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DRC MARKET: Kenya & Tanzania Fight To Win Over Congolese Port Business

  • Tanzania aims to attract more port business from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by offering exclusive transit clearance for goods, intensifying competition with Kenya.
  • A group of DRC merchants and Customs officials visited the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga to evaluate the offerings and business climate, including tariffs and clearance times.
  • The newly renovated Dar Port and the brand-new Tanga Port in Tanzania, along with the designated section at the Kwala Dry Port, are expected to increase competition with the port of Mombasa in Kenya.

With an offer of exclusive transit clearance for goods, Tanzania hopes to attract more port business from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), increasing rivalry with Kenya for the lucrative market.

An evaluation of the offerings and the business climate, including tariffs and clearance times, was conducted this week by a group of DRC merchants and Customs officials who visited the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga.

A 10-hectare section at the Kwala Dry Port is designated for handling DRC goods traveling via Dar es Salaam. The port of Mombasa in Kenya receives most of the goods headed towards the eastern parts of the DRC. The newly renovated Dar Port in Tanzania and the brand-new Tanga Port are anticipated to intensify competition.

Rene Kalala Masimango, Director of Customs and Excise, served as the delegation’s leader.

According to Alexander Ndibalema, Property Manager for Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), the dry port outside of Dar es Salaam will cut traffic there by 30% and boost government income from the goods handled at the port.

Cars and other solid goods will be handled there, largely in transit to Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi. According to TPA, Dar es Salaam port handled roughly three million tonnes of DR Congo transit freight.

“We have come to see its performance and we have seen the great work and good arrangement of the port,” Masimango said on Monday in Dar.

Currently, Tanzania draws DRC shipping and transport companies to utilize the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga on the Indian Ocean and Kibirizi, Kasanga, and Karemaport on Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.

To cut down on the amount of time spent in Zambia, Karema has been updated to handle the transit of goods from the DRC. It would expedite cargo transportation on the Zambia route, which now requires up to two weeks for transit cargo from Dar es Salaam to be cleared at ultimate destinations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

To aid the creation and operation of its new shipping line, the state-owned Lignes Maritimes Congolaises, DRC has built a liaison office at the Dar port.

CREDIT: Business Insider Africa

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