India-Tanzania Relations | 13 Jun 2020

Why in News

Recently, Prime Minister of India thanked Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania for his assistance provided for the evacuation of Indian citizens from Tanzania in the wake of Covid-19.

  • Both leaders reviewed the overall bilateral relationship and expressed satisfaction at the growing development partnership, educational linkages, trade and investment flows and discussed possibilities of further accelerating these trends.


  • It was formed as a sovereign state in 1964 through the union of the separate states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
  • Dodoma is the official capital and Dar es Salaam is the seat of most government administrations as well as is the largest city and port in the country.
  • It is located in east Africa just south of the Equator. It is bounded by Uganda, Lake Victoria and Kenya to the north, by the Indian Ocean to the east, by Mozambique, Lake Nyasa, Malawi and Zambia to the south and southwest and by Lake Tanganyika, Burundi and Rwanda to the west.
  • Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres) and the world’s second deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika (1,436 metres deep) are located in Tanzania.

Key Points

  • Tanzania is one of the fastest-growing African countries of this decade and plays an important role in India-Africa relations.
  • Tanzania and India have enjoyed traditionally close, friendly and cooperative relations.
  • The High Commission of India in Dar es Salaam has been operating since November 1961 and the Consulate General of India in Zanzibar was set up in October 1974.
  • In October 2019, as part of the Indian Navy's Overseas Deployment, four indigenously built ships of the Indian Navy visited the ports at Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar located in Tanzania.
  • Bilateral Treaties & Agreements:
    • Agreement on the establishment of a Joint Trade Committee (2000).
    • MOU for Co-operation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors (2002).
    • MoU on Exchange of Programme on Co-operation in the field of Education (2003).
    • MOU on Defence Cooperation (2003).
    • MOU for Cooperation in the field of Hydrography between Tanzania and India and Protocol on exchange of Hydrographic Data (2015).
    • MOU on Cooperation in the field of water resource management and development (2016).
    • Loan Agreement between Exim Bank and Government of Tanzania on line of credit for USD 500 million for water supply projects in 17 towns across Tanzania (May 2018).
  • Commercial and Economic Relations:
    • India is the largest trading partner of Tanzania comprising 16% of Tanzania’s foreign trade.
    • India is also among the top five investment sources in Tanzania.
    • India’s major exports to Tanzania: Petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, motor vehicles, electrical goods, articles of iron and steel, sugar, machinery, etc.
    • Tanzania’s major exports to India: Gold ore, cashew nuts, pulses, timber, spices (mainly cloves), ores and metal scrap, gemstones, etc.
  • Development Partnership:
    • Tanzania is a major beneficiary of training courses allocated under India’s Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme/Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme (ITEC/SCAAP) and under India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) capacity building cooperation.
    • India has executed a number of projects under government grants and soft loans in Tanzania.
    • India provided essential medicines and vaccines as grant support to Tanzania in September 2018 and set up a radiation therapy machine ‘Bhabhatron-II’ for cancer patients.
    • India has also extended a Credit Line to Tanzania for various water supply projects in Dar-es-Salaam, coastal Chalinze region, Tabora, Igunga, Nzega, etc.
  • Culture:
  • Indian Community:
    • Tanzania is home to more than 50,000 people of Indian origin.
    • The Indian origin community is active in the field of trade, industry and services in Tanzania.
    • Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award and ‘Bharat Ko Janiye’ quiz generate interest in Tanzania.

Way Forward

  • From the 1960s to the 1980s, the political relationship between India and Tanzania involved shared commitments to anticolonialism, non-alignment as well as South-South Cooperation and close cooperation in international fora.
  • In recent years, India-Tanzania ties have evolved into a modern and pragmatic relationship with sound political understanding, diversified economic engagement, people to people contacts in the field of education and healthcare and development partnership in capacity building training, concessional credit lines and grant projects.

Source: PIB