India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his country will provide $190 million of development assistance to Tanzania.
About $180 million will be provided for water-supply projects, while $10 million will be spent on capacity building in social and education sectors, Singh told reporters today in Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. Singh is on a two-day visit to the East African nation to deepen economic and diplomatic cooperation.
The $1.3 billion invested by India in Tanzania to date is “too small, and we have agreed with the president to increase it,” he said at a joint media briefing with President Jakaya Kikwete, his Tanzanian counterpart.
India is boosting economic ties with Africa amid competition from China, its regional rival, whose trade with the continent totalled $106.8 billion in 2008, according to Consultancy Africa Intelligence’s website. Trade between India and Africa currently stands at $50 billion, according to the African Union.
Yesterday, Indian High Commissioner Kocheril Velayudhan Bhagirath said that Kamal Group of India plans to spend 327 billion shillings ($211 million) establishing a steel mill in Tanzania, while Chennai, India-based Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. will establish a specialty hospital in Dar es Salaam.
Singh and Kikwete today signed an agreement on the hospital, as well as accords to avoid double taxation and develop small business. Kikwete also said his government is in talks with Indian companies to establish a tractor-assembly plant to support his country’s five-year so-called Agriculture First initiative.
Tanzania and India will share intelligence information on countering piracy and terrorism, Kikwete said at the briefing.
“We have had 18 attempts to hijack ships, five of them successful,” Kikwete said. “We are buying bigger navy ships to go deeper into the waters to fight piracy.”
Somali pirates have made 145 attacks and hijacked 22 ships in the Indian Ocean so far this year, according to the International Maritime Organization. The pirates added at least $2.4 billion to transportation costs in 2010 as ships altered course to avoid attacks off east Africa, said One Earth, a non-profit group.
Tanzania and India will also work together to seek a reorganization of the United Nations Security Council, Singh said. Tanzania supports India’s bid to become a permanent member of the council and wants both permanent and non-permanent membership to be extended to include Africa, Kikwete said.