The Tanzania High Commissioner to Malawi was speaking at Nkhata Bay when welcoming one of the cargo ships, MV Njombe.
The 1000 tons cargo ship docked at Nkhata Bay around 1 pm on Saturday at Nkhata Bay port decorated in colors of Malawi and Tanzania with national flags of both countries flying on top of the ship.
According to Tanzanian High Commissioner, Benedicto Martin Mashaba, the two cargo ships, MV Njombe and MV Ruvuma will be carrying goods and services between the two countries thereby enhancing trade activities as well as easing pressure on roads.
“The marine transport is the very cheapest means of transport, and this saves a lot of money in terms of cost of commodities. It is a question of delivering services to the people and once the people are receiving the service, that’s what the bilateral relationship means”, said Mashaba.
Ajuaye Msese, Ports Manager for Tanzania Ports Authority says the ship has carried 730 tons of cement and 40 tons of general commodities, the same with MV Ruvuma which is expected to dock at Monkey Port.
“Today we are receiving MV Njombe for the first time in Malawi, it is something that is going to smoothen the transportation of cargo around the lake”, said Msese.
District Commissioner for Nkhata Bay, Alex Mdooko says Malawi has to maximize benefits from the initiative by identifying goods and services that can be exported to Tanzania and transported via these vessels.
“People of Nkhata Bay and Malawi at large go to Tanzania to buy goods. They ply trade from here to Tunduma, Kyela, Mbeya, Dar es Salaam but it is all by road. With these cargo ships between Malawi and Tanzania things will improve”, said Mdooko.
Aside the two cargo ships; Tanzania Ports Authority says it is currently constructing both passenger and cargo ship, MV Mbeya 2 to be finished by July 2018, to ferry people and cargo, directly between the two countries.