Tanzania and Burundi are stepping up initiatives to strengthen their relations. Yesterday, the Tanzanian finance minister announced the two countries have reached an agreement to construct a railway between Uvinza, in Tanzania, and Gitega, in Burundi.
The line will cover 282 km (156km in Tanzania, 126km in Burundi). Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said the project requires $900 million, without further details. The Tanzanian government aims to develop a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network that will link the port of Dar es Salaam to several neighboring landlocked countries. Last October, President Samia Suluhu agreed with her counterpart, Evariste Ndayishimiye, to invest in this ambitious project. Suluhu sees the project as an opportunity to boost trade revenues. It will enable “the transport of goods, especially minerals – including nickel from the famous Msongati in Burundi – to the port of Dar es Salaam so that it can be shipped to the international market,” she said.
Tanzania’s plans to expand its rail network will improve trade with Uganda, Zambia, the DRC, and Rwanda.