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Tanzania: Logistics Firm to Boost Dar Port EfficiencyMonday, December 29, 2014 > 09:26:26
Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) has come up in support for the big result now (BRN) to increase Dar es Salaam Port efficiency in the next three years.
TMEA has set aside over 60 million US dollars (102bn/-) to increase efficiency that would see, among other things, reduction by almost half from nine to four days of container dwelling time.
TMEA Tanzania Country Director, Dr Josaphat Kweka, said they were working hand in hand with the government to raise competitiveness at Dar port under BRN.
"We have taken some key points under BRN to increase Dar port competitiveness and working on them," Dr Kweka said during the launch of logistic innovation for trade (LIFT) fund.
The country representative said the idea was to support the government initiative on increasing efficiency in the next three years under BRN.
Some areas which TMEA will support BRN are port logistic and infrastructures, operating system and port effectiveness.
Apart from BRN support, TMEA also launched LIFT Fund where in the first round of funding 16 million US dollars have been set towards reducing logistics and transport costs through innovative solutions.
The LIFT challenge fund will make a real contribution to improved trade and prosperity in East Africa by providing grants ranging from 200,000 US dollars to 750,000 US dollars.
East Africa currently has some of the highest freight and transport costs in the world. "These costs seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries, thus reducing trade, economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction," Dr Kweka said.
Transnet, Business Development Manager (East Africa) Mr Sunday Ndunguru Kapesi said it was a good forum since it drives at integrating business in southern Africa.
"President (Jacob) Zuma (of South Africa) is championing inter trade in the region, any such forum is good to us," Mr Kapesi said.
Transnet is a public company. Evergreen Shipping Line Tanzania Business Representative Quilnus Matembo said since between 45 and 50 per cent of cargoes passing Dar port increase efficiency at the port mean more business for the country.
"Anything that reduces freight and transport costs is good for our clients and the country," Mr Matembo said, adding that the Dar port would win more businesses.
The LIFT Fund, launched last year, designed to contribute a significant reduction in transport and other logistics related costs in order to increase competitiveness for the trading community in East Africa.
Successful LIFT project applicants will contribute to TMEA objective of reducing transport time along the main East Africa transport corridors by 15 per cent by 2016.
Speaking at the event, Mr Isaac Njoroge, LIFT Fund Manager, said: "The fund is open to businesses and individuals throughout the world that are operating or will operate in EAC."
TMEA believes that LIFT would help ensure that the private sector will be at the centre of providing solutions and contributing to the growth of trade in East Africa. Since its inception in 2012, TMEA Challenge Fund is supporting other Trade innovations worth 10 million US dollars.
TMEA expects that by 2015 its initiative will reduce costs of transport in East Africa through value for money investments in infrastructure for instance ports, one stop border posts and roads and systems regulation by 15 per cent.
Others are to increase export value by 10 per cent - above trend, with a 25 per cent increase - above trend - in the share of intra-regional trade in total trade; and implementation of EAC policies on the Customs Union and Common Market.