Uganda and Tanzania have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Joint Ministerial Co-operation for Improvement of Ports, Lake Victoria Inland Waterways and Railway Transport Services.According to a Uganda government statement the MoU was signed on Thursday in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania by Prof. Makame Mbarawa, Minister of Works, Transport and Communications of the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda’s State Minister of Works and Transport Aggrey Henry Bagiire,
According to Prof. Makame Mbarawa the MOU is aimed at facilitating the use of Dar-es-Salaam Port by Uganda as an alternative route to the sea using the Central Corridor.
The Minister pointed out that the current link to Uganda is through Lake Victoria which is limited since only two ferries are functioning adding that both Tanzania and Uganda also committed to provide additional ferries.
He emphasized the commitment of the Tanzanian government to developing the roads, ports and railways to facilitate transport of goods and stimulate economic activities within the two countries and the region.
Uganda’s minister Aggrey Henry Bagiire, underscored the fact that the Government of the Uganda has set a target of attaining a middle income status by 2020 and an efficient and effective and low cost transport, which this MoU aims to address, is one of the ways to facilitate the achievement of this target.
He Bagiire also raised the issue of high Road User charges for trucks from Uganda where Tanzania currently levies $500 for each truck while Uganda charges only $40 per truck from Tanzania.
He said the high charges inhibit the use of the port of Dar Es Salaam by Ugandan trades since it increases the cost of transportation and appealed to his Tanzanian counterpart t to consider revising the rates downwards, hence lowering the cost of cargo transportation through the Port of Dar-es-Salaam in order to attract more traders to use the Port.