Construction of a 2,190-kilometre central railway line to standard gauge has begun after the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Exim Bank of China in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
“In this agreement, we have analysed the best way to disburse funds for the construction process. Tanzania government has set aside 1tri/- from the current budget for that purpose,” the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Servacius Likwelile, noted. It is expected that the line will link the country to landlocked neighbours Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
The agreement involves forming technical teams from both sides to oversee various issues regarding the whole construction process and other administration matters. Dr Servacius Likwelile, said a feasibility study for the project will soon commence.
“In this agreement, we have analysed the best way to disburse funds for the construction process. Tanzania government has set aside 1tri/- from the current budget for that purpose,” he noted.
The railway line will run from Dar es Salaam to Tabora-Isaka-Mwanza, Tabora-Mpanda-Kalemela, Tabora-Uvinza-Kigoma and Isaka-Keza-Musongati and Burundi. The railway lines connect landlocked East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The line to Kigali, Rwanda, will ultimately connect the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
During a meeting in Dodoma on Wednesday, Exim Bank President, Mr Liu Liang, promised full cooperation with Tanzania in exchanging experience and skills on the construction of the railway and its management. President Magufuli also said the process to seek constructors for the railway has already commenced, in which he proposed four different constructors to be given the job.
“On this central railway line project, we have a positive view. We see it as a good project and we will accord the needed cooperation,” Mr Liu pledged. Once completed, it is expected that the project will revolutionise Tanzania’s economy and other countries in Eastern and Central Africa including Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The project as a whole is estimated to cost about 16tril/- , in which the railway is expected to connect the port of Dar es Salaam to Rwanda and Burundi, while two additional lines will connect Dar es Salaam to the coal, iron ore and soda ash mining areas in the south and northern parts of the country