PUBLISHED ON November 24th, 2014

Tanzania seeks $1.6 billion for a major upgrade of its ports

The Tanzanian government is eking $1.6 billion to upgrade four of its ports in a bid to improve efficiency and open up the country for cross-border business.

Harrison Mwakyembe, Minister for Transport, said the move was necessitated by transit demand.

The ambitious plan falls under the Big Results Now (BRN) initiative modelled on the Malaysian development strategy. For the transport sector, BRN is expected to unlock the potential of the Central Corridor (port and rail) to increase transit capacity.

“We currently transport 5 million tonnes of cargo, but we expect to increase it to 22 million tonnes by 2017,” he said.

The Dar es Salaam Port handled 33.4 per cent of the country’s imports and exports in 2013. The port is currently operating 24 hours with a throughput exceeding the first-year BRN target.

“The Dar es Salaam port has increased its throughput from 7.4 million tonnes in 2007 to 13.7 million tonnes in 2013,” said the minister.

He said that through the BRN projects, the country is looking for at least four investors to inject Tsh2.7 trillion ($1.6 billion) for modernisation of the ports.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport Shaaban Mwinjaka said the first investor is expected to bring in Tsh840.5 billion ($500 million) for the upgrading of Berths 1-7 at the Dar es Salaam port, among other developments.

The government is also seeking Tsh201.7 billion ($120 million) for the expansion and modernisation of the Kigoma port.

Mr Mwinjaka said there is a need to increase the port’s capacity of to handle an expected surge in traffic.

The modernisation of Mwanza South port will require Tsh672.4 billion ($400 million).

“Plans to modernise Lake Victoria ports, including Mwanza, are underway, and a final report is expected by March, 2015,” Mr Mwinjaka said.

The upgrade is expected to increase the ports’ cargo handling capacity and improve efficiency.

Source: The East African

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