Since the FOCAC mechanism was established in 2000, it has provided a valuable platform for interaction between China and African Countries. In its all preceding triennial Ministerial meetings held in Beijing (2006), Sharm el-Sheikh (2009) and Beijing (2012) FOCAC has gradually evolved to include more areas of cooperation between China and Africa; increased the amount of financing offered by China to African Countries and to demonstrate the significance attached to the Forum by both sides, the 2015 FOCAC meeting in Johannesburg was upgraded to Summit level.
Achievements under FOCAC
The follow-up actions to the Fifth Ministerial Conference substantially pushed forward the comprehensive and in-depth cooperation between Tanzania and China in various fields. Tanzania benefited broadly from these follow-up actions in the fields of economic development, social welfare, livelihood improvement, etc.
Investment and Financing
Tanzania has successfully used the FOCAC mechanism to attract investments from both Chinese Government and Private sector in the areas of agricultural products processing, building material manufacturing, energy generation and construction of electricity transmission lines, etc. The Tanzanian Government, China Merchants Holding International (CMHI) and Oman State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) have worked together to invest in the development of the Bagamoyo Port and its linked Special Economic Zone for which the foundation stone has already been laid officially. As well, a Chinese Power Generation Company (CPI) has teamed up with the Tanzania National Electricity Company (TANESCO) in a joint venture to invest in the power plant that will generate 600 MW of electricity. Another Chinese company – AVIC International has also invested heavily in the real estate sector in Tanzania.
Tanzania has been one of the major beneficiaries of Chinese assistance, which contributes greatly to the development of Tanzanian economic and social affairs and the improvement of Tanzanian livelihood. To mention a few of recent Chinese assistance, China has helped to build a Cardiology Training and Open Heart Surgery Centre at Muhimbili National Hospital; built an agricultural demonstration center in Morogoro; assisted in the construction of the Mwalimu Nyerere Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam; assisted in the construction of multiple China-Africa friendship primary schools; continued to provide agricultural and medical experts to Tanzania; provided yearly scholarships to Tanzanian students studying in China; helped to dig wells; as well as provided equipment to help the fight against climate change, forests protection and wildlife conservation; China has also provided a set of container inspection equipment to Tanzania Ports both in mainland and in Zanzibar – which have boosted domestic revenue and improve the capability of Tanzanian custom service and logistic efficiency.
China actively supports integration of East Africa Community (EAC). China has conducted constructive discussion with Tanzanian and Zambian side on rehabilitation of the TAZARA Railway in order to improve its efficiency;
People to People Exchanges
Tanzania and China continued to do well in this area. At the high – profile levels the two sides have witnessed visit by H.E. Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China in March 2013, which was followed by a visit to China in October 2014 by H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, by then President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The two visits among other things reaffirmed the close relations that our two countries enjoy. On other levels, increase of Tanzanian nationals who traveled to China for business and studies has been witnessed. Currently, two Confucius Institute Centers have been established at the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Dodoma – with numerous Chinese young volunteers coming to Tanzania to teach Chinese; some Tanzanian middle school are offering courses on Chinese Language as well, which would promote educational and cultural exchanges between Tanzania and China.
African Peace and Security
China has supported Tanzania’s People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) in terms of material and technology, helping them to take part in various peacekeeping missions in the African Continent, particularly in the DRC and South Sudan.