DAILY NEWS Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM : Construction of the Bagamoyo Port tipped to be the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa at Mbegani creek in the Coast Region begins on Friday.
President Jakaya Kikwete, is expected to lay foundation stone for the mega project expected to cost 10 billion US dollars which will include an ultra-modern port, supporting infrastructure as well as an industrial park, the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Florens Turuka said in statement.
President Kikwete will be laying foundation stone to launch the first phase of the project, which includes the construction of the port around an area of 800 Ha in Bagamoyo District.
The total project includes 800 hectares of Bagamoyo Port Project and 1,700 hectares of Portside Industrial Zone, which will be developed under tripartite agreement of Government of Tanzania (GoT), China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI) from China and State Government Reserve Fund (SGRF) from Oman.
In this partnership, the government is represented by Tanzania Ports Authority, (TPA) and the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), the Sultanate of Oman is represented SGRF, whereas China is represented by the government-owned CMHI.
The initial coordination of the project is under the Prime Minister’s Office through Joint Working Team and Joint Task Force that includes representatives from GoT, CMHI and SGRF.
“Apart from the sea port and the port side industrial zone, the project includes support infrastructure in form of railways, road network, electricity, running water, gas and communication network,” Dr Turuka said.
Bagamoyo port project is expected to transform Tanzania into a transport logistics hub and gateway to the regional and international trade with linked industrial platform for value addition and manufacturing processes.
Dr Turuka said the onset of the project goes alongside building diplomatic relationship between Tanzania, China and Oman for promoting industries in Africa and will greatly promote employment creation in the country.
Also, the project will significantly contribute to raise the country’s balance of payment by increasing exports from the forthcoming industrial park.
The project will link and integrate the local Small and Medium Enterprises as well as primary sectors of our economy which includes among others; Agriculture, forestry tourism minerals and marine products, he said.
The genesis of the project dates back to 2008 during President Kikwete’s visit to China in which he initiated talks with the then China President, Hu Jintao to develop the Bagamoyo Special Economic Zone.
“The discussions earmarked the project as one the flagship projects and was further deliberated at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2012 which was attended by 50 African Ministers.
Following the Beijing Declaration which set the framework for cooperation between China and East African countries the project was entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement for immediate implementation for the period of 2013-2015.”
The Framework Agreement in relation to this project was signed in Tanzania in 2013 and was witnessed by presidents Kikwete and Hu Jintao. On October 2014, the tripartite MoU, which brought into partnership the Government of Oman through SGRF, was signed in Shenzhen.
The ceremony attended by various local and international invited guests, project investors, members of the diplomatic corps.
The delegation from the Sultanate of Oman will be led by the Minister for Transport and Communication, Sheikh Abdullah Al Saadi, among others. The Chinese delegation will be led by Executive Director of CMHI, who also doubles as Executive Vice-President of China Merchant Group, Dr Hu Jianhua.