WITH less than two decades since its inception, the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has continued to grow, making considerable strides in enhancing both; efficiency and effectiveness in port services delivery.
From building competitive infrastructures and acquisition of modern equipment and technologies to increased cargo volumes, the TPA’s march towards its vision of becoming a leader in the regional maritime trade and logistics services, is quite impressive.
“The TPA’s mission is to develop and manage ports that provide world class maritime services and promote excelling total logistics services in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa,” says TPA Director of Marketing and Public Relations Dr George Fasha.
Dr Fasha says the Ports Authority has succeeded in improving and developing port facilities and promoting their use both domestically and internationally and ensured that Tanzania continues to exploit her geographical position of Tanzania as a maritime nation, with an Ocean coastline of 1,424km.
Massive investment has been channeled towards improving existing port infrastructures, whilst building new ones, as East Africa’s second largest country looks to seize the growing regional market.
With a keen eye on the new regional entrant, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a long-trading partner, more efforts have continued to strengthen other markets in neighbouring nations notably Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
In intensifying the marketing drive in foreign countries, especially land linked nations which largely rely on the principal port of Dar es Salaam in importing and exporting cargoes, the TPA has established a number of liaison offices abroad.
There are six liaison offices located in Lubumbashi (DRC), Lusaka (Zambia), Kigali (Rwanda), Bujumbura (Burundi), Kampala (Uganda) and Harare (Zimbabwe).
TPA equally intends to expand its reach and establish offices or marketing agencies in other transit markets namely Lilongwe (Malawi), Kolwezi (DRC), Bukavu (DRC) and Goma (DRC).
Cargo volume up 16.2 pc
The TPA’s bold market strategies have considerably boosted the volume of cargo handled in the country’s ports, while strengthening revenue collections, with the port’s contribution to the country’s GDP now standing at 40 per cent.
According to TPA’s statistics, the overall cargo traffic handled by TPA ports in the 2021/22 financial year was 20.6 million metric Tons, which is an increase of 16.2 per cent compared to the previous 2020/21 financial year where TPA Ports handled 17.8 million metric tons.
Cargo traffic performance handled at TPA ports in the last five years, that is from 2017/18 to 2021/22, increased from a total of 15,484,695 metric tons to 20,662,762 metric tons respectively which is an annual percentage growth of 7 per cent.
Cargo Traffic handled at principal port of Dar es Salaam, which handles about 95 per cent of Tanzania’s international trade, increased from 13,974,994 metric tons to 18,177,004 metric tons in the year 2017/18 to 2021/22 respectively, which is equivalent to 7 per cent annual percentage growth.
Dr Fasha says the TPA will continue to invest in capacity building to ensure it efficiently serves the domestic market and the growing economies in the EAC and SADC regions, home to over 500 million citizens and a GDP of more than 800 million US dollars.
“We must continue building an efficient and motivated workforce, who can guarantee top-notch services to our domestic and foreign customers,” the TPA Director of Marketing and Public Relations.
While applauding the sixth-phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan for continuously guaranteeing the TPA the war chest to acquire modern equipment, Dr Fasha says the Ports Authority will continue procurement of new and modern equipment to accommodate the ever-growing cargo traffic resulting from economic growth across the region.
He says, in order attain its objectives, the TPA will maintain good collaboration with key stakeholders to facilitate development of infrastructure (rail/ road/ dry ports/ pipeline) along the four transport corridors; Central Corridor, Dar es Salaam Corridor, Tanga Corridor, Mtwara Corridor, insisting that Port’s competitiveness is enhanced by its connectivity and efficiency of its corridors and connectivity.
TPA will also invest in the acquisition and use of modern technologies to enhance port services, adds Dr Fasha, noting that the use of new logistics technologies will make it possible for customers to access various services where they are without necessarily having to visit the port.
“TPA invites stakeholders to complement efforts taken by the Authority and the government which are aimed at enhancing port efficiency since competitiveness is not only linked to distance, transport mode or quality of infrastructure, but also, to the reliability and predictability of the supply chain,” the DMPR urges.
He urges the country’s media to avoid disseminating wrong information, as that may have a negative impact on the country’s economic growth, which heavily relies on port operations.
“The impact of disseminating wrong and false information, will not only tarnish our good image to domestic and foreign stakeholders, but will affect business performance including reduction of cargo handled by Tanzanian ports,” he insists.
TPA Director of Corporate Planning, Dr Boniphace Nobeji says the Ports Authority has gone through a long path of transformation but it is yet to achieve its Vision of “Leading the Regional Maritime Trade and Logistic Services to Excellence”.
“The TPA management is ready and willing to collaborate with other stakeholders in making sure that Ports service provided by Tanzania Ports are improved,” affirms Dr Nobeji.
Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) was established by the Ports Act No. 17 of 2004 as port landlord and operator, with effective operations started in the year 2006.
The Authority owns all ports in Tanzania that are Seaports and Lake Ports. Sea Ports include Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara Ports, while there are numerous inland ports along major Lakes; Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa.