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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tanzania: Dar, Lusaka Ponder 'Super Pacts' As Lungu Due in Dar!

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu

By Katare Mbashiru.

Tanzania and Zambia plan to sign several ambitious agreements that aim at strengthening bilateral diplomatic ties as well as trade and investment cooperation between the two countries during the visit by President Edgar Lungu.

The envisaged agreements include the opening of a new route between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka by Air Tanzania.

Mr Lungu is expected to arrive in the country on Sunday for a two-day state visit on an invitation by President John Magufuli.

The visit by the Zambia leader comes just a few days after the meeting of the recent session of a Joint Permanent Commission (JPC), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, told a media conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Tanzania's High Commissioner to Zambia, Ms Grace Mwijuma, said the recent JPC meeting agreed that the two countries should extend ties in other trade and investment sectors, insisting that Zambia was a strategic neighbour.

She noted that the two countries agreed to work together in the transport sector, immigration and prison departments, among others.

According to her, President Magufuli and his Zambian counterpart are on Monday expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in various trade and investment sectors.

"Our ministers are expected to sign an agreement on behalf of the two heads of state regarding collaboration in the aviation sector whereas Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) planes will establish a route between Dar es Salaam to Lusaka," she said.

The envoy further said that the two leaders will sign another MoU on political and diplomatic consultations. With that agreement, she said, leaders from both countries can meet anytime to deliberate on issues of diplomacy and politics when they arise.

On immigration and prison departments, Ms Mwijuma said there were several immigration issues that needed strong cooperation between Tanzania and Zambia, adding that the two countries have already agreed to look into the possibility of exchanging prisoners.

Tanzania and Zambia have also agreed to establish a simplified joint trade regime.

"We have many Tanzanian businesspeople in Zambia and also many Zambian businesspeople in Dar es Salaam. Therefore, we agreed that we extend our ties on this area," said Ms Mwijuma, expressing optimism that President Lungu's visit will be of greater advantage to the country.


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