Tanzania, Burundi aim for stronger trade, security ties

17Jul 2021
James Kandoya
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzania, Burundi aim for stronger trade, security ties

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Burundi counterpart Évariste Ndayishimiye yesterday pledged to work together to improve trade, investment and security for speedier development of the sister countries.

The two leaders briefed reporters at State House Bujumbura in a televised event after their closed door meeting during President Samia’s first day of a two-day state visit.

Mining, manufacturing, tourism, transport along with information and communication technology (ICT) featured prominently in matters that the leaders explored in their talks, they said.

“Our two countries share a lot from proximity to security issues. If we work together we can make fast progress and improve the lives of our people,” the visiting leader declared.

Tanzania has allocated 10 hectares of land at the Kwala dry port near Kibaha in Coast Region for Burundi to put up a logistics centre for its cargo from the port of Dar es Salaam once the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) starts operating later in December, the president noted.

“We have also agreed to establish One Stop Centre at the Manyovu border post (Kigoma region) to ease the flow of cargo and people to and from our two countries,” she said, elaborating that trade between the two countries increased from 83.9bn/- to 200.1bn/- in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

Burundi transports 476,809 tonnes where 95 percent of the cargo is handled at the port of Dar es Salaam annually, with statistics from  the Tanzania Investment Centre(TIC)showing that Burundi has invested in 18 projects worth 209.4bn/-, employing over 3000  people locally, she stated.

Tanzanian companies that had invested in Burundi include the Azam Bakhresa Group of Companies and Azania Mills, she stated, noting further that Tanzania and Burundi have a number of opportunities that had not been taken up to improve trade and environment openings.

She called on the United Nations to lift economic sanction imposed on the Burundi government, so that it can improve its economic prospects, highlighting also that Tanzania will continue persuading members of the Southern Africa Development Community to accept Burundi’s membership request.

In his remarks, President Ndayishimiye said that they have also agreed to increase security cooperation to control in trans-boundary crimes and improve disaster management liaison efforts.

“We are committed to continue working together in strengthening our bilateral trade and exchanging  experience in agriculture and livestock rearing in a practicable manner,” he specified, elaborating that this will involve investments like food processing, banking services, transport and facilitating movement across borders.

The two countries have also agreed to combine efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as a trans-boundary disease, along with combating all forms of cross borders crimes, he added.

Top Stories