Monday, August 24, 2015
New Suez Canal to boost economy of Tanzania ports
The recent inauguration of the New Suez Canal on the waterfront in Ismailia city in Egypt has been termed to be a bless as its operation will boost economy by increasing international maritime traffic in African major ports including Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Bagamoyo ports in Eastern Africa. The 35 kilometer canal extension that provides a gateway of vessels which navigates through to serve East African countries and the rest of Sub Saharan Africa region would help increase the number of shipping lines coming for offloading of their goods at respective ports. The Deputy Ambassador of Egypt accredited in the country Ahmed Abdel Rahim said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, the operation at the newly inaugurated canal has increased the passage of the number of shipping vessels from the former 49 to 97 per day. He said in an exclusive interview that, as cargo handling has become a competitive business worldwide, it is high time now that Tanzania must benefit through her ports by receiving as many shipping lines as possible. However, the Ambassador was reacting in response to a recent visit by Tanzanian Vice-President Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal who attended the inauguration ceremony in place of President Jakaya Kikwete who was invited together with other African leaders across the continent. The invited guests witnessed a big economic achievement which has been spearheaded by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi aimed to boost African economic link with other continents such as Europe, Asia and Australia.
Also in attendance according to the deputy Ambassador, were the global Mearsk Shipping lines representatives from Tanzania and other parts where they operates globally. According to him, the shipping line being the biggest and the leading in the world would work to boost the global economic link in terms of cargo handling and other services at the respective ports. Describing the importance of the canal to the rest of African countries, he noted that before the launching his country held a tripartite meeting with member countries of Common Market for Southern Africa (COMESA), East African member countries as well as the Southern African Development Coordination (SADC) member countries. The aim of the meeting was how to prepare the launching of the canal to deliberate on progressive matters on how to help boost the economy of these countries whose total population is estimated to be 625 million people. “Egypt has developed its economy through various ways among them is through tripartite meetings, visits by Egyptian businessmen, provision of training in commercial issues and that currently”, he said adding that, currently his country is constructing a highway that would link African countries from Cairo to Johannesburg city. He is however optimistic that the highway that will provide trade links that would help make Tanzania benefit a lot in terms of tourism. Earlier on Wednesday this week, the Guardian contacted the Press Secretary to the Vice-President’s office Boniface Makene on more clarification matters related with the VP’s visit in Egypt and noted that it had nothing to do with the Nile basin development corridor. However, he exclusively noted that, the visit is part of the cordial relations which the government of Tanzania and that of Egypt had been maintained since independence time. He further noted that, his visit has open up market opportunities into the country whereby trade at ports will be increased as many investors would be coming to offload their goods and hence the nation earn money. The Arab Republic of Egypt inaugurated an extension of a new 22-mile section of the Suez Canal that took just over a year to build at a cost of $ 8 billion (equivalent to Sh. 16 trillion which is about 70 percent of the country’s total national budget)