TANZANIA and Malawi have outlined new areas of economic cooperation to spur development and strengthen bilateral relations between them.
President John Magufuli and his Malawian counterpart Dr Lazarus Chakwera yesterday outlined the cross-sector plan including mining, fisheries, agriculture and energy.
The two made a commitment to exchanging experience and sharing resources and investments to enhance growth, at a banquet for the visiting Malawian leader held at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
President Magufuli said that the Malawian president’s tour would strengthen bilateral relations, noting that it will usher in a period of great success in bilateral economic cooperation, reinforcing existing cordial relations.
On agriculture, the president said the government was ready to collaborate with Malawi as it seeks to establish cashewnut farming, one of the requests that the visiting leader made to his host.
Tanzania is ready to dispatch experts to collaborate with their counterparts in Malawi to establish cashew nut farms, he said, noting that Malawi weather is conducive for the cash crop.
He also took into account that tobacco, which is the Malawi leading export crop isn’t performing well in the world market.
On the mining industry, the host president said that Tanzania is ready to share experiences with Malawi on how the central African nation could benefit from the sector.
This remark came after Dr Chakwera said his government had abundant mineral resources but they are yet to benefit Malawians.
“We have massive experience in the minerals sector. I think we can share this with our neighbors,” he said.
He was similarly upbeat as to the steady rise in the amount of cargo transported between the two countries, now standing at 367,000 tonnes from 107,000 tonnes back in 2005.
Earlier, the Malawian president had described the visit as important for his country given the strategic position that Tanzania has with the country. It shares lake borders with Malawi and was also the main route to transport its wet and dry cargo, he pointed out.
Cooperation between the two countries was strengthening each passing day, he stated, with the two countries being members of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which has structures for cooperating in areas like politics, defence and security, economy and social spheres.
Dr Chakwera said port collaboration between Malawian ports and entry points of Mtwara and Dar es Salaam would ease the transport of goods, promoting economic growth in the two countries.
He also pointed at the need to set up a ‘One-Stop Centre’ at border popints to increase economic opportunities, noting further that Malawi intends to take a leaf from Tanzania on best ways of collecting revenues.
Dr Chakwera asked the Malawian and Tanzanian business communities need to form partnerships so as to benefit from business opportunities available in the two countries.
He further appealed to the Tanzanian government to provide support in the work being conducted to create the right systems to increase revenue collection.
“We want to learn from Tanzania on how to supervise our projects so that we do not depend on other countries, and Tanzania is exemplary in that regard,” the visiting leader declared.
Economic cooperation will also help to promote tourism in the two countries, he said, at the start of a three day visit that will take him to the port of Dar es Salaam and a key facility, the Malawi Cargo Centre and Logistics Ltd, which handles over 90 percent of Malawi’s cargo traffic. Since taking the reins of office, Dr Chakwera, an ordained Pentecostal priest, has been to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique on one-day working visits, before making a first three-day state visit to Tanzania.
President Magufuli made a two-day state visit to Malawi starting April 24, and on July 6, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan took part in the inauguration of Dr Chakwera as the sixth president of the Republic of Malawi, officials noted.