Tanzania’s first female president on visit to South Africa

March 16, 2023 GMT
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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa at a welcoming ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, March 16, 2023. Hassan, on a state visit to the country, has urged more security cooperation and trade between the two countries.(AP Photo/Frans Sello waga Machate)
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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa at a welcoming ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, March 16, 2023. Hassan, on a state visit to the country, has urged more security cooperation and trade between the two countries.(AP Photo/Frans Sello waga Machate)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, on a state visit to South Africa, has urged more security cooperation and trade between the two countries.

Hassan, Tanzania’s first female leader, met South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in the capital Pretoria on Thursday where her delegation of Cabinet ministers discussed trade opportunities and possible agreements with their South African counterparts.

This is Hassan’s first official visit to South Africa since she became president of Tanzania following the death of her predecessor John Magufuli in 2021.

“We have agreed to enhance our cooperation in the areas of trade and investment considering that South Africa is among the main sources of direct foreign investment in Tanzania,” said Hassan. She added that tourism and manufacturing are the leading sectors for investment.

Ramaphosa said trade volumes between Tanzania and South Africa continued to increase but could be improved further.

“A key aspect of our bilateral cooperation is the promotion of trade and investment between our two countries,” said Ramaphosa. “President Hassan and I will be joining the South Africa-Tanzania Business Forum later today, which brings together business people from our respective countries.”

He said among the industries under discussion at the business forum are agriculture and agro-processing, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure development.

The two leaders also noted their countries’ long-standing relations stretching back to the anti-colonial struggle.

Many South African anti-apartheid activists, who fled the country under persecution from the repressive white-minority government or to join the African National Congress’s underground armed movement, found refuge and received military training in Tanzania.

Among global challenges, the leaders noted the effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on African nations, including the interruption of the supply of agriculture-related products such as fertilisers which have exacerbated the continent’s food security situation problems.

Hassan is set to host United States Vice President Kamala Harris when she visits Africa at the end of March as the U.S. continues its outreach to African countries.

Harris’s trip to Africa follows visits by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, first lady Jill Biden and the current trip of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. All have encouraged stronger U.S. ties with African nations in the face of competition from China and Russia.