Tanzania launches Africa’s first $300 million smart economic zone

The newly launched Mkinga Economic Zone project is expected to take Tanzania’s intercontinental trade to new heights.

The $300 million (about Sh700 billion) project in Tanga Region, is expected to act as a gateway to over 18 landlocked countries in the region.

It is the first smart economic zones in Africa spanning on 650 acres leading the sustainable and economic development in Africa, featuring the world-class technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), E-commerce and digital business (virtual company), making it unique in the region.

Launched on Tuesday by Zworld, an independent consultancy company dealing with business critical ICT environments, the project is now looking for interested investors.

“The project aims to create vital infrastructure for Mkinga to enhance the economy and build the foundation for development taking into consideration the agreements between African Nations such as Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the East African Community (EAC), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and many other agreements,” said Mr Shady El Zeki, a board member from Zworld.

The project expected to be implemented in six phases each costing $50 million, creating a total of 3,000 jobs most being locals.

The state of the art project is implemented by ZDS Developments in partnership with Siginon Logistics EA Limited and Rift Africa, international consultancies with a wide range of experience in big projects across the globe.

“As we speak, a total of five investors have shown interest to venture in this project coming from different nations including Brazil, Egypt,Tunisia, Blugaria, GCC, Philippines, and India.

“We have well aligned to ensure a smooth investment through partnership with government agencies something that will cut unnecessary processes and ensure quicker turnaround to interested investors,” he said.

According to him, in the coming two weeks, interested investor will be able get approvals to invest in the project after complying with the pre-requisite requirements.

Tanzania was one among 10 fastest growing economies in Africa recording an average economic growth of seven percent in the past 10 years, until the economies around the world were hit by Covid-19.

In July 2020, Tanzania was officially promoted to a lower-middle-income country by the World Bank. These achievements can be attributed to political and economic stability, good and predictable policies as well as peace and stability.

Siginon Logistics EA Limited managing director Ali Mohammed said the company has created conducive and friendly environment to allow smooth investment through partnership with government agencies, a move that will cut unnecessary processes for a quicker turnaround.

“We expect to start the implementation of the first phase in the first quarter of 2023 and we invite both local and external investors to grab this opportunity,” Mr Mohamed said.

he said.

Arguably, the government of Tanzania will benefit from foreign direct investments while Tanzania becoming the icon in the East and Central African region as a player to benefit from African intercontinental trade protocol.

Tanga region will be a game changer by getting employment benefit and economic growth by being center of excellence in development in the region as a business, marine and aviation hub.

More project details

• Utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and virtual business licenses, allowing companies from around the world to connect and trade via Dubai.

• New form of e-commerce known as smart commerce, which utilizes Artificial Intelligence algorithms and Internet of things technology that will drive innovation within supply chains.

• Will enable both global companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to set up digital businesses in Dubai free zones without the need to be physically there by introducing virtual company formation.

• The project will have a utility zone, container depot, 3PL Warehouse, convention center, gas station, family and workers residential, medical center, hotel, business park.