- Published on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 00:12
- Written by FAUSTINE KAPAMA
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FOLLOWING approval of the largest 53tr/- Mwambani Economic Corridor Project in Tanga Region by the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, several international companies have now expressed commitment to inject funds for smooth implementation.
"We have received a number of commitments from funding agencies from England, Canada, United State, Scotland, South Africa and the Middle East, expressing interests to pump funds for the project," the co-director with the company manning the project, Mr Cuthbert Tenga said.
In an interview with the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam, Mr Tenga could not get into details on the matter, including disclosing names of the companies on the list, but was quick to point out that they have received other good news from Johannesburg, South Africa.
"Information we have, suggest that Johannesburg Stock Exchange have expressed interest in cross-listing the project into their stock market," said the director of MWAPORC, an acronym for Mwambani Port and Railway Corridor, a Tanzanian Project Company.
However, he said, they have been told that at present Johannesburg was not allowed to deal in dollars, but in rand. Nevertheless, he said, they (Johannesburg) were contemplating of pushing South African authorities to allow cross-listing dollar currency.
According to Mr Tenga, some other local companies have also shown interests in participating in the implementation of the project, including the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
He said that due to the size of the project, which shall involve a free port, an airport city, water, gas and oil pipelines to be laid along railway lines and construction of new railway towns which may require being under the Prime Minister's Office instead of transport ministry alone.
"We are now in the process of negotiating a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the responsible Ministry of Investment and Empowerment in the Prime Minister's Office, currently headed by Dr Mary Nagu," Mr Tenga pointed out.
The Mwambani project is also to involve construction of a deep sea and free port at Mwambani in Tanga Region and a new heavy haul standard gauge railway that would link the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean from Tanzania, through Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Early last month, top officials of MWAPORC met with the EAC Secretariat in Arusha to present details of the modern, efficient and cost effective transport logistics corridor project to get its support and approval so that it is integrated in the EAC infrastructure master plan.
After the presentation, the EAC Secretariat resolved that the "Mwambani Economic Corridor Project is a major regional infrastructure project that has the potential of fundamentally transforming the economies of East-Central Africa."
Thus, it said, the community shall support the project company, MWAPORC to implement the project in all ways possible and the secretary general remarked that the implementation of the project would be a 'game changer' for the entire region.
Mr Tenga said during implementation of the project, the development of a hub port and free port coupled with a heavy haul railway linking Tanzania to the rich markets of east-central Africa shall result in immense social-economic prosperity for Tanzania.
"Tanzania shall enjoy a major economic boom as a new railway, port and free port investments stimulate agro-development, real estate and manufacturing and shall create thousands of new jobs and careers," he said.
He said that the new deep sea port shall be designed to have the ability to make Tanzania a direct hub port, enabling direct shipping from international ports and thus significantly reducing the cost of logistics to exporters and importers.
Mr Tenga explained further that the free port at Tanga to be constructed adjacent to the new deep sea port, would host manufacturing, logistics and other service industries and key anchor activities shall include an integrated iron and steel manufacturing cluster.