TPA RIGHT IN MARKETING OUR PORTS IN THE REGION

Monday February 28 2022
By The Citizen Reporter

Tanzania – which is on the Indian Ocean coastline – is surrounded by landlocked countries that include Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and, to some extent, DR Congo. The country also has the three major seaports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara, all of which – together with the Mombasa port in next-door Kenya – are used by those countries to handle their imports and exports as a matter of course.

But – and as we reported in these pages on July 1, 2021 – the country has not been benefiting in full or sustainably from the phenomenal potential of its comparative geophysical advantage vis-à-vis its landlocked neighbours. This is especially in terms of transportation logistics.

For example, only about 29.4 percent (5 million tonnes) of all the cargo handled by the country’s largest seaport, Dar es Salaam (17 million tonnes), was from, or to, its landlocked neighbouring countries in 2020 – the rest being domestic imports and exports.


Read: TPA delegation tours Zambia to market Tanzanian ports

Commenting on this unsatisfactory state of affairs during the 12th meeting of the Tanzania National Business Council at the State House in Dar es Salaam in June 2021, the Tanzania Ports Authority Director General, Mr Eric Hamissi, pledged to “strengthen TPA presence in the landlocked countries in efforts to bolster businesses … We will bolster relationships management by embracing the ‘Customer is King’ approach”.

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But, for starters, he said, the government was “improving the port facilities and services to boost the cargo tonnages handled annually from the current 17.8 to 30 million in the next two years” – doing so under the Sh336.4 billion Dar es Salaam Marine Gateway Project.

True to the DG’s pledge, TPA has been touring the landlocked neighbouring countries in noble efforts to more effectively market our seaports. This is à la the dictum “If the mountain (read ‘customers’) won’t come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain”.

Kudos, TPA, for doing exactly that.


SEIZE ON DUBAI EXPO EXPOSURE

Last Saturday, Tanzania took centre-stage at the ongoing World Expo Dubai 2020 when President Samia Suluhu Hassan had the opportunity to formally address exhibitors, officials, show-goers and other stakeholders. These included prospective foreign direct investors (FDIs) for the United Republic.

That was also when the President had discussions with the Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the Vice President-cum-Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

The organisers “dedicated Sunday, February 27, 2022, as the Day for Tanzania” to promote its products and other economic development opportunities at the Expo that commenced on October 1, 2021, and ends on March 31, 2022.

In that regard, Tanzania is “well-organised” to continue utilizing the Expo, partly by hosting a ‘Tanzania Energy Symposium’ yesterday with the theme ‘Promoting Tanzania as East Africa’s Energy Hub.’ The Symposium brought together potential investors and financiers from across the world, as well as representatives from relevant Tanzanian investment institutions, including TanTrade and TIC.

President Hassan took the Dubai Expo 20 opportunity to once again portray to the world the country’s positive image as the preferred investment destination in this day and age of stiff competition mostly based on exaggerations and false propaganda.