Tanzania and China have recently finalized a partnership agreement to construct the last segment of the Standard Gauge Railway line connecting Tanzania to some of its neighbours.
Intended to link the port of Dar es Salaam to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, then subsequently extend to Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, the $2.2 billion deal was signed with the president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan in attendance. The 2,561-kilometer network contract was signed between the Tanzanian government and the Chinese companies CCECC and CRCC.
According to Tanzania’s president, the railway is scheduled to be finished in 2026, 9 years after work starts. “Upon completion of the SGR, Tanzania will be in a better position to utilize its strategic geographical positioning to facilitate cross-border trade,” she said.
She also revealed that so far, the project has amounted to $10.04 billion or Sh24 trillion, including the latest contract.
“We have to borrow for this important infrastructure and other sustainable development projects because we don’t have enough local resources,” she stated.
The government proposed the railway line project majorly due to the need for cutting down logistics costs for citizens of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, who transport goods to and from both countries.
The president estimated that cargo transportation which typically costs around a minimum of $6,000 per tonne, would be cut down by at least $2000 after the rail system is done.
Also, transportation time would fall from 30 days by truck to 30 hours in 2027.