In a move that seeks to facilitate the movement of goods between Tanzania and neighbouring countries, the Police Force here has signed a US$1.8 million deal with the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) to remove unnecessary road blocks and improve security on highways.
ICF, a public-private partnership under African Development Bank (AfDB), was incorporated here in 2008 with the objective of making
Africa a better place to do business.
With few road blocks on highways, the time and cost of ferrying goods will be slashed, leading to lower cost of doing business and lower prices to be paid by consumers, remarked ICF chief executive officer Omari Issa.
According to the official, a recent study on freight transportation by road between Tanzania and Rwanda showed that unnecessary delays at police checkpoints discourage investment and retarded business growth.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police Saidi Mwema has affirmed the government’s commitment to ensure the security of people and their goods on Tanzania’s roads.
”The police force will work with all the agencies involved in goods transfer to create a transparent and more reliable verification system,” said Mwema, emphasising cooperation between public and private agencies in order to enhance transparency.
Mwema and Issa initialled the deal that is to be carried out within the next 17 months and see police checkpoints on the 1,500-km stretch between Dar es Salaam and Rusumo, a border post on the Tanzania/Rwanda border, reduced from about 50 to less than ten.
According to findings by Centre for Economic Prosperity, a local think tank, the police were using roadblock to line their pockets with bribes, which the centre’s experts said ranged in total between 96 million Tanzanian shillings and 128 million shillings a month (1US$=Tsh1,450).
The next phase of the ICF project will cover road checkpoints on the highways between Dar es Salaam and Namanga on the Kenyan border and Dar es Salaam to Tunduma on the Zambian border.
ICF focuses on building the environment for investment, trade and job creation as vital factors towards improving Africa’s image as an investment destination through coordinated efforts