Africa-Press – Tanzania. THE Bank of Tanzania (BOT) has acknowledged the major improvements undertaken by the government in the country’s ports, saying that the reforms will boost the growth of the economy and increase foreign exchange in the country.
BOT as a custodian of the monetary policy suggested that the country’s ports have a better chance of majorly contributing to the national economy if they increase cargo handling efficiently and do away with unnecessary red tapes.
The Governor of BOT, Mr Emmanuel Tutuba who is also the Board Chairman of the Central Bank disclosed this in Dar es Salaam, yesterday when the board visited the activities of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to oversee their contributions to the economy and foreign exchange in the country.
According to him, the government has invested heavily on the ports citing an example of the newly procured cranes which are operational, noting that Gate no 0 efficiency in offloading was impressive.
The improvement at the Dar es Salaam Port and others including Mtwara, Tanga and those located in Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa upon their finalisation will contribute enormously to the economy of the country.
“Major efforts have been directed by the government in the improvements of ports, but as we discussed there are areas which need to be improved further in reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, thereby increasing efficiency,” said Mr Tutuba.
He added that “If TPA collaborates with the private sector to increase investment coupled with the on-going improvements, efficiency in handling of cargo will be fast-tracked and in turn boost revenues, facilitating the activities of the government.”
The Governor called upon TPA to collaborate with other stakeholders to tackle challenges relating to their challenges and systems.
Elaborating, he highlighted among the areas the execution of Kwala Dry Port in Kibaha that they have communicated with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) so as to put in place necessary mechanisms for the area to start operating soon.
Besides, he noted significant contributions which can be garnered through investment of Export Processing Zone Authorities (EPZA) projects to lead to value addition of products, hence multiply local jobs’ creation, income generation and availability of industries.
Aside from the increase of internal income activities, he observed that goods manufactured will lead to exports which will boost the country’s forex.
“Upon the completion of the projects the balance of payment and balance of trade in the country will be reduced,” noted the Governor.
According to BOT’s Monthly Economic Review of March, the external sector of the economy continued to experience challenges endured by high inflation coupled with the effects of the war in Ukraine. As a result, the current account recorded a deficit of 5.294 billion in the year ending February 2023 compared to a deficit of 2.744 billion US dollars recorded in the corresponding period in 2022.
However, BOT recorded that the overall balance of payments also had a deficit balance of 1.294 billion US dollars compared to a surplus of 801.9 million US dollars in the year to February 2022.
The stock of foreign exchange reserves declined to 4.577billion US dollars at the end of February from 5.858 billion US dollars at the end of February 2022. The reserves were sufficient to cover 4.1 months of imports, in line with the country benchmark of at least 4 months.
Due to the above, he said the country will acquire new markets as well as increase the growth of the economy, thereby achieving its set goal in the Vision 2025.
For his part, Chairman of the TPA Board, Ambassador Ernest Mangu, said that they have received the advice and pledged to implement them so as to improve performance and increase income to contribute to the growth of the economy in the country.