TPA to open Kigali liaison office in October

The decision was announced by the TPA Director General, Eng Deusdedit Kakoko, during a press conference over the weekend in Kigali. The press conference was also attended by the Treasury Registrar, Mr Lawrence Mafuru who headed the Tanzania delegation to Rwanda. “This is a clear testimony that Tanzania is committed to improve business environment to our clients in the neighbouring countries,” Eng Kakoko told journalists, adding that TPA has vowed to make sure that Kigali exporters and importers using Dar port will continue to enjoy best possible services. He noted that having a TPA liaison office means that services shall be brought near to customers in order to cut down costs of doing business and reduce hurdles within the logistic and supply chain. The opening of the office means that business community will not be obliged to travel all the way to Dar es Salaam to clear their cargo; a step seen as healthy since it will help serve time. The liaison office will be a One Stop Centre whereby customers will be able to access information such as status of their cargo, applicable port charges, make payments through Electronic Payment System (EPS) and attend to any queries. “We call upon all our customers to make effective use of this office once opened and take advantage of the cost benefit of doing business through real time information as well as avoiding being swindled by unfaithful middlemen,” he noted. TPA also operates similar liaison offices in Lusaka, Zambia and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As a way of further improving things, officials from Tanzania met with members of business community using the port of Dar es Salaam in order to hear their views and challenges they face when using the port. “Our visit to Rwanda echoes what the Presidents of the two countries are doing to foster relationship between the two nations,” Eng Kakoko noted and thanked the Rwanda business community for their support and commitment to use the Central Corridor and particularly the port of Dar es Salaam which is the most viable and cost effective gateway for Rwanda. He promised to work with other stakeholders so that to solve grievances aired during discussions with the aim to reduce the costs of doing business between the two countries and improve business. Various measures have already been taken to improve efficiency at the port of Dar es Salaam and the Central corridor at large. Some of the improvements include 24/7 extended port operations and assured safety and security. TPA has also introduced E-payment system where customers can now receive invoices and pay all port charges electronically. This has reduced the amount of time it takes to effect payments. In a move to speed up delivery of cargo, Tanzania has reduced a number of checkpoints from over twenty three (23) to three (3) checkpoints. This has improved tremendously the transit time from Dar es Salaam port to Rusumo which now takes three days only from the previous seven days. There are also efforts to construct a standard gauge railway system from Dar es Salaam port to Kigali and developing of a dry port at Isaka in order to enhance cargo clearance for Rwanda. The two sides have agreed to hold meetings every six months for feedback, evaluation and monitoring. Apart from the business meetings held at TPA also took part in the 19th Rwanda International Trade Fair where TPA and Tanzania International Container Terminal Ltd (TICTS) showcased services offered.

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