The Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara) is yet to be extended to four other countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and Eastern DR Congo as well as to Tanzania’s multibillion-dollar Bagamoyo port.
This is according to Government officials from Tanzania, China and Zambia who met in Dar es Salaam to discuss about the ailing infrastructure link that runs from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri- Mposhi in Zambia.
Rowland Msiska, secretary to the Zambia Cabinet said that the plan is part of the China-Africa co-operation plan which was discussed at the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015. Mr. Msiska further said that the revamping and extension of the railway will be financed by China and he also said that the Southern DR Congo is already connected to Tazara through Zambia Railways.
Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DR Congo will be connected through the Seleka-Mpulungu section of Tazara in Zambia where the construction study has already been completed and is only awaiting for the funds to be initiated. Malawi will however be connected through the planned Chipata-Selenje railway link although the study for that link has not yet been completed.
The initiative of planning to connect Tazara with the mega Bagamoyo port will be a boost to the country as it will allow major companies in the region to connect to the port and ease shipping of cargoes. The plans were decided upon after major infrastructural deteriorations were established by the Chinese firm- Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group (TSDI), which conducted a survey between June and December 2012.
The Tanzanian government is also working with China in another major project that will involve the construction of the Bagamoyo port, its special economic zone (SEZ) and a 40km railway line to link the Bagamoyo SEZ with the Tazara railway line at Pugu.