Brig. Gen Chelestino Elias MSOLA,

Senior Directing Staff (Tanzania Army),

 

Commodore Michael Mwanandenje MUMANGA,

Senior Directing Staff (Tanzania Navy),

 

Dr. Lucy John SHULE,

Director of Studies (NDC),

 

Course Participants,

 

My Colleagues at the Mission.

 

A very Warm Good Morning to All!

It is great pleasure for me to welcome you all to Tanzania territory in India "within the context of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations." I hope you all feel well at home.

For all colleagues from outside Tanzania - (Nigeria, Zambia, Egypt and Mozambique) I hope that after you have spent about a year or so in Tanzania, you will not require a translator to understand what I mean if I say Karibuni Sana.

Unfortunately, you come at a time when the temperatures in New Delhi are terribly hostile. But looking at the ambitious programme your host has prepared for you, it does seem not to give you any free time to be able to test those temperatures out there and, so that gives you an excuse in disguise!

Friends,

I was not assigned any specific topic to speak about this morning. And given the timing of our meeting, I have no any intention to keep you for long. You have had your good share of jetlags after long hours of flights from Europe and yet, as I have just hinted, you are facing a very tight schedule here.

So, I will only speak albeit on generic terms, about the bilateral engagements between Tanzania and India.

A Bit of a History

Tanzania and India are enjoying about 58 years of diplomatic relationship and the same has been very strong, cordial and rewarding. This relationship can be traced back through history to the time of pre-colonial trade when sailors from India visited regularly the East Africa Coast to trade. Some of these traders had decided to settle in Tanzania and became an integral part of our society to date.

In the 2nd part of 19th Century Indian indentured labourers and civil servants were brought to East Africa to construct railways and support colonial administrations. They ended up as "dukawallahs" (shopkeepers) and today are among the most successful and influential business people in Tanzania and in the whole of East Africa.

These relations were greatly revitalized by the friendship and brotherhood forged between the founding fathers of the two nations as well as by the shared ideals and stances against colonialism, oppression and segregation, non-alignment and the desire to establish South-South Cooperation built on strong foundation that has endured until today.

Recent Developments

However, in the recent years, Tanzania - India relations have taken a more pragmatic approach focusing more on economic partnership resulting in the significant growth investments. As a result, India is among the top 5 foreign investment sources in Tanzania accounting for about 2.2 billion dollar with some 420 projects/companies supporting the employment of about 54,406 Tanzanians in sectors such as banking, mining, insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing, assembly of vehicles and service industry.

On the other hand, Tanzania exports to India have also hiked from 480.10 million USD in 2012 to 999.55 million USD in 2017.

India has also remained a staunch ally of Tanzania's development endeavours, including in the area of capacity building. Many Tanzanians have received multidisciplinary training in India and many continue to access quality training and educational opportunities through Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation – (ITEC).

Equally, India has extended a variety of Lines of Credit (LOCs) to support several high impact development projects in Tanzania, notably in water supply and energy distribution which have largely improved the lives of many Tanzanians.

Dear Friends,

 

Speaking about the bilateral defence cooperation, India continues to be our strategic neighbour as we just find ourselves as littoral partners in the Indian Ocean, the third largest water body in the World that is increasingly gaining the global centre stage because of economic importance as direct linkage to the economic engines of Asia and Africa.

Records available show that about 70,000 vessels transit annually and only 20% of the trade carried by these Merchant Ships is regional while the balance of 80% is extra regional - destined for areas outside this region. As it stands, any disruption of the free flow of trade through the Indian Ocean will not only impact economies of the regional countries but will have a significant negative impact on global economy.

 A Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Co-operation between Tanzania and India was signed since 2003 but has been given a special impetus after the State Visit to Tanzania by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in July, 2016. By and large, the visit did reinforce the commitment towards Defence and Security Partnership between our two countries.

 

Defence Co-operation is mainly based on capacity building through, among others; training of Military Personnel under ITEC in Indian Military Training Institutions, Joint Services Training Institutions – National Defence College and National Defence Academy, Individual Services Training Institution (Air, Navy, and Army academies) and Peacekeeping at the United Nation Peacekeeping Centre in New Delhi. For instance, for the academic year 2018/19 about 80 slots have been allotted to TPDF under this scheme.

 

 It is worth noting that apart from sending trainees to India, we also invite Training Teams from India to our Military Institutions in Tanzania.

 

Other areas of co-operation include maritime domain where there is collaboration on the maritime domain awareness through exchange of information and protection of sea line of communication, presence of Indian Naval Ships since October 2008 in the Gulf of Aden and Patrol by India Naval Ships off Seychelles and Mauritius which have been augmented through joint efforts by Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique to weed away maritime piracy.

 Equally important, the Joint Hydrographic surveys by India/Tanzania Navies have been conducted as a result of the MoU for defence co-operation and the subsequent protocol of exchange of hydrographic data which was signed in 2015.

Besides, the various Multilateral Forums such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), the Goa Maritime Conclave and Exercises, the Milan (get together), ex Samantha (Relationship) which are held regularly have been found to be relevant and useful in addressing joint maritime security challenges and enhancing the computer systems or software exchange and make use of information (interoperability).

 

 Furthermore, as part of constructive engagement, there have been high level visits among Commanders of the Two Armed Forces. Indian Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lamba who retired from service on 31st May 2019 had visited Tanzania in July 2017 while the Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat visited Tanzania in December 2018. In exchange, the Chief of Defence Forces (Rtd) Gen Davis Mwamunyange visited India June 2015, while the Commandant National Defence College, Lt. Gen PP Massao visited NDC India in August 2018.

 

Friends,

 

In sum, there cannot be a better summarized version of India's Policy Statement towards Africa in general, including to Tanzania, than the 10 principles for India India-Africa ties which Prime Minister Narendra Modi pronounced during his State Visit in Uganda last year. I would like to quote him in extenso:

 

(a)  "Africa will be at the top of our priorities. We will continue to intensify and deepen our engagement with Africa. As we have shown, it will be sustained and regular.

 

(b) "Our development partnership will be guided by your priorities. We will build as much local capacity and create as much local opportunities as possible. It will be on terms that will be comfortable for you, that will liberate your potential and not constrain your future. We will build as much local capacity and create as much local opportunities as possible.

 

(c) "We will keep our markets open and make it easier and more attractive to trade with India. We will support our industry to invest in Africa."

 

(d) "We will harness India's experience with the digital revolution to support Africa's development; improve delivery of public services; extend education and health; spread digital literacy; expand financial inclusion; and mainstream the marginalized."

 

(e) "Africa has 0% of the world's arable land, but produces just 10% of the global output. We will work with you to improve Africa's agriculture."

 

(f) "Our partnership will address the challenges of climate change."

 

(g) "We will strengthen our cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism; keeping our cyberspace safe and secure; and, supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace.”

 

 

(h) " We will work with African nations to keep the oceans open and free for the benefit of all nations. The world needs cooperation and not competition in the eastern shores of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean."

 

(i) "As global engagement in Africa increases, we must all work together to ensure that Africa does not once again turn into a theatre of rival ambitions, but becomes a nursery for the aspirations of Africa's youth."

 

(j) "Just as India and Africa fought colonialism together, we will work together for a just, representative and democratic global order that has a voice and a role for one-third of humanity that lives in Africa and India."

 

It is heartwarming that Prime Minister Modi has won the second tenure with a resounding victory and therefore we do hope that he will continue to implement his promises for Africa during this second tenure.

 

On this note, I once again thank you for visiting with us and wish you a very fruitful study tour.

 

I thank you for your kind attention