China has agreed to partner with Tanzania in the construction of a 2,561 km railway line at standard gauge level whose tenders are expected to be floated soon.
The announcement was confirmed by the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Lu Youqing, at the State House in Dar es Salaam when he met and held talks with Tanzanian President John Magufuli.
A statement issued by the State House noted that Ambassador Lu also gave President Magufuli a letter with a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Magufuli said that Tanzania was committed to immediately be part of the construction of the railway line and that it had already set aside some funds in 2016/17 budget for the first phase of the mega development.
“We hope that this project will revolutionize our economy and other countries in Eastern and Central Africa including Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). That’s why we don’t want to waste time in prolonged talks, we want the works to start and people to start benefitting,” Dr. Magufuli said.
The project which is projected to cost a whopping US$ 6.8bn will be implemented in phases, the first phase will constitute of construction of the railway line from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza via Isaka and Tabora.
Ambassador Lu further congratulated President Magufuli and his government for preparations which range from finance to equipment and human resources in implementing the mega project. He also said that the Chinese government, its financial organizations and other companies will give their total support towards the implementation of the project.
President Magufuli The Tanzanian president has also said that he has deployed the Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Prof Mbarawa to China so that he can complete discussions on the implementation of various projects, including the Central Line (at standard gauge).
The next move will be the announcement of transparent and competitive tenders for the project so as to get competent companies for the job.