Tanzanian President John Magufuli said on Monday Egypt has committed to construct a mega-meat processing plant in the east African country.

Addressing a joint news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam shortly after he had held talks with the visiting Egyptian President El-Sisi, President Magufuli said the construction of the meat plant will provide big relief to livestock keepers who will be sure of selling their livestock at better prices. Tanzania has one of the largest livestock populations in Africa with 13.5 million head of cattle, 5.5 million goats, 3.6 million sheep, 0.4 million pigs and 23.2 million chickens, according to statistics by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. But the country lacks a meat processing plant.”Egypt has a vast meat market so they have promised us with the market,” President Magufuli said.

President Magufuli also highlighted education, health, defense and security, and agriculture as among areas that Egypt has shown interest in investing in Tanzania. “The tourism sector is also among the sectors which we have agreed to improve by boosting the number of tourists. Egypt attracts over 10 million tourists annually while Tanzanians is attracting less than 2 million tourists annually,” said Magufuli, adding that the two countries have agreed to promote tourism through their national airlines.He said the two countries have also agreed to resume talks on the use of the Nile River Basin waters for the benefit of people in both countries.

President Magufuli said the talks on the use of the Nile River waters should equally benefit all 10 member states of the Nile Basin countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt. The Nile River Basin agreement of 2010 established principles governing the use, management, development and conservation of the Nile water resources and details the rights and obligations of basin states. Tanzania still recognized the 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement signed by upstream Nile Basin countries. Stretching more than 6,600 kilometres from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, the Nile is a vital water and energy source for the countries through which it flows.

However, Egypt and Sudan have refused to sign the new agreement on the Nile River Basin Co-operative Framework demanding that the two countries should still maintain their current Nile water uses and rights. For his part, Egyptian President El-Sisi, who was on a two-day official visit to Tanzania, commended President Magufuli for his warm welcome vowing that his country was committed towards improving relations between the two countries. He said his country will invest heavily in the Tanzanian sectors of agriculture and water including drilling water wells to enable the public to have access to clean and safe water. The Egyptian leader also commended President Magufuli on his tireless efforts of fighting corruption in the country saying that he has shown that he was a good and committed leader.

Source: Xinhua/Newsghana.com.gh