Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, attended a ceremony to lay foundation stone for Bagamoyo Port, a mega project expected to cost 10 billion US dollars which will include an ultra-modern port, supporting infrastructure, as well as an industrial park.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Kikwete said the over 1,000 industries which are to be built within the Portside Industrial Zone (PIZ) were no small number and they will open doors to many markets in the region.
“For years, Bagamoyo has only been known for its history with the likes of Chief Fundikira and his ilk. this is all going to change when the port and the PIZ is completed,” he said.
President Kikwete said that completion of the Bagamoyo Port will add capacity to the ones in Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara which handle 12 million tonnes annually where 6,000 containers are processed and employ 3,200 people including 1,500 labourers. He said that the new port expects to handle another 600,000 tonnes, process 1,000 containers and employ 1,000 people.
“Phase One of the port project covering 100 hectares will consist of four berths of which two will be dedicated for containers, one for multipurpose general cargo and a service berth. This first phase of the project will be developed in parallel with the development of the supporting infrastructure and the PIZ,” he said.
President Kikwete added that the expected container size is 8000 TEUs and a further 700 hectares is allocated for subsequent phases of the port development. PIZ will cover 1,700 hectares, of which 70 per cent is planned for the construction of factories, workshops and warehouses and the remaining 30 per cent is for the infrastructure including road connection, green belt, water, power, gas and telecommunication.
The president also said that it is envisioned that 100 million tonnes of steel will be produced from the industries and that without having the central line which will be constructed at standard gauge and the Tazara line, relying on roads will deplete the road network in three years.
“There are plans to build another railway line to Mtwara. It is only by doing so that we will save our roads and also be labelled as people who didn’t do their jobs right,” he said.
He took the time to appeal to the people of Bagamoyo and Tanzanians in general to rise up to the opportunities that will come out from project, to be good collaborators, partners, be ready to venture in the construction of offices and residential complexes and to put emphasis on education and vocational training.
In another development, all 2,000-plus residents who have willingly given up their land to pave way for the project will have a house built for them by the government in a piece of land that has already been earmarked while the evaluation and compensation process is ongoing.
Minister for Transport, Mr Samwel Sitta, said that the building of the houses is a directive from President Kikwete who has said that anyone who willingly gives up their livelihoods for the good of the nation deserves to be treated equally special.
Bagamoyo Port project is expected to transform Tanzania into a transport logistics hub and gateway to the regional and international trade with linked industrial platform for value addition and manufacturing processes.
Source: Daily News Tanzania