Shot in the arm for Bag­amoyo port project

The East African - - BUSINESS - By DOROTHY NDALU Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

THE BAG­AMOYO port project, whose im­ple­men­ta­tion has been marred by fund­ing hitches and gov­ern­ment flip-flop, could kick off this month, af­ter Tan­za­nia agreed with Chi­nese and Omani in­vestors on a fi­nanc­ing deal that is ex­pected to be signed soon.

If con­structed, the $10 bil­lion Bag­amoyo port will be East Africa’s largest.

Tan­za­nia’s Min­is­ter for Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Trans­port Prof Makame Mbarawa told par­lia­ment in Dodoma this week that ne­go­ti­a­tions with the in­vestors are at the fi­nal stages and a con­tract is ex­pected to be inked this month.

The con­struc­tion of a $10 bil­lion port in a for­mer slav­ery har­bour of Bag­amoyo, which was mooted in 2013, was sus­pended in 2016 — a year af­ter Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli came to power — with sources say­ing the Magu­fuli gov­ern­ment was keen on im­prov­ing the ca­pac­ity, performance and ef­fi­ciency of the Mt­wara and Dar es Salaam ports in­stead.

But Prof Mbarawa said the project was sus­pended to al­low the up­grade of berths one to seven and con­struc­tion of berths 13 and 14.

The China am­bas­sador to Tan­za­nia Wang Ke last month said the project will start soon.

Lo­cated about 75km from Dar es Salaam and 10km from Bag­amoyo town, the port will breathe life into the Bag­amoyo Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone that is ex­pected to at­tract about 700 in­dus­tries and be­come a strate­gic in­vest­ment zone in East Africa. About 190 in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing a fer­tiliser pro­cess­ing plant, will be put up by the gov­ern­ment of Oman around the port.

The Bag­amoyo port and its af­fil­i­ate in­dus­trial zone are meant to ad­dress con­ges­tion at the old port and sup­port Tan­za­nia to be­come East Africa’s lead­ing ship­ping and lo­gis­tics cen­tre.

Pres­i­dent Magu­fuli’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has been on a spree in­vest­ing in in­fras­truc­ture projects with a ma­jor boost in Dar es Salaam port.

Pic­ture: File

Fish­er­men in Bag­amoyo where a $10 bil­lion port is to be built.

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