After a long period of waiting, the governments of Tanzania and Burundi have reached a customary agreement to continue with the building of a railway to link their nations and promote the economic development of the two countries.
The customary agreement signed today by infrastructure ministers Deo Nsanganiyumwami of Burundi and Makame Mbarawa of Tanzania would allow for the search for contractors to begin the development of the Tabora-Uvinza railway project within two months.
The railway project, which would extend from Uvinza in Tanzania to Msongati in Burundi with the goal of improving the economies the two East African nations and beyond, will cost around $950 million to complete.
During the signing, Tanzania’s infrastructure minister, Makame Mbarawa, said that after the Tabora Uvinza railway is completed, they would build the 156km from Uvinza to Malagarasi, the border region between Burundi and Tanzania, and then the 126km from Malagarasi to Gitega in Burundi.
“The railway project is standard; the construction is standard gauge; the passenger train will run at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, while the freight train will travel at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour,” Mbarawa said
He also said that, since Burundi now relies on the Dar-es-Salaam port for shipping, the installation of the railway would aid in the opening of transportation of their minerals to other nations situated in the Msongati region.
On his side, Hon. Mwigulu Nchemba, Tanzania’s finance minister, said that the leaders of Tanzania and Burundi would make history by constructing a railway constructed by Africans and that the funds for execution will be collected.
Burundi’s infrastructure minister, Deo Nsanganiyumwami, said that they would put their commitment and reaffirm everything that is required to achieve the railway project, adding that they have already completed the bilateral agreement for project finance.
“The government of Burundi is convinced that this project will be implemented because of its key and crucial role in boosting the national economy and opening up the country’s economy, as well as its transportation role, which is why we need this project to begin as soon as possible,” Nsanganiyumwami explained.
According to Dieudonne Dukundane, Executive Secretary Central Corridor, the construction of this railway project would help develop economic relationships between Burundi, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as alleviate corporate transportation challenges.