Tanzania is among Rwanda’s top importers at $154.93 million, behind only China, whose imports were valued at $197.58 million as of 2021
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania and Rwanda are on the move to push forward new trading strategies as both countries’ leaders agree that the current value and volume don’t reflect the scope of resources available.
Tanzania is among Rwanda’s top importers at $154.93 million, behind only China, whose imports were valued at $197.58 million as of 2021, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
The value of goods and services re-exported from Rwanda to Tanzania as of 2021 was tabled at only $1.58 million at the end of 2021.
Speaking during a press briefing at the state house here in the city, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the historical sister countries need to do more to fully exploit the wealthy resources endowed within the states and foster more trading.
The President was speaking as she hosted Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who is in Tanzania for a two-day visit.
“We have agreed to improve the communication and transport networks, such as the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga, where Rwanda is among the major customers,” she said.
Rwanda, with about 1.5 million metric tonnes of transit cargo in the Dar port alone, according to data by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), is the third largest customer behind Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). President Hassan also revealed that, as part of their discussion, the two leaders agreed to launch the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFP), which they implement in partnership with the governments of the Republic of Burundi.
To date, the $476.5 million joint project along the Rusumo River is 98.3 percent complete and set for completion in June this year.
For his part, Rwandan President Kagame said, his government recognises that Tanzania is a very key partner, particularly with respect to trade logistics and connectivity.
“We appreciate Tanzania’s willingness to strengthen these ties for mutual benefits further, enabling our people to develop faster and our companies to compete better in global markets,” he said.
President Kagame also recognised President Hassan’s role in finding a long-lasting solution to the conflicts in eastern DRC.
“Together with other members of the East African Community (EAC), building lasting peace and security in our region will require sustained commitment from all of us,” said Mr Kagame, indicating that peace is a key catalyst for development and unity in Africa.
Tanzanian President Hassan joined other EAC leaders in February of this year for a meeting to find mediation efforts to end the conflict in the DRC’s volatile eastern region.
Since November 2021, the M23 has seized chunks of territory in the east and come within miles (kilometres) of its main commercial hub, Goma.
The EAC decided to create a military force to pacify eastern Congo last year, with the first troops arriving in Goma in November.
The DRC’s accusations that Rwanda is backing the M23 have been supported by UN experts, the United States, and other Western countries, but Kigali denies the charge.