The MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu, built entirely in Tanzania, is the largest freshwater passenger and cargo ship to ever sail on Lake Victoria.
The ship, which arrived at Mwanza South Port on February 12, can carry 1,200 passengers, 400 tonnes of cargo, 20 light vehicles, and three trucks. It is currently 82% complete.
The ship’s construction was led by two South Korean companies, Gas Entec and KangNam Corporation, and began in January 2019. The battleships, which are 92.6 meters long, 17 meters wide, and 20 meters high, will cost more than Tsh100 billion (US$43 million).
Given Tanzania’s reliance on its blue economy, particularly that of Zanzibar, its island cousin, this ship would help provide economic prospects through the nation’s water resources. A cruise ship from Egypt stopped at Dar es Salaam Port last year as part of the Great Africa Voyage’s 71-day roundtrip, bringing 1000 tourists to Zanzibar.
The 237.7-meter (780-foot) long Dutch ship was owned by Holland America Lines, but the Tanzanian government can now profit from these voyages thanks to the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Works and Transport Atupele Mwakibete noted that the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu would help “open new markets inside and outside the country by starting new trips that will help facilitate commercial, business, tourism and private trips”.
Up to this point of float-out, we can say the ship is complete and the remaining 18% is just minor installations that will be done in less than four months.CEO of Tanzania’s Marine Services Company Limited, Eric Hamissi, 2023 [Business Insider Afria]
The ship will pass through Kisumu, Kenya, Lake Victoria, Jinja, and Portbell in Uganda, Kisumu in Kenya, Mwanza, Bukoba, Kemondo, and Musoma in Tanzania.
In addition to standard VIP features such as a first-class section with seating for 60 people, a business-class section with seating for 100 people, and a second-class section with seating for 200 people, the boat will have a VVIP chamber for visiting national leaders.
“The last will be the economy class which will be carrying 834 passengers and, in this class, passengers will enjoy a modern ambiance with maximum relaxation, enabling them to tour comfortably,” said Hamissi.