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Statement by Honorable Mizengo P. Pinda (MP), Prime Minister of The United Republic of Tanzania, on the Occasion of Celebrating The Chinese New Year on 3rd February, 2013 at Mnazi Mmoja Ground Dar es Salaam
2013-02-05 01:59

Your Excellency Dr. Lu Youqing, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United Republic of Tanzania,

Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of International Organizations,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All Protocol Observed,


It's a great honor and pleasure for me to join you all today to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2013 also termed as "Spring Festival". I understand in China, traditionally this is a time when family members gather together to reaffirm family ties, thanksgiving and to strengthen bonds and friendship. It is therefore time for us to build, on old friendship and create new ones.

On behalf of the Government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania, I thank the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania for personally inviting me to participate in today's celebrations which has also been given the title "Focus on Africa, Happy Chinese New Year 2013".

The celebration marks another milestone by cementing our friendship and goodwill between China and Tanzania and further the fraternal bonds of friendship and partnership, which our two countries have enjoyed for the last five decades since 1960s.

On behalf of the Government and the Peoples of the United Republic of Tanzania, and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to extend to you, Your Excellency and through you to the Government and the Peoples of the People's Republic of China, and to all our Chinese friends present here wishing you a very Prosperous Chinese New Year! It is my hope that in this New Year, the people of China will continue to surprise the world with remarkable speed of progress and economic prosperity.

Historical Background

Let me take this opportunity also to underscore the long and fruitful friendship that so happily exists between the two Governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and of the People's Republic of China. This has been possible due to the solid foundation laid down by the Founding Fathers of our two nations, the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Chairman Mao Zedong. Since then our two Countries have continued to work closely together on various Bilateral and International Fora. Also these fraternal relations have been nurtured, consolidated and advanced by the successive generations of leaders of our two Nations who followed after them.

Indeed, these relations have transcended the Traditional Government to Government contacts and extended to people-to-people cooperation, to the extent that the people of Tanzania and China call each other friends, brothers and sisters.

Focus on Africa, Happy Chinese New Year in Tanzania 2013

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The friendship between our two Countries is not simply about the past, it is also about the future. As mentioned earlier, our two countries have witnessed a significant improvement of high level exchange of visits involving Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentarians and Party Leaders. Last year our Country was graced by the visit of the Deputy Premier of the People's Republic of China, H. E. Hui Liangyu who among other things we witnessed together the signing of Agreement for a commercial loan from the Exim Bank of China for the construction of Natural Gas Pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam.

Investment and Trade

Your Excellency,

At this juncture, allow me your Excellency to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for your Country's continued support in the form of grants and soft loans which focus on sustainable economic growth and improving the welfare of our people.

Records show that, over a decade China has generously continued to extend economic and technical assistance to Tanzania in key Sectors including investments in several development projects.

For example, during the 1960s to 1980s bilateral cooperation between China and Tanzania focused on two big Projects including financing and technical assistance for the construction of Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) and Tanzania-China Friendship Textile Mills (URAFIKI). We had also very big support for the liberation of the Southern African Countries of which Tanzania played a very active role in liberation movement.

Between 1980s and 1990s despite Economic Reforms in China, our friendship continued.

Between 1990s and 2000, we had Projects such as Housing Schemes in Zanzibar and establishment of China-Tanzania Investment and Trade Center in Dar es Salaam.

Between 2000 and 2012 we had a number of Projects such as:

-New Ultra Modern Stadium in Dar es Salaam;

-Construction of Mwalimu Nyerere Modern Conference Center;

-Rehabilitation of Amani Stadium in Zanzibar;

Dodoma Urban Water Rehabilitation and Chalinze Water Supply Projects;

-Construction of Dakawa Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center;

-Defense Cooperation;

-ICT Backbone Infrastructure Optic Fiber Project and many other Projects.

We very much appreciate your assistance.


Your Excellency,

According to World Atlas Data, Trade between China and Tanzania has increased rapidly over the last decade, particularly China exports to Tanzania. To mention briefly, China exports to Tanzania comprise largely of manufactured goods, electrical appliances, garments and vehicles. While Tanzania exports to China is largely Ores, Vegetables and Animal products.

It is true that trade balance is not favorable to Tanzania but our desired goal is to make Tanzania a middle-income country by 2025. We hope that through our cooperation (China-Tanzania) we shall be able to increase trade and investments in order to attain our goal.

Cooperation between China and Africa Cooperation

Your Excellency,

We also appreciate the cooperation between China and African Countries as evidenced through the mechanism of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Particularly, the five new measures of cooperation announced by the Chinese President.

H. E. Hu Jintao during the Fifth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC in Beijing in July, 2012 are vividly expressions of China's sincere commitment to assist its African brother Countries' economic growth. The measures include:

1) Expand Cooperation in Investment and Financing to support sustainable development in Africa;

2) Increase assistance to Africa to bring the benefits of development to the African people;

3) Support the African integration process and help Africa enhance capacity for overall development;

4) Enhance people-to-people friendship to lay a solid foundation of public support for enhancing China-Africa common development; and

5) Promote peace and stability in Africa and create a secure environment for Africa's development.

I would like to assure you, Your Excellency that, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will work closely with relevant Chinese authorities to ensure that these measures are fully realized for the benefit of the Tanzanian and Chinese people.

Your Excellency,

When you talk about "Focus on Africa", I highly commend China's sober and understanding of Africa's political situation and unique challenges, and China's vital contribution to the solution of these challenges. We have noted with great interest China pledge and its commitment and it will continue to work with African Countries to forge closer relations in the principle of "Sincere Friendship, Equality, Mutual Benefit and Common Development". I would like to reaffirm Tanzania's readiness to work with the Chinese Government in promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts in Africa and elsewhere.

Situation in Tanzania

Your Excellency,

As you are aware, the situation in Tanzania politically things are calm. We are managing our internal affairs peacefully, prioritizing maintenance of order, unity, security and stability of our country. So far, we are doing well.

On economic front, we are doing fine despite economic challenges that we have been facing like many other countries. GDP growth rates stood at 6.4 percent in 2011. However, inflation stands at 12 percent as of December 2012. We expect to reach a single digit inflation any time this year.

We are now implementing our Five Year Development Plan (2011/12-2015/16) with special focus on: agriculture and agribusiness, manufacturing, energy, infrastructure (ports, railway, roads), tourism and ICT.

Future Plans

Your Excellency,

The Government of Tanzania is fully geared to take advantage of opportunities available. I am aware that, we are almost through in preparing Tanzania Action Plan to implement the Beijing Action Plan 2013-2015. We hope that this is a good indicator to further taking China-Tanzania relationship to greater height. We expect the Action Plan to contain development projects from different Sectors including Agriculture, Infrastructure, Energy, ICT, Education, Investment, Industry and Trade.

Your Excellency,

Allow me once again to assure you that, we greatly value Chinese support to our development endeavors which has contributed significantly to the improvement in the living standards of our people. Chinese support to Tanzania has no parallel. You are our best friend and partner.


Your Excellency,

Today is not a day of long speeches as we are here to mark Lunar New Year Celebrations. I am made to understand that this is fourth time to mark the same since it started in 2010. Let me take this opportunity once again to thank Your Excellency Ambassador and Chinese Community in Tanzania for accepting to mark this year's celebrations.

Allow me, Your Excellency, to conclude my remarks by reaffirming the continued desire and commitment of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to work closely with the Government of the People's Republic of China in further strengthening the cordial and brotherly relations that so happily exist between the two remarkable Counties reaches new heights. Once again thank you for your assistance.

Your Excellency,

With these few remarks, may I now wish great prosperity for our two countries for the Chinese New Year 2013

Thank you!

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