Several contracts were signed on Sunday, October 22. The UAE-based company, DP World, will manage a significant part of the Dar es Salaam port.
The port of Dar es Salaam is one of the most important on the continent and is a strategic infrastructure, especially in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. The $250 million investment by the Emirati group will primarily be used to expand the cargo handling capacity. DP World will operate four out of the twelve berths at this port.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of the Dubai-based operator, aims to transform the port into a “world-class facility.” “We are focusing on a rapid construction process to improve port clearance and operations. We need to eliminate the delays faced by shipping companies. We will use our experience in logistics infrastructure to strengthen the African supply chain,” he emphasized. The government expects revenues of over $10 billion, compared to the current $3 billion.
However, this agreement remains controversial, particularly regarding the termination clauses, which some believe are too binding for the country. Bob Wangwe, an attorney representing a group of citizens opposed to these agreements, demands the declassification of the contracts. “The Tanzanian government has completely disregarded public opinion. The president says they have listened to the citizens, but they still refuse to disclose the contracts. These agreements are not in the best interest of the citizens or the country,” he lamented.
One of the leading opposition figures, Freeman Mbowe, also decries what he calls “a surrender of sovereignty.”