Infrastructure Projects Are Transforming Tanzania’s Economy

Q&A with Katelula Kaswaga from Tanzania’s National Roads Agency (TANROADS).

By Staff Writer on
24th August 2023

As part of the Tanzania Construction Market Report 2023, the ConstructAfrica Media team sat down for an exclusive interview with Engr. Katelula Kaswaga from Tanzania’s National Roads Agency (TANROADS). The interview, which is part of the rich contents of the report, delves into important details about the construction industry in Tanzania, and Engr. Kaswaga provides valuable insights from a stakeholder's perspective. Enjoy this special interview.

How is the construction industry in Tanzania? And what are the main drivers of activity?

Tanzania in recent years has witnessed growth in the construction industry because of the megaprojects implemented by the government of Tanzania and development partner-funded projects. This includes private projects such as residential and commercial real estate and public projects such as the construction of roads, railways, bridges, water systems, telecommunications, air transport networks, and others. 

The construction industry creates a lot of job opportunities in the country which impacts the social and economic activities in Tanzania. Thousands of local people with and without skills are employed in different projects across the country.

What are some of the major construction projects underway in Tanzania?

There are many ongoing construction projects in Tanzania today, especially around public works. The government is very committed to public infrastructure development, leveraging partnerships with the private sector and development partners. Key projects include the construction of J.P Magufuli cable-stayed bridge, the standard gauge railway, the 2,115MW Julius Nyerere hydropower plant, the East African crude oil pipeline and several airport projects.

What impact did the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have on the prices of materials and the constructor sector at large?

The pandemic caused delays in project completions due to the obstruction of staff mobilisation, and many manufacturers and suppliers were closed during the pandemic. The construction industry in Tanzania, like others worldwide, was affected in many ways.

The Russia-Ukraine war has also caused the delay of many projects in Tanzania due to price fluctuations during tendering and the price of the materials and fuels [increasing] during project implementation. This meant that executing fixed contracts, without the price adjustment factors, was difficult for many stakeholders.

How does the public procurement process in Tanzania work?

As per government instructions, all procurement processes shall be done through TANePS (Tanzanian National e-Procurement System). Any tenders outside TANePS should seek approval for the reasons from the Tender Board.

What is the role of the National Construction Council (NCC)?

The main function of the NCC is to be a focal point for sector coordination of all the institutions engaged in construction industry activities to ensure consolidation, harmonisation and competitive performance. The NCC also provides and promotes training facilities for persons engaged in or to be employed in the construction industry.

What channels of dispute resolution are there in the construction industry in Tanzania?

The National Construction Council and Tanzania Arbitration Centre are the two main dispute resolution options in cases where the parties disagree on the contracts that bind or define their arrangement.

How do you see the outlook for the construction sector in Tanzania?

When these projects come into operation - especially those mega and strategic projects, such as the standard gauge railway projects, the Julius Nyerere hydropower project, the East African crude oil pipeline, the mega bridge projects and the express road - we expect both direct and indirect impacts on the growth of Tanzania’s economy. Those projects will promote the balanced development of regions, improve infrastructure within the county, and promote social and economic activities.

Katelula Kaswaga is a structural and bridge engineer working with Tanzania’s National Roads Agency (TANROADS)
Katelula Kaswaga is a structural and bridge engineer working with Tanzania’s National Roads Agency (TANROADS)

ConstructAfrica has released its latest intelligence report, the Tanzania Construction Market Report 2023. It is designed to help companies set a strategy for participating in the Tanzanian construction sector and minimise risk. The report identifies project opportunities and profiles key clients and contractors in the industry.

You can purchase the report or download sample pages of the Tanzania Construction Market Report 2023 here

Top photo: Nyerere Bridge connecting Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Wirestock / Dreamstime)

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