News Investigators/ Tanzania will continue to partner with Nigeria in economic diplomacy, its High Commissioner in Nigeria, Benson Bana, said in Abuja on Tuesday.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Tanzania-Nigeria Tourism, Investment and Trade (TN-TIT) forum, the envoy said his country’s decision was to enhance the bilateral objectives of the two nations.
The forum held on May 4 in Abuja and would hold in Lagos on May 6.
Dr. Bana said the death of Tanzania’s former leader, John Magufuli, on March 17 necessitated the shifting of the forum from its earlier scheduled date of March 23.
“The forum has become important because of the need for international engagement in contemporary diplomatic relations to deepen economic, cultural and political ties.
“Diplomatic relations hinged on business-to-business and people-to-people imperatives are more sustainable than merely relying on political engagements.
“It is on this background that Tanzania, way back in 2004 decided to implement economic diplomacy as a strategy, which to some extent is the oxygen of Tanzania’s foreign policy.
“Today, TN-TIT forum is, but one of the initiatives that the Tanzanian High Commission and Nigeria have employed to deliver the objectives for Tanzania’s economic diplomatic policies.
“Today’s forum, which physically and virtually brings stakeholders across investment, trade and tourism sectors is expected to achieve mutually beneficial objectives and deepen Tanzania-Nigeria bilateral relations that dates back to the 1960s,’’ the envoy said.
In keynote address, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), urged the High Commission to continue to pursue Magufuli’s vision.
She said that the forum was apt to create prospective investments from Nigeria in areas of tourism, investment and finance as strategic pursuits in line with Magufuli’s vision for Tanzania.
“Nigeria-Tanzania bilateral relations remained cordial because the two countries have worked closely with each other in the framework of the African Union to promote African development.
“Nigeria and Tanzania worked together in the G-77 and the South-South Cooperation. The gradual development of our economies and our private sectors has, of course, improved.
“This is why I am delighted that we are now paying attention to what we can do through our chambers of commerce to improve economic and trade ties,’’ Aliyu said.
Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liberata Mulamula, who spoke over the internet, assured that Tanzania would create an environment conducive for local and foreign investors to invest in the country.
“We are meeting virtually at a time when the African continent and the world at large are facing unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has caused human suffering and crippled our economies.
“The devastation of humanity calls for joint efforts amongst leaders in the development community as one family to contain the diverse challenges brought by this pandemic.
“It is in this regard that I commend this initiative taken by our mission in Abuja, on bringing our communities together to adapt to the new reality brought by COVID-19,’’Mulamula said.
The forum in Abuja was attended by members of the National Assembly, those of the diplomatic community and captains of industry. (NAN)