Tanzania has signed a $565-million deal with the World Bank and other development partners to expand its main port of Dar es Salaam, part of plans to boost the east African nation’s role as a regional trade hub.
Tanzania wants to lift capacity to 28-million tonnes a year by 2020 from the 14.6-million tonnes it handled in the financial year 2013/14. The World Bank said in May that inefficiencies at the port cost Tanzania and neighbours up to $2.6-billion a year.
The port, whose main rival is the bigger but also congested port of Mombasa in Kenya, acts as a trade gateway for landlocked states such as Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi and Uganda, as well as the eastern region of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Dar es Salaam port handles $15-billion worth of goods a year, equivalent to 60% of Tanzania’s GDP in 2012. Tanzania’s economy has been growing at a sturdy 7% a year, but analysts say poor infrastructure is a bottleneck.