Dar to host East Africa leaders railway sector meeting
Friday March 13 2015
East African Heads of States will meet in Tanzania at the end of this month to discuss various projects that would be implemented in the railways sector.
The meeting is expected to take place in Dar es Salaam between March 25 and 26, this year which according to Tanzania’s Minister of Transport Samuel Sitta all East African Community (EAC) presidents will attend.
“The meeting will involve the launching of a block train, whereby Heads of State will be briefed the semantics of how the train will be operating from Dar es Salaam transporting cargo via Uvinza in Kigoma to other connecting East African countries,” he said.
“The block train will also serve Burundi and Rwanda via the Isaka dry port apart from the DRC” he said.
He pointed out that the block train would do away with the cumbersome queues that trucks have to endure when transporting cargo through roads.
Mr Sitta said since Tanzania is near the sea and has a number of ports including the Dar one, it has a responsibility to ensure other member states have easier access to the rails and ports.
Mr Sitta said this at the launch of the Central Corridor High Level Conference on Transnational Infrastructure Development.
The project is also promoted by the landlocked nations in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The Central Corridor is a multimodal trade and transport corridor which covers Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
“Apart from EAC presidents the meeting will give an opportunity to participants to see well prepared and packed infrastructure projects in which they can invest and also hold business to business meeting with projects owners” he said.
He said the WEF’s Business Working Group (BWG), international financial institutions, and partners states of Central Corridor, bilateral and multilateral development institutions and private sector players will attend the meeting.
Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) plans to establish city block train to facilitate fast carriage of goods from Dar es Salaam port directly to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s dry port of Lubumbashi.
The project is expected to commence effectively April 2016.
The move comes as a way forward to facilitate fast movement of cargo offloaded at the Dar port and on transit to the neighbouring countries.
Tanzania and the WEF are currently working on the Central Corridor Acceleration Project that will see railways, roads, marine and air routes linking Dar es Salaam to the landlocked countries of Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The development of the Central Corridor Acceleration Process was launched during the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, last year.
It was identified as a programme for acceleration of investment through private sector participation among 51 projects in Africa.
The railway spans 1,682km. The scheme also includes a railway that will link Uvinza to Musongati, Mpanda and Karema. The initiative will also see the upgrading to standard gauge of the Isaka- Mwanza railway line (250km) and the portions that connect Tabora-Kigoma and Kaliua- Mpanda (411 and 212km respectively).