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India Tanzania Relations

High Commission of India
Dar es Salaam


Tanzania and India have traditionally enjoyed close, friendly and co-operative relations. From the 1960s to the 1980s the political relationship was driven largely by shared commitments to anti-colonialism, anti-racism, socialistic practices as well as desire for South-South Cooperation. Former President Julius Nyerere was held in high esteem in India; he was conferred the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for 1974, and the International Gandhi Peace Prize for 1995. India and Tanzania worked closely together in international fora. In the post-Cold War era, India and Tanzania both initiated economic reform programmes around the same time with external relations aimed at broader international political and economic engagement, developing international business relationships and promotion of foreign investment. In recent years Indo-Tanzanian ties have evolved into a modern and pragmatic relationship with diversified economic engagement, people to people contacts in the field of education & healthcare, and development partnership in capacity building training opportunities, concessional LOCs and grant projects.

The High Commission of India in Dar es Salaam was opened on November 19, 1961 and the Consulate General of India in Zanzibar was set up on October 23, 1974.

Visit of Prime Minister to Tanzania

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid a State Visit to Tanzania from 9-10 July 2016. He met President John Magufuli, held bilateral talks and interacted with Solar Mamas and the Indian community. During the visit, the following MOU/agreements were signed:

· MoU on Cooperation in the field of water resource management and development

· Visa waiver agreement for Diplomatic/Official passport holders

· Agreement on Joint Action Plan between National Small Industries Corporation of India and Small Industries Development Organization of Tanzania

· MoU for the Establishment of Vocational Training Centre at Zanzibar

· LOC of US $92 million for rehabilitation and improvement of water supply system in Zanzibar

Recent Visits

MOS for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy visited Tanzania (Sept 2015). He met the then President of Tanzania Mr. Jakaya Kikwete and handed over Prime Minister’s invitation for the Third India Africa Forum Summit. The Vice President of Tanzania, Mr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal attended the India Africa Forum Summit-III in New Delhi on 28- 29 October 2015. He also held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 29 October 2015 and received the Minister of State (I-C), Shri Dharmendra Pradhan for a meeting on 28 October 2015. The Summit adopted a Joint Declaration and Framework for Cooperation between India and Africa.

High-Level Visits

The two countries have enjoyed a tradition of high level exchanges. In the post-Neyerere period, high level visits from India included those by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (May 2011), former President Shri APJ Abdul Kalam (Sept 2004), and former Prime Minister Shri I.K. Gujral (Sept 1997). Former Speaker of Lok Sabha Smt. Meira Kumar visited Tanzania in Sept/Oct 2009 and former External Affairs Minister Shri Yashwant Sinha visited in April 2003. Other Ministerial visits included those by MOS for Commerce and Industry (Sept 2013), Minister of State for External Affairs (July 2013 and Aug 2003), Minister of Steel (April 2013), Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences (Dec 2011), and Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs (Jan 2010).

From Tanzania, high level visits were undertaken by President Jakaya Kikwete (June 2015 and April 2008), Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein, President of Zanzibar (Feb 2014), Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda (Sept 2009), Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein (March 2008), Mr. Amani Abeid Karume, President of Zanzibar (March 2004), and President Benjamin Mkapa (Dec 2002). Ministerial visits included those by Minister of Trade and Industry (Nov 2014), Minister for Water (July 2014), Minister for Energy and Minerals (Jan 2014), Zanzibar Minister for Labour, Economic Empowerment & Cooperatives (May 2013), Minister of Communication Science & Technology (March 2013), Minister of Health and Social Welfare (March 2013), Dy. Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives (March 2013), Minister of Industry and Trade (Jan 2013), Minister of Industry & Trade (Oct/Nov 2012), Speaker of the National Assembly (Oct 2012), Minister of Defence and National Service (March/April 2012), Minister for Finance (March 2012), Minister for East African Cooperation (Nov 2011), Minister of Communication, Science and Technology (Oct 2011), Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs (March 2011), and Minister for Investment and Empowerment (March 2011). Besides, several Tanzanian dignitaries have also visited India in connection with international meetings/conferences, for medical treatment and for personal reasons.

Bilateral Treaties & Agreements

In addition to the MOUs/agreements signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to Tanzania (July 2016), India and Tanzania have signed a number of bilateral Treaties/MOUs/Agreements. They are:

  • Agreement on Friendship & Technical, Economic and Scientific Cooperation (1966)
  • Trade Agreement (1972)
  • MOU on Technical Cooperation in the field of Posts and Telecommunications (1996)
  • Agreement on the establishment of Joint Business Council (1997)
  • Agreement on establishment of a Joint Trade Committee (2000)
  • MOU for Co-operation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors (2002)
  • Agreement in the field of Health & Medicine (2002)
  • MoU on Exchange Programme on Co-operation in the field of Education (2003)
  • MOU on Defence Cooperation (2003)
  • Agreement on Waiving Tanzania’s Outstanding Loans (2004)
  • Agreement on Cooperation in Information Technology and Services (2004)
  • Letter of Intent on PTA/FTA (2008)
  • MOU on JV between National Social Security Fund, Tanzania, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Apollo Hospitals Ltd. (2011)
  • Agreement on Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion (2011). Earlier DTAA was signed in 1979.
  • Joint Action Plan between National Small Industries Corporation Ltd and Small Industries Development Organisation (2011)
  • Letter of Intent between Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Energy & Minerals (2013)
  • MOU for Cooperation in the field of Hydrography between Tanzania and India & Protocol on exchange of Hydrographic Data (2015)
  • MOU between the East Africa Statistical Training Center (EASTC) in Tanzania and the National Statistical System Training Academy in India on establishing a collaborative program in official statistics (2015)
  • MOU between EASTC and Indian Council of Agricultural Research - Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (2015)
  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Tourism (2015)
  • Loan Agreement between Exim Bank and Government of Tanzania on LOC for US$ 268.35 million for extension of Lake Victoria pipeline project (2015)
  • Agreement between WAPCOS (PSU under M/o Water) and Government of Tanzania for preparation of DPR for Lake Victoria pipeline project (2015)

Commercial and Economic Relations

India and Tanzania enjoy a vibrant business and commercial relationship. India is a leading trading partner of Tanzania. Major Indian companies and brands present or operating in Tanzania include Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Tata International Limited, NMDC, insurance companies (LIC, NIC, United India, etc), Kamal Group of Industries, Bharti Airtel, Escorts, Ashok Leyland, Eicher, Bajaj, TVS, Kirloskar and Godrej. About 36% of medicines and pharma products imported by Tanzania are sourced from India. All major Indian pharma companies have their distributors and representatives here.

India has been one of Tanzania’s largest trade partners as per the figures given below:

India-Tanzania Trade [in million US dollars]








India’s exports







Tanzania’s exports














[Source: Tanzania Revenue Authority]

In 2015, the total bilateral trade turnover amounted to US$ 2408 million. India’s exports were worth US$1259, and Tanzania’s exports were worth US$1149 million. Tanzania’s exports to India constituted about 19% of the country’s global exports. Tanzania’s imports from India constituted about 9% of its global imports. In 2016, bilateral trade was around US$2127.66 million. . India’s exports were worth US$1421.46, and Tanzania’s exports were worth US$706.20 million. Tanzania’s exports to India constituted about 15% of the country’s global exports. Tanzania’s imports from India constituted about 13% of its global imports. Tanzania’s major imports from India include petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, two/three-wheelers, wires and cables, sugar, electrical machinery/equipment, yarn, apparel & clothing, articles of iron & steel, etc. Tanzania’s major exports to India include gold, cashew nuts, pulses, timber, spices (mainly cloves), ores and metal scrap, gemstones, etc.

In 2017,

High Commission of India organized a number of business promotion seminars and facilitated participation of Indian businesses in exhibitions and fairs across Tanzania. About 25 Indian companies led by PHARMEXCIL visited Dar es Salaam on 16-17 February 2017, where a business roundtable and B2B meetings were held. The High Commission organized a business seminar and exhibition of Indian products at Dodoma on 3 February 2017. In 2016, about 25 Indian companies led by APEDA visited Dar es Salaam (Dec) and more than 30 companies led by FIEO participated at the 12th Tanzania Trade Show (Nov). The High Commission organized a business promotion roundtable and exhibition at Tanga (Nov). A delegation from Kerala Cashew Corporation visited Dar es Salaam and Mtwara to explore the possibility of increasing trade between India and Tanzania (Oct). A three-member Air India delegation visited Tanzania to conduct feasibility study for the possibility of recommencing operations to Tanzania (Aug). 46 companies led by CHEMEXCIL participated at the Indian Chemical and Cosmetics Exhibition at Dar es Salaam (July). A delegation from the Solvent Extractors’ Association visited Dodoma and Dar es Salaam (July) to explore possibilities of building techno commercial partnership in oilseed sector (sunflower) with focus on investment and joint ventures. More than 50 companies led by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry participated at the East Africa International Trade Expo (July). Coinciding with the Prime Minister’s visit, FICCI led a 50-member business delegation for the Tanzania India Business Forum meeting in Dar es Salaam (July). A delegation from GAIL also visited Dar es Salaam (June). Canara Bank’s branch was inaugurated in Dar es Salaam (May). The High Commission organized a business promotion fair and roundtable at Mbeya in southern Tanzania (March) and about 22 institutions from India participated at the Study in India Expo, which was held at Dar es Salaam (Feb). A 23-member APEDA delegation visited Dar es Salaam (Jan), where a Buyer Seller meeting on Indian food products was held.

In 2015, the mission organized a roundtable at Arusha (Jan), business seminar and B2B meetings during the visit of the Federation of Gujarat Industries in Dar es Salaam (Feb), conference in Dar es Salaam (March), business meeting at Tanga (April), round table and B2B meeting during the visit of CAPEXIL delegation in Dar es Salaam (June), Seminar on India’s healthcare portal (July), IEEMA Road Show in Dar es Salaam (Aug), Business promotion seminar at Mwanza (Sept), and a special seminar on Incredible India (Oct). India participated at a number of exhibitions in Tanzania including the East Africa Trade Exhibition (May), GOITO Johannesburg’s participation at the Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair in Arusha (May/June) and Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (July), Build Expo Africa (Aug), Auto, Oil & Gas and Power & Energy Expo (Aug), 10th Mwanza East Africa Trade Fair (Sept), GOITO Johannesburg’s participation at the Swahili Tourism exposition (Oct), and FIEO delegation’s participation at the 11th Tanzania Trade Show (Nov).

Development Partnership

India has extended a number of projects under grants and soft loan in Tanzania. Two Indian funded IT/Communication projects have been established: A Centre of Excellence in ICT at the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology by C-DAC; and the Pan African e-Network Project by TCIL. LoC of US$ 36.56 million for supply of Ashok Leyland trucks and other vehicles to the Tanzanian People’s Defence Force (TPDF) was completed in 2013-14. A June 2009 LoC of US$ 40 million for supply of tractors and agricultural equipment was completed in 2013. In June 2015, a Loan agreement between Exim Bank and Tanzania on LOC for US$ 268.35 million for extension of Lake Victoria pipeline project to Tabora, Igunga and Nzega was signed. An ICT Resource Centre at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science & Technology has been established under GOI grant. India gifted radiation therapy machine to Bugando Medical Centre, Mwanza. India also gifted US$250,000 for Kagera earthquake relief in September 2016. Others being funded under GOI grant are an NSIC project for establishing Incubation Centres at SIDO, and a Vocational Training Centre (VTC) at Zanzibar. During the Prime Minister’s visit, an LOC of US $92 million for rehabilitation and improvement of water supply system in Zanzibar was signed. Under the LoC of US$ 178.125 million for development of water supply projects in Dar-es-Salaam and coastal Chalinze region, the water supply project from Upper Ruvu River to Dar es Salaam was completed (Aug 2016) and the Chalinze segment is currently under implementation.

Tanzania is a major beneficiary of training slots allocated under ITEC/SCAAP programmes, and under IAFS. Starting with 24 trainees annually in 1972, it has gradually increased to about 300 slots in 2015-16. 285 slots for civilian officers and 39 for defence officers were utilized in the year 2015-16. 24 scholarships were offered for academic year 2015-16 by ICCR under the Commonwealth Scholarship/Fellowship Plan and General Cultural Scholarship Scheme. Apart from the scholarships, about 2000 Tanzanian self-financed students are estimated to be studying in India.


An Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), sponsored by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), was set up in Dar es Salaam in December 2010. Currently the ICC offers Yoga classes and tabla and other musical instruments training by India-based teachers. Hindi classes on gratis basis are conducted by a local volunteer. ICCR-sponsored Rajasthani cultural group led by Salim Khan performed in Dodoma and Dar es Salaam (Feb 2017). "Namaste Tanzania, Habari Tanzania" cultural festival was held in 8 cities in Tanzania (Oct-Nov 2016). 6 cultural groups from India performed during the festival. Among the major programmes held at/by the ICC in last two years were Convention of Indian Diaspora in Tanzania (Jan 2017), World Hindi Day (Jan 2017), Constitution Day (Nov 2016), Children’s Day celebrations (Nov 2016), Birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Oct 2016), Gandhi Jayanti at the University of Dar es Salaam (Oct 2016), Hindi Divas (Sept 2016), performances by ICCR-sponsored Manipuri dance group (Sept 2016), India Golf Cup (Aug 2016), the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (April 2016), Kabaddi trainers camp/Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Kabaddi Tournament (April 2016), ITEC Day celebrations (March 2016), performances by ICCR-sponsored Carnatic group (Feb 2016), World Hindi Day celebrations (Jan 2016), participation at the Asian Film Festival (Dec 2015), Gandhi Jayanti (Oct 2015), performances by ICCR-sponsored Lavani group (Sept 2015), Hindi Divas celebrations (Sept 2015), performances by ICCR sponsored Goan cultural group (July 2015), an evening with Anup Jalota (June 2015), performances by Kuchipudi group led by Ms. Prateeksha Kashi (May 2015), fusion music band led by Murad Ali Khan (Oct 2014), and Vani Madhav, an Odissi exponent (Aug 2014).

The second International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated in Tanzania on 19 June 2016 at Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Mwanza, Tabora, Dodoma, Iringa and Mbeya. Coco Beach, Dar es Salaam, held a Yoga performance by about 3000 people. Tanzanian under 17 national football team participated in a football tournament in Goa (May 2016) and the Tanzanian Kabaddi team participated at the World Kabaddi Tournament which was held in Punjab (Nov 2016). Their participations were funded by the Indian side. A painting exhibition on Kalpana – Masterpieces of Figurative Contemporary Indian Paintings was held at the National Museum in Dar es Salaam (May 2015). A showcase on western India (Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra and Rajasthan) was also held at the Indian Cultural Centre in Oct 2014. Several programmes with local content, including Indo-African fusion music in cooperation with the Department of Arts and Music of Dar es Salaam University, rangoli exhibition, photographic exhibitions, fashion show, Hindi comedy show, mono-artiste from India performing a skit on Swami Vivekananda, exhibition of paintings and sculptures of local artistes, film screenings, public receptions for iconic Indian celebrities, including Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, etc, have been held at the Centre. An Indian film was screened as part of the 10th Asian Film Festival in Dar es Salaam in December 2015.

There are about twenty active Indian/Asian community groups in Tanzania, most of them Dar es Salaam based. These groups regularly organize Indian cultural and social events mostly with local participation and occasionally by sponsoring performing artistes from India.

Indian Community

Tanzania has about 60,000 people of Indian origin [referred to as Asians]. They are concentrated in the major urban centres of Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma, Morogoro, Zanzibar, Mwanza and Mbeya. The vast majority are from Gujarat, mainly from Kutch and Kathiawad regions. Their ancestors came to this region [Zanzibar and Tanganyika] in several phases starting from early 19th century as merchants, sailors and labour employed in railroad building. The Indian community continues to play an important role in trade and industry in Tanzania. There are about 10000 Indian nationals [expatriates] mostly professionals, who live and work in Tanzania, mainly in industry and services.

Useful Resources

Website: http://www.hcindiatz.org/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hcindiatz

India Global- AIR FM Gold Program featuring India and Tanzania Relations:


High Commissioner Mr. Sandeep Arya’s interview to Channel Ten: http://www.channelten.co.tz/shall-we-make-it-the-developing-world-and-indo-tanzania-relations-24-01-2016/

March 2017