President Samia: Grab opportunities

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has called on Tanzanians to stop dragging their feet in grabbing emerging opportunities, saying the practice is detrimental to the country’s development.

President Samia made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam in her remarks after administering an oath of office to the newly appointed ministers, their deputies and other government officials.

“While we are arguing on who should be given the task of running the port, our neighbours have capitalised on our weakness by taking the same path,” she said.

She said that while people are arguing that the port has been sold our neighbours have taken the same path.

Dr Samia detailed that when the Parliament okayed Public Private Partnership (PPP) in operating the Dar es Salaam Port, on the next day our neighbour allowed all its ports to be operated by private sector and they rushed to the same company.

“You should now see how quickly opportunities emerge and go and how others can take advantage of them,”   President Samia said.

  • “While we are arguing on who should be given the task of running the port, our neighbours have capitalised on our weakness by taking the same path,” she said.

She tasked the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Planning Commission to analyse effectively all the available opportunities in the country and how people can capitalise on them.

The endorsement of the Resolution on the Inter-Governmental Agreement IGA) between Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) concerning partnership on ports development by Parliament has raised public debate on the fate of the country’s major port.

The government has several times defended the partnership by highlighting a number of benefits to be obtained from the agreement.

Minister for Works and Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa, outlined expected benefits of the agreement, including application of modern technology and system that will make port operations fast and effective, thus increasing revenue.

Prof Mbarawa also pointed out that the implementation of the document will assure port workers of their employment security; because the agreement has set measures to increase employment opportunities from 28,990 in 2021/22 to 71,907 come 2032/33.

He said that the increase in employment opportunities is set at 148 per cent.

The minister said average number of days for a vessel to stay at the port will be reduced to 24 hours from the current five days, thus increasing efficiency.

President Samia administers oath of the newly appointed Finance Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba

Furthermore, it will increase the number of ships docking at the Dar es Salaam Port from 1,569 in 2021/22 to 2,950 vessels by 2032/33.

Prof Mbarawa went on to argue that if implemented, the agreement will enable the port to use only two days to offload containers from a ship, unlike present when the port spends up to four days.

On the part of bulk cargo, the port will have a capacity of offloading within one hour while currently it spends 12 hours.

“This is a result of improvement of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructures,” the minister informed MPs.

For customers using the Dar es Salaam Port to ship containerised cargo destined for Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, the transport cost per container will be cut down by half from 12,000 US dollars to between 6,000 and 7,000 US dollars.

The number of customers using the ports are expected to double as well as increase in cargo volume from 18.41 million tonnes in 2021/22 to 47.57 million tonnes by 2032/33, an increase that is almost 158 per cent.

The cargo volume increase will see a rise in revenue and tax collection from 7.76tri/- in 2021/22 financial year to 26.7tri/- in 2032/33, equivalent to 244 per cent increase.

Moreover, the government will benefit from upgrading of the storage facilities to handle all types of cargoes.

The berths, he said, will be expanded so that they can accommodate canoes, passenger boats as well as huge tourism ships, consequently increasing the number of tourists.

The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) staff will undergo capacity building training for knowledge and skills transfer, hence improving ports efficiency.

The IGA also requires setting up of special industrial and economic zones as well as ICT systems that are connected to ports’ operations for transparency.

The implementation of the agreement will contribute to the development of other sectors, such as agriculture, livestock and fisheries, therefore attaining economic benefits from industries, trade and transport.


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