DAR ES SALAAM, April 23 (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian government minister said on Monday construction of the much awaited Bagamoyo port in the east African country's Coast region will begin in June this year.
Makame Mbarawa, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, said the government was in final talks with investors of China Merchants Holdings International Limited (CMHI) and the government of Oman.
Mbarawa told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that on its completion, the Bagamoyo port was expected to boost the country's economy and attract major investments to the country, the second largest economy in the East African region after Kenya.
The minister admitted that the project has been hit by delays, saying: "The talks took too long to be completed for benefit of the nation. We had to ensure that every project has wider impact to the country's economy."
Mooted in 2013 by retired President Jakaya Kikwete, construction of the port has been hit by delays over acquisition of investors.
When fully developed, the Bagamoyo Special Economic Zone will become a strategic investment zone in East Africa.
The Bagamoyo port and its affiliate industrial zone is meant to address congestion at the old Dar es Salaam port and support Tanzania to become East Africa's leading shipping and logistics center.