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Tanzania to Burundi SGR Project update

Deal Signed for Construction of 282 Kilometer Tanzania-Burundi SGR Line

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed for the construction of a 282 kilometers long Tanzania-Burundi SGR Line that stretches from the western Tanzanian town of Uvinza to the Burundian political capital of Gitega (formerly known as Kitega).

The deal was signed particularly by the finance and transport ministers from the two East African countries in Kigoma, a city and lake port in northwestern Tanzania, on the northeastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, close to the border with Burundi and The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Also Read: Sumbawanga Airport Construction Works in Tanzania to Begin

Tanzania will reportedly construct a 156-kilometer section of the Tanzania-Burundi SGR Railway Line, from the small town of Malagarasi to Uvinza, while Burundi will construct a 126-kilometer stretch from Uvinza to Gitega.

Designed to reduce transportation costs, fast-track industrialization, and improve the overall regional economy upon completion, the Tanzania-Burundi SGR Line will ferry more than a million tons of cargo between the two East African countries, and help transport more than 3 million tons of minerals from Burundi to Tanzania each year.

Cost and funding for the Tanzania-Burundi SGR Railway project

According to Mwigulu Nchemba, the minister of finance in Tanzania, the Tanzania-Burundi SGR Line project is expected to cost not more than US$ 900M. He said that together with the minister of finance in Burundi, they are starting to look for areas where they can raise money to implement the project.

Noteworthy, the project is a part of Tanzania’s aim to construct approximately 2,561 kilometers of standard gauge railway lines linking its main Indian Ocean port of Dar es Salaam to eastern and southern Africa’s hinterland, in a bid to become a regional trade and transport hub.

In addition to Burundi, the rail would also establish a connection of the port to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Jan 2020 Tanzania signs deal to link SGR to Burundi and DRC

The government of Tanzania has inked a deal to link its Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The agreement which was signed between Transport ministers of the three countries Isack Kamwelwe (Tanzania), Jean Bosco (Burundi) and Roger Biasu (DRC), gives Burundi and DRC direct access to the Dar es Salaam Port, greatly boosting Tanzania’s Central Transport Corridor.

Tanzania transport minister Mr. Isack Kamwelwe affirmed that the deal 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.

Also Read:Ghana signs rail revitalisation agreement

Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)

The rail line will start from Uvinza district in Kigoma region in north western Tanzania to Gitega, via Msongati region, in Burundi, covering a stretch of 240km. It will then be extended to the eastern regions of DRC according to the agreement. Tender for the project will be issued out this year.

Upon completion, Tanzania’s SGR line will be 1,457 km stretch from Dar es Salaam to the shores of Lake Victoria. DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi commended the deal and said that the extension of the SGR line to Rubavu from Kigali would open trade opportunities for the landlocked DRC which depends largely on the ports of Dar es Salaam and Mombasa to access the sea.

Tanzania will become the third country in East Africa to start enjoying modern railway services after Kenya and Ethiopia. Kenya, was the first in the region to start constructing an SGR line, completing over 500km between Mombasa and Nairobi, and also inaugurating its passenger services in June 2017.


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