EAC: The Republic of Tanzania on Monday February 13th, unveiled and floated a locally built cargo and passenger ship on the Lake Victoria port of its north-western city of Mwanza.
The vessel maned MV Mwanza, which the government says is the biggest in the Great Lakes region of Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa, is expected to improve transport between the East African countries that share lake Victoria.
The 92.6-metre-long ship has the capacity to carry 1,200 people and 400 tonnes of cargo and 20 vehicles.
It is being built for 109bn Tanzanian shillings ($46.6m; £38.6m) and is 82% complete.
Speaking at the event to land the ship ashore, Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport Gabriel Migire said the building of the ship was an initiative to help improve trade between the regions bordering the lake.
The government spokesman, Gerson Msigwa, said It will last for 50 years.
Apart from sailing between Mwanza and Bukoba, the ship will also be ferrying passengers and goods to neighbouring countries of Uganda at Portbell and Jinja and in Kenya docking at Kisumu Port.
Construction of the ship is part of the government’s efforts to transform marine transport as indicated in the National Five Year Development Plan (2021/22-2025/26).
In the plan, the government envisages expanding the basic economic infrastructure (networks of surface, marine, and air transport; power and water).
By BBC Africa