South African president chooses Tanzania for first state visit

South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa
South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has arrived in the United Republic of Tanzania for his first state visit, since being elected President in May 2019.

According to the statement by the presidential spokesman, Khyusela Diko, Mr Ramaphosa’s visit, which was on the invitation of President John Maguifuli of Tanzania will create room for international dialogue.

Mr Diko stated that the visit would allow both leaders to discuss bilateral, continental and global issues.

They will also reaffirm their commitment to further cooperate closely on multilateral issues between the two countries.

“President Ramaphosa and his counterpart are expected to attend and address a Business Forum arranged by the Ministries of Trade and Industry of both countries.

“Ramaphosa will also visit the town of Morogoro, west of Dar es Salaam, to show solidarity and condole with the government and people of Tanzania, following a fuel tanker explosion that claimed more than 70 lives on Sunday, Aug. 11.

“Ramaphosa has expressed his sincere regret at this mass loss of life and indicate South Africa’s willingness to offer Tanzania any assistance that may be required following this tragedy,’’ Mr Diko stated.

He quoted President Ramaphosa as saying that the tragedy at Morogoro was shared by South Africans, for whom Morogoro holds great significance, as the site of the first National Consultative Conference of the African National Congress on May 1, 1979.

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He said the Morogoro Conference not only advanced unity among diverse formations in the struggle against apartheid, but it also issued a clarion call for an intensification of the armed struggle.

He described Mazimbu, Morogoro, to be where the educational Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO), was established by the exiled ANC in 1978.

“The college provided educational and vocational skills to young South Africans, who had fled the country after the 1976 Soweto uprising.

“Following the visit, the President will attend the 39th Ordinary Summit of Southern Africans Development Community (SADC) from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, on the theme “A Conducive Business Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development”.

The theme will be in line with previous summit decisions that endorsed industrialisation as the overarching priority for the region, based on the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063).

“The summit will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government to be abreast on the overall implementation of the SADC work programme, including the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2015-2020), industrialisation strategy and Roadmap.

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“The participants will be updated on the status of the region’s economy, health and food security.

“It will provide policy direction about future strategic work of SADC and the SADC post-2020 Agenda.’’

The summit would feature presentation of the report on regional peace and security by the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (Zambia).

Mr Ramaphosa, as a facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, will present the report on development in the facilitation process during the summit of the Organs of Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation on Aug. 16. (NAN)

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