Africa-Press – Tanzania. PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday called on Tanzanians to exploit economic opportunities presented by improved transportation networks as he officially inaugurated operations of the newly built MV Mbeya II on Lake Nyasa.
The launching of MV Mbeya operations was the latest of continuous efforts by the government to improve water, land and air transports sought to unlock the country’s great economic potential.
Premier Majaliwa expressed optimism that the latest feat, the inception of MV Mbeya, would go a long way towards opening up available economic opportunities within the Southern Highland zone and connecting the country to neighbouring markets.
He said the citizens need to take full advantage of the presence of the MV Mbeya to grow their businesses and boost economic growth in the country.
The vessel, which has capacity of carrying 300 passengers and 200 tonnes of cargo is expected to address transport woes to residents along the lake’s shoreline in Mbeya, Njombe and Ruvuma regions and the neighbouring countries of Malawi and Mozambique.
“Tanzania is surrounded by eight countries which rely on getting various products from it, therefore, use this opportunity of having this new vessel to do business,” he appealed.
The launching ceremony was held at Mbamba Bay Port in Nyasa District, Ruvuma Region. The Premier told the citizens to preserve the ship, which was built by Tanzanian Company– Songoro Marine.
Majaliwa stressed that the vessel, worth 9.1bn/-, was a continuation of fifth phase government’s efforts to improve transport infrastructures for cargo and passengers for economic benefits.
He said citizens cannot get development without the government to construct infrastructures such as railway, roads, ports and so on.
“The government has constructed infrastructures for the people’s development, it has invested a lot of money for the construction of infrastructures that would bring economic benefits,” he said.
MV Mbeya II has the ability to dock at any place on the shoreline provided the depth is compatible with its requirement.
Meanwhile, Mr Majaliwa directed that there should be a database for junior technicians to participate in the construction of big strategic projects such as vessels and major bridges.
The database would help in identifying the upcoming technicians for a purpose of developing them to have more skills.
The Prime Minister also had an opportunity to inspect the construction of 6-kilometre Mbinga- Mbamba Bay road, which its construction is complete.
“I have been satisfied with the construction. I used this road when I came here and I have enjoyed the drive because the road is really smooth,” he admitted.
On his part, Deputy Minister for Works and Transport, Eng Godfrey Kasekenya said the construction of that road was to realise the dream of President John Magufuli of improving the country’s infrastructures.
Eng Kasekenya noted that the completion of the road and the launching of the MV Mbeya was a savior for economic activities for the residents along the Lake Nyasa.
Eelier, Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Eng Deusdedit Kakoko, said there are a total of 15 ports along the Lake Nyasa, out of which, six are in Ruvuma region, the other six are in Njombe and the remaining three in Mbeya region.