Lilongwe — TANZANIA and Malawi have signed an agreement for the establishment of a single customs and immigration centre at the Songwe-Kasumulu border, aimed at boosting trade and cementing bilateral relations between the two countries.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Tanzania's Minister of Finance, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum, said African countries ought to trade between themselves to bring about development growth, rather than depending on unreliable aid from development partners.
The signing ceremony was held here on Monday in which Ms Mkuya represented Tanzania, while Malawi's Minister for Industry and Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, signed on behalf of her country. "Establishment of the single customs and immigration centre at the Songwe-Kasumulu border will not only reduce costs of doing business, but also cement the existing bi-lateral relations between the two countries. This is also due to the fact that the people from the two nations share traditions," Ms Mkuya said.
She urged experts from Malawi and Tanzania to put in place a work-plan on implementation of the ambitious project, to enable residents of the two countries enjoy their benefits, noting that the project should not end in papers.
Responding to questions from journalists, the minister assured residents from the two countries that the project will be implemented and that the existing relationship between the two nations is there to stay.
For his part, Minister Gwengwe said he was pleased with the centre which he said would facilitate smoother transportation of Malawi bound cargo from Tanzania, since the former is a land-locked country.
The signing of the agreement was done on the sidelines of the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), where Minister Mkuya led the Tanzania delegation.