A Delegation of European Union Heads of Missions in Tanzania last week visited the Dar es Salaam Port at the invitation of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Director General, Mr. Ephraim Mgawe.
The diplomats, who were led by the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania Ambassador Tim Clarke, were also accompanied by representatives from European business community and economic attaches from the EU member states’ missions.
One of the objectives of the visit was to hear about and visualise the Port’s problems, challenges and potential, as well as to understand the decongestion efforts undertaken by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and support from development partners.
It also aimed at conveying messages from EU business community and seeking clarity on concerns they expressed over cargo handling at the Port.
While briefing the diplomats, the TPA Acting Director General Julius Mfuko, said that his authority has taken a number of measures to increase efficiency in handling cargo at the Port through close involvement of all stakeholders.
“There are a lot of improvements in clearing cargo and now the average time has come down to 11 days and sometime clearance of a cargo can take 4 to five days only down from 30 days.
This has only been possible through joint efforts and cooperation with all stakeholders,” he said adding; “We’ve follow up meetings with all the major players at the Port fortnightly to make sure that nothing causes unnecessary delays.”
Dar es Salaam Port General Manager, Cassian Ngamilo, informed the delegation that plans were underway to expand the Port by adding more berths, expanding and increasing the width and depth of the existing wraths to allow bigger ships to load and offload cargo.
He also said that TPA was planning to have an inland container depot at Kisarawe to easy congestion at the Dar es Salaam Port.
According to him, Kisarawe being 25 kilometres from Dar es Salaam is strategically placed between the Tanzania Railway Company Limited and Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority to enable easy shipping of cargo to and from across the country and neighbouring countries.
On his part, Ambassador Clarke said after the visit that the EU and its member states were ready for a dialogue with the TPA and the Government in general to see to it that the Port operates with the highest efficiency and therefore boosts the country’s economy.
“Efficient management of the Port is critical to the growth of Tanzania’s economy and efforts to develop regional trade and integration.
The EU Ambassadors’ visit this morning was designed to raise awareness and to develop a genuine and deep dialogue on how we can partner with TPA and contribute to addressing the challenges,” he said.
Source: europa, November 1, 2011;