Mbarawa: Govt keen to engage with transport stakeholders

DAR ES SALAAM: THE government is ready to work on stakeholders’ views on improving efficiency in the transport sector and boosting its contribution to economic development, the Minister for Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa has said.

Prof Mbarawa made the remarks recently in Dar es Salaam while opening the East African Transportation Stakeholders’ Summit themed “Bridging Borders, Boosting Trade and Positioning Tanzania as the Cargo Hub of Eastern and Southern Africa.

” He emphasised that investment efforts in the sector have enabled the Dar es Salaam port to increase its cargo handling capacity by 48 per cent over the past five years. “Five years ago, the Port of Dar es Salaam handled 16 million tonnes of cargo, but in 2023, it handled 22 million tonnes, equivalent to a 48 per cent increase,” explained Prof Mbarawa.

Furthermore, Prof Mbarawa said that cargo transportation by air has nearly doubled within one year.

“Two years ago, our air cargo volume increased from 32,000 tonnes to 55,000 tonnes within one year,” he added.

He attributed these successes to various government efforts to improve the sector, including the purchase of large cargo aircraft with a total capacity of 65 tonnes.

He also emphasised the importance of stakeholders expressing the challenges they face to shed light on how the government should address them.

“We want stakeholders to say their challenges so that we can make changes or improvements in this sector,” said Prof Mbarawa.

Additionally, the minister said that the achieved efficiency is influenced by multiple parameters, including modern infrastructure and skilled personnel.

“Efficiency is a broad issue. It requires more than one parameter. You need several parameters, incluodern infrastructure and skilled personnel. Efficiency has changed a lot, as I have explained with data,” he elaborated.

To achieve the goals outlined in the theme, Prof Mbarawa said that productive feedback and discussions were among the key pillars. “I urge you to truly open up, the government will receive better feedback to work on,” said Prof Mbarawa.

He said the government’s main goal is to enhance efficiency in the transportation sector, which he described as a crucial link in the country’s economic growth.

He added that various perspectives and arguments from transportation stakeholders help review and improve various policies and regulations in the sector.

The stakeholders’ meeting brought together over 500 participants and more than 250 companies dealing with the logistics sector.

Furthermore, Deputy Director General of the Tanzania Porta Authority (TPA), Juma Kijavara, said the government has invested in major infrastructure projects to increase efficiency in the logistics sector.

“The government has initiated the Dar Maritime project, improving the ports of Tanga, Uvinza in Kigoma, Mbamba Bay in Mbeya, and the new Bagamoyo port. It is doing all this to bring about significant efficiency to boost the economy,” explained Kijavara.

Moreover, the Managing Director of the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC), Masanja Kadogosa, stated that Tanzania is fortunate to sit in a strategic geographical location.

“Tanzania being the gateway to landlocked countries of East and Central Africa is a significant opportunity,” said Kadogosa.

Kadogosa said that being in a strategic geographical location is one thing, but having strategies to benefit from that opportunity is another, requiring strong efforts and strategies.

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