In his African tour visiting Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad, and Gabon, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El- Sisi arrived in Tanzania’s capital on Monday for a two-day working visit. Tanzania’s President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli greeted the president at the airport. The visit by President El-Sisi represents an important step towards strengthening the strategic relations between Egypt and the African countries, on both political and economic fronts. In his speech at the State House in Dar es Salaam,
President El-Sisi invited President John Magufuli to Cairo, stressing the need to bolster economic and diplomatic ties between the two nations. On the other hand, President Magufuli noted “Your visit has cemented the good relations existing between our two nations since the era of our founders Mwalimu Nyerere and President Gamal Abdel Nasse. Tanzania is among 11 members of the Nile Basin.
At the joint press conference at the State House in Dar es Salaam, President Magufuli affirmed the government’s readiness to revive the talks to find the best way for all member states to benefit from the Nile. “We talked about River Nile and engagement of other countries in a win-win situation". The economic ties that Bind Egypt and its African neighbours besides proximity is the framework of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the “Continental Free Trade Area” (CFTA) between the three regional blocs– Comesa, East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Economic relations was high on the agenda during the two leaders’ meeting at the State House; as Egypt gives top priority to developing economic relations within the African continent. Egypt has in place an ambitious strategy to promote trade and investment relations with the African markets, as they are the most promising markets for developing bilateral cooperation.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has opened five new commercial offices in Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Djibouti and Ivory Coast, in addition to establishment of a logistics centre in Kenya to facilitate the movement of trade between Egypt and East Africa. Trade volume between Tanzania and Egypt stands at 78 million US dollars, with Egyptian companies’ over about $900 million investments creating around a thousand jobs for Tanzanians.
The two countries have agreed to increase trade, with Egypt expressing interest to construct a meat processing factory in the country for slaughtering, packaging and shipping meat to Egypt and other export markets, a pharmaceutical factory to manufacture high quality drugs at affordable prices.
This is in addition to, increasing support beyond the current health sector cooperation, through developing the cooperation of Muhimbili National Hospital(MNH) and Mnazi Mmoja hospital with El Shatby hospital under Alexandria University in Egypt, to particularly enable MNH to start performing kidney surgeries before 2020. Other areas of cooperation have been also discussed including irrigation farming, industrialisation and hydropower generation, education, security and tourism (Egypt Air and Air Tanzania are set to cooperate to boost tourism in the country).