By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) South Africa's president and his Tanzanian counterpart agreed on Sunday to deepen and strengthen economic ties through expanded trade and investment.
Cyril Ramaphosa and John Pombe Magufuli met in Tanzania for bilateral talks ahead of the 39th Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held in the capital Dar es Salaam next weekend.
According to a statement issued on Sunday by the South African Presidency, the two leaders agreed to work together to ensure economic growth and advance peace and stability in the two countries.
"I firmly believe that much can still be achieved to further expand our cooperation, particularly in sectors such as energy, mining development, mineral beneficiation, economic infrastructure, tourism, agro–processing, education and healthcare, ” Ramaphosa said during the discussion on bilateral economic relations.
The two leaders also exchanged views on bilateral, continental and global issues, reaffirming their commitment to "cooperate more closely on multilateral issues,'' the statement said.
They noted with satisfaction the coming into effect of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an ambitious initiative to accelerate intracontinental trade and advance economic integration.
Addressing the South Africa-Tanzania Business Forum, the two leaders called on their respective business communities to work together to achieve inclusive growth and development.
They also agreed on the need to nurture business in the two countries in a bid to promote rapid industrialization and development.
"South Africa is ready and prepared to craft a new partnership model with Tanzania, where government and business work together to clear the way for more investment to flow between our two countries" Ramaphosa told the business community.
During the visit, Ramaphosa went to the town of Morogoro where many South African liberation fighters lived during the fight against the white-minority Aparthied state. Tanzania provided South Africa with training facilities and assistance during the struggle.
Ramaphosa also expressed his condolences to the families and people of Tanzania following a fuel tanker explosion earlier this month which led to the deaths of more than 70 people.
"We wish the families of those who have lost their loved ones strength as they go through this valley of darkness, as they come to terms with their loss but we also wish those who are still in the hospital a good recovery," he said.