Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda have reached a formal agreement to construct a multi-billion dollar railway network, which would also serve South Sudan and tap into the bloc’s growing trade.
The project, to commence in 2014, is expected to take three years and cost $4.7 billion.
This will run alonsgside the $3 billion Tanga-Arusha-Musoma-Kampala railway line that is expected to be completed by 2015.
Tanzania and Uganda signed an agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to undertake a feasibility study and implementation of the project, which will be the main gateway of Mwambani Port in Tanga, Musoma dock and Port Bell in Uganda.
“We are expecting to handover the feasibility study by April while construction of the 880km railway line is expected to be completed by 2015.” the Chinese engineering firm managing director Wang Xiangdong said,
Mr Xiangdong said the railway line will be constructed to the 1,435mm, which is the standard gauge used in other countries and directed by both states.
The project will see Tanga and Musoma ports dedicated to handle cargo, traffic destined to Uganda and South Sudan. Beyond that the project will help to ease congestion at Tanzania’s principal’s port, Dar es Salaam.
Freight would be conveyed from Musoma by ferry to the Port Bell pier -- about 350km of transportation in the lake. A rail connection already runs via Tororo to Gulu – nearly 600km – on the Pakwach branch.
A new line of roughly 250km would be constructed to Juba, and a further 550km to the Wao railhead in South Sudan.