Zimbabwe uses Dar es Salaam port

Zimbabwe has started moving a part of its trade through the port of Dar es Salaam according to the March monthly economic review of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), which outlined increased efficiency at the port as well as improved road infrastructure to neighbouring countries.

Most of Zimbabwe trade usually goes through the ports of Durban in South African and Beira in Mozambique but improvements in facilities, better security and competitive rates has meant growing interest from Zimbabwe in Dar es Salaam, according to the Bank of Tanzania report. While initially Zimbabwe used the port mainly for the importation of vehicles there are signs that other goods are now passing though Dar es Salaam according to the port manager.

The bank’s March report also indicated that a number of other African nations have begun relocating their business to Dar es Salaam. The other countries include Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

The news follows the recent announcement that the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) registered a $25 million profit in its 2010/2011 accounts.

Further expansion plans for the port have been mooted for over a year but the government recently said that feasibility studies and tender processes were yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile the TPA has acquired a $523 million loan from China’s state-run Exim Bank, via the Tanzanian finance ministry, for the construction of berths 13 and 14 at the port.