Economic leaders have praised the government for agreeing to engage the private sector to run Dar es Salaam Port.

The Minister of Construction and Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa, recently told Parliament that it should involve the private sector to run the port.

Professor Mbarawa made the remarks in parliament in Dodoma while responding to the arguments of MPs who contributed to the ministry's revenue and spending projections for the 2023/24 financial year.

Professor Mbarawa told MPs that when the company is found, it will reduce the time for ships to drop cargo from five days to 24 hours, increase the number of ships coming to Dar es Salaam Port and reduce the time to drop boxes from four days to one and a half days.

"The issue of private investment is not in the debate we are going to allow," he said.

Economist Dr Donald Mmari said the government had made the right decision because the private sector is the business that aims to make a profit.

Dr Mmari said that for the participation to be productive, the contract must be transparent, clear about revenue and allow for inventory audits and purchases of work equipment.

"A good example is the Netherlands, all port operations are carried out by the private sector the government gives sole oversight.

"This will increase more trade, efficiency will increase, other sectors will improve and reduce corruption by a large percentage," he said.

Economics lecturer at the University of Saint Augustine, Dr Isack Safari said the decision was a good one because the private sector has a reputation for struggling to make profits.

Dr Safari said the private sector will use simple technology to simplify work, which makes it less expensive to make more money, such as the use of modern equipment and the use of more technology rather than human resources.

"Inside the port are private companies and they are working well especially in loading and unloading which led the World Bank to name Dar es Salaam's first East African port for service delivery," he said.

Economic analyst Professor Wetengere Kitojo said it was time for Dar es Salaam to be known globally because the private sector is the one who can do business, not the government.

"The government is not there to do business, where it tried to do business failed, but for the private sector it is what it is," Professor Kitojo added, adding that the decision could help end the corruption problem at the port.

Acting Director General of the Tanzania Private Sector Institute (TPSF), Raphael Maganga thanked the government for engaging the private sector in running the port, adding that the private sector's intention is to bring the port to the top 100 from 312th position.

"Private sector participation will increase efficiency in the operation of the port as well as increase skills and invest in port infrastructure so that the government can use the money that could have been spent on these infrastructure to carry out other community service activities," Maganga said.