PRESIDENT John Magufuli has revealed his government’s plans to tap the potential of a wider market in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Key to that is the planned construction of Karema Port along Lake Tanganyika in Tanganyika district, Katavi region, President Magufuli said in Dodoma on Tuesday.
He said the construction of the new port was in the pipeline, insisting that there was no way the country could overlook the economic prospects of the project.
Dr Magufuli made the remarks soon after returning the presidential nomination forms at CCM offices in Dodoma, noting that the 600bn/- would be spent on roads while the remaining 500bn/- is for the airport.
The Karema port is a strategic terminal set to provide a link between Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is among the largest trading partners of Tanzania as most of its consignments are imported through Port of Dar es Salaam before being transported to the destination.
The new port will be linked with the Kalemie port in the DRC hence simplifying the movement of people, goods and services between the two countries.
Kalemie port was built to connect the Great Lakes railway line to Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika port and railhead at Kigoma region, from where the Central Railway Line runs to the seaport of Dar es Salaam.
“The Kalemie port is in the richest province in DRC with the population of around 50 million people, and it is situated some 815 km from Lubumbashi where there is also a railway line and international airport,” said President Magufuli.
“Completion of the Karema project would serve time on delivering transit goods to DRC as they would be carried by train to Mpanda before being taken to Tanganyika district before ferrying them to the last destination,” he added.
The port that is expected to cost around 47.924bn/-, will be the major regional terminal whose improvement will involve the construction of berth, cargo shade, warehouse, passengers’ lounge and break waters.
Currently, the cargoes in transit to Congo from Dar es Salaam are transported on road and they have to pass through Zambia, which is the longest route that consumes a lot of time for the consignment to be delivered to the destination.
According to Dr Magufuli, opening of this site would also expose many other opportunities, noting that the port is important for the economic growth of the border district and the country at large.
“Building the national economy is a must, and the government is committed to do all it takes to have this accomplished. Some of the tangible projects have been completed but some are not, so we have to complete them all,” said the head of state.
President Magufuli also talked of massive infrastructure projects lined up in the capital city of Dodoma, stating that the government plans to spend 1.1tril/-on construction of new international airport at Msalato area and a 110-kilometre four-lane road around the country’s Capital city.
The Head of State said his government was finalizing all the arrangements to announce tenders for construction of the airport.
“The money is already there, waiting for the execution of the projects, the aim is to completely upgrade the Dodoma city which is the capital of the country,” noted president Magufuli.
Completion of the 110- km road would ease transport in Dodoma, beautify the outlook of the city as well as attract more business and economic activities.
The two projects in Dodoma are among Dr Magufuli’s strategic undertakings planned to be implemented in the near future as he is eyeing for re-election to the top country’s leadership post in the general election to be held in less than four months now.