EAC meets on 53tri/- Mwambani project

The secretariat of the East African Community (EAC) and other stakeholders are meeting here today to discuss the way forward in the implementation of the largest ever Mwambani Economic Corridor Project in Tanga Region, estimated to cost 53trn/-.

Co-director with the company running the project, Mr Cuthbert Tenga, told the ‘Daily News’ here yesterday that several key partners and stakeholders in the railways and ports fields from the EAC region have been invited to attend the discussion.

He said the EAC Deputy Secretary general (Planning and Infrastructure), Dr Enos Bukuku, was coordinating the one-day workshop and the participants at the end of their discussions would come up with recommendations on how to move forward on the implementation of the project.

The project to involve construction of a deep sea and free port at Mwambani, in Tanga, and a new heavy haul standard gauge railway from there, would be operated by MWAPORC, an acronym for Mwambani Port and Railway Corridor. 

Already several international companies from all over the world, in particular from England, Canada, United States, Scotland, South Africa and the Middle East, have expressed commitment to inject funding for its smooth implementation.

According to Mr Tenga, some local giant companies have also shown interest in participating in the implementation of the project, including the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and National Housing Corporation (NHC).

He said due to the size of the project, which will entail the construction of a free port, an airport city; water, gas and oil pipelines to be laid along the railway line and construction of new railway towns, it may require to be led under the Prime Minister’s Office instead of the Transport ministry alone.

The Mwambani project, also to involve construction of a deep sea and free port at Mwambani in the region and a new heavy haul standard gauge railway, would link the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean from Tanzania, through Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Early last March top officials of MWAPORC met with the EAC Secretariat in Arusha to present details of the modern, efficient and cost-effective transport project to get its support and approval so that it is integrated in the EAC infrastructure master plan.

After the presentation, the EAC Secretariat resolved that the “Mwambani Economic Corridor Project is a major regional infrastructure project that has the potential of fundamentally transforming the economies of east and central Africa.”

Thus, it said, the EAC would support the project company, MWAPORC, to implement the project in all ways possible, with the secretary general remarking that implementation of the project would be a “game changer” for the entire region.

Mr Tenga said during implementation of the project, the development of a hub Port and free port, coupled with a heavy haul railway linking Tanzania to the rich markets of east-central Africa shall result in immense social-economic prosperity for Tanzania.

According to him, “Tanzania shall enjoy a major economic boom as new railway, port and free port investments stimulate agro-development, real estate, and manufacturing and shall create thousands of new jobs and careers”.

He said the new deep sea port will be designed to have the ability to make Tanzania a direct hub port, enabling direct shipping from international ports and thus significantly reducing the cost of logistics to exporters and importers.

Mr Tenga explained further that the free port at Tanga, which will be constructed adjacent to the new deep sea port, would host manufacturing, logistics and other service industries and host key anchor activities, including an integrated iron and steel manufacturing cluster.
Source: The Daily News, reported by Faustine Kapama from Arusha, Tanzania

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