TANZANIA may reap more benefits from economic diplomacy following new directives by the President Samia Suluhu Hassan to the Ministry of Foreign and East African Cooperation, according to diplomatic analysts.
President Samia, on Tuesday, directed her new appointees in the ministry to strengthen international relations, saying Tanzania needs to keep good connection with other nations across the world. She said that was a reason behind appointing a veteran diplomat Amb Liberata Mulamula to head the ministry, saying the long serving diplomat is competent and comfortable in the area.
In telephone interviews yesterday, commentators on diplomatic issues argued thimproving international relations was crucial if the country wants to prosper in its economic diplomacy agenda. Amb Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar said even before her directive to the ministry’s new heads, President Samia had already sent the message to the world about her policy direction on foreign affairs and regional cooperation by appointing Ambassador Mulamula, a seasoned diplomat who is well known regionally and internationally.
Amb Maajar explained that economic diplomacy is Tanzania’s long-established foreign policy which requires diplomatic engagement with states and nonstate actors.
“Economic diplomacy calls for friendly engagement with all players and it must be complemented by the local economic policy where the private sector is allowed to thrive. Economic diplomacy and domestic economy policy go hand in hand complementing each other,” she argued.
She added: “There is no door in the region that Amb Mulamula cannot open because of her work as Executive Secretary of the Great Lakes Organisation, and globally she is well known.” Dr Kitojo Wetengere, who spent years teaching diplomacy, supported President’s directive because the economic diplomacy agenda which Tanzania now insists on, requires good relations with other nations.
“This is due to the fact that economic diplomacy is all about trade, investments and technology-which needs as many friends as possible in order to achieve,” Dr Wetengere argued.
He pointed out that in order to succeed in economic diplomacy; a country should have good relations with any nation without regarding ideology.
“The sea is big because it accepts any river, so for Tanzania to become big it should also accept any nation,” Dr Wetengere emphasized. However, he said, of recent years Tanzania was rising up to become economically strong, something which unpleased other nations that considered it as market for their industrial products.
“Tanzania was considered a market, but during the fifth phase government many industries emerged and the country started producing several products, this annoyed other countries and perceived Tanzania as their opponent. When we refuse to be market for their products they say we don’t want good relations,” he explained.
University of Dar es Salaam lecturer Dr Consolatha Sulley also nodded to the President Samia, saying the directive has good aim considering the globalisation.
“Her directive is appropriate because Tanzania can’t separate itself from the globalisation since what happens in the world can also affect Tanzania. We must have good link with other nations,” she stated.
Speaking over economic diplomacy, she said the concept means nations need each other in exchanging goods and services, which requires good relations. However, Dr Sulley cautioned that as the country seeks establishing good relations for economic diplomacy it is necessary to consider interests of the nation.
When swearing in new permanent secretaries and heads of government’s institutions at the State House in Dar es Salaam, President Samia said Amb Mulamula is one of the best diplomats in the country who has served in and outside the country in various capacities and that she is expected to utilise her experience in bringing positive changes in the country’s diplomatic arena.