Tanzania has signed an agreement to link its Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a deal that gives Dar es Salaam’s multi-billion-dollar project a major shot in the arm.
Transport ministers of the three countries Isack Kamwelwe (Tanzania), Jean Bosco (Burundi) and Roger Biasu (DRC) signed the agreement this past week in the port town of Kigoma.
The SGR link gives landlocked Burundi and DRC direct access to the Dar es Salaam Port, greatly boosting Tanzania’s Central Transport Corridor.
The development is, however, a blow to Kenya’s Northern Transport Corridor, which had marketed its own SGR as the cheaper and more efficient route for East Africa’s landlocked countries including Burundi and eastern DRC.
“This agreement is in line with the completion of a preliminary feasibility study of detail design plans which was successfully done by the consultancy company Gulf Engineering Ltd based in Uvinza,” Mr Kamwelwe told The EastAfrican.
The first phase of the construction will start from Uvinza district in Kigoma region in north western Tanzania to Gitega, via Msongati region, in Burundi, covering a stretch of 240km. The railway will then be extended to the eastern regions of DRC according to the agreement.
Source: The East African
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