The East African Business Week (EABW) has recently published an announcement by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) which indicated that the private sector investors Hutchicon Ports Holdings, TICTS and Wai Chau will invest USD 60 million in the authority over the next five years in an effort to ease congestion at its ports and assist it in its port operations.
The TPA, which was established by an Act of Parliament in 2004, is a parastatal organization that was created as a result of the implementation of the Government policy of liberalization and privatization of the Tanzania Maritime and Ports industry.
Currently, the TPA is responsible for the development, management and promotion of the Tanzania port sector.
According to the EABW report, the Director General for the TPA, Ephraim Mgawe, explained that the role of the TPA was similar to that of a landlord.
“TPA will in particular perform the role of a landlord, leasing out to private operators the commercial activities of coastal and inland ports,” he said, “However, TPA will run those ports that will not attract private investors.”
TPA administers both sea and inland waterways ports in Tanzania. The major sea ports are Dar es Salaam port with a rated capacity of 4.1 million (dwt) dry cargo and 6.0 million (dwt) bulk liquid cargo; Tanga port with a rated capacity of 500,000 (dwt) and Mtwara port with a rated throughput of 400,000 (dwt).
In an interview with the EABW, Modest Kakusa, the TPA’s Planning Manager, indicated that the involvement of the private sector in this undertaking is one of the authority’s solutions to the challenges that are currently facing the country’s ports.
“The operator is to invest USD 60 million in next five years to improve performance of the ports around the country,” he said.
Mr. Kakusa went on to say that improvement in the port’s performances will likely increase competition in the Tanzania transportation sector thus attracting more investors and helping to increase the overall effectiveness of the harbor.
In addition, Mr. Kakusa explained that another of the harbor’s serious operational problems, the lack of speedy container clearance, will also be addressed by the success of the harbor.
According to the EABW report, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Omari Chambo, and the chairman of the board for the Tanzania Ports Authority, Raphael Mollel, have already signed the necessary agreements along with representatives from each of the investors: Hutchicon Ports Holdings Wai Chau and TICTS; the proceedings were witnessed by Dr. Kawambwa and the Deputy Minister for Finance, Omar Yussuf Mzee, on behalf of the Cabinet committee.
“The government wants to have more investors and those who will not be able to cope, are free to go,” said Mr. Mzee in the EABW report.