Tanzania’s President Magufuli has halted the construction of the USD 10 billion Bagamoyo port, one of the largest government infrastructure projects in the country.
Bagamoyo is a town in eastern Tanzania lying on the Zanzibar channel in the Indian Ocean, 75 km northwest of Dar es Salaam.
In 2013, a large two-berth intermodal container deepwater port terminal at Bagamoyo was proposed by the Tanzanian government.
The project is a tri-government venture between Tanzania, China, and Oman, via the state-run China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI) and Oman’s State General Reserve Fund (SGRF). The total investment in the port is calculated at USD 10 billion.
The agreement for the project was signed by Tanzania’s former President Jakaya Kikwete.
The new port is meant to be one of the biggest in Africa with a capacity to handle 25 times the amount of cargo of the Dar es Salaam port, reducing congestion and making Tanzania the leading shipping center in East Africa.
The port includes an affiliate special industrial and economic zone that is expected to host more than 1,000 factories that will have rail links to the TAZARA Railway and Tanzanian Central Railway.
The port is being constructed by China and the industrial zone will be constructed by Oman and administered by the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) of Tanzania.
Contracts to begin port construction were signed in October 2015 and was set to complete phase I of the construction project in 2017.
However, the project was later canceled by the Magufuli’s administration in January 2016 to renegotiate the contractual terms.
Until recently negotiations between the governments of China and Tanzania on the port project were progressing well.
However, in June 2019 Tanzanian President Magufuli accused the Chinese counterparts of presenting exploitative and awkward terms in exchange for financing. Since then, the project has been halted.
Last Update: 12 October 2020
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