President Samia has greatly honoured farmers, livestock keepers, and fishermen- Abdallah Hamisi Ulega, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries

Address by Honorable Abdallah Hamisi Ulega, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, to Her Excellency Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, distinguished leaders, and the residents of Kilwa. This address follows the momentous occasion of laying the foundation stone for the Kilwa Masoko Fishing Port Project and the distribution of cutting-edge boats to our devoted fishermen on September 19, 2023. Translated from Kiswahili by the team.

Honorable President, let me begin by thanking the Almighty God, the Most Merciful and Most Generous, and secondly, with great respect and honor, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for laying the foundation stone for this historic project and for handing over boats to small-scale fishermen and seaweed farmers.

Honorable President, this gratitude goes hand in hand with thanking you for the funds you provided to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, increasing from 176 billion in the fiscal year 2022-2023 to 295 billion, an increase of over 100 billion. Thank you very much, Honorable President.

Honorable President, let me use this opportunity for the first time in our history, as I have witnessed that in our country, we usually hold prestigious meetings in other sectors such as tourism, energy, mining, and so on. But by your great will, you brought the world into this country to discuss important investment issues in the fishing, livestock, and agriculture sectors. On behalf of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and my counterpart in agriculture, we thank you very much for honoring the farmers, livestock keepers, and fishermen of this nation. Thank you very much, Honorable President.

Honorable President, today you have made history, and the history you have written, Honorable President, you have written it with a golden pen. Here, I must say a few words, Honorable President. Some people said a lot of things when we agreed to make a significant investment in uplifting our Dar es Salaam port. Some criticized, and some said that due to the investments in Dar es Salaam, we would not be allowed to develop any other port. Honorable President, today you are showing in action those who spoke recklessly and incoherently. We don’t know if they are bats or humans; when you do good, they don’t say, “Since Tanzania was created by Almighty God, you have initiated this today.”

Honorable President, besides laying the foundation stone for this port, this port has a crucial role to play, and it will boost our nation’s economy. We have set a goal to raise the contribution of the fishing sector from the current 1.8% to 10% by the year 2036. To achieve this, we will attract investors with large vessels from around the world to dock at the Kilwa Masoko port. This will elevate the economy of Kilwa and the entire southern coastal region. Congratulations, Honorable President.

Honorable President, the construction of the Kilwa fishing port, with a cost of approximately 280 billion, including 266 billion for the contractor and 13 billion for the consultancy, demonstrates your sincere commitment to uplifting the fishing sector. This sector should be a flagship, as we have abundant water resources that should significantly contribute to our national income. In addition to the port, there will be a shipyard right here in Tanzania, in Kilwa Masoko. Among the facilities in this port, there will be a section for docking large vessels, capable of accommodating up to 10 ships, each measuring 30 meters.

One thing we have been lacking for a long time is the desalting process for fish, which is currently done in neighboring countries like Seychelles. With this new port, they will no longer go there but will come here for desalting. This will boost various businesses, including water and food vendors and other products. Furthermore, the port will have a section for handcrafting and repairing fishing nets. The port will also accommodate small boats, including the ones you distributed today, and even more, like at least 200 canoes. You can rest assured, my fellow Kilwa residents; this development will answer questions about where people will dock their boats.

Honorable President, this port will employ no less than 30,000 youth, and they will come from Kilwa, Lindi, and all over our nation.

The port will also have fish storage facilities, including freezing and chilling capacity, and it will serve as a fish market for local fishermen. Additionally, there will be a fish processing area. The Tanzania Ports Authority will operate this port, and we plan to run it under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) system, inviting investors to establish fish processing factories and other value addition facilities.

Our goal is to increase fish exports from the current average of 50,000 tons worth approximately $100 million to $500 million. We have received your guidance, and we, the youth in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, are fully committed to ensuring that we fulfill your dreams and vision.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the members of our parliamentary committee on agriculture, livestock, and industries who have been excellent partners in this endeavor. They have provided valuable advice and guidance, led by their chairperson, Honorable Mariam Ditopile. They have been instrumental in our journey towards implementing the CCM election manifesto.

In conclusion, Honorable President, you are welcome to address this audience. They are your people, and they want to hear from you. Please, with great respect and honor, take the floor, and address the beneficiaries of the fishing boats and all Tanzanians. Welcome, Honorable President.