Terror threats put Tz on high alert as regional leaders visit

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete3

President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania: Hosting regional Heads of State Summit in Dar es Salam on the Central Corridor.

Tanzania has heightened security during a historic visit of five African Heads of State who are expected to deliberate on the status of improving investments in the central corridor.

Addressing a press conference Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Commissioner of Police Suleiman Kova said that security is organized to respond to any possible threats. This comes barely a day after President Kikwete was quoted as saying there were serious terror related threats in the country.

The two-day summit is being attended by President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Pierre Nkurunzinza (Burundi), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) will be hosted by their counterpart President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania.

The summit, which opened Monday in Dar es Salaam, is also being attended by senior civic leaders and key donor representatives.

The Heads of State summit on the central corridor is essential considering that it is a driving economic force for countries using Tanzania as a transit route for products to and from the respective countries.

Economic analysts say the countries have been strongly affected by the high costs of doing business related to transport, trade barriers as well as bureaucratic red tape.

The Central Corridor Transparent Facility Agency (CCTFA) latest report lists seven non-tariff barriers and nine centres as having seriously affected business operations in the region.

The report further notes exports at the Dar es Salaam port had increased to 11.3 billion tons in 2014 up from 4.95 billion tons in 2013.

In May last year the government of Tanzania vowed to reduce the non tariff barriers between Dar es Salaam and Rusumo border post in Rwanda from thirteen to three in an effort to fast-track the EAC regional integration agenda.
Meanwhile, the summit is expected to end with the launch of a central cargo railway system to the DRC through Uganda and Rwanda.