In a statement availed to the media yesterday, the position officially given to the foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi and was received on his behalf by the deputy minister Dr. Damas Ndumbaro during the emergence meeting of council of ministers held on July 28, this year.
Tanzania becomes the president of the council after the ambassador of Tanzania in Belgium Jestas Nyamanga having been elected the chairman of the OACPS diplomats based in Brussels.
As per OACPS, the county which its envoys becomes chairman of the union, then its Foreign Affairs minister directly becomes the President of the Cabinet.
The decision to elect Tanzania was made by ambassadors from 15 countries in the Eastern Africa Region at a meeting held on July 2, 2020 and later approved by all the ambassadors of 79 ambassadors from the OACPS countries through their meeting held in Brussels on July 14, this year.
Tanzania, which is taking over the position from Gambia, is committed to implementing various issues of interest to OACPS Countries, including overseeing the finalization of negotiations on the new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement which is expected to take effect in January 2021 after of the current Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in December 2020.
Tanzania is also well prepared to ensure the interests of OACPS countries are included in the new agreement.
In addition, Tanzania is committed to implement various strategies of the community in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic and its adverse economic impacts in the member countries.
“Other priority areas which Tanzania will invest its efforts include to increase integration and cooperation among member states of the community; overseeing operational and system changes to align with the time changes as well as maintaining solidarity and unity among the member states,” read part of the statement.
Also among the benefits which Tanzania will get of being the president of the council is to increase the influence of our country in planning and implementing various strategies, projects and programmes of the OACPS including those implemented in collaboration with the European Union and other development partners such as agriculture, investment, trade and entrepreneurship, environment, infrastructure, youth and culture.
This is the third time for Tanzania to lead the council ministers’ position since it joined in 1975.
Other reasons that led to Tanzania be elected to lead the position is due to the increase in its influence on the OACPS Community, Policies and solid steps taken by President John Magufuli in supervising various national and international issues as well as effective performance of the ministry of foreign affairs in overseeing Foreign Policy.
This includes Tanzania’s active participation in issues affecting the interests of OACPS member states.
The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly known as the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975.
It is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all, save Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, or the “ACP-EC Partnership Agreement”, which binds them to the European Union. The OACPS comprises 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.
Some of the main objectives of the OACPS include sustainable development of its Member-States and their gradual integration into the global economy, which entails making poverty reduction a matter of priority and establishing a new, fairer, and more equitable world order.
Others are coordination of the activities of the ACP Group in the framework of the implementation of ACP-EC Partnership Agreements; consolidation of unity and solidarity among ACP States, as well as understanding among their peoples and establishment and strengthening of peace and stability in a free and democratic society.