More than 50 factories are set to be constructed in the Mtwara gas-rich region in an effort to transform the country’s agriculture based economy to an industrial one as stated in the 2025 Development Vision.
Speaking in Mtwara during ground breaking ceremony to launch the $500m Dangote cement plant, the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinga named some of industries lined for construction as three radio and television industries and two agricultural industries.
The cement factory the largest in Sub Saharan Africa has the capacity of producing about 3 million metric tonnes of the product annually.
Others are a fertiliser factory, seven cashewnut processing firms, two building equipment, two water plants, three cement industries, one plastic industry, one industry for manufacturing of blade, two oil producing industries, one plant for manufacturing fishing boats, fourteen tourism industries and eight transport equipment production industries.
According to Pinda “Our aim is to transform the livelihoods of the locals in the southern regions and Mtwara in particular,” he said.
The Prime Minister explained that the availability of raw materials and reliable power supply were the key-door for the bold investments in the region.
He said that to make the investment productive and beneficial, the government will fasttrack the expansion of the port of Mtwara so that it can have the capacity to dock four big ships concurrently.
He further said that the government will rehabilitate the Mikindani port and make it special for passenger’s ships. Pinda said the government is currently in talks with development partners to fund the purchase of a big ship that will be ferrying people between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam.
He said since infrastructures are key to investments and development, the construction of a railway from Mchuchuma and Liganga to Mtwara is in a pipeline.
Elaborating on the Dangote cement investment, the Premier said on completion the project will bring down cement prices and hence enable people in the region to construct cheap and modern houses at lower costs.
More than 300 trucks will be allocated across the country to ensure the availability of the product he said.
The PM said currently the demand for cement is high and the prices are exorbitant in the local market.
He said the present three cement companies have failed to meet the growing demand and that the Dagonte integrated cement investment would reduce the high prices on completion in 22 months time from now.
He said currently the three cement industries produce less than 3 million tonnes a year, while the annual demand is between 3 and 4 million metric tonnes.
Pinda is optimistic that the gas-run industries would contribute greatly to the economy bearing in mind that the construction sector alone contributed more than 7.8 percent of the total income in the last financial year.
However the Prime Minister noted that more investments will be successive in the region if only the natives will maintain peace, harmony and tranquility.
The president and CEO of Dangote Group, Dr Aliko Dangote, said his investment will not only end up by constructing the plants but rather it will also contribute in health, education and water sectors.
“We are going to allocate 450m/- for women, youth and children based in Mtwara,” he said, adding that the disbursement is meant to facilitate children have access to education thus empower the young men and women.
He said his company’s long term ambition is to develop 46 million metric tonnes of production and terminal capacity in Africa by 2015.
“We want to become a truly pan-African champion in this sector, capable of competing globally and we don’t need to import cement from abroad,” he said.
Commending peace bestowed among Tanzanians, Dr Dengote assured the general public that he will also build a terminal in Dar es Salaam and Mtwara.
At the ceremony which attended by members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, politicians and religious leader promises were made to give Mtwara and communities in the neighbourhood a new breath and fresh cooperation in fighting against poverty.
Minister of States, Prime Minister’s Office (Empowerment and Investment) Dr Mary Nagu said she had instructed the investment council to visit the region and offer training on how to identify and utilise rising potentials from investments and development project in the region.