Aone-day symposium to commemorate the centenary of Tanzania’s first President Mwalimu Nyerere’s birth was held Tuesday in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, jointly organized by the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation and the Chinese embassy in Tanzania.
Joseph Butiku, the chairperson of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, said Nyerere should be remembered as a highly principled and believing man.
“He believed in humanity, human rights, and the rights of individuals and communities. He believed in peace and unity,” said Butiku.
Chen Mingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, said Nyerere set the tone of the comprehensive and consistent friendship between China and Tanzania, and forged the tradition of sharing weal and woe between the two countries.
“President Nyerere was dedicated to promoting China-Tanzanian friendship all through his life, leaving much told tales,” she told the symposium attended by retired Tanzanian leaders, leaders of political parties, ambassadors and high commissioners of foreign countries to Tanzania, and representatives of think tanks, charity organizations and media houses.
Deng Li, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, delivered a video message, saying Nyerere was dearly loved by the people of Tanzania, enjoyed high prestige in Africa, and was well known to and respected by the Chinese people.
“We are commemorating President Nyerere to carry forward his legacy of courage and fortitude, look back on the history of China-Tanzania and China-Africa friendship, solidarity and cooperation and chart the course for the future of China-Tanzania and China-Africa relations,” said Deng.
Speaking on behalf of Tanzania’s Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Zanzibar’s Minister of State in the Second Vice-President’s Office, Hamza Hassan Juma, said Nyerere and Zanzibar’s founding leader Abeid Amani Karume were the brains behind the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar forged in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
Juma added that Nyerere emphasized the need to promote African culture in a variety of areas, including encouraging the use of the Kiswahili language.
Humphrey Moshi, the director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam, said in two decades, China has become Africa’s most important economic partner in areas such as trade, investment, and infrastructure construction.
Moshi said Africa-China cooperation, including Tanzania, has empowered African economies through trade, investment and aid to accelerate economic growth rates, reduce poverty and drive forward industrialisation.