MALAWIAN President Dr Lazarus Chakwera said he had been impressed with Tanzania's efforts to expand her ports. He was particularly impressed with cargo handling facilities at the Dar es Salaam Port.
"Malawi supports your efforts to finance this port...I am impressed with the port facilities especially those for delivering cargo," President Chakwera remarked after he paid a visit to the Dar es Salaam Port on Thursday.
Dr Chakwera visited the port in the afternoon after he had graced the laying of a foun dation stone for the construction of the state-of-the-art Mbezi Luis Bus Terminal in the city.
"Your government implements projects that are not only for Tanzania but also for neighbouring countries," President Chakwera said, commending the Tanzanian government for the construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), with several bridges and tunnels, using domestic funds.
The SGR would facilitate transportation of cargo from the Dar es Salaam Port to upcountry regions and neighbouring countries.
"I am encouraged to learn that Tanzania is doing all these using taxpayers' money, I think we need to take such an example. I want to follow President Magufuli's footsteps and he always insists on working hard," he lauded.
Dr Chakwera said Africa should stop dependence on aid to fund its development projects.
"We have realised that we can't depend on aid ever," he insisted while underlining the need to fight bureaucracy and corruption. "There are sometimes bureaucracy and corruption in our governments that cripple developments," he said.
He was also pleased to hear from the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) officials, who said in two weeks they would go to Lilongwe to fast-track the opening of a TPA branch as directed by President Magufuli Earlier, TPA Director General Eng Deusdedit Kakoko told Dr Chakwera that Tanzania currently handles over 376,000 tonnes of consignments from Malawi, up from 108,000 tonnes in 2010.
According to Eng Kakoko, 34 per cent of all Malawi transit cargo passes through Tanzania's ports, mainly Dar es Salaam and Mtwara.
Eng Kakoko assured the President that upgrading of Mtwara port was ongoing, and once completed is expected to have capacity of handling one million tonnes of cargo from its current capacity of 400,000 tonnes.