Distinguished Lecture Series
Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa (CAMERA) Web Talk
September 22, 2021
The Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a Web Talk on “Pak-Tanzania Ties’ under ISSI’s Distinguished Lecture Series today. The talk was delivered by H.E Muhammad Saleem High Commissioner of Pakistan to Tanzania and Ms. Tanzeela Qambrani, Member Provincial Assembly Sindh also took part. Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI was also present.
During her opening remarks, Ms. Amina Khan, Director CAMEA said that during the last two decades, Africa has made remarkable progress, as African economies are amongst the fastest-growing economies in the world. Hence, Africa has rightly earned the title of the “Continent of the Future.” She mentioned that one of the fundamental objectives of establishing CAMEA at the ISSI was to focus on identifying areas of mutual interest between Pakistan and Africa in keeping with Pakistan’s Engage Africa policy.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, said that the Government of Pakistan is committed to working and promoting ties with Africa. He said one of the high priority areas for Pakistan’s Foreign Office is engaging with the African continent. In this regard a number of events on Pakistan-Africa ties have been held at ISSI. He also stated that Tanzania, an important country, with an almost 30% more in area than Pakistan and a population which is a third of Pakistan’s population – has considerable potential. There is a genuine feeling of goodwill between Pakistan and Tanzania, he added.
Muhammad Saleem said thatTanzania is an important country of Africa and it is most populous country of Africa with the largest consumer market. He mentioned that headquarters of East African Community (EAC) is based in Tanzania and it also holds the temporary seat of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). He mentioned that Pakistan shares close ties with Tanzania and it established its High Commission in Tanzania in 1967 when Pakistan expressed its support for Tanzania in getting independence from the colonial rule of the British.
He highlighted that there is enormous scope of trade and investment for Pakistan in Tanzania. While talking about imports and exports between Pakistan and Tanzania he mentioned that Pakistan’s exports to Tanzania mainly include cement, textiles, rice and sugar and besides these articles, spare parts of heavy machinery and tractors are also exported. He said that imports of Pakistan from Tanzania mainly include tea, raw cotton, tobacco, edible oils and tanning materials and with a lot of potential to explore.
He went on to say that Tanzania is also working to establish a mission in Pakistan. He commended the ISSI for arranging such events and playing a role in capacity building. He mentioned that he is very keen to explore what role ISSI can play in capacity building in EAC. He remarked that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) is a substantial opportunity for Pakistan to tap into the African markets. East Africa is a gateway to exploit the business opportunities in Africa and it will open the vistas of opportunities for Pakistan to benefit from, he stated.
Ms. Tanzeela Qambrani expressed happiness that Pakistan has started connecting with the African continent. She said that it is surprising that there has not been much focus on Africa in the past in Pakistan even though the former holds great opportunities. While talking about Pak-Africa relations she said that Engage Africa is a great initiative by the Government of Pakistan. She said Pakistan has very close bonds with Africa, especially with Tanzania and was hopeful that this connection would be fruitful for both countries. She also appreciated the Pakistani community which had given her an opportunity to be part of the provincial legislative assembly without any discrimination.