- Samia Suluhu is expected to attend the One Ocean Summit and the Heads of State Conference
- Samia Suluhu and her host French President Emmanuel Macron, are also expected to witness the signing of various agreements between Tanzanian and France
- The three-day summit discusses ocean safety and actions against the threats to the water bodies
President Samia Suluhu Hassan is in France for a state visit after which, Tanzania’s first female President will head on to Belgium.
While in France, the President is expected to attend the One Ocean Summit and the Heads of State Conference to among other things, discuss global marine resources. The President and her host French President Emmanuel Macron, are also expected to witness the signing of various agreements between Tanzanian and France.
According to a Presidential communiqué, the agreements to be signed focus on development projects, cooperation in the blue economy, maritime security, the transport sector and overall sustainable development.
While in France, President Samia attended the One Ocean Summit in Brest. The three-day summit discusses ocean safety and actions against the threats to the ocean. Among other things, initiatives launched at the summit aim to protect the marine ecosystem and develop sustainable fisheries.
The initiatives seek to fight pollution particularly from plastics as well as to respond to the impacts of climate change and to advocate for improved governance of oceans.
This State Visit follows last year’s visit to Tanzania by French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, who visited the East African economic hub in October 2021.
During his visit, the delegate, who is attached to the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, met with the Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania Hon. Philip Mpango.
Riester, who was accompanied by a French business delegation inaugurated the first direct Air France flight between Paris and the airport in Zanzibar in 1974. He also launched what is dubbed the Transport Task Force and Business France team in Tanzania.
Riester’s visit was in line with the ongoing French effort to strengthen bilateral relations with Tanzania. It also followed an earlier visit to France by the Tanzanian President back in May 2021 the summit on May 18 when she participated at the financing African economies summit in Paris.
The meeting, on the sidelines of the Tanzanian Vice-President’s participation in the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, provided an opportunity to discuss the main issues in the bilateral relationship, economic cooperation between our two countries and development aid priorities in Tanzania, as well as the prospects for cooperation in new fields, like climate change and protecting biodiversity.
Preceding both visits, was an earlier visit to France by John Kabudi, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation who was hosted by his French counterpart, Jean-Yves le Drian, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs back in February of last year.
The visit served as an endorsement of the bilateral relationship between France and Tanzania. During the meeting, the minister underscored the importance of Tanzania’s role in East Africa, notably with respect to regional integration and the fight against terrorism.
The delegates also discussed economic and political reforms that are underway in Tanzania as well as relations between the EU and Tanzania and prospects for the resumption of dialogue between the two parties.
Among other notable topics that were deliberated during that visit is the political situation in the Great Lakes Region, specifically Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile whose waters remain a topic of discourse between Egypt and countries at the source.
French Investment in Tanzania
Notably, France, through the Agence Française de Développement has been increasing its commitments in Tanzania that average €50 million per year. This support has been mainly directed to the areas of water and energy, transport infrastructure, urban development and private sector development.
However, when it comes to trade, France is, shall we say ‘a modest trading partner’ with exports falling to €127 million in 2016 from a high of Exports of €160 million just the year before.
While almost two-thirds of French exports to Tanzania are pharmaceuticals, the latter exports mostly agricultural, silvicultural, fishery and aquaculture products to France. Similarly, French investment in Tanzania also remains modest. With about 40 companies investing in Tanzania, French FDI to Tanzania is estimated at €23.6 million (2015).
Belgium – Tanzania Economic Relations
After her visit to France, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan will head on to Belgium for yet another State Visit. Tanzania is a partner country of the Belgian Development Cooperation and over the past 10 years, Belgium has notably ranked 15th bilateral donor to Tanzania based on average the period 2010-2019.
Most recently, Belgian Official Development Aid to Tanzania has averaged about €11 million per year. direct bilateral governmental aid is implemented by the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel. Through this arm, Belgium is currently implementing two projects, in Tanzania, notably the Sustainable Agriculture Kigoma Regional Project and the Water and Sanitation Kigoma Regional Project that both have a total value of €20 million.
As for indirect aid in Tanzania Belgium works mainly through non-governmental organizations covering different thematic areas. Through these organizations, Belgium has extended Tanzania funding totalling around €21 million over the course of the last five years alone.
Further still, through the Trade for Development Centre and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), Belgium also supports the development of the private sector in Tanzania, through training and various types of investments as well as grants and loans.
President of Africa’s Largest Lender AfDB Visits Tanzania
This strategic State Visit comes only a day after the African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina began his three-day official visit to Tanzania. This visit by the head of the Bank is seen as a clear sign of ongoing support by the continent’s largest lender to the country.
Before her departure, President Samia welcomed and hosted the Bank Group chief and together laid the foundation stone for a 112.3 km Dodoma City Outer Ring Road, a project that is co-financed by the Bank.
The Bank’s Board approved $214.69 million in funding for the project last year with the Bank Group financing 64% of the project or $137.3 million.
On its part, the government of Tanzania’s contribution to the project is US
$34.5 million, while an additional $41.8 million is derived from the Africa Growing Together Fund that is financed by the People’s Bank of China.