Tanzania Suspends Construction Of East Africa Largest Port At Bagamoyo

Tanzania Suspends Construction Of East Africa Largest Port At Bagamoyo

From The East African

 The construction of the $10 billion Bagamoyo port, which would be the largest port in East Africa, has been suspended.

Tanzania wants to focus, instead, on improving the capacity, performance and efficiency of the Dar es Salaam and Mtwara ports.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the government will upgrade berths 1 to 7 and construct two additional ones, 13 and 14, at the Dar port as well as develop the Mtwara one.

“I do not want to reveal too much details or plans by the government on the fate of this project [Bagamoyo]. What I can say is only that we are currently concentrating on the Dar es Salaam and Mtwara ports,” he told The Citizen.

However funding constraints for the two ports are standing in the way of the revamp efforts.

“We are looking for funds for the port of Dar es Salaam and then for the Mtwara Port,” he said.

The World Bank has agreed to fund the facelift of berths 1 to 7 and talks are ongoing to also finance the construction of berths 13 and 14, Prof Mbarawa said without revealing the cost of the projects.

The government hopes to start the refurbishment this year and complete by 2018.

“It all depends with the financial resources. If we get the funding soon the projects will run,” he said.

The initial works for the Bagamoyo port had already started after former President Jakaya Kikwete broke ground last October with some residents relocated to other areas to pave way for the construction.

Prof Mbarawa said the decision to suspend the building of the port was because the multibillion-shilling project was too big; it needed more attention, a lot of planning and a major source of funding.

Bagamoyo port was also put in the queue by the need to take advantage of huge inflows of foreign direct investments in the natural gas-rich regions of Lindi and Mtwara, the government said.

Read more at The East African