LINDI : PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday concluded a three-day working tour of Lindi Region on Tuesday, expressing the government’s commitment to transforming the region into a blue economy hub in the southern zone.
Dr Samia said that Lindi has the opportunity to develop the blue economy through fishing, fish farming, seaweed farming and marine transportation by capitalising its vast 285-kilometre of coastline, spanning from Sudi village in the border of Mtwara Region to Marendego Village in bordering Coastal Region.
According to Dr Samia, in 2022/2023 the region produced 6.81million kilogramme of sea products worth 33.23bn/-, which is an increase from 1.16 million kgs worth 5.65bn/- produced in 2021/2022 and urged the citizens to increase the production even ten times.
“If we put more effort into the production of sea products, we can grow even tenfold. We need application of the latest technology and I believe that upon completion of the mega Kilwa Fishing Port, this region will transform into the hub of blue economy activities,” she told a well-attended meeting at Mitwero village.
The Head of State implored Lindi residents to cooperate in keeping up with the pace of development because the 71-year-old region has various opportunities but has been contributing less than 2 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In efforts to transform the region into the blue economy hub, President Samia laid the foundation stone of the Kilwa Fishing Port, which is expected to be completed in 2025 and distributed deep-water fishing boats to increase sea produce.
“I launched a campaign for the distribution of modern boats in which a total of 160 loan boats will be distributed for fishing and seaweed farming throughout the country and through this programme, the government expects to create 3,295 direct jobs to the citizens,” Dr Samia said.
President Samia said Lindi is one of the 11 regions that are included in the seaweed farming and fishing programme, adding that the project worth 77.42 million dollars will be implemented by the government in collaboration with the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD).
On the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) prospects, Dr Samia said the region will benefit aplenty progress to start implementation of the project are well on course.
“We’ve revived LNG negotiations with investors and we are well on course. This mega project will create over 10,000 jobs and upon completion and become operational, it will create 600 direct employments,” she said
Moreover, she said the region is rich in various minerals including gold, salt, copper, limestone, manganese and graphite, adding that due to poor production, only 7bn/- was collected from minerals from March 2021 to June 2023.
She also told the citizens to continue using the cashews and peas farming opportunities for the development of the region.
On the other hand, President Samia said that the region has vast tourist opportunities, blessed with iconic Nyerere National Park and Selous Game Reserve, ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara.
“I want the residents of Lindi to know that this is the only region with two reserves recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as world heritage in international status including Selous Game Reserve and ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara,” she said.
The president said Lindi is endowed with vast forest nature that brings with it huge opportunities for youth to explore in production of forestry products including honey. She instructed the leadership of Lindi Region and all districts to fully engage young people for them to grab the opportunities.
“The region has the opportunity of forests that can provide opportunities for hunting and production of forestry products such as honey,” she added.
She also said that the government will construct a 76bn/- vocational training in Lindi Region, adding that similar facilities will be set up in Dodoma and Kigoma. She also said that the agriculture campus of the university of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) will be constructed in Lindi.