Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete in his speech to the World Economic Forum (WEF) on April 15th addressed the need of private sector USD 4.13 billion (TZS6.5 trillion) investments to improve Tanzania’s central transport corridor –1,591km connecting Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo, and Uganda.
Due to the steady 4-8% annual GDP growth of these countries, and the recent discoveries of nickel in Burundi, transit demand is expected to increase 3 times from the current 2.7 to 9.8 million tons per year by 2030, according to official sources.
Burundi alone is expected to deliver 2-3 million tons of nickel in the upcoming few years according to Bloomberg, and Tanzania is opening two nickel mines, with all the volumes to be shipped using the central transport corridor.
With the funding from the World Bank (WB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), six hundred kilometers of the road are already revitalized, with the railway bridges strengthened, and old rails removed on that distance.
However, USD 4.13 billion is still needed to finish the central transport corridor reconstruction, as well as additional USD 500 million are sought to fulfill Tanzania-Burundi bilateral agreement to build 200-km railroad connecting Uvinza and Musongati.
President Kikwete encouraged private parties’ cooperation, stating: “It’s time we encouraged further private sector participation. It remains an alternative and viable option to minimize the public financing gap in infrastructure development”, adding: “I am optimistic that our regional effort to implement the Central Corridor Infrastructure projects through public private partnership is now at a point of take-off and definitively will bear good results in the very near future”.
The Central Transport Corridor is a system of rail, road and lake transport from the Dar es Salaam port going to Eastern part of DRC, Kalemie Ports on Lake Tanganyika, as well as DRC traffic via Burundi and Rwanda.
The Central Transport Corridor is key for the development of both Eastern African landlocked countries and Tanzania.