IN the fifth government under the leadership of the late President John Magufuli, several strategic projects were initiated and completed; in turn immensely raised the country’s economy.
The projects implemented or are still ongoing touched almost every sector such as transport infrastructures (sea, land and air)), energy, manufacturing, health and education, all of which were aimed at uplifting Tanzania’s social-economic status.
Some of the ongoing projects include the construction of Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHP), reviving the national airline (ATCL), construction of oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga region, construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), construction and upgrading of the country’s ports.
Going into each item, the ongoing implementation of Julius Nyerere Hydropower project that will be producing 2,115 megawatts has so far created over 3,500 jobs during implementation stage. The project is constructed along the Rufiji River, Coast Region, by a joint venture of Egyptian companies, Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric Co. at a cost of 3.6 billion US dollars, (around 6.5tri/-).
In the current budget of the energy ministry, the project will gobble 66.4 per cent of the ministry’s total development budget, even though the Parliament endorsed over 2tri/- for the ministry’s development budget for this year.
The ongoing construction of the JNHP, also known as the Rufiji Hydropower project, the 2,115 megawatts dam will be the largest by size and power production capacity in East Africa and among the largest in Africa compared to Egypt’s Aswan High Dam (2,100 megawatts), Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Dam (2,075 megawatts) and Angola’s Lauca Dam (2,069 megawatts).
The 2,115 MW Julius Nyerere Hydropower project is expected to transform the country through generation and supply of reliable electricity for both domestic and industrial use.
“The investment and power generation costs from Rufiji project will be cheaper than any other alternative source of electricity. Our manufacturing factories cannot be competitive if the cost of electricity remains high,” the late Dr Magufuli said when inaugurating the project in July, 2019.
Magufuli said the 2,115-megawatt Rufiji power project would more than double the Tanzania’s current power generation capacity of around 1,600 megawatts.
“This project is expected to be completed in June 2022. Make sure you accomplish this project on time or before time,” he told the Egyptian contractors. The late President Magufuli promised that his government would have implemented a number of energy projects to make the country effectively exploit its sources of electricity.
Dr Magufuli said during his second term in the top office he would ensure the major JNHP was finalised and become operational. Some other planned new hydropower projects he intended to undertake are Luhuji (358MW), Lumakali (222MW) and Kikonge (300MW).
On the part of the natural-gas powered electricity, the late president cited those in Mtwara (300MW), Somanga Fungu (330MW), Kinyerezi III (600MW), Kinyerezi IV (300MW), and other small projects. He stated that during the next five years he would see Tanzania generating 1100MW from renewable energies such as solar, wind and others.
During the last five years of his administration, Dr Magufuli enabled the supply of electricity to 9,884 villages from 2,018 in 2016.
“When we have all power projects completed we would not only enable enough power become available, but also would make us have surplus and sell to the neighbouring countries, and lower electricity costs,” Dr Magufuli stated when he inaugurated the 12th Parliament, last year.
His memories would continue to linger among Tanzanians on efforts he made to revive the national airline- ATCL. For instance, within some few years, the company purchased new commercial airplanes and over 400 jobs were created upon the reformation of the company.
The eight brand new planes also generate revenue whereby the monthly revenues of the ATCL have gone up from 2.5bn/- to 15bn/-. Dr Magufuli repeatedly argued that reviving the ATCL was crucial in stimulating other sectors like tourism, because the planes would be airlifting tourists from different countries directly into Tanzania, thus boosting the number of tourists and revenues.
Tanzania also witnessed the launching of construction of the Tanga-Hoima oil pipeline, a key project for the development and transformation of the region. The late president Magufuli and Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni last year gave a green light for the implementation of the strategic mega project.
The two leaders meeting at Chato airport signed an agreement to start implementing the $3.5 billion project, warning that anyone who may attempt to delay the process will be dealt with accordingly. He also revealed that Tanzania will get a 60 per cent share of the profits to be accrued from the pipeline project because about 80 per cent of it will lie on Tanzania’s land.
Mr Museveni said he was ready to give Tanzania 80 per cent of the profits due to the fact that the largest part of the pipeline was in the country but, according to him, Dr Magufuli settled on 60 per cent. The 1,443km long heated pipeline will transport oil from Hoima in Uganda through Chongoleani in Tanga, Tanzania to the world market.
On marine transport, Magufuli’s administration worked on improving the Dar es Salaam Port under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Programme (DMGP). The project meant to upgrading capacity of the port to handle big ships and more cargo, thus attracting more vessels opting docking at the port, something which is expected to raise more revenues from the port.
This went in line with improving other ports of Mtwara and Tanga as well as Lake ports which links Tanzania with neighbouring countries to ease high costs of transportation of cargo and services through roads.