Germany president visits Tanzania, aims to boost relations

Tuesday October 31 2023

Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier smiles during a meeting with a delegation at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on October 31, 2023. PHOTO | IKULU TANZANIA


Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived on Monday in Tanzania for a three-day visit seeking to boost relations for the future. Steinmeier’s trip to Tanzania is part of a two-country African tour that will also see him visit Lusaka, Zambia later this week.

President Steinmeier arrived at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), welcomed by Foreign and East African Cooperation Minister January Makamba. On Tuesday, he met with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan where they held talks at Ikulu (state house) in the commercial capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salam.

The Tanzanian government said the visit was aimed at “strengthening historic relations that have lasted more than 60 years”.

The trip is business-oriented, and his delegation includes government officials and investors from 12 German companies, and he aims to strengthen diplomatic and development relations with Tanzania, as well as promote trade and investment.

His trip to Tanzania is concurrent to that of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz who is on a tour of Nigeria and Ghana this week. They are both seeking to cement roles of German investors in Africa especially in areas of green energy. Scholz had earlier visited Kenya this year where they discussed similar perspectives with the country's President William Ruto.

Read: German Chancellor to visit E. Africa


The German president and his host Samia were expected to participate in a business forum with businesspeople and investors from both countries and receive a report on the forum's deliberations later on Tuesday.

On the same day, Steinmeier will meet and talk to young entrepreneurs dealing in innovation technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI), under the funding of the German government. He will also visit the Twiga Cement factory in Dar es Salaam, which is operated in partnership with the German company, Scancem International.

On November 1, Steinmeier will travel to Songea in Ruvuma Region to visit the Maji Maji War Museum and Maji Maji Primary School.

The museum is the only one in Tanzania that depicts the history of the Maji Maji War, which was fought against German colonial rule.

Tanzania and Germany have been in cordial diplomatic ties for the past 60 years.

The two countries cooperate in various strategic sectors, including trade and investment, water, health, gender equality, women empowerment, biodiversity protection, financial supervision, tourism, culture and traditions.

Data from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) shows that Tanzania exports $42.04 million worth of commodities to Germany, mostly tobacco, coffee, cotton, honey, fish, wax, and gemstones.

Read: Tanzania diamond exports hit record high

Tanzania imports $237.43 million worth of commodities from Germany annually, especially medicines, medical devices, deodorants, cars, and electrical equipment.

Germany is among the top 10 countries leading in attracting investment to Tanzania. Data from TIC shows that 178 projects worth $408.11 million have been registered in the country by August 2023, creating 16,121 jobs.

In Zanzibar, 15 projects worth $300 million have been registered, creating 905 jobs.