DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA and Zambia have expressed commitment to jointly fast-track setting up of a centre within the Kwala Dry Port, in Coast Region, specifically for facilitating transit cargoes destined for the latter.
The centre will be established on the 20-hectare piece of land which President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan offered to Zambia when she visited the country last year.
The aim is to ease business between the two SADC member states.
On October 24, 2023, President Samia provided the land to her counterpart, Mr Hakainde Hichilema while she was invited as guest of honour at the Zambia 59th Independence Day celebrations.
The two countries reaffirmed their commitment over the weekend when Zambia’s High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Mathew Jere, visited the Kwala Dry Port to see its progress aimed at cutting cost to transporters.
He said the Zambian government will speed up the legal process for acquiring the land and title deeds.
The High Commissioner Jere thanked President Samia for the decision of allocating them a special area in order to reduce business operations’ cost and deepening diplomatic relations between two nations.
For his part, Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary of Transport, Professor Godius Kahyarara said the country will timely finalise all remaining procedures for the land to be handed over to Zambia.
Prof Kahyarara commended the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) for the great achievement of putting in place the Kwala Dry Port.
He directed the port authority to make sure within one week from February 2 this year to complete the agreements with different companies that have shown interest in using the dry port.
“So far, a total of nine companies submitted their application for establishing container freight stations at the Kwala Dry Port. The move will prevent queue of trucks coming to Dar es Salaam via the Coast Region,” Prof Kahyarara said.
He said the Kwala Dry Port will provide all shipping services and it will be complemented with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) officers.
In another development, he noted that all cargo will be transported by trains to the Kwala Port in order to prevent congestions at the Dar es Salaam Port.
He mentioned Ihumwa and Bahi Dry Ports in Dodoma, Isaka in Shinyanga and Fela in Mwanza as part of the ports, which are renovated in bid to cut distance covered by vehicles to the Dar es Salaam Port, reduce transport cost and boost railways usage across the country.
The construction of the Kwala Dry Port is being implemented by Tanzania’s government at a cost of over 88bn/-.