Foreign firms eye Tanzania’s Sh23 trillion Bagamoyo Port

DAR ES SALAAM— Several multinational companies have shown interest in developing and operating the proposed $10 billion (about Sh23 trillion) Bagamoyo Port.

This comes just two week after Works and Transport minister Makame Mbarawa announced that the Chinese and Oman firms had dropped out of talks with the government.

“I’m not that sure. But I believe Covid-19 is to blame for distracting the flow of money and thus making them (Chinese and Omani investors) lose interest,” he said Wednesday.

He said despite the fact that the welcoming of investors to invest in the project was yet to be made official, the government was ready to accept and consider any serious bidder.

“From there, due procedures will follow,” said Mbarawa.

It was on those grounds that Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) director general Plasduce Mbossa said they were working on several other submitted requests.

“We are in the process of selecting the companies to start negotiations with and soon we will make them public,” Mbossa said.

Noting that demand for ports was high, he said they would do whatever it took to shape the port infrastructures.

This, he expounded, was a crucial ingredient for delivering services that meet and or exceed the customers’ expectations.

It has been a year since President Samia Suluhu Hassan promised that the country would revive what had been considered to be an elusive project.

The Head of State was quoted as saying a promising dialogue was already underway with investors of the big project to find out exactly what the problem was, where the government could contribute and what was to be the investors’ role.

The agreement on construction of the Bagamoyo Port project was signed in 2013 between presidents Jakaya Kikwete and Xi Jinping of China as part of efforts to transform Tanzania into a trade and logistics hub in the region.

However, for almost nine years, the realisation of the project remained elusive, with the final nail in its coffin embedded during the administration of President John Magufuli, owing to what he said were unfair contract terms.

The project was to be implemented by the government of Tanzania in partnership with China Merchant Holding International and Oman’s State Government Reserve Fund (SGRF).

Rejection of the contractual terms, which according to President Magufuli were “exploitative and awkward,” and hence could not be accepted meant that the project that had been touted to be a big economic boost to Tanzania had failed to materialise.

However, a new shift emerged after President Hassan raised hopes for the revival of the project while addressing the business community during the 12th Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) which was held at State House in June 2021.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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