TRANSIT cargo destined to and from land-locked Rwanda at the Dar es Salaam port has been piling at an average 9.9 per cent over the past five years - from 630,000 metric tons during FY 2012/2013 to 950,000 tons to date.
The Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Eng. Deusdedit Kakoko, disclosed the figures when he met with Rwandan Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Eugene Kayihura, who paid a visit at TPA offices in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
Eng. Kakoko informed the envoy that both exports and imports from Rwanda and other neighbouring landlocked countries were being stocked within the port premises to ease clearances and ensure security while in Tanzania.
"To strengthen business ties with clients, the government of Tanzania through TPA has also allocated space at its Kwala dry port in Ruvu specifically for Rwanda exports and imports that pass through the Dar es Salaam port.
"... it is our hope that exporters and importers from Rwanda will start using the Isaka dry port (in Shinyanga Region) for transporting their cargo through the central railway line and this will reduce the distance of travelling by road all the way to Dar es Salaam," the TPA boss advised.
Eng. Kakoko also informed the Rwandan envoy that TPA had completed construction of its offices in Kigali which would serve customers from Rwanda. "The office will play a significant role in improving services to our customers in Rwanda; the office building has been completed ... what remains is the official opening after meeting all required procedures," he explained.
Speaking during the meeting, Ambassador Kayihura hailed the Tanzania government - through TPA - for availing space for storing Rwanda's shipments. The envoy remarked further that improvement of services at the Dar es Salaam harbour has played a great role in boosting trade between Tanzania and Rwanda.
"At present, the harbour handles 90 per cent of all Rwanda's exports and imports, setting a new record for rapid increase of Rwanda's cargo handled at the Dar es Salaam port," he explained.
Amb. Kayihura stated further that his visit at the port was part of determination by the government of Rwanda to strengthen business ties between the two countries through transportation of shipments to the Dar es Salaam port.
Just recently, TPA took part in Rwanda's international trade fair where, among others, it met with exporters and importers from that country who expressed their willingness to continue using services of the port.