Tanzania hosted a meeting with the Ministers for Transport of neighbouring countries Burundi and Rwanda to finalise the feasibility study for the development of a new railway to link the three countries.
The line connecting Dar es Salaam to Kigali in Rwanda and to Musongati in Burundi is aimed at easing transport and export of goods from these mineral rich countries to the sea, at Tanzanians ports.
To date Burundi and landlocked Rwanda rely on expensive and slow road transportation for exporting goods.
Rail transportation to the Indian Ocean via Tanzania will greatly reduce both cost of transport currently heavily impacted by rising fuel price as well as time currently up to a month for cargos to reach the ports.
The financing of the project valued at USD 5.2 billion will be provided in great part by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United State Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana Minister for Transport of Rwanda indicated that Public-Private Partnership initiatives are part of the project.
Construction of the new railway is expected to start as soon as March 2013 and should take three years to be completed.