TANZANIA – Tanzania has commenced the construction of a fishing port in the coastal town of Kilwa in an effort to enhance its maritime fishing industry and boost the livelihoods of fishermen in the district.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan laid the foundation stone for the construction of port which is set to become the first-ever fishing harbor in the East African nation.

The port will be constructed at a cost of 280 billion shillings (US$111.5 million) and is expected to be complete within  36 months, as reported by the local daily Daily News.

Abdallah Ulega, the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, revealed that the new port will feature state-of-the-art infrastructure that will include two cold storage warehouses with a combined capacity of nearly 1,400 tonnes, enabling the storage of frozen and refrigerated fish.

In addition, the port will feature a dedicated fish processing area, an advanced ship construction facility, a workshop for manufacturing fishing nets, and a spacious parking area designed to accommodate both large fishing vessels and small boats.

The Kilwa fishing port is poised to become a pivotal player in Tanzania’s fishing industry, with an anticipated annual fish production capacity of at least 60,000 tonnes.

This boost in production is not only geared towards satisfying domestic demand but also aims to strengthen the country’s position in international fish exports.

Minister Ulega expressed the government’s intention to have the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) take charge of managing the new port.

In a bid to attract further investments into the fishing sector, a public-private partnership (PPP) model is being considered particualrly in the port’s operations and overall development.

Aside from its economic implications, the Kilwa fishing port project has the potential to generate more than 30,000 job opportunities, addressing employment challenges in the region.

Official data indicates that over 4.5 million people are employed in Tanzania’s fishing sector, highlighting its significance to the country’s workforce.

According to World Bank data, Tanzania produced more than 621,000 tonnes of fish in 2021. Inland fishing currently accounts for more than 80% of Tanzania’s fish supply, but with the construction of the Kilwa fishing port, the contribution of maritime fishing may significantly go up.

As construction gets underway, all eyes are on the Kilwa fishing port project, which promises to transform Tanzania’s fishing landscape, bolstering maritime fishing capabilities, stimulating economic growth, and providing employment opportunities for thousands.

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