DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzania and China are all-weather friends whose friendship has grown stronger and deeper, said Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Liberata Mulamula.
Ahead of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in Dakar, Senegal on Nov. 29-30, Mulamula said Tanzania has participated in all previous conferences and has experienced two upgrades of Africa-China relations.
Mulamula said this time Tanzania has a new focus for the FOCAC, which is to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
She added that Tanzania has benefited from megaprojects, but more attention should be paid to small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those in the agriculture sector.
Mulamula congratulated China on the 50th anniversary of the restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations, which she said opened a new page for China to play an increasingly important role in the international community.
Over the past 50 years, the Group of 77, a coalition of developing countries whose aim is to promote collective political and economic interests, and China have worked together to advance the agenda for peace, security and sustainable development, and made progress in poverty reduction, education, gender equality and multilateral cooperation, she said.
Mulamula said she considers Tanzania and China as all-weather friends, and their friendship and cooperation have been reflected in investment, infrastructure construction and industrialization. Bilateral relations have been further enhanced since the new Tanzanian government took office, she said, adding that Tanzania is ready to embrace new opportunities for strategic cooperation to realize mutually beneficial development.
Mulamula spoke highly of the Global Development Initiative proposed by China, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a reminder that the world is a community and no country should be left behind.
As for the future cooperation between Africa and China, Mulamula said the African Continental Free Trade Area offers broad prospects for Africa-China cooperation and Africa is expected to become the next manufacturing center in the world.
Twenty-one years after the FOCAC was established, China-Africa relations based on mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation have grown ever closer and will make greater progress in the future, she said.