US interested in Tanzanias plan to build new Mwambani port
By ORTON KIISHWEKO, 17th December 2010 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 226
THE American government on Friday expressed interest in Tanzanias move to start the construction of Tangas Mwambani port with optimism that it would serve Uganda and Southern Sudan markets.
A delegation led by the US Assistant Treasury Secretary for international markets and Development Marisa Lago, also urged the government to improve railway infrastructure from Tanga through Arusha to Mwanza and Musoma with the view that Mwambani port would serve Uganda and Southern Sudan.
During a Dar es Salaam press conference following a meeting with the US officials, the Deputy Minister for Transport Dr Athumani Mfutakamba said the officials showed interest in infrastructure projects with aim to serve neighbouring countries.
We are an opening to all these other land locked countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi and it is better that we improve infrastructure that opens those countries to our major ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara, he said.
The government plans to start the Mwambani project next year to relieve Dar es Salaam of the current pressure and make the hub more competitive. They also called on the government to improve the central railway infrastructure, which runs from Dar es Salaam to the lake zone to serve the neighbouring countries in the north.
Also discussed at the meeting was decongestion of the port and transportation infrastructure from Mchuchuma Coal Mine to Mtwara, where the officials noted it was important to increase the number of berths at the port.
Expansion of Julius Nyerere International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Mwanza International airport and Mafia Airport was likewise discussed. Other issues discussed were the Millenium Challenge Account projects, climate change, food security, Infrastructure finance and East Africa Community (EAC).
Dr Mfutakamba thanked the US government for its financial support to step up infrastructure connectivity across the region. The US Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, Marisa Lago is responsible for leading the Treasury's role in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
She also directs Treasury's portfolio on international financial services regulation, trade, banking and securities, development, technical assistance and climate finance.