The eighth session of the Zimbabwe-Tanzania Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) began in Harare yesterday with the two governments preparing to sign agreements on economic, industry and trade cooperation, as well as agriculture, transport and tourism.
The JPCC, which began with the senior officials' meeting, will end with the ministers' meeting tomorrow.
In his opening remarks, Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador James Manzou said the JPCC bore testimony to the strong political relations between the two countries.
"It is encouraging that a number of Memoranda of Understanding are ready for signing during this session of the JPCC," he said.
"One of these is the economic, industry and trade cooperation whose implementation will allow us to work more closely in order to enhance economic cooperation through promoting bilateral trade between our two countries. Another is the MoU in the field of agriculture which will provide a legal framework for the already ongoing cooperation between our two countries in this field."
Ambassador Manzou said there was need to enhance tourism between the two countries by improving transport connectivity.
"It is evident that our transport and tourism sectors are intrinsically linked, with the success of one feeding into the other. While we work towards connecting Victoria Falls and Arusha, let us exploit the existing connection between Harare and Arusha and Dar es Salaam to promote tourism in both our countries by our citizens' visitors," he added.
He also thanked the Tanzanian Government for their donations to assist people affected by Cyclone Idai that devastated some parts of the country, especially Chipinge and Chimanimani.
"The devastating tropical Cyclone Idai pushed to the fore the urgent need for us to improve our disaster preparedness and mitigation mechanisms to deal with possible future natural disasters," he said.
"Zimbabwe is keen to learn from Tanzania's well developed risk management system. It is my hope that we will conclude the MoU on Cooperation in Disaster Risk Management very soon so that implementation may begin promptly."
Ambassador Manzou said it was also important that they set time-bounds for the implementation of agreements and MoUs.
In his remarks, Tanzania's deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Relations Ambassador Ramadhan Mwinyi said the JPCC was important in formalising relations between the two countries.
"It has been 21 years since the last JPCC. During his visit (President John Magufuli) the two Heads of State directed the responsible ministries to convene and revive the JPCC.
"Our Heads of State are committed to strengthening our relations in a more formal way," Ambassador Mwinyi said.
He added that Zimbabwe and Tanzania has historical relations dating back to the days the fight against colonialism.
"Our relations are historical and dates back to the days of our liberation struggle," he said. "It is our moral obligation to have the spirit of friendship and cooperation initiated by our founding fathers."