Heart-to-heart: Apollo to open hospital in
It's a heart-to-heart affair. With more
Tanzanians suffering from a variety of heart ailments and
travelling abroad for treatment, India's Apollo Hospitals Friday
struck a pact to set up a 300-bed super-specialty hospital in this
coastal metropolis of East Africa's largest country.
Salaam: Paying tribute to the achievements of around
40,000 persons of Indian origin and Indian businessmen in
Tanzania, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lauded their
"entrepreneurial spirit" and said they were "a bridge of
friendship" with this East African nation that an Indian prime
minister was visiting after 14 years.
Manmohan Singh, whose links with Tanzania go back to his
friendship with Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the father of the nation,
kicked off his two-day visit Thursday night with an address to
nearly 300 persons of Indian origin, the cream of the Indian
community in this nation of about 42 million people.
He came here after a trip to Ethiopia where he attended the 2nd
Africa-India summit in Addis Ababa.
"Your achievements are a matter of pride for all Indians. I am
confident that each one of you will serve as a bridge of
friendship between India and Tanzania," Manmohan Singh said, with
much applause from Indo-Tanzanians who had gathered to hear him in
the sea-facing Hotel Kempinski Kilimanjaro.
"Over the decades, the Indian community has earned a reputation
for its entrepreneurial spirit, its perseverance and hard work,
and for making remarkable contributions to the development of this
country in areas like agriculture, education and health," he said.
"I would urge you to be good Tanzanian citizens and continue to
spread the high values which India is known for," the prime
minister said. He lauded them for creating a new "image of India"
on the move with their accomplishments in varied fields.
For the Indian community, it was a signal occasion as the last
they saw an Indian prime minister in their midst was in 1997 when
then prime minister I.K. Gujral visited this country, which serves
as a gateway to East Africa.
Marking a high moment in their life in their adopted homeland,
Indians, who came here first as adventurous sea-faring traders in
the 19th century, have now carved a place for themselves in just
about every sphere, including business and managerial professions.
Their foray into politics in the October 2010 elections was a
milestone of sorts when six MPs of Indian origin were elected for
the first time. Manmohan Singh made it a point to specially
acknowledge them in his speech: "Their participation in the
political institutions of this country is a reflection of the
trust and confidence they enjoy among the electorate," he said.
"I congratulate them on their achievements and wish them all
success in the service of the people of this country."
There was visible excitement among Indo-Tanzanians, who straddle
two distinct but kindred cultures effortlessly. "We are really
excited about the prime minister's visit. Indians here are doing
well in every field," said Disha Patel, a young businesswoman
whose family has a pie in diverse businesses, including farming.
Gagan Gupta, an Aurangabad-based businessman and managing director
of Kamal Steels, was upbeat about the prospects of the Export
Processing Zone he has set up in Bagomoyo, a couple of hours drive
from here. "The potential is huge. More Indian companies should
come and invest here," he told IANS.
Tanzania is home to 40,000 PIOs who are concentrated in major
regional cities, including Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar, Mwanja,
Morogoro, Dodoma and Mbeya. Most of them are from Kutch and
Kathiawad in Gujarat. Between them, they own and control nearly 75
percent of Tanzania's trade.
In the last few years, many expatriates, who number around 10,000,
have come here as managers and executives, who are employed with a
host of Indian companies like Tata, GAPCO (Reliance), Bank of
India, Bank of Baroda, Bajaja and Airtel, who have set up their
base in this country.
(Manish Chand can be
contacted at email@example.com)