President Samia to Oman: Why is Oman an important and strategic partner for Tanzania’s economic development?

President Samia to Oman: Why is Oman an important and strategic partner for Tanzania’s economic development?

Oman and Tanzania have enjoyed close relations developed over thousands of years of shared cultural history and trade exchanges.

The visit of President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania to the sultanate, starting Sunday, is expected to play a crucial role in bolstering relations further. 

President Samia’s visit to Oman is essential and strategic to Tanzania’s economic development. 

In 2015, Oman Investment Authority (OIA) opened an office in Tanzania to facilitate investment in East Africa, which plays a substantial role in encouraging investments in Tanzania. 

OIA led to opening new prospects for investments in Tanzania, including investing in Mangapwani Port in Zanzibar – the procedural phase of which has been finalised.

In May 2022, Oman and Tanzania signed a memorandum of understanding in fisheries and marine exploration, besides investing in a fish farm in Zanzibar, which has a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year in the first phase. It will be increased to 3,000 tonnes per year in the second phase and 6,000 tonnes per year in the third.

Earlier in the same month, in May 2022, Oman firm Asyad Group and Tanzania Posts signed a memorandum in e-commerce services and logistics solutions. The deal will increase the volume of e-commerce activities between the two countries. 

Moreover, the two countries are now collaborating to build tourism resorts through Omran and set up joint industries as part of the advanced negotiations between the two governments. 

Oman and Tanzania officials also are engaged in discussions to establish joint offshore oil and gas explorations.

According to statistics, about 25,000 Omanis travel to Tanzania annually for holidays or visit relatives in different parts of the country. 

Also, the Tanzanian diaspora in Oman numbers over 30,000 and is engaged in other sectors, including teaching, information technology, engineering and oil and gas.

Data on trade between the two countries shows that Omani exports to Tanzania in 2021 was USD 100 million. The most important commodities exported to Tanzania were plastic products, oil derivatives, electrical and household materials, and foodstuffs. 

Omani imports from Tanzania amounted to USD 23 million, mostly in commodities, food and meat.

Oman is one of the most experienced countries in oil and gas. Tanzania has embarked on that specific field, then Oman is one vital partner Tanzania needs for technical assistance amid the journey to extract the lucrative oil and gas resource. 

President Samia’s visit to Oman is very strategic when Tanzania has already signed the LNG framework agreement. This could be an opportunity for Tanzania to learn from Oman in the oil and gas field before finalising the deal in 2025.