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Tanzania: Government shows determination to make Dar es Salaam Port more modern, efficient

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 > 10:49:06
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(IPP Media)

When the government mooted Big Results Now (BRN) programme about one and half years ago, some critics thought it was business as usual…that nothing could be realised. 

But, contrary to these detractors, several projects are now up and running.  The government and development partners under the umbrella of Public Private Partnership (PPP) have, last week, officially started a work to modernise the port of Dar es Salaam under what is called Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) phase one. 

Last week’s demolition of sheds 2 and 3 at the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has been explained as a clear testimony of the government’s endeavours to make Dar es Salaam port efficient and of international standard.

The demolition formally kick-started the implementation of Tanzania’s Big Results Now (BRN) works at the port of Dar es salaam on Tuesday last week.

“Let me assure domestic and foreign clients of our zeal to offer them best services as days go on,” the Acting Director General of TPA, Awadh Massawe said in Dar es Salaam.

The work is part of the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) phase one which is aimed at modernising the port by improving its physical infrastructure capacity and operational efficiency.

The DMGP project that is financed by the World Bank, UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) is being implemented in two phases.

Phase one which TMEA support focuses on enhancing port’s spatial efficiency through demolition and relocation of sheds 2-7, upgrading roads and gates to introduce a single way traffic flow system at the port, improving productivity and operational processes.

The second phase which will be funded by the World Bank and DFID will concentrate on dredging of the channel and basin, strengthening and modernising berths 1-7 and construction of roll on roll off (RoRo) terminal.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Dr Shaaban Mwinjaka who officiated the demolition thanked donors for supporting the project.

“Some thought that BRN works at the port were mere words…we are serious about it,” he said.

A total cost of the whole project is valued at USD585 million.

Massawe said phase one of the project is expected to increase Dar Port’s throughout to 18 million tonnes by 2016/2017 and 22 million tonnes by 2020.

The demolition commenced in February this year and expects to end this May.

Demolition of the two sheds will create additional area of 12,000sqm.

The Head of DFID Tanzania, Vel Gnanendran said the project will provide Dar Port with the capacity to remain competitive within the region and continue to deliver economic growth yearly.

Explaining further on the importance of the port upgrading, Gnanendran says that economically the region is one of the fastest growing in Africa, and the demand for imports and exports is growing even faster.

“Port throughput has increased by over 10 per cent per annum year on year over the last 10 years…we’re pleased to see that there is a broad consensus on both the infrastructure and efficiency reforms needed to increase the port throughput,” he said.

He says that they were pleased to see the strong relationship that has developed between Trademark East Africa and the Tanzania Ports Authority which is now resulting in these major investments.

He notes that now that the port is close to full capacity, there is therefore an urgent need to modernise it to meet future demand and also reduce the cost of trade.

“This is why we have committed USD63 million to this first phase of the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project, and why we are planning to invest up to a further USD130 million in the second phase along with the World Bank,” he says.

Phase 1 is expected to increase Dar Port’s throughput to 18 million tonnes by 2016/2017 from 12.1 million in 2012/2013. Phase 2 will further increase throughput capacity to 28 million tons by 2020 and reduce dwell time by 5 days.

This will not only be done through better infrastructure, but also through key operational improvements designed to reduce the time spent on clearing goods. This will enable a smoother more balanced flow of cargo through the port.

Combined, these interventions will provide Port capacity to meet trade projections to 2030 and will allow Tanzania to remain competitive within the region and continue to deliver economic growth year on year.

He noted that this programme is part of DFID’s wider commitment to supporting trade in the region, and to reduce poverty by promoting economic growth.

He explained that DFID was really excited to be part of this project and remain committed and determined partners in this endeavour.

“A lot of hard work lies ahead and I’ve no doubt that there will be many challenges,” he said.

The Director General of TMEA, David Stanton said Tanzania’s highest economic growth in the region will only be sustained if trade becomes more competitive in region and globally. “Productivity in Dar port is key,” he said.

Dar port serves seven landlocked countries including DRC, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and Zimbabwe.


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