The Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) has received 591 military vehicles from India, including trucks and buses, that are expected to greatly improve transportation within the military.
The vehicles were handed over at the beginning of August. Another 88 vehicles will be received at the end of next month, according to Tanzania’s The Citizen. The delivery earlier this month was accompanied by 16 containers of spare parts.
Tanzania is acquiring the 679 vehicles as part of a $36.5 million (Sh58 billion) loan agreement with India. They were purchased under a January 26, 2012, contract financed through Exim Bank, according to defence minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha.
“These vehicles would significantly help to solve the problem of transport in the army,” the minister said. He added that India gifted four additional ambulances to the TPDF to improve military healthcare. “The vehicles have come at the right time. Indeed, they will help us solve the problem of transport shortage,” he said.
In September 2011, Ashok Leyland announced that Tanzania had ordered 723 trucks, buses and specialist vehicles for $36.5 million. At the time of the order, Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland said it was “a very significant development and very much a part of our strategy to significantly increase our global footprint, more particularly, in the robustly growing African markets. Tanzania is an important market for us and this order underscores the reliability of our products. It also highlights our ability to manufacture application based vehicles specific to the requirements of our customers. This closely follows other orders received from prominent institutional customers in West Africa”.
Ashok Leyland has expanded into Africa, with network offices in Nigeria and Ghana in the West, Malawi and Mozambique in the South, Kenya and Tanzania in the East, with additional offices in South Africa and Egypt. The company is currently looking at assembling trucks and busses in Tunisia to supply the growing markets of Libya and Algeria.