Tanzania lauds China for banning ivory trade


Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa on Saturday lauded China’s decision to ban ivory trade, urging other nations around the world to follow suit.

“The banning of ivory trade in other countries like what China has done will lead to ending poaching in Tanzania,” said Mkapa who ruled Tanzania between 1995 and 2005.

The former president made the comments at the end of a special walk aimed at creating awareness on wildlife conservation and attracting more people to effectively participate in the fight against poaching.

Mkapa however noted that more effort still needed to be done to ensure illegal ivory trade is stopped completely, saying the trade threatened the survival of African elephants.

Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Lu Youqing, who was also present at the event, said the fight against poaching should be taken as an international challenge, calling for every country to join the race and take action.

The Tanzanian government in 2015 released estimates of the country’s elephant population to stand at 43, 521, a 60 percent decline from the number in 2009 which was 109,051.