- Tanzania has built its own fresh-water vessel, the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu.
- It is the largest ship in all of East Africa and is geared towards economic development.
- The ship cost $43 million and is 82% completed.
Tanzania has floated East Africa’s largest-ever locally made freshwater passenger and freight ship, the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu, on Lake Victoria.
The ship, launched on February 12 at Mwanza South Port, can transport 1,200 people, 400 tonnes of cargo, 20 light cars, and three trucks. It is now 82% completed.
The ship’s construction began in January 2019 and was led by two South Korean businesses, Gas Entec and KangNam Corporation. The taxpayers will pay more than Tsh100 billion (US$43 million) for the 92.6-meter-long, 17-meter-wide, and 20-meter-high warships.
Considering Tanzania’s reliance on its blue economy, especially, its island cousin of Zanzibar, this ship would help stir economic opportunities through the country’s water resources. Last year, Zanzibar received 1000 tourists via a cruise ship that docked at the Dar es Salaam Port from Egypt as part of its 71-day round-trip in the Grand Africa Voyage.
The Dutch ship stretched 237.7 meters (780 ft) long and belonged to the Holland America Lines but with the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu, such trips can veer revenue back to the Tanzanian government.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Works and Transport Atupele Mwakibete noted that the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu would help “open new markets inside and outside the country by starting new trips that will help facilitate commercial, business, tourism and private trips”.
According to the CEO of Tanzania’s Marine Services Company Limited, Eric Hamissi, the ship is practically completed with a few minor tweaks left. “Up to this point of float-out, we can say the ship is complete and the remaining 18% is just minor installations that will be done in less than four months,” he said.
The ship is intended to sail through Lake Victoria, Jinja, and Portbell in Uganda, Kisumu in Kenya, and Mwanza, Bukoba, Kemondo, and Musoma in Tanzania.
The yacht will contain a VVIP area for national leaders as well as standard VIP amenities such as a first-class section with a capacity of 60 people, a business-class section with a capacity of 100 people, and a second-class section with a capacity of 200 people.
“The last will be the economy class which will be carrying 834 passengers and, in this class, passengers will enjoy a modern ambiance with maximum relaxation, enabling them to tour comfortably,” said Hamissi.