Dubai firm, Tanzania make progress in port investment

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What you need to know:

  • Reports have it that already several multinational companies had shown interest in developing and operating the $10 billion (about Sh23 trillion) Bagamoyo port and Special Economic Zone project.

Dodoma. The governments of Tanzania and Dubai will next month finalise discussions on the areas where the Dubai Port World (DP-World) will have to invest in the country’s ports with a view to improving efficiency, it was revealed yesterday in Parliament.

The revelation was made by the deputy minister for Works and Transport, Mr Atupele Mwakibete, during the question and answer session.

The question was posed by Mr Rashid Shangazi (Mlalo-CCM) who sought to know when the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Company will start.

The multinational Logistics Company in February, this year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth $500 million, with the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to finance various projects aimed at improving efficiency of the country’s ports.

In his reaction, deputy minister Mwakibete said the two governments had signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).

“We signed IGA on October 25, 2022,” he revealed.

He went on saying: “This sets a stage for the two governments to start discussion on areas for investments and we are expecting to finalise talks at the end of December.”

He said the discussions were being held in accordance with the law, regulations and procedures to ensure that the investment by the Dubai-based firm made sense to the country.

In his follow-up question, Mr Shangazi also wanted to know how TPA prepared itself in ensuring that the Dar es Salaam port was competitive enough to compete with ports of Mombasa-Kenya, Durban (South Africa) and Beira (Mozambique).

In a swift rejoinder, the deputy minister said the partnership with the DP World was expected to enable the Dar port to increase its competitiveness at the regional and global level and improve quality of services.

“Yes, the competition is tough, but through DP World, the Dar port will increase its efficiency and competitiveness,” said Mr Mwakibete.

He expressed the government’s commitment to shortening the “vessel dwell times” ----the time a ship spends at port securing the vessel, discharging or loading cargo, and other activities.

Elaborating on the matter, TPA director general Plasduce Mbossa told The Citizen yesterday that they were doing all in their power to ensure that cargo was being cleared as quickly as possible.

“This is meant to ensure that the cargo attracts no or little demurrage charges,” recounted Mr Mbossa.

However, until The Citizen went to press yesterday, it did not establish the current vessel dwell times.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Ms Hamida Abdallah (Lindi Urban-CCM) was of the view that if the government was to increase the Dar port’s efficiency, it should expedite its talks with the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (Ticts) on the contract renewal.

Last month Ministry of Works and Transport permanent secretary (Transport docket), Mr Gabriel Migire, told The Citizen that the government had extended the contract for the Ticts by three months to December as the two parties continue with negotiations on the way forward.

Ticts, the only private investor offering container terminal services at berth eight to 11, had its contract expired in September.

Ms Abdallah also called for the government to speed up talks with investors on the construction of the Bagamoyo Port in order to decongest the Dar port.

“Soon the Dar port will be overloaded,” she observed.

Recommending: “As a matter of fact, we need to prepare ourselves for the construction of the Bagamoyo port.”

Reports have it that already several multinational companies had shown interest in developing and operating the $10 billion (about Sh23 trillion) Bagamoyo port and Special Economic Zone project.