Media Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the State Visit by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, Pretoria, 19 July 2011
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Members of the Media;
Today is a special occasion for us as we welcome my brother, comrade and friend, President Jakaya Kikwete and the members of his delegation on the occasion of this historic state visit to South Africa.
The visit could not have come at a more opportune time than the month of July when we in South Africa and the rest of the world are celebrating what has become known as Mandela International Day.
This is a significant occasion in the history of the two countries.
Tanzania, to many South Africans, is a second home.
The United Republic of Tanzania generously and graciously hosted the ANC and scores of South Africans for many years during the struggle for liberation. Tanzania was also home to almost all liberation movements of Southern Africa.
What the people of Tanzania have given to us can never be measured in monetary terms. Nor can it be quantified.
Between 1977 and 1992, the ANC ran successful educational programmes under Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO) in Mazimbu, and small scale industrial and agricultural development programmes in Dakawa.
Both were on land that was generously given to our people by the Tanzanian government.
It was from Tanzania and many other countries that we executed many military campaigns against apartheid South Africa. Most importantly, it was with the moral and material support of the Tanzanian people that we managed to defeat apartheid.
Therefore, our relationship is one born out of great sacrifices that clearly distinguished good from evil.
Given the sacrifices made, it is most appropriate that the two nations combine all their efforts in their fight to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment.
Our bilateral partnership spans across a wide spectrum covering political, economical and social cooperation.
Today, President Kikwete and I had fruitful discussions on matters of mutual interest between our two countries.
In our discussions, we emphasized the importance of strengthening our bilateral relations in a number of fields, including agriculture, mining, energy, arts and culture, infrastructural development and water.
Of particular importance is the need to prioritise economic cooperation through trade and investment and thus create job opportunities in our respective countries.
In this regard, the South Africa-Tanzania Business Forum currently taking place in Centurion will go a long way in identifying further areas of economic cooperation between the private sectors of our two countries.
We have also emphasized the need to expedite the implementation of all signed agreements and memoranda of understanding.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
More instruments have been added to the list of agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between our two countries.
In this regard, we have just witnessed the signing of bilateral agreements.
These include the signing of the Agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between our two countries.
This Agreement does not only replace the current Presidential Economic Commission, but also seeks to broaden the scope of our bilateral cooperation. We felt the time had come to move beyond just economic cooperation, to other areas of mutual interest.
The signing of these instruments is a clear indication of our collective determination to take our relations to higher levels for the mutual benefit of our respective countries.
We have also directed our Ministers to work towards finalisation of other outstanding agreements.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In our discussions, we also reflected on the centrality of SADC in our efforts to forge regional integration in Southern Africa.
Of course, we also exchanged views on the latest political developments on the continent including expressing our support for the newly independent state of South Sudan.
On the international front, we have reiterated the need to reform the United Nations, particularly the Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Once again I would like to reiterate our pleasure in having our esteemed guest, President Kikwete and his delegation on this historic visit to South Africa.
We are happy with the outcomes of our discussions. These outcomes serve to re-affirm our long standing relations and our determination to forge a strategic partnership.
This historic visit will go down in the annals of history as an important beacon of relations between our two nations, who will forever be bound by a history of struggle, sacrifice and common dedication to freedom, justice and the creation of a better life for all.
I thank you.