Tanzanian railway investment needed

12 August 2008

Tanzania's government has announced the country needs to spend TZS 1 trillion (US$ 862 million) upgrading its rail network over the next 10 years, according to local newspaper, The Daily News.

Making the announcement, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, Minister for Infrastructure Development, said the government, with support from various development partners, was committed to implementing the country's Transport Sector Investment Program (TSIP). The 10 year-long TSIP is designed to help deliver the National Transport Policy (NTP).

The plan is divided into two phases. The first phase started in the 2007/08 financial year and end in the 2011/12 financial year. The second phase will start in the 2012/13 financial year and end in 2016/17.

The announcement came after Dr Chrisant Mzindakaya, MP with the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, asked to know when the government would begin planned railway investment.

"The current railway network will be improved soon. Under the TSIP programme we will conduct a feasibility study that envisages linking Mtwara to Lindi, Mchuchuma and Liganga," said Dr Kawambwa.

He added the government would also continue to carry out a feasibility study on a railway line linking Isaka to Kigali, in Rwanda and Bujumbura in Burundi before embarking on any construction work.

The Minister added that the East Africa Railway Master Plan, as ordered by the East African Community (EAC) heads of state, was also in development. It is expected to be ready by the end of this month (August).

The EAC - Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda - is an intergovernmental organisation comprising five east African countries, whose aim is to promote regional economic integration.

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