Why the president of Tanzania visited Egypt

Tanzanian president, Samia Hassan 

Many gains were achieved by the visit of the president of Tanzania to Egypt, writes Ahmad Abdul-Rahman

Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu Hassan's visit to Egypt on November 10 has affirmed the strength and importance of Egyptian-Tanzanian relations. Experts and diplomats stressed that the relations between Egypt and Tanzania have been very strong for decades and the visit represents a strong boost to the relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Salah Halima, who is also vice-president of the Egyptian Council for African Affairs, said that the visit of the president of Tanzania to Egypt is of special significance as it is the first visit since Hassan assumed this position. This visit represents a strong boost to the relationship between the two countries, especially since it involved the discussion of many issues, most notably the building of military capabilities and the topic of water resources. This visit is also important because Africa is witnessing developments in the Horn and the Sahel  requires concerted efforts to combat terrorism.

Water resources file

During the visit, there was considerable interest in the issues related to water resources, especially because Tanzania is one of the Nile basin countries. Egypt presented a model for cooperation with African countries to build the new Tanzanian dam, and thus there was interest in the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and an emphasis on reaching a binding agreement on filling and operating it.

There was also interest in infrastructure, such as projects with electricity and roads, and there was interest in the agricultural sector and livestock. There will be intensive cooperation between the two countries in these areas. During the visit, leaders of the two countries discussed the corona pandemic and what Egypt can do to help provide vaccines and build health capacity.

Ramy Zohdy, an expert on African affairs, also stressed that Egyptian-Tanzanian relations are excellent and long-term. There has been cooperation between the two countries for many years.

Helping the liberation movements

Relations between Egypt and Tanzania are very old, most notably the Egyptian role in helping the liberation movements that existed in Tanzania and Zanzibar in the 1960s. Egypt hosted all the African liberation movements and all the Tanzanian leaders were present in Egypt at that time. Moreover, Egypt also used to stand with Tanzania in supporting liberation movements in Africa.

There was also a strong relationship between the Tanzanian president and the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser on all fronts, including politically, economically and intellectually. With the formation of the union of Tanzania in 1964, Egypt was keen to develop relations with Tanzania.

Mama Tanzania

The historical relations between the two countries have continued. The Tanzanian president is of Zanzibari Muslim origin and has a very strong political background. She is also a conciliatory figure, and has achieved great economic success in her country where they call her "Mama Tanzania". Furthermore, Tanzania is a major country in the African Union.

In the same way that Egypt has participated in supporting African liberation movements, it is now participating in supporting development projects in Africa. An example is the cooperation between Egypt and Tanzania regarding its financial support in terms of construction projects. projects across all sectors.

In August 2017, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi,  visited Tanzania, which was the first visit by an Egyptian president in 50 years. This visit was pivotal. A cornerstone was laid, setting a new framework for relations between Egypt and Tanzania, which became much stronger since then.

It can also be said that the current visit of the Tanzanian president to Egypt solidifies the efforts of the two leaders. Egypt gives full support to help capacity building in Tanzania and to increase cooperation between the countries of the African continent across various fields.

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Thursday, 09 December 2021