On Thursday 18th May 2022, Ambassador Baraka Luvanda paid a courtesy call on the Member of the House of Councilors, Aichi District, Mr. Ryuji Satomi at his office, Sangiin Kaikan, Tokyo. The meeting was organized by friends of Tanzania Ms. Kuniko Shimizu and Mr. Katsuji Mori who were also present. Ambassador Luvanda was accompanied by Mr. Greyson Ishengoma, Counsellor at the Embassy of Tanzania.
After the exchange of normal courtesies, Mr Satomi expressed his appreciation for having a meeting with Ambassador Luvanda and went on explaining his long involvement with African development projects through Official Development Assistance (ODA). Mr. Satomi’s said before he joined into politics, he worked for 24 years in the Government of Japan where he got privilege of connecting with African countries through different projects, programs, and forums like TICAD. That is why he feels obligated to work together with African countries today including, Tanzania on solving various developmental challenges. He therefore asked Ambassador Luvanda to identify areas of which he could be of help to Tanzania’s development.
Ambassador Luvanda appreciated for the opportunity to meet Mr. Satomi and commended on his willingness and consideration of working together with African countries, especially with Tanzania in tackling today’s challenges.
Ambassador Luvanda mentioned several potentials in Tanzania including: its trategic geographical location surrounded by landlocked counties which depend on Dar es Salaam port on their imports and exports of goods; huge amount of minerals of various types including diamond, gold, tanzanite, graphite, cobalt, nickel etc; vast presence of deposits of unexploited oil and natural gas reserves; massive fertile land for agriculture; and marine resources. As a result of all these potentials, the government is now building a Standard Gauge Rail (SGR) in phases, depending on the availability of funds, which will extend to Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo and that its completion will largely boost economic activities among these countries and East African countries in general. Ambassador Luvanda called for Mr. Satomi’s collaboration in these areas for Tanzania’s development especially by encouraging investors as well as securing funds for completion of the SGR project.
Mr. Satomi was delighted to hear about these areas of possible collaboration and promised to find ways to work together with the Government of Tanzania for development of its people. He also agreed that agriculture is very important as the world today need stable supply of food through commercialization of agricultural resources.
In the same vein, Mr. Satomi through his experience of working with automobile companies, he acknowledged that Tanzania is one among the big market of used cars from Japan out of which very few are using electric and gas as energy. He therefore called for the government to encourage and promote the importation and use of electric energy vehicles as they are environmentally friendly.
At the end of the meeting, Ambassador Luvanda conveyed his appreciation for the great support and partnership Mr. Satomi has offered to Tanzania. He also stressed on the importance of Japanese to visit the abundant tourist attractions in Tanzania for leisure and possible investment.
In closing, Mr. Satomi mentioned that he is expecting to run for re-election for another term as Member of the House of Councilors in July 2022 to which Ambassador Luvanda wished him all the best.