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Progressive Leader - Issue 6 - Focus on BRICS
14 April 2012
A PBF delegation of 27 business people, headed by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Mathume Phaahla, and the PBF Co-Convenor, Renier Schoeman, has returned from a four day visit to Tanzania.
The group met with a number of senior officials of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party, including its Secretary General, Mr Wilson Makuma. The CCM is a sister Party of the ANC led by President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. The group also met the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, senior members of Parliament, the Mayor, the Hon Didas Masaburi, and Executive Committee of Dar es Salaam.
The visit was used by expose the South Africans and Tanzanians to the potential strengthening of economic links and two-way trade between both countries.
The delegation was strongly supported throughout the visit by the South African High Commissioner to Tanzania, HE Mr Chiliza, and the Tanzanian High Commissioner to South Africa, Radhia Msuya, who was a key roleplayer in the planning of the visit and who travelled to Tanzania especially to accompany the delegation to all its meetings.
A trade seminar in Dar es Salaam was co-hosted by the PBF and the Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and addressed by its President Mr Mwamanga and its Executive Director, Mr Daniel Machemba, who gave a business presentation, as did Mr John Mnali, of the Tanzania Investment Corporation.
DEPUTY MINISTER PHAAHLA
In his speech, which was widely reported in the Tanzanian media, Deputy Minister Phaahla said inter alia, the following:
“I am delighted to be here and bring warm fraternal greetings from the African National Congress and the people of South Africa to members of Chama Cha Mapinduzi and the people of Tanzania.
We will always remember the great help that Tanzania had provided us during our days in need, during our struggle for democracy. Tanzania became home to many of us and we still hold this country dear to us.
The African National Congress is celebrating its centenary year this year as the oldest Liberation Movement in Africa. We therefore want to take this opportunity to thank all the countries that assisted us and to build closer relations with you. We thank Chama Cha Mapindizi for the role you played in making us feel at home in Tanzania.
There are more than 120 South Africa companies investing in Tanzania since 1990. South African investments in Tanzania span a range of sectors from agriculture, commercial buildings, telecommunications and advertising, financial sector, transportation, manufacturing, natural resources, mining and petroleum, as well as tourism infrastructure and services.
In Tanzania, the (South African) Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) was instrumental in reviving the only tanzanite deposit found in the world and currently holds a 22.8% shareholding in the operating company, African Gem Resources Ltd. The Corporation has also approved a loan facility for the expansion and diversification of a manufacturing concern. Two agro-processing projects, a health resort and an infrastructure project are also currently under consideration. In Kenya, the IDC is looking to provide finance for a project to produce an affordable anti-malarial treatment for the African market, with a portion of this project also being rooted in neighbouring Tanzania.
With the Spatial Development Initiative Programme and as per agreement, the first phase of the Mtwara Development Corridor (MtwDC) is complete and the managing of the MtwDC has been handed over to Tanzania’s National Development Corporation. The South African Department of Trade and Industry Spatial Development Initiative unit will continue to offer support to the Tanzanian National Development Corporation (NDC) for the success of the corridor.
As the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture I am glad to inform you that we have signed a Cultural Agreement last year and are working closely on the African liberation Heritage Route. We will be signing a Programme of Co-operation here in Tanzania in the next few months identifying areas of collaboration in the next three years. We have plans to host a SOMAFCO Festival (Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College) in June. We will also build a Wall of Remembrance at SOMAFCO for all the comrades we had lost here.
Cultural exchanges will certainly allow for a greater understanding between our countries and bring us closer especially because of our historic links and also as we are part of the Southern African Development Co-operation bloc. I want to re-iterate that a dream that we have all cherished can become reality when we form intra-African trading partnerships and realize the dream of an integrated Africa.
Asantene na Karibuni Afrika Kusini. (Thank you and Welcome to South Africa)
The Vice Minister of Industry and Trade of Tanzania, Dr Mgimwa, also spoke and encouraged the West to support the trade efforts of the Tanzanian government.
ECONOMIC CONTENT TO LINKS
In his remarks to the seminar, attended by about 100 business people and a large media contingent, Renier Schoeman stressed the importance of giving greater economic content to the longstanding relations between South Africa and Tanzania. He also confirmed that an agreement had been reached between the ANC’s PBF and the Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, to sign a memorandum of Understanding on future cooperation and collaboration in the near future.
In his vote of thanks on behalf of the delegates, South African businessman, Zemani Letjane, CEO of Akafin Retirement Fund thanked the government, the CCM, the Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and all concerned for according the delegation such a warm reception on all fronts. He also thanked the two High Commissioners for their support and singled out Deputy Minister Phaahla for his intense engagement in the visit. He praised the PBF for keeping its earlier promise to bring a delegation to Tanzania by March 2012, which had been noted with appreciation by the Tanzanian hosts.
Outside of the business program, two highlights of the visit of the delegation were:
VISIT TO CCM HEAD OFFICE
The visit of the delegation to the Head Office of the ANC sister Party, the CCM, where the delegation was received by its Vice Chair Pius Masekwa, the Secretary-General of the CCM, Mr Wilson Makuma and Mr January Makamba MP, who also addressed the welcome breakfast, and a large number of CCM officials. In response to the warm welcome remarks by the Secretary-General, Deputy Minister Phaahla conveyed fraternal greetings from the ANC and presented a copy of the ANC centenary publication “UNITY AND DIVERSITY – 100 Years of Leadership 1912 – 2012” to the CCM Head Office as well as a copy for the CCM President.
The first copy of the booklet “The ANC in Morogoro – A home in exile”, published by the PBF to commemorate the visit, falling as it does in the ANC centenary year, was also handed over.
All members of the delegation were given brightly coloured golf caps with CCM branding, evoking much comment when worn on the street.
VISIT TO MOROGORO AND ANC CAMP
The second non business event was the day-excursion to the former ANC camp at Mazimbu, near Morogoro, where the delegation visited the site of the school established by the ANC in exile in the mid 1970s and the site of the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO) which is today the Sokoine University of Agriculture. The delegation was received by the Director of the facilities as well as the principal of the University. The delegation also visited the grave site nearby, and in a deeply moving ceremony, laid wreaths for those former ANC comrades and their families who had passed away while staying at Morogoro.
ANC Progressive Business Forum
African National Congress
Renier Schoeman 083 251 4045