THE joint projects between Zambia and Tanzania have not only continued to strengthen and deepen the two countries’ relations, but they have also proven to be sources of mutual benefit in terms of trade and investment, job creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth, President Edgar Lungu has said.
He was speaking at a State banquet last night in honour of President Jakaya Kikwete who arrived yesterday for a two-day State visit.
Mr Lungu said it was because of such oneness and common history that the two countries could boast of the Tanzania-Zambia railways (TAZARA) and the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta oil pipeline (TAZAMA).
He said the Zambian Government would remain fully committed to enhancing the cooperation between the two countries and in particular to the future success of TAZARA.
“I am pleased that our deliberations today have shown that much more benefit could be derived from these kinds of ventures if greater investment and effort is applied,” he said.
He said the two countries have also continued to work closely in organizations such as the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations.
“Let us continue to use the organizations to highlight the plight of Africa and to seek solutions to the myriad of problems that confront our continent today,” President Lungu said.
He said President Kikwete’s visit to Zambia was a clear manifestation of his personal appreciation and commitment to the bilateral relations and fraternal ties that existed between the two countries.
The President, who applauded his counterpart’s gesture, also took an opportunity to re-affirm Zambia’s own commitment to the two countries relations.
“I am aware that you are visiting us at a time when you are preparing to leave office after a distinguished tenure of office as President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania’s great contribution to the cause of peace, security and development in the sub-region is highly commendable and a source of pride for the SADC region.
“We are extremely honoured to have you here with us as we together seek common solutions to the challenges affecting our countries,” he said.
He said as sister countries with a shared heritage and culture, Zambia and Tanzania had similar political, economic and social aspirations.
“These strong bonds have always given impetus to our joint efforts in economic development and in the fight against poverty, disease, illiteracy, unemployment as well as other social vices,” the Zambian President said.
President Kikwete arrived yesterday and immediately proceeded to visit and lay wreaths on the graves of late presidents Levy Mwanawasa, Michael Sata and Fredrick Chiluba at the Embassy Park in Lusaka.
Dr. Kikwete was accompanied by his wife Salma, Lusaka Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta, Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula and Zambia’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Judith Kapijimpanga when he laid wreaths on the three graves.
The Tanzanian President later signed in the visitors’ book at Embassy Park shortly after laying wreaths.
In his message of condolences on the death of the three presidents, Dr. Kikwete said he felt sad but also expressed happiness to have had an opportunity to visit the burial site of the great sons of Zambia.
Dr. Kikwete described the three late presidents as great leaders for both Zambia and the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.