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India-Tanzania: Task-Force for Defense Collaboration

Recently, Union Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh and the Tanzanian Minister of Defense and National Service Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax met in New Delhi to discuss a range of issues regarding defense cooperation between the two nations.

The Crucial Points of the Meeting

  • Both India and Tanzania agreed to form a task force to prepare a future road map for five years to enhance the defense collaboration between them. They also decided to hold the next meeting of defense cooperation in Tanzania at the earliest.
  • A wide range of issues was discussed based on bilateral, regional, and defense industrial cooperation during the meeting. The military-to-military activities were reviewed by the two ministers, and they shared views on enhancing collaboration in all spheres, particularly in the domain of defense industry cooperation.
  • Tax was also invited by Rajnath Singh to attend the India-Africa defense dialogue and DefExpo, which is scheduled from October 18th to October 22nd, 2022, at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Dr. Tax visited the National War Memorial and paid homage to the fallen soldiers by laying wreaths at the monuments. She was later accorded a ceremonial guard of honor before her bilateral meeting with Mr. Rajnath Singh started. Dr. Tax visited the WarGaming Development Centre and the Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region before she departed for Hyderabad to interact with the defense industry. While talking about the development, Commodore Anil Jai Singh (Retd) said that the Western Indian Ocean and East Africa have been of strategic importance for India from the economic, trade, and business point of view. This side accounts for 60% of trade to India, making it a strategically important region. During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, India assisted many countries, including Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, and other island nations in the Western Indian Ocean. Mr. Singh believes that the time has come to reestablish old ties with African nations.

A Brief Illustration of India-Tanzania Relations

A diplomatic relationship of warmth and congeniality has been shared between India and Tanzania. During the period of the 1960s and 1980s, both nations dealt with common interests and raised their voices against colonialism. The commitment towards non-alignment and south-south cooperation was also initiated by both countries. The post-cold war era also portrays India and Tanzania’s unity when they initiated economic reform programs.

In 1961, the High Commission of India was established in Dar es Sallam. However, the consulate was later built in Zanzibar in the year 1974. The Tanzanian Embassy, which is situated in New Delhi, is also accredited to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar. During PM Modi’s visit to Tanzania in 2016, several agreements were signed between the two nations. The agreements incorporated the MoUs on the joint action plan for small industries, water resource management and development, vocational training centers, and a line of credit of 92 million USD for ameliorating the water supply in Zanzibar and visa waiver agreements. Tanzania has a sizable Indian diaspora, with nearly 70 thousand people belonging to it. Thus, both India and Tanzania have expanded their diplomatic relations in recent years in order to reap the benefits of being strategic partners in a variety of domains.