Mwinyi pushes for private sector role in projects

ZANZIBAR: ZANZIBAR’S President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, has emphasised the importance of the private sector’s involvement in the country’s development projects, including ports development.

Dr Mwinyi made this statement in Urban West region, Zanzibar, during the launch of Fumba Port, which is part of the activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Zanzibar revolution.

He stated that the country’s economy cannot rely solely on the public sector and that it is crucial for the private sector to work together with the government to build the economy and bring development to the country.

Dr Mwinyi highlighted that the private sector can collaborate with the government in various ways to invest in and implement development projects.

He said; “Some projects can only be carried out by the private sector, while others can be implemented through joint ventures with the government… This approach is used in countries around the world, including Zanzibar.”

Furthermore, Dr Mwinyi emphasised the significant contribution of the port to the national income and its role as an important economic gateway.

He stated, “The government must make deliberate efforts to establish strong strategies that ensure our ports make a significant contribution to our economy and increase our national income.”

Dr Mwinyi explained that the government decided to collaborate with investors to provide services at Fumba Port due to the overwhelming capacity of Malindi Port.

Malindi Port, which is over 35 years old and underwent major renovations in 1988, does not have sufficient capacity to provide efficient services due to the increasing population and economic activities in Zanzibar.

“For a long time, Malindi Port has been ineffective due to its small size and lack of infrastructure development space, resulting in containers accumulating at Mombasa Port in Kenya instead of being brought to Zanzibar,” he added.

Similarly, Dr Mwinyi noted that the situation at Malindi Port has caused challenges for citizens, businesses, and the government due to the delayed arrival of containers in Zanzibar.

He mentioned that the biggest impact of container delays is the increased prices of products in the market.

To address these port challenges, Dr Mwinyi explained that the government decided to construct the integrated Mangapwani Port, which will handle cargo, containers, fishing, oil and gas, ship maintenance, and mixed cargo.

However, since the construction of the port will take a long time, the government entered into an agreement with the private sector to operate Malindi Port and build Fumba Port during the transitional period.

According to Dr Mwinyi, the government partnered with Fumba Inland Container Depot Limited (FICDF) to invest in Fumba Port and provide services.

“The good news is that they immediately began supporting the construction of the port’s infrastructure after entering into the agreement… In addition to reducing container congestion in Mombasa, the government will also benefit from the income generated through Fumba Port,” Dr Mwinyi said.

He added that the government is committed to strengthening the port sector by constructing ports in various areas of Zanzibar and improving passenger ports.

The Fumba Port project consists of two phases, with the first phase commencing in May 2023 after signing an agreement with the Zanzibar government through Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC). The first phase is valued at 15 million US dollars.

The first phase includes the construction of a ship ramp, container yard, cargo handling equipment, workers’ office, and various technological systems for port operations and security.

The main objective of the project is to reduce the transportation costs of goods to and from Zanzibar via Mombasa Port and alleviate container congestion at Malindi Port.

The Inland Container Depot (ICD) centre and RORO Berth have the capacity to handle 12 to 20 percent of all containers entering and leaving Zanzibar annually.

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