Tanzania said on Monday it had signed an agreement with a Turkish firm, Yapi Merkezi, to build a $900 million modern railway line as part of the country’s efforts to upgrade transportation links and boost trade with its neighbours.
The 165-kilometer line which will connect two towns in northwest Tanzania is part of a bigger 1,219-kilometer rail project Tanzania has been implementing in phases, to connect commercial capital Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean to Mwanza on Lake Victoria.
At the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Masanja Kadogosa, the Director General of Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) said the 165-kilometer line would cost $900.1 million. It will be built within 42 months including six months of testing, he said.
Once the new section is completed, it will bring Tanzania’s total investment in the whole modern rail line project to 16.7 trillion shillings ($7.17 billion), he said.
The new section is the fourth of five that will comprise the full line. The fifth section, stretching over 341 kilometres, is being developed by two Chinese companies, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway Construction Limited, for $1.32 billion.
The government of President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been pushing to complete big transportation infrastructure projects initiated by her late predecessor John Magufuli to boost trade with neighbours Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.