Unguja. Zanzibar’s port digitisation project, which was launched yesterday, is seeking to double revenue up to Sh8 billion a month, the government said.
Digital systems are being installed at Malindi Port in the Isles to improve its operations, efficiency and eliminate delays complaints from the traders and other infrastructure users.
The modernisation project is being implemented by a local company, Fortris, in partnership with the Finnish company Wartsila Voyage.
Speaking at the launch of the project, the minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Dr Khalid Mohammed Salum, said the Malindi port, built in 1920, was still using old paperwork systems for unloading and loading cargo.
“The advent of this system will greatly help to deliver cargo without using paperwork and payments will be made online,” he said. Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC) chief executive officer Nahaat Mohammed Mahfoudh said digitisation would curb graft and embezzlement and increase domestic revenue.
He noted that the port collects between Sh3.5 and Sh4 billion a month but after installation of the modern digital system, the agency expects the revenue to increase to between Sh6 billion and Sh8 billion a month.
He said the port expects to serve ships at international standards and eliminate the challenge of queuing caused by the current processing.
The port berth is capable of carrying only one ship sized 130 metres long.
Fortris chief executive officer Morris Hamza Aziz said the rapid growth of competition in the global and East Africa port markets poses a significant challenge for ZPC to improve its operations.
“The project will increase operational capacity, reduce operating costs and improve maritime skills for Zanzibaris,” said Mr Aziz.