Tanzania is set to proceed with the long-stalled expansion of the Dar es Salaam port, after securing funding from the World Bank.
Two years after breaking ground, the project has been in doubt until recently, when the Bretton Woods institution approved a $305-million loan for the project.
The loan forms part of the $600-million required for the whole project, with the balance expected from the Tanzania government, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
The Tanzania government will provide $100-million, while the DfID is expected to provide a $136-million grant, and TMEA $60-million. TMEA, a nonprofit consultancy, is also overseeing the implementation of the project.
“The World Bank has agreed to give Tanzania loans for various development projects, including a credit of $305-million for an expansion project at the Dar es Salaam port," says Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango.
The funding enables Tanzania to embark on implementation of the project which aims to not only reduce congestion and inefficiencies but also transform the port of Dar es Salaam into the preferred gateway to the East African region by 2020.
The expansion project will increase the port’s capacity from 15-million tons currently to 28-million tons by 2020 and 34-million tons by 2025.
Modernising and expanding the port will enable it to accommodate large vessels and reduce ships’ dwell time from the current nine to ten days to just five days by 2020.
By expanding the port, Tanzania wants to compete with the port of Mombasa, in neighbouring Kenya, in serving the landlocked countries of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, as well as the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The port is also aiming to secure more business from Zambia and Malawi.
According to the World Bank, increasing efficiencies at the Dar es Salaam port will see the Tanzanian economy gain almost $1.8-billion a year.