Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
Samia leaves for Malawi for three-day state visit
President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to leave the country today for Malawi for a three-day state visit following the invitation by the landlocked country’s President Lazarus Chakwera.
According to Malawi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, part of President Samia’s activities in the country will be attending a national worship service on Wednesday afternoon and Malawi’s 59th Independence Celebrations on July 6.
President Samia will also hold bilateral discussions with President Chakwera and visit one of the areas which were affected by Cyclone Freddy in March this year, the ministry stated.
“The state visit will consolidate the already strong Malawi-Tanzania bilateral relations based on historical ties and mutual interest to promote people’s living standards in the two countries,” it emphasised.
President Samia will arrive in Malawi today through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe and depart through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.
After Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi in March, Tanzania assisted the country with military personnel and sent 6,000 blankets, 195 tonnes of maize flour, 31 family tents and medical supplies.
While Tanzania and Malawi have been cooperating in many areas, such as agriculture and trade, the two countries have a long-standing dispute about rights to the lake between Tanzania and Malawi.
Known to Tanzanians as Lake Nyasa but as Lake Malawi to those across the border, the lake is at the centre of a boundary dispute that has simmered for decades, with Malawi threatening to escalate the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Malawi’s position is that the boundary follows the lake’s shoreline as established in clear terms by the 1890 Anglo-German Treaty.
Malawi says its position is also backed by the 1964 Cairo Resolution to freeze African territories along the borders inherited at independence from colonial powers to cement African unity. The international court upheld this view in the Frontier Dispute case between Burkina Faso and Mali.
Tanzania disagrees and relies on the tradition within international law that a median position on the lake is the boundary giving both states large parts of the lake. Examples include Lake Geneva’s median line between France and Switzerland, the Great Lakes shared between Canada and the US and Lake Chad on the borders of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
India’s FM Jaishankar visits Tanzania for four-day visit
India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar, will visit Tanzania from July 5 to July 8, 2023, as part of the world’s most populous country to strengthen ties with Tanzania.
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Dr Jaishankar will first visit Zanzibar from 05-06 July 2023, where he will visit a water supply project funded by the Government of India line of credit, call on top leadership and also attend a reception onboard Indian Naval Ship Trishul, which is visiting Tanzania.
Dr Jaishankar will thereafter visit Dar es Salaam from 07-08 July 2023, where he will co-chair the 10th India-Tanzania Joint Commission Meeting with his counterpart and call on the country’s top leadership, including several Cabinet rank Ministers.
“During the visit, he will meet with the members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for India and inaugurate an India-Tanzania business meeting,” the ministry said. “[He] will also address the Indian diaspora and inaugurate the bust of Swami Vivekananda in Dar es Salaam.”
India and Tanzania have traditionally enjoyed close and friendly relations, with the ministry noting that Dr Jaishankar’s visit to the East African nation will further consolidate the bilateral relations between our two countries.
Dr Jaishankar’s visit comes against the backdrop of the two countries’ finalisation of a five-year roadmap to expand bilateral defence cooperation, including infrastructure building and collaboration in military equipment and technology.
India and Tanzania have long-standing defence cooperation in trading, capacity building and equipment supply. India and Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation in 2003.
The MoU provides an over-arching framework for progressing various defence cooperation initiatives between the two countries. In recent years, India and Tanzania have cooperated in defence training in Indian institutions.
EU releases Sh140b to support Tanzania’s 2023/24 budget
The European Union has released Sh140 billion to Tanzania to support the East African country’s budget for the 2023/2024 financial year.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania Manfredo Fanti said Tuesday during the signing ceremony in the capital Dodoma that the disbursement of the money to the national budget is a witness to our close communication.
He said the money is a part of the different EU grant support budget operations that was put together with the Govt of Tanzania for 2021 to 2027, which is a total budget of Sh637 billion.
“The EU is also prepared to partner with Tanzania in strengthening the port of Dar es Salaam as the East Africa global gateway,” said Ambassador Fanti.
“Together, we could aim to unblock the ports’ full potential to drive economic growth and create a prosperous future for Tanzania and the entire East Africa region,” he added.
On June 16, 2023, Finance and Planning Minister Mwigulu Nchemba tabled the government’s Sh44.39 budget for the 2023/2024 financial year, which is a seven per cent rise compared to the Sh41.5 trillion in the ending 2022/2023 financial year.
Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is expected to collect Sh26.73 trillion in revenues, while non-tax revenue is expected to be Sh4.66 trillion. About Sh5.44 trillion would be borrowed from domestic non-concessional sources, and Sh2.1 trillion would be borrowed from external non-concessional sources.
The government’s key priorities for the coming financial year appear to be developing its mega projects that remain unfinished, which include the construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project, and revamping the national airline ATCL, to name but a few.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, called the budget support an outcome of her recent visit to Brussels, where she met and held talks with the EU President Ursula von der Leyen.
“The dispersed funds will be directed to policy reforms and sector development in the areas of blue economy finance growth, gender, green and smart city, promotion of digitalisation sector as well as improvement of rural roads,” the Head of State said.
“So far, Tanzania has received about 2.3 million euros, equal to Sh5.9 billion, as grants and a huge amount of money on loans but concession loans, not commercial loans,” Samia added.
Tanzania wants natural wealth laws not to apply to ports’ operations
The government has sent to the parliament the Written Laws (Misc Amendment) No. 2 Bill, 2023, intending to amend, among other laws, the country’s natural wealth and resources legislations so that they will not apply to the operations of multinational logistics company DP World’s operations in Tanzania.
The government seeks to amend the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act of 2017 and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and. No. 6. Re- Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act of 2017, two pieces of legislation intended to give Tanzania authorities over its natural resources.
The bill was first read in the parliament on June 28, 2023, and the Parliamentary Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs invites public opinions on the sought amendments before the bill returns to the parliament later in August.
Part IV and V of the amendment bill proposes an amendment to the said laws to ensure that the implementation of those laws does not prejudice the performance of sea, dry and lake ports in the country.
The government says the amendments aim to enable Tanzania’s ports to “operate at international level and to attract more ships and large cargo to be served by ports.”
The proposed amendments to the laws come as a huge national debate is occurring around the necessity of an inter-governmental agreement between Tanzania and Dubai allowing the latter’s DP World to operate the Dar es Salaam port.
On June 10, 2023, lawmakers unanimously endorsed the controversial deal that continues to polarise the nation, with division in opinion between its supporters and critics appearing as clear as day.
The government and the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party describe the agreement as “the best deal ever,” while activists and opposition parties describe it as “the worst.”
In the middle are religious leaders and legal experts who, while appreciating authorities’ efforts to attract investors into the country, are very clear in their analysis that if the agreement goes to implementation in its current form, Tanzania will lose more than it’ll benefit from it.
This analysis by the Tanganyika Law Society represents many recommendations that others have shared to make the deal more favourable to Tanzania, which include, among other things, doing away with provisions that prevent parties from terminating the agreement due to material breaches.
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