Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

Novak meets Tanzanian counterpart in Dar es Salaam

President Katalin Novak on Tuesday met Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Dar es Salaam, where they signed an agreement on expanding the Stipendium Hungaricum grant programme to Tanzanian students in 2024-2026.

Stipendium Hungaricum supports some 12,000 students studying in Hungary from all over the world, Novak told a joint press conference. The agreement will now provide that opportunity for Tanzanian youth too, she added.

Samia Suluhu Hassan said the agreement also allowed Hungarian students to win grants at Tanzanian universities.

The talks also touched on the war in Ukraine, migration, demographic issues and strengthening economic ties, Novak said.

As the first Hungarian president ever to visit the east African country, Novak said she aimed to “understand the Tanzanian people’s mentality and way of life.”

The president said she had discussed their countries’ history with her Tanzanian counterpart, and saw the meeting as an opportunity to “grasp the challenges the other faces and to learn from each other”. Hungary aims to enable foreign students studying at its universities to return to their homelands and use their knowledge there, she said.

Meanwhile, there is room to expand economic ties between the two countries, said Novak. She said she planned to organise a business forum during Samia Suluhu Hassan’s visit to Budapest to bring the economic players of the two countries together.

She also invited Samia Suluhu Hassan to the Demographic Summit Budapest will host in September.

Later on Tuesday, Novak awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Knight’s Cross, to Solomon Obedie Kimaro, honorary consul to Hungary. In his laudation, Ambassador Zsolt Meszaros noted that Kimaro studied in Hungary from 1977, then returned to his homeland and built a successful career as a businessman there. Novak said that the Stipendium Hungaricum programme aimed to help students strengthening the ties between the two countries in a similar way, she said.

Novak is scheduled to stay in Tanzania until Thursday. She will lay a wreath at the memorial plaque of Hungarian traveller and natural historian Kalman Kittenberger. She will also visit the grave of Hungarian doctor Laszlo Saska on Thursday.

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