Tanzania and Zambia have agreed to cooperate for stronger trade and investment relations to benefit the economies of both countries.
The assurance was given by both countries’ leaders during a recent visit of the Zambian President Edgar Lungu to Tanzania.
For this, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli and President Lungu signed agreements to revitalize the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) and the Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) pipeline.
Magufuli said that TAZARA’s performance has been deteriorating and noted that the cargo volume has dropped from 5m t in 1976 to 128,000t in 2016, while TAZAMA has the capacity to transport 1.1m t of oil per annum but currently it is handling only 600,000t per year.
In relation to TAZARA, the Presidents of Tanzania and Zambia agreed that the key issues arise from inefficient management.
For this, they agreed to amend the law, which will therefore allow for recruitment of competent and knowledgeable people to manage TAZARA.
President Lungu noted that in addition to reviving TAZAMA, Zambia expects to benefit from the recent gas discoveries in Tanzania.
During his stay in Tanzania, President Lungu also visited the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and committed to continue using the Dar es Salaam port; however, he advised Tanzania to further improve the cargo handling services at its port.
Magufuli noted that Zambia is one of the leading countries by cargo volume cleared through the Dar es Salaam port with 1.9m t in 2015 and pledged to continue strengthening the port.
Zambia is a landlocked country and most of its goods are exported and imported through the port of Dar es Salaam.
Mainly vehicles and refined oil are transported from Dar es Salaam to Zambia and copper is transported from Zambia to the Tanzanian port.