Tanzania is endowed with many natural resources. Its geographical location is a natural resource in itself.Tanzaniais boarded by theIndian Oceanwhich is the main gateway to the rest of the world in terms of Marine Transport.Tanzaniais further blessed with natural ports ofDar es Salaamand Mtwara. It is unfortunately Mtwara port is underutilized whileDar es Salaamis congested. Besides the Ocean Tanzania has inland Lakes, the main ones being Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika andLake Nyasa.

Ocean transport is managed by private companies, mainly under International Trade arrangements. Transport in inland lakes is mainly managed by a Public Company known as Marine Service Company Ltd, which is 100 percent owned by the Government. Apart from this Public Company, there are private operators offering transport services in different lakes. All in all, Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) remains a major operator on Lake Victoria andLake Tanganyika.

MSCL operates a fleet of 14 marine vessels which unfortunately are aged and lack necessary services to the extent of endangering lives of the people. MSCL operates 9 Marine Vessels on Lake Victoria namely M.V Victoria, M.V Umoja, M.V Butiama, M.V Seregenti, M.V Clarias, M.T Nyangumi, M.T Ukerewe, M.I Mizigo, M.I Maindi. Likewise, MSCL operates 3 Marine Vessels on lake Tanganyika which are M.V Liemba, M.V Mwongozo and M.T Sangara. In lake Nyasa MSCL operates 2 Marine Vessels onLake Nyasanamely M.V Songea and M.V Iringa. All these vessels connectTanzaniato neighbouring countries ofMalawi,Zambia, DRC,Burundi,UgandaandKenya. In land water transport is another opportunity which has not been taped so far. The Government needs to facilitate MSCL in terms of budget to enable it offer services competitively so as to tape those opportunities. Capitalizing onTanzania’s geographical location while banking on strategic planning, MSCL should supplements Railways Transport Services to serve the markets in Democratic Republic of Congo,ZambiaandBurundithrough Lake Tanganyika, andUgandaandKenyathroughLakeVictori. It is unfortunate that all those vessels are old just as our railway systems. Of all these Marine Vessels MV Lihemba being the oldest. The Government needs to bank on such opportunities through investing in MSCL and TRL respectively.

To conclude, if transportation sector is given priorities through investment, capitalizing on geographical areaTanzaniaenjoys, poverty may remain in books of our history. As a country we need to bank on our competitive advantages we have been endowed with rather than investing on projects we cannot compete.



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