Dar es Salaam and Mombasa, the largest ports in East Africa, are in a race to attract more sea bound cargo and imports into the region.
While Dar projects to handle 30 million tonnes by 2030, its competitor, Mombasa, is undergoing expansion to increase its capacity to 47 million tonnes.
These emerged during a visit by the board members of the East African Business Council (EABC) to Tanzania’s largest port, which last year handled 17.03 million tonnes.
“We envision to boost capacity to 30 million tonnes by 2030,” said the director general of Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) Plasduce Mbossa during the Friday visit.
TPA has set up a One Stop Centre at the Dar port housing import and export agencies to boost capacity. The logistics centre will improve the Dar es Salaam port performance, he said during a briefing to board members led by chairperson Angela Ngalula.
The board members visited the port for updates on trade facilitation activities at the Dar port, which has undergone various improvements recently.
The Dar port serves land-locked countries—Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda—and also handles more than 80 percent of cargo destined for inland Tanzania.
The port’s main competitor in the East African Community (EAC) bloc is Kenya’s Mombasa port, which also serves Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and other landlocked countries.
According to information contained in its website, the Mombasa port is currently undergoing expansion to raise its capacity to 47 million tonnes by 2030.
Kenya has also given incentives to other states, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to keep doing business using the Mombasa port.