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Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa has
urged SADC to cut dependence on Donor Funding

by Lucas Liganga DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa on Thursday urged the 16 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to cut dependence on foreign donor funding for investment and project implementation.

"Development partners have been helpful. But we tend to depend too much on them," said Mkapa in his keynote address at a public lecture on deepening integration in SADC.

"We must proactively drop the bucket where we are," he told his audience at the public lecture jointly organized by the SADC secretariat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, and UONGOZI Institute, a state-run institute supporting African leaders to attain sustainable development for their nations and for Africa.

He urged SADC governments to raise more revenue for development by strict collection of taxes and pursuing tax evaders, and corrupt people engaging in illicit money transfers across borders and continents.

"Additionally national financial institutions such as pension funds should be encouraged to partner across borders. Not enough attention is given to this prospectus," observed Mkapa who ruled Tanzania between 1995 and 2005.

He said the second obstacle impeding development and integration in the southern African bloc was ignorance about its mission.

"There is little knowledge by ordinary citizens about the impact of the SADC mission and vision upon their lives," he said.

Mkapa said like the former Organization of African Unity, now the African Union, SADC was perceived as being owned by the political elites and the national bureaucrats who held annual talk shops.

"More effort needs to explain the goings on in the SADC and to elicit the people’s sense of ownership of their organization," said Mkapa.

The former leader said it was only by turning around and improving the social economic fortunes of the people that SADC can make a real difference.


Tanzanian President John Magufuli urges South Africa to increase investments

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli has urged his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa to mobilize his businessmen to increase their investments in the east African nation, said a statement on Thursday.

"Tanzania has determined to boost cooperation with South Africa in various economic spheres," Magufuli was quoted by the statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House.

The statement said the Tanzanian leader made the appeal for more investments from South Africa during talks with President Ramaphosa of his three-day state visit.

Magufuli said he extended the invitation to South African investors because the country has advanced industrial technology which could help Tanzania to achieve its industrialization drive aimed at attaining a middle class status by 2025, said the statement.

"South African investors are capable of putting up industries for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and minerals processing and Tanzania was readily prepared to offer any assistance they needed," said the president.

Magufuli also urged the South African leader to strengthen cooperation on tourism, saying South Africa has vast experience in the tourism industry as it received 10 million tourists annually compared to Tanzania that received a paltry 1.5 million tourists yearly.

Magufuli said South Africa was leading in doing trade with Tanzania compared to other member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

He said 70 percent of goods produced in Tanzania for the SADC market found their market in South Africa, adding that trade between the two countries continued to grow.

Magufuli said trade volume between the two countries was 2.68 trillion Tanzanian shillings (about 1.16 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018 from 2.52 trillion shillings recorded in 2017.

For his part, Ramaphosa said there were 228 South African companies in Tanzania employing 21,000 people, promising to bring more investors to Tanzania as he urged Tanzanian investors to reciprocate by going to invest in his country.

He commended Tanzania for producing surplus food, saying South Africa will continue buying food from the east African nation.

On Saturday, Ramaphosa will join other 15 leaders from the 16-member states SADC to attend the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government that will run for two days.

Southern Africa bloc adopts Kiswahili as official language: official

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania ( Xinhua) -- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers has adopted Kiswahili as the bloc’s official language, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Palamagamba Kabudi, the chairman of the SADC Council of Ministers and Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, said the Council adopted the use of Kiswahili during their two-day meeting in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

"By adopting Kiswahili as an official language for SADC, the regional bloc has honored Tanzania’s founding President Julius Nyerere, the doyen of the southern African liberation struggle," Kabudi said.

He added that Kiswahili deserved recognition as it was the language used during the southern African liberation struggle by freedom fighters who were sheltered in Tanzania.

Kabudi took over the SADC Council of Ministers chairmanship on Tuesday from Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

The SADC Council of Ministers held its meeting ahead of the 39th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held between Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.

The council consists of designated ministers, mostly ministers responsible for foreign and external affairs.

The council oversees the functioning and development of SADC and implementation of policies and programmes, and advises the SADC summit on matters of overall policy, including the efficient and harmonious functioning of the institution.

The council meets at least two times a year.


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