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TPA’s marketing drive transcends borders

TPA’s marketing drive transcends borders

NEW developments in the eastern, southern and central African regions compel Tanzania’s seaports to compete more aggressively.

The regional blocs are more and more integrated, with trade and business flow rising to impressive levels, reciprocating to social and economic developments within and across borders.

Trade between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world has kept growing as well, with water transport for international trade assuring shipment of large volumes at low cost.

Cognisant of the new trends and role of the country’s ports in realizing economic goals set up by the government, the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has in recent years heightened efforts to market her ports in order to search and capture new markets and products.

With three seaports and plenty of inland ports, Tanzania links a host of landlinked countries in eastern, southern and central Africa to the rest of the world.

The ports serve the Tanzania hinterland and countries such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

The TPA has been implementing more effective marketing strategies to ensure maximum utilisation of Tanzania’s strategic position in line with the Authority’s 4th Strategic Plan, 2021-2026.

“Our ports play an important role in our economy and the economies of the neighbouring land-linked countries,” says TPA Acting Marketing and Public Relations Director, Nicodemus Mushi, adding: “Promotion of our ports locally and internationally is one of the key components of TPA’s 4th Strategic Plan.”

The TPA’s marketing efforts are aimed at developing a positive , strong brand image and ultimately make Tanzania’s seaports and inland ports more competitive and boost their domestic and international trade.

“Locally, we’re educating the public on water transportation potentials, particularly, cost efficiency of sea freight. Transporting cargo through water can cut down shipping costs by 40 per cent.” In recent years, the TPA has also spread its wings across the region, opening liaison offices in a number of countries in an effort to take its services closer to its customers and stakeholders and ensure more efficiency in service delivery.

“We have appointed Country Managers, who are business experts, to run our liaison offices. They work closely with our embassies in those countries to facilitate business and promote economic diplomacy,” the TPA’s Acting Marketing and Public Relations Director adds.

The Country Managers report directly to the TPA Director General to ensure timely and effective decisions making on matters related to business and logistics services. He says apart from promoting TPA services, the Country Managers are executing the Authority’s marketing plan so as to attract more business to the country’s ports.

“They also provide solutions to all marketing and business-related issues,” he adds.

TPA set up its first ever liaison office outside the country in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2014, with the host country describing the decision as patriotic and progressive.

The TPA’s Lubumbashi office has since proved important for the Congolese business community, who are now to solve their port related quarries and challenges in Lubumbashi instead of travelling all the way to Dar es Salaam.

In 2015, the TPA opened its second liaison office in Lusaka, Zambia, as the government of Tanzania, through the Authority, took a bold measure to strengthen port services to the region, including Zambia which largely depends on Tanzania’s principal port of Tanzania for importing and exporting its cargo.

The TPA office in Lusaka was a crucial step in solving several issues that the Zambian business communities had been complaining about, including port delays and unscrupulous clearing and forwarding agents.

In 2017, the Authority’s expansion reached Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, where the 3rd liaison office was set up, simplifying clearance of cargo destined for the East African country.

In March, 2018, TPA opened its liaison office in Kigali, Rwanda, reinforcing trade between the two countries. The move was crucial in saving time and resources customers were spending during clearance.

“The business community will not be obliged to travel all the way to Dar es Salaam to clear their cargo and this will strengthen the better relations and cooperation between two countries,” the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa said while gracing the opening.

Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, Rwanda’s State Minister in Charge of Transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure said the TPA office in Kigali will contribute in reducing the dwell time by 50 per cent and the overall travel time and cost of cargo.

The official opening of TPA office in Kigali was preceded by signing of the MoU between Rwanda and Tanzania in Kigali. The MoU aims at assisting the Rwandan business community to fasten clearing and forwarding of imports and exports at Dares-Salaam port and to make it accessible for Rwandans.

In May, this year, the TPA again set up its fifth liaison office in Kampala, Uganda as the Authority continued to enhance its operations and trade facilitation across the East African region.

TPA Director General, Mr Eric Hamissi said Uganda was of enormous economic potential for Tanzania through provision of port services, noting efforts were being undertaken to improve consignments destined to and from Uganda through our two ports of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza.

According to the TPA’s Acting Marketing and Public Relations Director, Mushi, the Ports Authority is in the final stages of establishing a liaison office in Lilongwe, Malawi.

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Author: DAILYNEWS REPORTER

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