Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania - Tovuti Rasmi ya Rais

Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania
Tovuti Rasmi ya Rais
Ofisi ya Rais - Ikulu

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY H.E. DR. JOHN POMBE JOSEPH MAGUFULI, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA ON THE OCCASSION OF ASSUMING THE CHAIMANSHIP OF THE SADC DAR ES SALAAM, 17 AUGUST, 2019

Saturday 17th August 2019

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY H.E. DR. JOHN POMBE JOSEPH MAGUFULI, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA ON THE OCCASSION OF ASSUMING THE CHAIMANSHIP OF THE SADC

DAR ES SALAAM, 17 AUGUST, 2019

 

Your Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC;

 

Your Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation;

 

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government

 

Your Excellencies, First Ladies;

 

Your Excellencies former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania (Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin William Mkapa and Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete);

 

 

 

Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

 

Your Excellency Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council;

 

Your Excellency Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania;

 

Your Excellencies Former Prime Ministers of the United Republic of Tanzania (Mzee Cleopa Msuya, Mzee Joseph Warioba, Mzee John Malecela, and Mzee Peter Pinda)

 

Your Excellency Netumbo Nandi – Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia;

 

Leaders of Political Parties here present;

 

Your Excellency Chairman of the SADC Council of Ministers;

 

Honourable Ministers here present;

 

Your Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrance Tax, Executive Secretary of the SADC;

 

Your Excellencies Heads of Other Regional and International Organizations;

 

Excellencies High Commissioners and Ambassadors here present;

 

Distinguished Delegates and Other Invited Guests;

 

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I feel greatly honoured and yet privileged to be given this rare opportunity to address this Assembly for the second time this morning. Unlike the first time, this time around, I stand before Your Excellencies when you have given me a huge responsibility to chair this Organization for the next one year. Allow me, therefore, on behalf of the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as that of my own, to thank Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government of the SADC for the trust you have bestowed on me. Indeed, being a Chair of this body is a great honour not only to me personally but also to the Government and people of Tanzania. I thank you very much.

I know, this is not an easy job; it comes with high expectations, however, with great sense of humility, I humbly accept this responsibility. And I have all the confidence that, with Your Excellencies’ support and cooperation, I will be able to live to your expectations and to the expectations of the people of this sub-region. And to be honest, I have no reason not to believe that you will offer me all the needed support during my tenure.

You have been doing so since my inauguration as President of the United Republic of Tanzania in November 2015. In this connection, this being the first SADC Summit to attend, I would like to take the advantage of this occasion to thank Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government of the SADC for all the support and cooperation you have been extending to me since I took over the leadership of my dear country, Tanzania. I greatly appreciate your support and cooperation; and it is my desire to strengthen further these cooperation and partnerships for the benefits of our Community and all our Member States.

May I also seize this opportunity to reassure Your Excellencies, and whoever had any cause of doubt, that, Tanzania is fully committed to the SADC; its vision, goals, principles and ideals. Indeed, we always consider SADC as an integral part of our future. This is why we have continued to be an active member of SADC and effectively participate in the implementation of its various initiatives and programmes.

In short, I want to assure Your Excellencies that, during my tenure as the President of this country, the Tanzania that you very well know will remain the same. Indeed, I promise to follow the footsteps of all my predecessors, the late Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Their Excellencies Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin William Mkapa and Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. I know it is not an easy task, but I will try to the best of my ability; and so God help me.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Before I proceed with my address, I would like to seize this opportunity to acknowledge the exemplary leadership of our Community by the Outgoing Chair of SADC, His Excellency President Dr. Hage Geingob, during the past one year. Indeed, as his Deputy, I must admit that, I benefited from his huge experiences, which I believe will help me for the new role I have just assumed. I particularly wish to commend Outgoing Chairperson for his dedication and commitment on the issues of infrastructure development and youth empowerment; as well as for ensuring that SADC actively participated and played its role in the efforts towards reducing the effects of cyclone Idai and Kenneth that had affected some SADC Member States. In this connection, allow me, once again, to extend my condolences and sympathy to all Member States that were affected by these unfortunate and tragic events.

 

I wish also to pay a glowing tribute to my brother, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia and the Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation for his tireless efforts to promote peace, stability and democracy in our region. During his tenure, six Member States held their elections peacefully: Comoro, DRC, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi and South Africa. In this regard, I am sure you will all join me in congratulating Their Excellencies Andry Rajoelina of the Republic of Madagascar, Azali Assoumani of the Union of Comoros, Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa and Peter Mutharika of the Republic of Malawi for the victories in their respective countries. I wish also to commend the Kingdom of Eswatini for holdig its Parliametary election. But, in a very special way, I salute my dear brother, His Excellency Felix Tshekesedi, for emerging victorious in democratic elections, which enabled a peaceful transfer of power for the first time in DRC since its independence in 1960. This is indeed another testimony that democracy has continued to grow and take roots in our sub-region.

  

At this juncture, I cannot fail to express my appreciation to our Secretariat under the able leadership of Madam Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Tax. During the preparations of this Summit, I was able to experience the sterling job this Secretariat has been doing to our region. But, this is yet another clear testimony that when women are given the opportunity, they can perform a remarkable work. It is for this reason also, we in Tanzania, decided in 2015 to elect a woman, as our Vice-President, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan. And I am glad that she has never failed us. Your Excellency Madam the Vice-President may you please rise up so that delegates can recognize you.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Excellencies;

Distinguished Invited Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is an open secret that since its inception, SADC has recorded some important milestones; the elimination of colonialism and apartheid rule being the greatest of them all. But, in addition, thanks to the efforts undertaken by this Organization, peace and security, which forms the cornerstone of our political and socio-economic development, reign in most parts of our region. Indeed, there is no more peaceful and stable region on our continent than the SADC region. I should also mention that since the launching of the SADC Free Trade Area in 2008, intra-regional trade within the SADC region has been growing steadily; from 16 percent of the regional GDP to 22 percent in 2018. It is also pleasing to note that a strong democratic culture is now entrenched in our region and peaceful changes have become the norm.

 

These are indeed very important milestones. Despite these achievemets, our region is still confroted by many challenges. Yes,  there are still many challenges facing our region. Due to time constraints, I will only highlight three of them.

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Just recently, I mentioned that our region is peaceful and more stable than any other part of this continent. This is not to say, however, that our region is free from the conflicts. In some of our countries, conflict situations still exist. In addition, there are other security threats, including international terrorism, organized crimes, climate change, drought, flood, hunger, diseases; that continue to face our region.

 

It is, therefore, imperative that we continue to work together to address these challenges. This is important because, as we all very well know, peace and security are the most critical pre-conditions for socio-economic development and transformation. Hence, our countries must continue to work hard to make sure that our region is free from conflicts. In this regard, on this matter of peace and security in our region, I urge Your Excellencies that we should always be encouraged by the wise words of one of the greatest sons of this sub-continent, His Excellency Robert Mugabe, former President of Zimbabwe, who once said, and I quote: “Never, never, never must we give up when it comes to the search for peace in any party of our region”, end of quote. As the Chair of the SADC for the next one year, we pledge our commitment to work with all the Member States in order to ensure that peace and security prevail in our region.

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

         Putting peace and security issues aside, the biggest challenge that, I see, currently confronting our sub-region is that of economic emancipation. In my welcome remarks I mentioned that in transforming the SADCC with double “C” into the SADC with single “C” in 1992, the Leaders of this region had one key objective: to use the political achievements to advance socio-economic development and transformation in our region. Needless to say, I am sure I will be speaking on behalf of many citizens in this region, that, this objective has not been realized, and to be honest, if there are no concerted efforts, it will take ages for this objective to be realized. And I am not saying this without evidences.

 

         Last year, 2018, our region set a target of GDP growth of 7.0 percent; but it grew by only 3.1 percent. This was below the continent’s average growth of 3.5 percent; the Eastern African region growth of 5.7 percent; the Northern African region growth of 4.9 percent and the 3.3 percent growth in the Western African region. In addition, our intra-regional and extra-regional trade performance is also not so good. In 2017, the SADC region, with 16 Member States, a population of 327 million people, a total area of 9,882,959 square kilometers, and which is blessed with abundant and diverse natural resources, only exported goods worth US$ 143 billion. On the other hand, Mexico and Vietnam, countries with areas of 1,943,955 square kilometer and 331,210 square kilometer and a population of 132.5 million people and 97.5 million people each exported goods worth US$ 403 billion and US$ 214 billion, respectively. This clearly shows that our economies are not performing well; and we are still very far from achieving our economic objectives. I am saying this openly because there is no need to hide it. That is the truth.

 

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Of course, there are many reasons why our economies are not performing as expected; one of them being lack of information on the opportunities available in our respective countries. In May this year, for instance, I had the opportunity to visit four SADC countries. Three of them, due to drought and other natural disasters, were experiencing shortage of food. In this respect, it surprised me to hear that those countries were planning to import food stuff from outside Africa, while we in Tanzania were struggling to find markets for 2.5 million tons of our food surplus. But that is just one example. Due to lack of information, our countries are also importing cars, sugar, and fuel very far away from our region, while some SADC Member States; South Africa, Mauritius and Angola; for instance, are producing the same, respectively.

 

Exportation and importation costs also contribute to the poor economic performance of our region.  Studies have shown that the costs relating to customs in our region are three times higher than in Asia and five times higher than in OECD countries. These costs compounded by the transportation cost, make the situation even worse. I am reliably informed, for instance, that it costs less overall to import animal feed and refined sugar from South America to our countries than to import the same from within our region.

 

Difference in trade and investment policies, laws, regulations and standards has also its fair share in hindering businesses and economic cooperation between and among SADC Member States and, thus, affecting our economic performance. For example, it is possible today for a good that is produced and cleared in one Member State to be denied to enter the market of another Member State for not being able to meet the quality standards. Why can’t we harmonize our policies, laws, regulations and our quality standards and be able to increase the volume and value of our intra and extra regional trade? Unless we do that, it will remain a day dream for our region to fully realize its economic objectives.

 

Your Excellencies;

Distinguished Invited Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

At this juncture, allow me also to mention that, apart from those three challenges that I have just highlighted, there is one more challenge that hinders our efforts towards economic emancipation, which to me, is the biggest of them all. That challenge concerns the low level of industrialization in our region. Your Excellencies, history has taught us that no country or region in the world has ever developed without undergoing the process of industrialization. And even today, all developed nations are the industrialized countries.

 

Just to give you an idea of why the industrial sector is important, the World Trade Organization Statistical Review Report of 2018 indicates that the value of the global trade in 2017 reached US$ 23.01 trillion, of which US$ 17.73 trillion were merchandise trade and US$ 5.28 trillion commercial services. Of importance to note, however, is that, of the US$ 17.73 trillion merchandise trade, 70 percent, almost US$ 12.41 trillion, were manufactured goods. In that same year, Africa, in total, exported goods worth US$ 417 billion, and as I mentioned earlier, SADC exported goods worth US$ 143 billion. More than 60 percent of Africa’s and SADC’s exports were raw materials, mainly agricultural products, mining and fuel. That means that Africa, including the SADC region, has not benefited much from that increase of global trade.

 

This explains why Africa’s share in the global trade is less than 3 percent. It also explains why the terms of trade are always in favour of other regions. For instance, in the year 2017, Africa exported goods worth US$ 417 billion, but its importation was US$ 534 billion. The reason is simple. We are selling goods of low value. It, therefore, requires us, for instance, to sell not less than 20 tons of cotton, coffee or tea to buy just one tractor. And this also explains why our people continue to remain poor. Raw material in the world markets are sold at very low prices. In addition, due to low level of industrialization in our region, the problem of unemployment is increasing. By exporting our raw materials it means we are also exporting jobs.

 

Your Excellencies;

Distinguished Invited Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is against this background that I would like to seize this opportunity to commend SADC for adopting the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015 – 2063. I also commend the decision to prioritize industrialization in each year’s SADC Summit themes and for introducing Industrialisation Week prior to each Ordinary Summit. I am confident that these efforts will go a long way in promoting industrialization in our respective countries and the region at large. In this respect, I wish to assure this august body that issues pertaining to industrialization will be the top priority of our chairmanship.

 

To this end, I once again, applaud the efforts undertaken by our outgoing Chair, Namibia, to improve infrastructure in our region. There is no gain saying that infrastructure development is an important enabler of industrialization and market integration. That said, however, for our industrial sector to flourish, we must also work together to improve business environment in our region by addressing all impediments and bottlenecks, including transit delays, bureaucratic red-tape, corruptions. This is why Tanzania has chosen “A Conducive Business Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation” to be the theme of the SADC during her chairmanship. It is our sincere hope that the implementation of this theme will serve as a catalyst for sustainable industrial development, increased intra-regional trade and job creation in our region.

 

 

Your Excellencies Heads of State ad Government;

Before I conclude my statement, allow me to say what I have always been telling my compatriots, and I am sure you also do, that our countries are not poor.  Our countries are not poor. They are very rich. We have all the resources to make us rich. Apart from a large population of 327 million people, the SADC region is home to a large number of wildlife and plant species that are of extremely importance; not to mention livestock and marine ecosystems. The region has also a wide diversity of ecozones, including grassland, bushveld, karoo, savannah and riparian zones. In addition, our region is endowed with hydrocarbons materials and mineral resources.  Indeed, as a matter of fact, our region contributes to the world about 18 percent of cobalt, 21 percent of zinc, 26 percent of gold, 55 percent of diamond and 72 percent of platinum group of metals. Therefore, we are not poor.

 

These are indeed resources that one can hope to have in order to be rich. We must, therefore, work together to ensure that we exploit and utilize these resources for the benefits of our countries and our peoples. This is important because, it is only through cooperation that we will be able to utilize these resources effectively and achieve our objectives. And this is what the founding fathers of this Organization and our respective countries, including the Late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Mzee Kenneth Kaunda, the Late Samora Machel, the late Augustinho Neto, the Late Seretse Khama, the Late Nelson Mandela, Mzee Robert Mugabe, Mzee Sam Nujoma, to mention but a few, have taught us, that the power of unity, when it is channeled with purpose to achieve an objective, can provide remarkable results”. It can even move a mountain. Indeed, it was because of unity, our founding fathers, with limited resources, were able to fight colonialism and emerged victorious.

 

This is why I appeal to Your Excellencies that, let us work together to ensure the dream that our founding fathers had in establishing this Organization is achieved and our goal for socio-economic transformation and emancipation of our region is realized.  Indeed, I personally believe that if we can work together, our economy will not grow by 3.1 percent, we shall be able to improve trade between us, our industrial sector will grow, our contribution to the global trade shall increase, our people will no longer remain poor and decent jobs will be available to our young people.

 

In addition, I believe, if we work together, peace and security will prevail in our region and we shall also have strong early warning mechanisms and systems that will help us to deal or reduce the impact of natural disasters that have been frequently affecting our countries, including famine, diseass, floods, cyclones and drought.

 

Your Excellencies,

I have urged you to work together in order to achieve our objectives. However, at this juncture, allow me also, to challenge our Secretariat to assess itself. I am saying this because, all the problems that I have highlighted, which currently confronting our region; happen while we have our own Institution, that is Secretariat, which is supposed to help us Member States overcome them. I personally believe that, if our Secretariat would perform efficiently and effectively its function, it would have found answers to the question why over the past ten years our GDP growth has been increasing on a downward and irregular trend.

 

The last time that our GDP grew by more than 5 percent was the year 2008, whereby it grew by 5.7. Of course, in the year 2005, 2006 and 2007, our GDP also grew by 6.6 percent, 7.3 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively. However, since then, our economic growth has never grown by more than 5 percent: 2009 (0.6%), 2010 (4%), 2011 (4.0%), 2012 (4.4%), 2013 (4.3%), 2014 (3.4), 2015 (2.2%), 2016 (1.4%), 2017 (3.0%) and last year 2018 (3.1%).

 

Had our Secretariat also lived up to its duty, our countries would have known the reasons why, after two consecutive years of positive trade balance in 2010 and 2011, SADC region external position deteriorated to a negative balance of USD 17 billion in 2015, USD 9 billion in 2016 and improved a little bit in 2017 to USD 1 billion. These are some of the critical questions that our Secretariat must address and advice Member States accordingly for a new direction.

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

It would certainly be remiss of me to end my speech without saying anything on Zimbabwe. As we are all aware, this brotherly and sisterly country has been on sanctions for a long time. These sanctions have not only affected the people of Zimbabwe and their Government but our entire region. It is like a human body, when you chop one of its parts, it affects the whole body. Therefore, I would like to seize this opportunity to urge the international community to lift up sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe. This brotherly country, after all, has now opened a new chapter and it is ready to engage with the rest of the world. It is, therefore, I believe, in the interest of all parties concerned to see these sanctions removed. In this respect, I wish also to urge all SADC Member States to continue to speak with one voice on the issue of Zimbabwe.

 

Long Live SADC!

Long Live Africa!

“Aluta Continua

 

“I thank you for your kind attention”.