Dubai’s DP World has secured a 30-year lease to operate key berths at Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam Port
Tanzania and DP World, the Dubai-based state-owned ports operator, have officially inked a landmark agreement, despite past opposition, granting DP World a 30-year lease to manage a section of the vital Dar es Salaam port. This development signals a significant step forward for both countries and has far-reaching implications for the region.
The Port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest and most critical port, serves as a lifeline for landlocked nations in East and Southern Africa, including countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Zambia, known for its copper production. The strategic location of the port makes it a crucial hub for trade and commerce in the region.
Under this agreement, DP World will take on a lease and operational role for four out of the 12 berths at the port. The Director General of the state-owned Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Plasduce Mbossa, confirmed this pivotal move, which aims to enhance the port’s efficiency and capacity.
Key points of the agreement:
- Lease and Operational Role: DP World will operate berths four through seven at the Dar es Salaam port for a 30-year term, with performance evaluations scheduled every five years.
- Increased Capacity: The collaboration is expected to boost the port’s capacity from processing 90 vessels per month to 130, a significant improvement that will expedite cargo handling and reduce clearance times.
- Investment Commitment: DP World is committed to investing $250 million over the next five years to upgrade the port’s infrastructure, focusing on improving cargo clearing systems and streamlining operations.
DP World’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, announced this substantial investment during the signing ceremony in Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania. He emphasized that the improved infrastructure would establish the port as a vital maritime gateway for not only the copper belt but also green energy minerals.
The road to this agreement was not without its hurdles. Previous opposition from Tanzanian opposition parties, human rights organizations, the Catholic church, legal professionals, activists, and members of the public centered on concerns that the terms of the agreement favored DP World over Tanzania. They argued that the country would see limited benefits from this deal.
In response to these concerns, President Samia Suluhu Hassan reassured the nation that her administration had considered all perspectives and feedback during the negotiation process. The government appears committed to ensuring that this partnership with DP World benefits Tanzania and the broader region, with a focus on facilitating trade and economic growth.
As the agreement takes effect, all eyes will be on how DP World’s involvement transforms the Dar es Salaam port and its impact on trade dynamics in the region.