The Chinese Government has manifested its intention to start with the construction of a high speed railway in Tanzania by the year 2018, when it is expecting to finish the second one of its kind in Africa which is currently being developed in Kenya by China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC).
As explained in a press conference in Beijing by Li Tie, Director General of the China Center for Urban Development (CCUD), a Chinese Governmental institution which carry out foreign aid projects, the new high speed railway in Tanzania would be part of the China’s One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR) launched in 2013.
The initiative which started last year with the construction of the second high speed railway in Kenya connecting coastal city Mombasa with its capital Nairobi, joins the list of high speed railways in Africa that started with the currently operating in Angola inaugurated early this year.
Tanzania would therefore be the third country developing high speed railways in Africa as part of the OBOR to promote trade between the Sub-Saharan Region, Europe and Asia to strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road.
OBOR consists of two main components, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR).
SREB is expected to boost trade between China, Europe and Africa to over USD 2.5 trillion a year in a decade from now.
Currently the total trade between China and Africa is at USD 160.0 billion according to The Economist, with Tanzania representing about 1.0%, while with Europe it is at USD 466.1 billion according to Reuters.