A plan to transform Tunduma Township in Songwe Region into a business hub to serve African regional economic blocks and Asian countries will create Jobs and make the place one of the country's big cities.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industries, Prof Riziki Shemdoe, revealed the plan in Dar es Salaam at the weekend when he addressed a delegation from Songwe Region on a study tour at the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA).
"Tunduma Township is at the centre of regional markets of East and Southern Africa where it can link the East African Community (EAC) market with that of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) markets and others. It is high time we implemented this plan which will benefit Tanzanians through utilising rising opportunities," he said.
Earlier, Songwe Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Dr Seif Shekhalage, said the region had set aside about 400 hectares for developing the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which would attract the implementation of strategic economic development projects.
"Land set aside for SEZ will be used to attract investors for the construction of industries, a dry port as statistics show that almost 70 per cent of cargo imported through Dar es Salaam Port is shifted to SADC countries through Tunduma border," he said.
He added that an industrial park would have producers producing goods near the market for SADC countries while the dry port would import cargo via Tanzania Zambia Railways (Tazara) and picked a proposed dry port around Tunduma Township before being transported to foreign countries.
"This will promote more businesses and create jobs as currently, 120 tankers and 80 dry cargo trucks are crossing to Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo daily."
For his part, EPZA Director for Investment and Promotion James Maziku said Tunduma Township was the gateway not only to SADC, but also to most parts of Africa as more global businesses were in Asian countries, which made the Indian Ocean a business corridor.
"Multinational companies may be interested in investing in Tunduma Township for it is easy to make shipment of their choices from Kampiri Mposhi in Zambia to Johannesburg in South Africa and export them to the Asian market more conveniently.