New agreements between Rwanda and Tanzania to give impetus to joint projects like railway

KIGALI

(Xinhua/Cyril Ndegeya)

Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Monday said cooperation agreements signed between his country and Tanzania earlier in the day will give new impetus to the implementation of joint projects like standard gauge railway.

“Rwanda and Tanzania share more than just a border. Our strong historical ties and common aspiration to deliver prosperity to our people have always been central to our cooperation,” Kagame told a joint press briefing with his visiting Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan in the capital city Kigali, shortly after they witnessed the signing of four cooperation agreements in the areas of information and communication technology, immigration, education and regulation of medical products.

The signing of the agreements gives new impetus to key infrastructure and investment projects of mutual benefit, particularly the standard gauge railway line, milk production and improved port logistics, said Kagame.

There is a lot more the two countries can learn from each other in the spirit of strengthening trade ties, ensuring prosperity and development of the economies and peoples, said Hassan, adding that the signing of the agreements would pave the way for this.

She also highlighted the need for cooperation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and in full operation of the one-stop border post at Rusumo, a town on Rwanda-Tanzania border.

Rwanda and Tanzania in 2018 agreed on joint construction of a standard gauge railway from Isaka in northwestern Tanzania to Kigali to facilitate logistics movement between the two countries.

Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete in July presented a bill to the parliament that provides a framework for the country’s implementation, management and maintenance of the standard gauge railway project, saying the country plans to commence the construction as soon as the railway line reaches Isaka.

The government has resumed discussions with partners on the funding of the projected railway, which is expected to cost the central African nation about 1.3 billion U.S. dollars.

More Info New agreements between Rwanda and Tanzania to give impetus to joint projects like railway

Samia’s State Visit to Burundi: Smooth Trade Beckons

DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI

File

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has instructed the Minister for Industry and Trade Prof Kitila Mkumbo to work on all barriers facing the Tanzanian and Burundian business community.

Equally, she instructed the Minister for Works and Transport Dr Leonard Chamuriho and the Managing Director for Tanzania Railway Corporation TRC Masanja Kadogosa to improve railway transportation linking the two countries in a bid to smoothen movement of people, goods and services.

She was of the view that the improved railway line connecting the two countries would play a crucial role in increasing the volume of cargo being transported to Burundi from Tanzania, and vice versa.

The Head of State made the directives yesterday when addressing a Business forum between Tanzania and Burundian traders, in Bujumbura, as she was completing her two -day state visit in Burundi.

According to her, the Burundi- Tanzania business forum was a clear indication that the two countries are enjoying cordial business relations, saying maintaining and taking further the existing ties was vital.

Going by statistics, she said so far, a total of 17 companies from Tanzania have invested in Burundi in the construction, finance, health, transport and mineral sectors.

There are 18 companies from Burundi that have invested in Tanzania in various sectors, these statistics show the equal shares of balance of trade between our two countries, but we have to increase the volume, especially in sectors that are yet to be utilized, she expounded.

She also explained the need for traders form the two countries to make better use of the East African market by adding value to their products and services.

President Samia also encouraged members of the business community to utilize the available opportunities in the agriculture sector in both countries, since the sector plays vital roles in creation of employment especially for the youth.

Tanzania has a total of 44 million hectares of fertile soil, out of it 10 million hectares are yet to be utilized, therefore we have a great potential and promising future in the agriculture sector in Tanzania, she noted.

In another development she informed members of the forum that the government of Tanzania has continued to upgrade the ports of Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Kalema, Kasanga and Kabwe in its move to ease movement of people and their goods, asking Burundian traders to continue using the Tanzanians ports in their business.

She also said that Tanzania has invested heavily in the health sector, especially in specialised healthcare by training medical specialists and purchase of modern equipment.

President Samia said Burundians can access cardiovascular services from the neighbouring Dar es Salaam based Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) instead of seeking the services overseas.

Meanwhile, President Samia met and held talks with Tanzanians living in Burundi, where she expressed her gratitude for the warm reception since she arrived in the country on Friday.

She commended the Tanzanian community for participating in various social activities in Burundi and their home country, where they donated desks to Kagera earthquake victims in 2016 and MV Nyerere accident in 2018.

President Samia said that citizens living outside their country are an important group due to their contribution in their home countries.

According to her, it is estimated that 1 million Tanzanians are living in various countries in the world. The President said according to the Bank of Tanzania, Tanzanian Diaspora sent home an estimated 475.65 million US dollars in 2018.

Following your contributions, the government has been taking various measures to safeguard your welfare, including establishment of a Diaspora department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she said.

The Head of State, however, called on all Tanzanians living outside the country to register to the embassies in the countries they reside in so that it can be easier for the government to serve them and benefit from various opportunities arising in their home country.

More info SAMIA’ S STATE VISIT TO BURUNDI: SMOOTH TRADE BECKONS

Tanzania May Start Building $30 Billion LNG Project in 2023

Dar es Salaam

File

President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s administration wants construction completed in 2028. Government negotiating terms with companies including Equinor.

Tanzania plans to begin the construction of a delayed $30 billion liquefied natural gas project in 2023, following the resumption of talks with companies including Equinor ASA.

Construction is expected to take about five years, Energy Minister Medard Kalemani told lawmakers on Thursday.

The project gained momentum after President Samia Suluhu Hassan took office in March, and directed her administration to fast-track delayed investments. Plans for an LNG plant on Tanzania’s southern coast and a pipeline connecting offshore fields have been under consideration since 2014. Talks, however, stalled for more than a year under Hassan’s predecessor John Magufuli.

The announcement on construction of the project comes months after Total SE suspended work on a similar plan in neighboring Mozambique following insurgent attacks. Tanzania’s project, which has lagged Mozambique, is set to benefit from Hassan’s push to boost investment and accelerate economic growth in a nation where policy uncertainty had stifled business.

Talks Resume
Hassan ordered the resumption of negotiations with the companies in May, about four months after Equinor’s decision to take a $982 million impairment on the project following failure to settle fiscal and commercial terms with Tanzania.

“We expect to conclude negotiations for a host government agreement and review production sharing agreements” by the end of June 2022, Kalemani said. The government has finalized compensation procedures with more than 600 residents of the southern Tanzanian town of Lindi to pave way for the project, he said.

Tanzania and the companies are discussing a proposed two-train onshore LNG plant to export gas from the East African nation. Other project partners include Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Sophi Energy Ltd. and Pavilion Energy Pte Ltd.

Separately, the government is building a pipeline network to connect and distribute gas to more than 10,000 homes and factories, mostly in the commercial hub of Dar es Salaam, Kalemani said.

Tanzania and Mozambique have for more than a decade been sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost gas frontier-investment destinations after explorers found more than 100 trillion cubic feet of the resources in their territories. Mozambique’s projects, with companies including Total, Eni SpA and Exxon Mobil and a projected investment of at least $60 billion, are threatened by an insurgency in the nation’s gas-rich regions.

More Info Tanzania May Start Building $30 Billion LNG Project in 2023

Tanzania signs host agreement for East African oil pipeline project

Kampala

File

Tanzania has signed a Host Government Agreement (HGA) with a Total-led joint venture to launch the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP).

The EACOP project forms part of the wider $3.5bn Lake Albert resources development project in Uganda and Tanzania.

The signing of the HGA follows the final agreements made in April 2021 by Total and its partners.

These include shareholders agreement of EACOP and the tariff and transportation agreement between EACOP and the Lake Albert oil shippers.
The latest HGA establishes the legal and commercial framework for the project’s financing, construction, and operation.

Commenting on the project, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said: “The pipeline is a very important regional project, Tanzania and Mozambique you have gas and the corridor can be used to take another pipeline for gas to help countries in the great lakes region with the resource.”

The EACOP project aims to connect the oil fields around Lake Albert in Uganda to supply up to 216,000 barrels of crude oil a day to Tanzania’s export terminal in Tanga.

Total, the government-owned Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), and China’s CNOOC will be shareholders in the EACOP project.

The first oil export from the project is expected to take place in early 2025.

The oil pipeline will run from the future Kabaale Industrial Park in the Hoima district of Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near the Tanga Port in Tanzania.

The Lake Albert project also includes Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda along with the construction of the EACOP in Uganda and Tanzania.

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Kenya and Tanzania ease cross-border business rules as relations thaw

Nairobi

Reuters

Kenya will waive work and business permits for investors from its neighbour Tanzania, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday, as his counterpart made similar overtures in a thawing of often frosty relations between the two countries.

Kenya, east Africa’s biggest economy and one of its most liberal, and Tanzania, which still imposes fairly tight capital controls and ranked No. 2, have long tussled for influence.

“We would like to see many investors from Tanzania coming to do business in Kenya. And I want to say this, Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya without being required to have business visas or work permits,” Kenyatta said during a Kenya-Tanzania business meeting in Nairobi.

“The only thing you will be required to do is to follow the laid down regulations and the laws,” he told the meeting, attended by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Relations between the two neighbours have been at times testy and got worse under Tanzania’s late President John Magufuli, with officials at times trading barbs over trade restrictions, and last year, over COVID-19 compliance.

Hassan, was sworn in in March after Magufuli died, said her government had embarked on tax and other business reforms to make it easier for Kenyan investors to operate in Tanzania.

Hassan’s office said late on Tuesday the two governments had also pledged to speed up completion of electricity transmission and road construction projects Kenya and Tanzania are jointly carrying out.

The two governments also agreed to speed up groundwork for the construction of a natural gas pipeline linking Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam and Kenya’s port city of Mombasa.

Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Alison Williams.

More Info Kenya and Tanzania ease cross-border business rules as relations thaw

Tanzania and Barrick Gold Corporation Breakthrough

Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala, Reuters  /  24 January 2020

The government will take 16% stakes in Barrick mines.

It was signed by Barrick CEO Mark Bristow and Tanzanian minerals minister Doto Biteko at a ceremony in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

It follows an announcement by the two sides in October in which they agreed to a payment of $300 million to settle outstanding tax and other disputes, the lifting of an export ban on concentrates and the sharing of future economic benefits from mines.

South Africa-born Bristow, describing the dispute as a “long safari” since it emerged in 2017, struck a conciliatory tone in a speech at the ceremony broadcast on state TV. Safari means “journey” in Swahili.

“Many people said your criticism will chase away investors … what it’s done is challenge the mining industry and all of us to embark on something where we win together or lose together,” Bristow said to applause.

Casting himself as a “Zulu boy” born in Zululand, Bristow called it a “historical day” for Africa.

“President, what I am here to do today is to offer you the hand of Barrick,” the CEO added, moving from the lectern to shake President John Magufuli’s hand.

The company said it had budgeted $50 million for brown and greenfield exploration in Tanzania in 2020.

“I thank God for the success of this agreement, said Magufuli, who has made a point of extracting more income from natural resources and described the negotiations as a clash between a cow and a rabbit.

He said confiscated containers of gold and copper concentrate could now be exported to the benefit of Twiga Minerals, a new joint venture set up to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines.

“Twiga Minerals represents a structure which allows the government and the people of Tanzania to be involved in the decision-making of everything that we do together,” Bristow said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi, who led Tanzania’s negotiating team, said Tanzania now owns 16% undiluted shares in Twiga Minerals, as well as a 16% stake in each of the Barrick mines.

“We almost lost hope in the discussions with Barrick and I was ready to tender my resignation to the president for failing to complete this task, but we ultimately got the deal done,” Kabudi said.

The dispute originally involved Acacia Mining, which was bought out by Barrick. The government imposed a ban on exporting mineral concentrates in 2017 after accusing Acacia of tax evasion, leading to a one-third cut in the miner’s output.

Renegotiating all deals

Minerals make up the majority of Tanzania’s exports and are a key source of foreign exchange for Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer.

The government said it is renegotiating mining agreements with all existing companies to get a minimum 16% stake in each large-scale mine, in accordance with mining laws passed in 2017.

Mining licences from now on will be issued by Tanzania’s Mining Commission under the guidance of the president, Kabudi said.

South African miner AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita is the largest gold mine in Tanzania. Other miners operating in the country include Shanta Gold and Petra Diamonds.

“It’s encouraging for all stakeholders in the mining industry that Tanzania and Barrick have formalised an agreement and have started a new chapter in the country,” said an AngloGold Ashanti spokesman.

“This deal is a sigh of relief not just for Barrick or the mining industry in Tanzania, but for investors in the broader region,” said Margarita Dimova, associate director at consulting firm Africa Practice.

A mining executive working in Tanzania said the agreement was positive for the sector: “A lot of key issues impacting projects getting off the ground were being pushed aside until the Barrick deal was sorted.”

More Info Tanzania and Barrick Gold Corp. Breakthrough

Tanzania again in trade deficit with Kenya

(The Citizen) Dar es Salaam                                                                                   

After recording trade surpluses for three consecutive years, the fall of exports has turned Tanzania’s trade with Kenya into a deficit.

According to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Bank of Tanzania (BoT) computations, provisional data shows that Tanzanian trade with Kenya recorded a deficit of $35.8 million in 2018, down from a surplus of $90.2 million in 2017. The last trade deficit between Tanzania and Kenya was recorded in 2014, showing a deficit of $208.7 million before jumping into a surplus of $491.7 million in 2015! However, the trade surplus dropped to $46.1 million in 2016 due to a dramatic fall in exports to $313.8 million, down from $731.4 million in 2015.The computations also show that, in 2018, Tanzanian exports to Kenya were valued at $213.7 million, lower than the $291.5 million recorded in 2017. On the other hand, imports increased to $249.5 million in 2018, up from $201.3 million in 2017. The provisional data shows that, regionally, the trade balance between Tanzania and the other East African Community (EAC) states continued to remain on the surplus side for four consecutive years.

In 2018, Tanzania’s trade with EAC had a surplus of $141.8 million, lower than the $193.3 million surplus recorded in 2017. Tanzania’s trade deficit with the other EAC states was only recorded in 2014, at $108.3 million before jumping into a surplus of $581.7 million in 2015 – and $130.3 million in 2016. Kenya is currently the leading destination and major source of Tanzania’s intra-EAC exports and imports respectively – followed by Uganda. Tanzania’s major exports in the EAC region were beans, maize, sisal rope, tea and mosquito nets. Major imports were medicines and soaps. All in all, Tanzania has continued to record trade surpluses with the other EAC member states, including especially Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

According to the computations, the largest value in terms of a trade surplus in 2018 was recorded with Rwanda ($78.2 million), followed by Uganda ($52.6 million). Burundi was at the bottom, with a trade surplus of $46.8 million in favour of Tanzania.

More Info  Tanzania again in trade deficit with Kenya after four years of surplus

Gold exports from Tanzania rise 42% in the previous year

 

HIGHER pricing and an increase in volumes saw Tanzania’s earnings from gold exports rise 42% in the year to November, said Reuters.

Citing the east African country’s central bank, the newswire said gold exports rose to $2.14bn in the year to November from $1.51bn during the same period in 2018. Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.

“The increase in volume exported is partly associated with government actions to effectively manage mining activities in the country,” the bank said, without giving details on the volume exported. Total exports rose 12% year-on-year to $9.53bn in the year ending November, said Reuters.

The bank said earnings from tourism, another major foreign exchange earner, rose to $2.52bn in the year to November from $2.45bn in the same period a year earlier.

Tanzania’s minerals legislation has been altered in the last two years to allow for greater state equity participation as well as increases in levies and taxes. The Tanzanian government, led by President John Magaguli, has also recently emerged from a bruising conflict with the former Acacia Resources over unpaid tax allegations.

After having had a large portion of its gold production blocked by the Tanzanian government, Acacia Mining was eventually taken over by its majority shareholder Barrick Gold which has subsequently agreed a joint venture with the government.

More Info Gold exports from Tanzania rise 42% in year to November on the back of higher pricing