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Tanzania to join Big Cat and Global Biofuels Alliances after President Suluhu's meet with PM Modi

The leaders announced the elevation of India-Tanzania ties to a 'strategic relationship'. A number of MoUs were signed after Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu's meeting with PM Narendra Modi, including cooperation in maritime energy, sports and cultural exchange programmes.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: October 09, 2023 17:17 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tanzanian President Samia
Image Source : PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is currently on a three-day bilateral visit to India, conveyed approval to join flagship Indian programmes like the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) and the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) on the sidelines of a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After her meeting with PM Modi, Suluhu announced the elevation of India-Tanzania relations to strategic partnership and 1,000 additional Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) slots given to Tanzania to be used in the fields of smart ports, space, biotechnology and more in a five-year period.

The number of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarships in Tanzania will also be increased from 70 to 85 per year. Tanzania also conveyed support to India's non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 2028.

Both countries also agreed to initiate a policy planning dialogue between their foreign ministries and signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) bolstering cooperation in sharing digital solutions, white shipping information, cultural exchange programmes, sports, setting up an industrial park and maritime industry.

In a press briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (ER) Dammu Ravi said, "India-Tanzanian relations have registered good progress in recent times which is why today's visit is very significant that both sides have agreed to elevate the relationship to that of a strategic partnership."

He said that both sides are exploring new areas of cooperation, including trade in local currencies and also the proposal to set up an Indian industrial park in Tanzania and provide vocational training facilities for Tanzanian youth.

India is Tanzania's third-largest trading partner: Suluhu

The Tanzanian President on Monday noted that both countries continue to grow in terms of trade and investment and that India has become the third-largest trading partner of the African country.

"On trade and investment, the numbers are satisfying. We are growing. In investment Indian investors in Tanzania, the number is growing. The value of the projects is growing as well. On trade volumes, the numbers are growing. As we're speaking up to 2022, our figures were USD 3.1 billion. So this makes India the third largest trading partner in Tanzania and the fifth largest investor in our country," she said.

Suluhu also likened India to "an extended family member" and lauded PM Modi for hosting a successful G20 Summit in New Delhi. She also expressed gratitude to the Indian government for providing support in socio-economic endeavours. 

"We are aware of the coming India-Africa Summit and Tanzania has pledged that we'll be participating fully in this summit and we are ready to play the role that will be required to play to make the summit successful," she added.

Ahead of her bilateral meeting with PM Modi, Suluhu was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony.

PM Modi calls Tanzania the 'closest development partner' of India in Africa

While addressing the MoU exchange programme, PM Modi said, "Today is a historic day in the relations between India and Tanzania. Today we are turning our age-old friendship into a Strategic Partnership."

The Prime Minister said that Tanzania is India's "largest and closest development partner" of India in Africa, while announcing that Tanzania has decided to join the GBA programme launched during the G20 Summit.

He further said that both countries have decided to increase mutual cooperation in counter-terrorism and people-to-people ties. "Technology is the biggest pillar for the path of development between India and Tanzania," he added.

Notably, an IIT Madras centre was set up in Zanzibar after an MoU signed on July 4 between the Ministry of Education (MoE), the central government, IIT Madras and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) Zanzibar-Tanzania.

Notably, the Tanzanian President began a four-day visit to India with an aim to bolster bilateral relations on Sunday. The presidential visit from Tanzania to India is taking place after a span of more than eight years.

(with agency inputs)

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