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World Bank approves US$345mn loan for Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam is vying with the port of Mombasa in Kenya to become the regional trade hub for the neighbouring countries. (Image source: Matt Northam/Flickr)

The World Bank has granted a loan of US$345mn to Tanzania government, for the expansion of a port in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam, which is expected to be turned into a regional trade gateway for the East African country

Richard Martin Humphreys, lead transport economist in the World Bank, confirmed the deal on 2 July 2017, and said that through this initiative World Bank aims to strengthen the economic activities in the region by increasing the capacity of the port.

For a long time, Dar es Salaam is trying to be emerging as a trade hub for landlocked neighbours such as Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

However, due to the congestion and lack of operational efficiency, the port was having difficulties to serve the trade requirements of the neighbouring countries.

The grant is expected to improve the overall productivity of the port and reduce waiting time to berth from 80 hours to 30 hours.

“Enhancing its operational potential will boost trade and reduce the current cost of US$200 to US$400 for each additional day of delay for a single consignment,” said Bella Bird, country director of the World Bank for Tanzania.

According to the World Bank, Dar es Salaam handled approximately 14mn tonnes in 2016, up from 10mn tonnes in 2011, showing an average growth of nine per cent each year.

The loan is the second batch to be approved by the World Bank to Tanzania this year, as the country received US$305mn in January 2017, for the expansion of the port.

The government of Tanzania said that it want to increase the capacity of the port to 28mn tonnes per year by the end of 2020 from around 20mn tonnes current capacity.

As part of the port-expansion project, Tanzania also signed a US$154mn contract with the state-run China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in June 2017, to build a roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) terminal to deepen and strengthen seven berths at Dar es Salaam.

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