Tanzania maritime sector eyes more cargo on busiest port


Tanzania—East Africa’s host of the most strategic port (Dar es Salaam Port), anticipates garnering more cargo in the next four years, as the Tanzanian Port Authority (TPA) projects the volume of cargo to rise by almost 43 per cent, according to information from The Citizen.

The Dar es Salaam port handles about 95 per cent of the country international trade, serving other landlocked countries, Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, according to information from the TPA website.

In the maritime sector, Tanzania has a rather wider potential for expanding its reach in this pool. Tanzania’s coastline stretches of approximately 1425 km across East Africa portrays how the country could transform its economy and vitalize movement of good over the East African region.

The government of Tanzania has been on a mission to transform the sector physically and financially. For instance, in July 2017 President John Magufuli officially launched the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway project with a $421.3 million value targeted to exhaust the port potential.

According to the Tanzania Five Year Development Plan II 2016/17-2020/21, by 2050 up to 60 per cent of aggregate global trade will be shipped through the Indian ocean—this means Tanzania is strategically positioned to grabs business opportunities and emerge as a leading shipping hub.

The cargo being handled will rise by at least 7.5 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes in 2025, which is significantly higher compared to 17.5 million tonnes handled in 2020.

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The projected cargo management will be achieved through the ongoing $421 million Dar es Salaam Marine Gateway Project. This project anticipated to reduce waiting times at berth from 80 to 30 hours, which cuts congestion significantly (Oxfordbusinessgroup).

Further, the project—is conducted in two phases, whereby phase one targets the expansion of eight berths and the second one covers the expansion of four berths.

The government of Tanzania is serious about transforming the sector, as the Ministry for Works, Transport and Communications launched a fifth berth at Dar es Salaam port, totalling berth to six.

“Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we managed to handle 17.5 million tonnes of cargoes in 2019/2020, compared to 17.1 million tonnes recorded in 2018/19. “We, however, failed to meet our target of 18 million tonnes last year,” said the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA)’s Director General Deusdedit Kakoko.

TPA foresees the Dar es Salaam port to handle about eight ships at once which in return will raise the number of cargoes handled at the port.

Further, TPA sees this advancement as a potential opening for Tanzania as it will contribute nearly 90 per cent of all ports revenues. According to The Citizen, the TPA chief argued that the organization target is to collect around $862 million.

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Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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