Tanzania’s ports have attracted more revenues in the past six months, garnering 531,1bn/- between February and July, this year up from 525,4bn/- earned during corresponding period last year. The increased revenues came in the wake of improved infrastructures and performance which enhanced cargo handling capacity.
Statistics indicate that the cargo handled at the country’s ports increased from 7,83 million tonnes between February and July last year to 8,87 million tonnes in corresponding period this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted business globally. The revenues are from Indian Ocean ports (Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara) and the Great Lakes region (Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa).
The Chief Government Spokesperson, Mr. Gerson Msigwa, revealed this over the weekend during a press briefing held in Dodoma, noting that the surge was driven by an increasing number of ships docking at the ports from 1,388 to 2,206 ships. “We cannot underestimate the increase in revenue taking into account that some countries are experiencing a significant drop due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Mr. Msigwa, who doubles as the Director of Information Services, noted that a large chunk of consignment has been recorded at the Dar es Salaam Port whose outstanding cargo handling performance grew from 7,27 million tonnes to 8,14 million tonnes in the same period. According to Mr. Msigwa, imported motor vehicles passing through the Dar es Salaam Port including those on transit was among areas performed very well, noting that in the same period the number increased from 64,209 vehicles to 81,016 vehicles.
Briefing on the status of the ongoing upgrading of the Dar es Salaam Port, Msigwa said the strengthening and deepening of berths 1-7 up to 14,5 metres and construction of the berth identified as RORO terminal has been finalised and has started operating. He observed that the investment has led the Dar Port to host a huge vessel – the Tranquil ACE Panama carrying 3,743 vehicles, the first of its kind in the whole of East Africa. The Chief Government Spokesperson revealed that the remaining work at the Dar Port is the expansion and dredging of the ship entrance channel, turning circle and harbour basin.
Likewise, strengthening and deepening 8-11, and construction of a new terminal jet. He, however, noted that construction of 300 metres berth at Mtwara port, renovation of the cargo yard comprising of 5,600 metres and warehouse number three at Mtwara Port were also completed, Mr. Msigwa pointed out that recently the Mtwara port hosted a large vessel which was carrying 2,850 tonnes of sulphur for cashew nut farmers.
Major uplifting is also ongoing, aimed at Tanga Port, aimed at enabling the terminal handle large vessels and cut down costs, and according to Mr. Msigwa the work is expected to be completed by October 2022 at a cost of 256,8bn/-.
On the other hand, the Government is in the final process of the feasibility study for the construction of berths at Mbamba-bay, Manda and Matema. Equally, the construction of the Karema Port is in good progress as its implementation stands at 50 percent, with the completion scheduled for March, 2022.