Dar es Salaam, December 21. The Tanzanian government has signed a $2.2 billion contract with two Chinese companies to build a new railway linking Tanzania’s Indian Ocean ports with neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
“Once this international pathway (SGR) is completed, Tanzania will be in a better position to take advantage of its geo-strategic location and facilitate cross-border trade,” Tanzanian President Samia said during the signing of the contract on Tuesday. In statements collected by the local press today.
Trains will be able to travel from the coastal city of Dar es Salaam, the most populous in Tanzania, to the cities of Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria, and Kigoma, on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In addition, branches are expected to be built eventually that will connect other countries in the region.
To achieve this goal, Tanzania will rely on Chinese construction companies China Civil Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC).
“We will have to borrow to build this very important infrastructure because we don’t have enough domestic resources,” the Tanzanian president added, dismissing criticism that the country has taken on too much debt.
According to Hassan, the last part of this train, which will connect the cities of Tabora and Kigoma in the west, will be completed in 2026.
Thus, the country will be able to reduce the time needed for trucks to travel from Dar es Salaam to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is currently around thirty days, to around thirty hours.
In addition, freight transportation costs will drop from the current $6,000 per ton to about $4,000 for the same amount once the railroad is fully operational.
Currently, Tanzania has a train (known as “Tazara”) that connects Dar es Salaam to Zambia. EFE
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