Tanzania embraces the PPP model

Monday June 05 2023
dar port

A carriage for the Standard Gauge Railway project is unloaded at the port in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on November 25, 2022. PHOTO | ERICKY BONIPHACE | AFP


Tanzanian authorities say they are joining peers in adopting public-private partnerships (PPP) for more infrastructure projects as funding squeeze continues.

Various government officials have this past week been defending the PPP, an arrangement where private firms are invited to build or provide services and recoup monies from fees charged.

Essentially, this could reduce the pain of having to allocate monies to new projects while sustaining the pace of ongoing ones. This, however, may not ease the country’s debt burden, in case the fees collected are not enough to recoup the costs for those involved.

Mega undertakings

David Kafulila, the Commissioner of Public and Private Partnerships (PPP) in the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Tanzania said that the bulk of projects lined up for PPP were mostly roads construction, power generation and transmission. He said PPP would enjoin the private sector into joint ventures with government agencies to establish then operate mega-projects.

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The PPPs would then relieve the government of its burden of funding key and costlier projects then boost Tanzania’s FDIs by attracting foreign investments, Kafulila said.

The ministry’s immediate project is services at the Port of Dar es Salaam. Mrisho Seleman, director of the Dar Port, said that the government had opened doors for reputable private companies to apply for joint venture operations of the port.

He said increasing volumes of transit cargo to various destinations in eastern and southern Africa states had prompted the government to seek private investors to the port’s operations.

“Experience shows that most profitable ports across the world operate under PPP,” Mr Seleman said.

Singapore and Dubai were the case study for PPP arrangement for management and operations of ports, he added.

Other projects eyed for PPP are construction of a 205-km dual carriageway (road) from Kibaha in Coast Region near Dar es Salaam to Morogoro has been earmarked for PPP implementation, now seeking potential partners, he said.