MINISTER for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, Dr Augustine Mahiga has underscored the need to turn the historic relations between Tanzania and South Africa into co-operation and partnership for prosperity of the two countries.
“We have enjoyed cordial and historic relations dating back to founding fathers of Tanzania’s Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
The relations should now be translated to improved economic ties. “Not only that, there is need for the two partners to pass on the heritage of this historic relations and liberation struggles to future generations in Tanzania and South Africa,” he remarked.
Dr Mahiga was speaking during a ministerial session with South African Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Ms MaiteNkoana-Mashabane, ahead of the inaugural session of Bi-National Commission (BNC), today.
The BNC is a unique forum established between two countries to allow regular exchanges at cabinetlevel on a wide range of issues, critical to them. Tanzania and South Africa agreed on the arrangement during a visit by former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete to South Africa, in Pretoria, way back in 2012, but it was yet to be put into action.
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who jetted into the country yesterday and his host President John Magufuli are today expected to witness signing of an agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in transport, bio-diversity and conservation.
Speaking at the session yesterday, the Minister said it was high time the two countries aimed higher in areas of trade, investment and interactions for common interests. “We have both recorded impressive figures in trade and investment, but we must aim higher, the existing opportunities ought to be scaled-up.
The BNC sets the stage for a properly structured modality to achieve this,” he stressed.
Dr Mahiga said the ministerial session had as well set out priorities and implementation plan for agreements to be signed today, in addition to 14 others, which were inked in the past between Dar es Salaam and Pretoria