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Huge boost for blue economy

THE marine sector is headed for a brighter future with plans underway to procure eight new vessels as part of the government’s efforts to promote an ocean-based economy.

President John Magufuli revealed recently that the government is currently engaged in talks with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to bring in the vessels from next year.

He said the vessels’ arrival is expected to transform lives in the country and in particular among the fishing communities of Coastal Regions, who largely depend on the fisheries sector.

The implementation of the pan is part of the promises given in the past election campaign.

He said his government would continue with a good job of transforming the country including the Coast Region, which is geographically potential for economic activities. Dr Magufuli said the new vessels will enable the country to engage in modern fishing and pledged to boost the fisheries sector through establishment of industries along the coast areas and in Zanzibar.

He said four of the vessels will operate in Zanzibar and four others in Mainland Tanzania. According to Dr Magufuli, Bagamoyo needs a fish processing industry and that the ruling party through its 2020-2025 manifesto, emphasizes on building more industries across the country.

He recalled measures taken by his government to improve the sector, saying it had also removed five levies and reduced the amount of money charged to more than 30 levies.

He said the move aimed at creating a good environment for people who engage in fishing activities and businesses so as to boost their revenues.

“There must be a fish processing industry in Bagamoyo... my government will do everything in its capacity to attract investors in the fishing sector, we want them to build industries here,” he stressed.

The government is also working on its plan to revive the Tanzania Fishing Corporation (TAFICO).

The corporation will receive one modern ship for its activities in Indian Ocean.

The available reports show that the corporation’s properties were swindled by some individuals and the government is still tracing the culprits.

“Some people killed the corporation and took the properties, we are doing everything in our capacity to trace them,” he said.

He added that so far properties worth 118bn/- have already been recovered. In 2016, the government said it was planning to revive the ailing TAFICO, which was established in 1974 to manage fishing activities in the country.

It was established that the government was partnering with other stakeholders to ensure that the corporation is operational.

In May this year, the government said it had prepared a business plan for reviving TAFICO in order to benefit from deep-sea fishing.

The minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Luhaga Mpina, said the business plan would be jointly implemented by the government and the private sector.

The party’s 2020-2025 manifesto announced the construction of a big fishing port as one of the biggest plans for generating additional employment opportunities in fisheries and industries that will help to alleviate poverty and boost the country’s economic growth.

The new modern port is expected to attract big fishing vessels from the deep sea and when completed and in full operation, the port is designed to create 30,000 employment opportunities and thus boost the country’s revenues.

The manifesto states that the major thrust for fisheries development will be on improving the fishing environment by setting attractive infrastructure for both small and big investors to engage in serious fishing businesses.

According to the manifesto, the party aims at building a big fishing port along the Coast, and that the facility will attract big fishing vessels from deep sea to dock in the country.

The government promises to engage in providing modern fishing education to local fishermen especially on proper equipment that are supposed to be used for fishing.

Moreover, public institutions and private sectors are set to be encouraged to invest in the fishing sector by establishing seven new fish industries so as to process and add value to the sea food.

The party also pledges the building of nine fishing shores along Lake Victoria (3) Nyasa (2) and Tanganyika (4) as well as to strengthen fishing markets such as Kivukoni fish market (Dar es Salaam), Kirumba (Mwanza), Kipumbwi (Pangani) and Sahare (Tanga).

The party also has pledged to review various fishing charges so as to enable fishermen to operate more profitably. Moreover, the government encouraged the private sector to build fish processing industries and that during the period a total of 12 big industries have been constructed.

The party added that also four medium industries have been established for processing fishing products for the regional markets and for exporting to Canada, America and to Asian countries.

There are also 34 small industries and 52 warehouses for dried fishing products. In Lake Victoria, Lake Nyasa and Tanganyika, the government has outlined a number of plans that aim at boosting fishing activities and facilitate businesses in the Great Lakes region.

The revival of water transport in Lake Victoria by renovating the New Lake Victoria ship is a great stride recorded in the past five years. However, Dr Magufuli assured the public that the government is continuing with the construction of another new big ship at a cost of 89.7bn/-.

The revival of the water transport from Kagera region to Mwanza means a lot to the economy of the Lake Zone, whose other several activities hinge on the transport.

The government is focusing on boosting businesses through water transport, because it is cheap and reliable in comparison to other means of transport.

In its repair commissioned to KTMI Company from South Korea, about 22.8bn/- was spent, where in 2018, the government through MSCL injected 152bn/ - to revive three vessels and finance the construction of a shipway at Mwanza South Port in Mwanza City.

The project also involved the construction of another new ship in Lake Victoria at 89.7bn/- with a capacity to carry 1,200 passengers, 400 tonnes of cargo, and 20 small vehicles as well as three trucks.

The vessel, which will be the largest in the Great Lakes region, measures 92.6 metres in length, 17 metres width and 11.2 metres height.

The construction of the 3,500-tonne vessel is being undertaken by Gas Entec and Kangnam Corporation, all from South Korea and SUMA JKT.

The completion of all these projects will also boost fishing businesses in the area and thus support the economic growth.

In Lake Tanganyika, apart from the renovation of Mv Liemba, the government is also constructing a new ship with the capacity to carry 600 passengers and 200 tonnes of cargo. The vessel will operate in the Eastern side of Lake Tanganyika.

The historical MV Liemba was built in 1913 in Germany, and was one of three vessels the German Empire used to control Lake Tanganyika during the early part of the First World War.

In Lake Nyasa, the government through the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) has constructed three modern vessels that will operate in Lake Nyasa.

The newly-constructed vessels are MV Mbeya II, with the capacity of carrying 200 passengers and 200 tonnes of cargo.

Others are MV Njombe and MV Ruvuma- each costing 5.5bn/- and was completed in July 2017. MV Ruvuma and MV Njombe have the capacity to carry 1000 tonnes of cargo each.

The coming of the vessels is expected to open up more economic and business opportunities for the three regions of Mbeya, Njombe and Ruvuma as well as neighbouring countries of Mozambique and Zambia.

The ships will also open up the ‘Mtwara Development Corridor’ and enable Mtwara and Mbamba Bay ports to serve the market in Malawi and reduce the competitiveness of Mozambique Ports to Dar es Salaam Port.

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Author: FLORENCE MUGARULA

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