TANZANIA yesterday appealed for South African support towards accessing soft loans from the BRICS development bank for construction of the standard gauge central railway network.
President John Magufuli made the request in Dar es Salaam during his meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma who arrived in the country on Wednesday evening for a twoday state visit.
South Africa is the only African country in the five developed economies that form the BRICS grouping, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Dr Magufuli told his guest that Tanzania was determined to undertake the ambitious railway project to facilitate smooth transportation of passengers and goods to eventually boost the economy.
“The soft loan will enable us to undertake some of the phases in the envisaged project as we aim at middle income economy by 2025,” Dr Magufuli told reporters after his closed-door meeting with Zuma.
He added; “Tanzania sacrificed a lot during the liberation struggles in the Southern Africa and I have asked President Zuma to reciprocate by using his influence in BRICS to enable us access the soft loan.”
The signing of agreements on cooperation in transport, bio-diversity and conservation and the inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and Tanzania were among the activities performed yesterday.
President Magufuli pointed further that Tanzania has a lot to learn from achievements recorded by South Africa, a country which, “we played a crucial role to support its liberation struggles to end the minority white dominated rule during the apartheid era.”
Dr Magufuli revealed that the two states had agreed to co-operate on the sectors of energy, tourism, trade, investment, technology, security and health, among others.
“I am as well requesting you to help us to boost the number of tourists from South Africa to Tanzania; the government assures the back-packers of hospitality during their stay,” Dr Magufuli told the visiting South African President.
Upon arrival at the State House yesterday morning, President Zuma was accorded the 21-gun salute before he proceeded to inspect a guard of honour mounted by members of Tanzania’s defence and security forces.
The delegation of President Zuma, who left the country yesterday evening, included six cabinet ministers, government officials and over 80 businesspeople.
Dr Magufuli as well convinced South African investors to invest in tourism and hospitality industry in Tanzania, boasting of the country’s vast tourists’ attractions. During discussions between the two leaders, President Magufuli said South Africa had agreed to train
Tanzanian pilots and Tanzania will send to South Africa, on exchange programme, Kiswahili language instructors to promote the language in Africa’s economic giant.
Tanzania and South Africa are both members of the South African Development Community (SADC), which President Zuma chairs, with Dr Magufuli chairing the SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, referred to as SADC Troika.
“I am equally glad to South Africa for backing appointment of a Tanzanian, Dr Stergomena Tax as the Executive Secretary of SADC secretariat,” Dr Magufuli said.