Kurasini project in the spotlight after stalling for Seven years

Wednesday May 6 2020

 

By Alawi Masare

Dar es Salaam. Parliament’s Industry, Trade and Environment committee yesterday raised concerns over Kurasini project which it said had stalled for about seven years without development.
Deputy Chairman of the House team Masoud Ali Khamis said the government had spent Sh101 billion for compensating people to acquire the land but the pro-posed Trade and Logistic Centre under the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) was being used to park vehicles and store containers  activities that he said were not core business.
The Kurasini project is the brainchild of the Sino-Africa Cooperation meeting held in Cairo in 2009, and was earlier planned to be a trade hub used as a distribution point of Chinese goods to East and Central Afri-can markets.
However, the would-be Sino-Tanzania Logistics Centre was fine-tuned recently to conform to Tanzania’s priorities. The focus is now to make it a hub for adding value to Tanzania’s strategic agricultural pro-duces before they are exported.
The committee said despite the fact that the project was under the EPZA, ongoing activi-ties were supervised by Temeke Municipality.
“We ask the government to immediately start implementing the project as we do not benefit from compensating the people with Sh101 billion.
We also want EPZA to stop the ongoing businesses such as parking and storage of containers since all these were not intended in the project,” said Mr Khamis as he presented his committee report on the Ministry of Industry and Industry.
The committee also urged the government to release funds for development expenditure which it said no single coin was released by March to the ministry, hence affecting projects such as Kurasini. On the other hand, the Minister for Industry and Trade Innocent Bashungwa said in his budget speech that the government would continue with the development projects depending on the availability of funds.“We secured title deed for the Kurasini Trade and Logistic Centre in December 2019.
 EPZA also received specifications from boards of coffee and tea, Ware-house Receipt Regulatory Board and Crop and other Produces Board on investment that will satisfy the demand,” he said.According to him, the centre will process, package and store various agricultural produces before they are exported.
He said EPZA continued pro-moting investment in the special economic zones and in 2019/20 it managed to register six new companies.That makes the total number of companies 169 from 163 previously.
 Their capital investment has also increased from $2.353 billion to $2.379 during the peri-od, Mr Bashungwa said.