TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania recently started the operations of building a TZS260 billion (US$111,253,724) modern fishing port in Kilwa town in the region of Lindi.

The agreement for the execution of this project was signed in June 2022 and it is anticipated to be complete and operational in 24 months, stated Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega.

Ms Zainabu Kawawa, Kilwa district’s commissioner confirmed that Preliminary preparations for the construction, such as the geological investigation of the soil, have started being carried.

Once complete, the new port will have the capacity to annually produce 60,000 tonnes of fish which will supply the local markets and some exported to neighbouring countries.

The Tanzanian government plans to procure fishing vessels for the port in a strategy to capitalize on the country’s blue economy.

It also intends to implement a business-enabling environment with the port to attract both foreign and local investors with the eventual aim of increasing the contribution of the blue economy to the national economy.

The construction of the port is part of the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project whose objective is to strengthen the management of protected areas and promote tourism in the country.

“This port will enable Kilwa to retain its lost glory as a trade hub in the world. Modern fishing equipment including vessels and scientific fishing methods will be applied. It will involve deep sea fishing, processing and exportation of varieties of fishing products,” said Mr Ulega.

The Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), in an effort to contribute to and promote ocean tourism, has pledged to avail a glass-bottom fibreglass boat which will provide a view for visitors to explore a wide variety of fish species.

The government is also urging its citizens to invest in aquaculture and engage in the recently introduced cage culture so as to ultimately increase revenue from the fisheries sector and its resources.

The sector has, for a prolonged period of time, contributed a minimum of 1.71% to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2021, the country exported fish worth 4.32 million or 0.067% of total exports from Tanzania (cumulative merchandise exports from Tanzania totalled $ 6.39 billion in 2021), according to data from Trend Economy.

Italy at US$1. 87 million accounted for over 43% of the country’s exports followed closely by the Netherlands at US$1.76 million or 40% of total exports.

The new fishing ports could improve the fortunes of the country’s fishing sector, further raising its contributions to the country’s total exports.

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