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The Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania, H E Dr. Mahadhi Juma Maalim, has stressed the importance of strengthening the relationship between Qatar and Tanzania. 

Speaking to the media recently, Dr. Maalim, who took office late last year, said Qatar and Tanzania share deep-rooted connections stretched over history and more could be done between both parties to boost the relationship.

“I’m taking off from where my colleague ended (H E Fatma Mohammed Rajab), and our priority is to continue to strengthen the relationship between our country and the host country. The relationship is good, but it can be better because Tanzania and Qatar trace their relationship from way back, and we have had these links for centuries,” Dr. Maalim, who was formerly Ambassador to Kuwait, said. 

“Qataris know our part of the world, especially the coastal parts in Zanzibar, and those connections give us a place to start. But now, we need to strengthen those relationships. We want to encourage them and to show them that the opportunities are abundant in our part of the world and the returns are greater, and the risk is not as much as they assume to be.”

Dr. Maalim, a lawyer by profession, also dismissed misconceptions about the security situation in Africa. 

“Usually so many untrue things are written or shown on TV about our part of the world and that frightens people who don’t know much about our part of the world. So we are here to encourage them, to inform them that things are better and the prospects are promising.”

The Ambassador also praised Qatar for its support to the over 2,000 Tanzanian community during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) peak period.

“We know during the pandemic, Qatar has really helped our community. The community struggled during that time, and it was difficult for everybody. The way Qatar helped was a great thing. Some community members who were in distress received several items to support themselves, and we thank them and also for the free vaccination,” he added.

On the Tanzanian community and the embassy’s plans, Dr. Maalim said, besides providing consular services, there are plans to formalise the community organisation to give them an operation structure.

“We are here to support them for consular service, which is our responsibility and to continue to encourage them to be better residents and to be better ambassadors for our country. However, they have had an organisation for so long, but it still lacks a formal structure to cater to the different interests of the members,” Dr. Maalim said. 

Meanwhile, commenting on the local hospitality, he said, “I can identify myself very much with them. I come from the coastal side of Tanzania, and I enjoy the seafood and the culture. It seems there are a lot of changes happening, but they have maintained their culture in all of it.” By Aveni Olusegun, The Peninsula

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