Africa: Why Nyerere Merits AU Honour

ANALYSTS have joined African leaders to acknowledge the African Union (AU) decision to honour Tanzania's Founding President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, by building his statue at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Nyerere's statue was unveiled last Sun - day in honour of his unwavering, selfless commitment to fight for Africa's liberation and unity.

The launching ceremony of the statue was presided over by the Chairperson of the AU's Commission, Mr Moussa Faki, and Heads of State, including President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan and Zambia's President, Mr Hikainde Hichilema, who also serves as the Chairperson of the Southern Africa Development Community's (SADC) Organ on Poli - tics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The ceremony was held as part of the 37th AU Summit, following the implementation of SADC's idea of honouring the late Mwalimu Nyerere for his contribution to the formation of the bloc and his strong stance on uprooting imperialism in the continent.

Therefore, SADC, in collaboration with the AU, made the historic and Pan-Africanist idea of a monumental tribute to Mr Nyerere by erecting a 3-meter sculpture, a reality.

Reflecting on Nyerere's role in liberating the continent, Mr Faki said Tanzania's founding father's outstanding leadership is a summary of Pan-Africanism, profound wisdom, and service to the continent.

He said Mwalimu Nyerere played a key pioneering role in the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which later became the AU in 2002, in pursuit of the continent's unity and solidarity.

He reminded that Mwalimu Nyerere's dedication to attaining unity went beyond national boundaries and national interest.

He cited Nyerere's speech in 1970 in the parliament, in which he stressed unity among Africans to uproot colonialism in Southern African countries.

"Under his leadership, Tanzania became a sanctuary for liberation movements across the continent.

The Organisation of the African Unity Liberation Committee found its head - quarters in Tanzania until the dismantling of the Apartheid system in South Africa in development of the Bagamoyo Port, the development of an Oil Jet at Tanga Port, the development of a Dry Cargo Terminal in Mtwara, and the development of Dry Ports in Dodoma, Kigoma, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, and the Coast Region.

"We have several projects to develop dry ports in different regions due to the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway," he informed the Egyptian delegation.

Prof Mbarawa emphasised that the partnership between Tanzania and Egypt in infrastructure development would address key infrastructure challenges and unlock new opportunities for economic advancement.

He argued that the development of any country largely depends on the transport sector, which enhances local and international trade.

As Tanzania is a gateway for several neighbouring landlinked countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, and Malawi, strengthening its transport network will lead to market growth.

Through the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project, the government has improved the infrastructure of the Dar es Salaam Port to increase efficiency, including deepening its berths. These improvements have enabled large vessels to dock at the port.

He also informed them of ongoing projects involving the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The minister stated that through the exchange of best practices, capacity building efforts, and joint initiatives between the two countries, the transport sector will be boosted, paving the way for sustainable development.

On his part, Egyptian Minister for Transport, Mr. Kamel El Wazir, mentioned that he was accompanied by investors and businesspeople from his country who have come to explore opportunities.

"We appreciate the good relationship and brotherhood between the two countries," he stated.

He mentioned that their visit was in response to the visit of their President to Tanzania and President Samia Suluhu Hassan's visit to Egypt over two years ago. The two presidents vowed to strengthen the countries' historical relations.

"Egypt is ready to do its best to strengthen relations with African countries and enhance transport networks for trade connectivity, in order to promote inter trade between the countries," he stated.

He added, "We need to build dry ports in different countries, but we should start constructing them here in Tanzania, which is the gateway to other land-linked countries. Therefore, we need strong cooperation between the Dar port and ports in Egypt.

This will also lead to strengthened cooperation between the two countries, enabling the transportation of cargo to countries surrounding the Nile River."

He stated that the project to invest in Tanzania will make it easier to reach out to other African countries, aligning with Egypt's agenda for 2060 to invest in Africa.

The strategic meeting held yesterday in the city brought together key officials from organisations such as the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC), Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA), National Institute of Transport (NIT), Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), Air Tanzania Corporation (ATCL), Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA), and Marine Services Company Ltd (MSCL).

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