Construction of a Chinese-funded port and special economic zone in Tanzania worth at least $10 billion (R109bn) would start in July next year, the president’s office said yesterday

, for the first time setting a start date for the delayed initiative. Tanzania aims to build a huge port at Bagamoyo, 75km north of Dar es Salaam, the site of the country’s main port, where shippers complain of congestion and inefficiencies. A construction agreement for the port and associated zone was signed on Sunday and follows a framework deal signed last year. An official said negotiations about infrastructure to link the port to national transport networks had caused the delay in setting the start date. “The Tanzanian government signed a memorandum of understanding with two major international institutions… to develop the Bagamoyo economic zone,” Tanzania’s presidency said, adding that construction would start on July 1. Tanzania said it had signed the infrastructure development agreement with port developer China Merchant Holding International and Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, the State General Reserve Fund. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete witnessed the signing of the agreement in Shenzhen, southern

China. – Reuters