PUBLISHED ON July 24th, 2014


Tanzania has opened an office in Lubumbashi, DR Congo, as part of a reform and expansion plan to become a port hub for the hinterland countries, and fight off competition from Kenya.

The government is also keen to fast-tract the expansion of the Dar es Salaam port as it seeks to secure a geostrategic position as the key access point to the Indian Ocean to serve the economic zone straddling the Nile Basin countries — a position Kenya too, is keen to achieve.

The opening of the Lubumbashi office comes in the wake of a visit by the Minister for Transport Harrison Mwakyembe and the top management of the Tanzania Ports Authority to the city, which is Congo’s second biggest.

“Congo is one of the biggest users of the Dar es Salaam port, therefore we have decided to follow them and serve them where they are. A Congolese businessman will be served without having to come here, we are also going to link the office to our Dar es Salaam main office via an electronic system,” said TPA in a statement.

The Dar es Salaam Port also serves Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The opening of the office follows a similar move by TPA’s rival the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), which launched a representative office in Kigali last year, also targeting Burundi and the DRC.

Kenya is also setting up a second container terminal in Mombasa, as part of mega projects the country is pushing in order to consolidate its standing as the hub of economic activity in the region.

The country is also building another port in Lamu as part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor.

At the moment, Kenya only has one transport and economic corridor, the Northern Corridor, running from the port of Mombasa to Malaba on the border with Uganda, and onwards to Central Africa.

A second corridor is critical as the country seeks to access Ethiopia and South Sudan through the north and east of the country from the new port of Lamu.

Tanzania meanwhile, secured a Chinese contractor and the funding to construct a another port at Bagamoyo, just 60km north of Dar es Salaam, at a cost of $11 billion.

The construction work has not started but the government has carried out land valuation and has announced that it will start paying out compensation in June to about 1,200 families to vacate 2,000 hectares. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

Source: The East African

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