Tanzania: Romanian President Visit – Why It Holds Great Promise

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis left the country on Sunday, leaving behind yet another mark that Tanzania continues to extend its wings of trade and investment in Eastern Europe.

On Friday, President Samia and her Romanian counterpart, Iohannis agreed to continue taking collaborative measures to deepen ties in strategic areas for mutual benefit of both nations.

Their discussions, according to President Samia, were centred on various issues of importance to both nations, including ways to increase trade and investments.

The two Heads of State also witnessed the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), the first one between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania which particularly aimed at promoting cooperation in the areas of disaster(s) management and international humanitarian.

The second one was between Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Science (AFS). This is to promote and encourage economic, scientific and technical cooperation in the field of agriculture and environment.

This was the second visit of the top leader from Eastern Europe to Tanzania this year. In July this year, Hungarian President Katalin Novák arrived in Dar es Salaam, revitalising a new chapter of bilateral cooperation between Hungary and Tanzania.

President Samia and President Novak had the opportunity to make history by fostering bilateral relations.

Commenting on the visit of Romanian President in the country, Economic expert and lecturer at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), Dr Isaac Safari said the visit strengthens economic diplomacy between Tanzania and Eastern European countries.

He said that the country will open more trade and economic investments, including the importation and exportation of goods and services between the two countries and the increase of investors from Romania in the country.

Similarly, Dr Safari said that Tanzania will have the opportunity to increase its expertise in agriculture due to the MoUs signed between Romania’s AFS and SUA.

Dr Safari said Romania has made significant strides in agriculture and is one of the top producers of agricultural commodities in Eastern Europe, saying that Tanzania has a lot to learn from the European nation.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), after the First World War, Romania became one of the largest producing countries of agricultural commodities in Europe, exporting mostly maize, wheat and other grains.

The reforms made by the government at the time helped families secure a living, by giving them land and know-how in the field.

The area in Romania used for agriculture constitutes almost 13.5 million hectares equivalent to 57 per cent of the total area of the country. And, 23 per cent of the Romanian labour force is employed in agriculture, which is the highest percentage of people employed in agriculture in the EU.

Recently, Tanzania has demonstrated determination to promote the agricultural sector, eying to become the continent’s food basket.

Addressing the youth during Africa Food Systems Forum in Dar es Salaam, President Samia expressed the country’s commitment to reform the sector to become the food basket for the African continent and globe by the year 2030.

Dr Samia also said the country envisions to up the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to reach 10 per cent by that period, citing the ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’ (BBT) programme as one of measures taken to achieve the targets.

Commenting, an economist- cum banker, Dr Hildebrand Shayo said that strategic connection between Tanzania and Romania holds great promise for both countries and as a result of the visit, there will be more trade and investment prospects.

Dr Shayo said the transformation of the bilateral relationship from a routine diplomatic to a strategic partnership, will facilitate this economic growth.

“Based on the discussions that took place in Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar, we can anticipate a rise in the number of tourists visiting Tanzania tourist destinations,” Dr Shayo said.

Similarly, The Economist said that beyond boosting trade, the Romanian president’s visit is expected to elevate Romanian’s investment in Tanzania in sectors that will have a win-win outcome.

University of Dodoma Lecturer Dr Paul Loisulie said the visit creates good images of Tanzania to other countries about Tanzania’s good diplomatic relationship with various countries.

He said that the MoUs signed between two countries will be the catalyst for implementing various projects in the country as Tanzanians will get more exposure to skills from Romania regarding disaster management, humanitarian and agriculture areas.


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