TZ earmarks sh 14 trillion for East Africa modern railway line

Construction to begin in June

The government of Tanzania intends to spend over Tsh14 trillion on the high standard gauge railway line that will stretch from Dar es Salaam port to Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

The construction of the modern high capacity railway network that is projected to cut transport and logistic costs in the central corridor is scheduled to start mid this year, Tanzania’s Transport Minister Samuel Sitta has said.


Tanzania’s Transport Minister Samuel Sitta


The Minister told a press conference in Dar es Salaam the network will amplify East African’s exports and competition in the global market space.

According to the minister, this infrastructure will also reduce days of cargo transportation to East African landlocked countries from over three days to 12 hours.
“The railway will stretch about 2,561 kilometres,” he said adding “It will run from Mpiji in Dar es Salaam to Kigoma through Tabora, Mwanza, Isaka to Rusumo, Kaliua-Mpanda-Karema and Uvinza-Musongati in Burundi.”
Mr. Sitta revealed Reli Assets Holding Company has already contracted with the US based Rothschild to mobilise resources for the project.

Earlier this year, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) launched the first of its US$16 million Logistics Innovation For Trade Fund (LIFT) as one of the mechanisms to slash logistics and infrastructure costs at Dar es Salaam port.

The fund is designed to increase competitiveness for the East African trading community while providing a significant reduction in transport and other logistics related costs by 15 percent along the main East Africa transport corridors by 2016.

Another $6.6 billion has also been set aside by President Jakaya Kikwete government for two more railway line projects, Afrika Reporter has learnt.

Together the three projects are expected to cost a whopping $14.2 billion (about Tsh 26 trillion) and are lined up for implementation between 2015 and 2021.

Over 1 million Tanzanians will be employed by the time these projects are carried are underway.

Experts say the current meter gauge railway annual capacity is to ferry at least 5million tonnes, come the completion of the projects the demand of goods and services transported from Dar es Salaam to other landlocked countries will reach 30 million tonnes in 2025.

Tanzania, Burundi and DRC have signed a preliminary agreement to use Dar es Salaam Port, as opposed to Mombasa port, the Minister said due to its geographical advantage, Dar es Salaam Port stands to serves East African landlocked countries with utmost efficiency.