The Lake Tanganyika Integrated Transport and Environment Programme, which is meant to improve efficiency along the Central Corridor, has received close to $1 billion from development partners.
The Africa Development Bank, the European Union, TradeMark East Africa, the Japan International Co-operation Agency, the Belgium Co-operation, NEPAD and The Kuwait Fund are among the financiers. The project recently received $600 million from the World Bank.
The funds will be used to develop ports, roads, railways, one-stop border posts and inland container terminals, with the aim of reducing transport costs by 30 per cent.
Central Corridor Transit Transportation Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) executive secretary, Dieudonne Dukundane, said the agreement to finance the projects was signed at The Lake Tanganyika Integrated Transport and Environment Programme in November in Bujumbura, Burundi.
The workshop was jointly organised by CCTTFA, the East African Community Secretariat, the Lake Tanganyika Authority and the World Bank.
“The projects aim to reduce transport costs within the Lake Tanganyika Basin countries of Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and Zambia, which currently stand at 40 per cent of the freight value,” said Mr Dukundane.
Some of the key projects for Tanzania are modernisation of Kigoma Port, construction of Karema Port in Katavi, construction of Katosho in-land container terminal in Kigoma and construction of Manyovu/Mugina one-stop border post on the border between Tanzania and Burundi.
Key projects for DR Congo are modernisation of the Kalemie, Kalundu and Baraka ports and construction of the Kalundu-Kamanyola- Bukavu road.
For Burundi, key projects include the Bujumbura-Rumonge- Nyanza Lac road, Mugina/Manyovu and Gatumba-Kavimvira one-stop border post.
For Rwanda, key projects include construction of Rusizi II one-stop border post, Lake Kivu development ports and ferries.
EAC director-general of Customs and Trade, Kenneth Bagamuhunda, said an integrated and efficient transport and logistics system was critical for attaining a competitive economy in the region.