In a significant diplomatic undertaking, Honourable January Makamba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, had a three-day working visit to the Netherlands on the 14th and 15th of November 2023. This visit that signifies a pivotal moment in the diplomatic collaboration and economic endeavors between the United Republic of Tanzania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands was marked by the Minister officiating the Tanzania-Netherlands Trade and Investment Forum.
Minister Makamba expressed his enthusiasm about the evolving relations between the two nations and extended his gratitude to the Dutch Government for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He acknowledged the historical ties between the countries, dating back to the early days of Tanganyika’s independence, with a special mention of the enduring friendship between the late Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld and the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. “I am very excited to be here as these are very exciting times for both our countries in our diplomatic collaboration and endeavours.
Before I explain, let me first thank the Dutch Government for the warm hospitality that was accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival. This is not my first time to visit The Netherlands, my previous portfolio had brought me to this country before. So, to me, it is not the first time that I am experiencing the Dutch hospitality. I wish to therefore re-reiterate my sincere gratitude to my counterpart Honourable Hanke Bruins Slot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the warm hospitality in this beautiful land.” Expressed Minister Makamba.
The Minister’s visit coincides with a critical juncture for both countries. Tanzania is actively working to improve its business environment and revive regional and international relations, while the Netherlands has recently unveiled its New Policy Document 2023, emphasizing on effective and stronger economic ties based on equal footing, along with a continent-wide Strategy on Africa. Minister Makamba said “The Tanzanian-Netherlands Trade and Investment Forum is taking place at a momentous period when, Tanzania on the one hand, is prioritizing efforts to improve the business environment and revive regional and international relations and The Netherlands on the other, has just unveiled its New Policy Document 2023 entitled: Do what we do best; A strategy for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the first ever continent-wide Strategy on Africa (The Africa Strategy of The Netherlands 2023-2032). With this new strategic approach of our countries, we have found a common ground. While our host emphasis is on “effective and stronger economic ties based on equal footing” ours in Tanzania is to re-focus the bilateral relations between our countries and set an agenda for an action-based vision and commitment for mutual benefits.
While highlighting the alignment between the strategic approaches of both nations aiming for effective economic ties and mutual benefits Minister Makamba said, this Forum provides a platform for fostering economic cooperation and poised to be a catalyst for re-focusing bilateral relations and setting an agenda for an action-based vision and commitment. It serves as a beacon for enhanced collaboration promising a future of shared prosperity and mutual benefit for the United Republic of Tanzania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Regarding the diplomatic relations between Tanzania and the Netherlands, Minister Makamba underscored the historical significance of the ties, mentioning the last high-level visit by a Tanzanian leader in June 2015 and recent ministerial exchange visits by Hon. Dr. Damas Daniel Ndumbaro and Hon. January Makamba in 2022. He outlined flagship programs of cooperation, such as the review of Dutch Policy on Development Assistance, rural electrification, health, private sector support, support to Tanzania Revenue Authority, water infrastructure, climate adaptation, agriculture, aquaculture, livestock sectors, and education.
Further, during his visit to the Netherlands, Minister January Makamba engaged in a productive meeting with the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Her Excellency Hanke Bruins Slot. The meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for both ministers to discuss the prevailing global situation, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in addressing shared challenges. Minister Makamba and Minister Bruins Slot explored avenues for reinforcing diplomatic ties and harking back to the solid relations that have historically bound Tanzania and the Netherlands.
The discussions revolved around mutual interests and shared values, aiming to establish a framework that would deepen collaboration on a wide range of issues, including economic development, sustainable practices, and regional stability. The commitment displayed during this meeting reflects the determination of both nations to build a robust foundation for their diplomatic relations and sets a promising tone for future cooperation.
As Tanzania and the Netherlands explore new avenues of collaboration, Minister Makamba sees the Trade and Investment Forum as a crucial mechanism for bridging the economic gap between the two nations. The forum provides an opportunity for key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to engage in meaningful discussions, explore potential areas of cooperation, and strengthen economic ties.
In conclusion, Minister January Makamba’s visit to the Netherlands underscores the commitment of both nations to elevate their diplomatic and economic relations to new heights.