Govt seeking IFAD fishing ships grant

20Oct 2020
Hekima Akilimali
The Guardian
Govt seeking IFAD fishing ships grant

​​​​​​​CCM presidential candidate Dr John Magufuli yesterday promised to purchase eight fishing ships if re-elected, aimed at modernizing the industry, equip fishermen with technology to harvest more and improve their lives.

Dr John Magufuli.

Addressing a rally at Mwanakalenge grounds in Bagamoyo, Coast region, he said that talks had reached a good stage with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to obtain a grant for the purpose, noting also that four of the ships will be stationed in Zanzibar.

“We are determined to improve the lives of fishermen, that is why we have put in place various initiatives aimed at facilitating this because we have their welfare at heart,” he declared.

The government similarly plans to revive the Tanzania Fisheries Corporation (TAFICO), detailed to set up fish processing industries in Bagamoyo and elsewhere, he said.

Dr Magufuli said the government has already repossessed properties worth 118bn/- which belonged to TAFICO and were grabbed by corrupt individuals.

Back in May, the government enacted the Deep Sea (Fisheries Management and Development) Act, 2020 envisaging the setting up of  the Deep Sea Fishing Authority.

The law was aimed at sorting out challenges in the fishing sector, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the country’s territorial waters, as well as facilitating proper conservation of fisheries.

Earlier, Dr Magufuli who is seeking re-election hinted on plans to start paying allowances and promoting civil servants in the early days of his second term. Most of these plans are at advanced stages, he said.

“We reached a middle income status before the scheduled time, now we see this is an opportune moment to congratulate our employees who have done a tremendous job in the last five years,” he affirmed.

Dr Magufuli took time to explain developments in the last five years in the Coast region and countrywide, saying a lot was coming.

He expressed satisfaction with the way Coast Region had responded to the industrialisation agenda, as it had the biggest number of new factories, at 1,236 by current data.

Restoring the lost glory of Bagamoyo as a UNESCO heritage site was a major initiative now on the cards, he said.

“We will continue linking Bagamoyo with the rest of the country especially through construction of roads and other important infrastructures such as health centres and water facilities,” he added.

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