultural-related products such as fertilisers, which has exacerbated the continent’s food security problems.
Hassan will host US Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to Africa at the end of March, as the US continues its outreach to African countries.
Harris’ trip to Africa comes after visits by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, first lady Jill Biden, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In the face of competition from China and Russia, all have encouraged stronger US ties with African nations.