Tanzania signs contested port deal with UAE firm

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Tanzania has signed a 30-year port management agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Image: AFP
Tanzania has signed a 30-year port management agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Image: AFP

By: BBC WORLD

Tanzania has signed a 30-year port management agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite opposition to the deal.

Under the agreement, the Dubai Port (DP) World will run four berths at the Dar es Salaam port, Tanzania’s largest port.

The Emirati firm and the Tanzania Ports Authority will also collaborate in managing three other berths at the port.

The partnership includes an investment of $250m (£205m) by DP World to upgrade infrastructure at the port over the next five years.

The deal has drawn criticism from several activists, citizens and opposition politicians, who say that it favours the Emirati company at Tanzania’s expense.

The government has detained more than 22 people opposed to the deal, although some have been freed, according to the rights group Amnesty International.

Tanzanian authorities say the deal does not involve all port operations in the country and that they retain the right to withdraw from the contracts at any time if necessary.

The East African country hopes to boost national revenue and enhance efficiency under the new deal.

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