China has agreed to cooperate with Tanzania in the construction of the 2,561 km standard gauge railway connecting the port of Dar es Salaam to Rwanda and Burundi.
The project is expected to cost between USD 6.8 bn, with the first phase to involve the construction of a 1,216 km railway connecting Dar es Salaam with Mwanza, on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in northwestern Tanzania, passing by Tabora and Isaka.
The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Lu Youqing, has met and held talks with the President of Tanzania, Dr. John Magufuli, who told Ambassador Youqing that Tanzania is determined to start construction of the central railway as soon as possible, and has already allocated TZS1 trillion in its next budget for the start of phase 1 of the project.
“We are confident that this project will help to bring major economic revolution in our country and in other countries of East and Central Africa, including Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is why we do not want to waste time in lengthy negotiations,” President Magufuli clarified.
For his part, Ambassador Youqing has congratulated President Magufuli and his government for preparing the financial, material and human resources necessary to implement this ambitious project, and that the Government of China, Chinese financial institutions and various companies will provide the cooperation and the implementation needed for this project.
The Minister of Works, Transport and Communication of Tanzania, Prof. Makame Mbarawa, indicated that the next step is to announce the tender for the construction of the railway and ask the winners to begin work immediately.
Currently, the Tanzanian rail network comprises two main railways: the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) network of 2,600 km and the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) of 1,067 km, connecting Dar es Salaam with Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.