Tanzania secures $7.6-billion loan from China for rail line to Kigali.
The China Export-Import (Exim) Bank is providing Tanzania with a $7.6-billion loan to build a new 2,200-km rail line linking the seaport of Dar es Salaam with its landlocked north-western neighbours Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
The central railway project will connect Dar es Salaam with Rwanda by broadly following the route of the existing line running west via Dodoma to Tabora and Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika in central Tanzania.
Two other branches will run north from Tabora via Isaka to the port of Mwanza on Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania – serving Ugandan shippers – and a branch from Isaka to Musongati in neighbouring Burundi.
The central corridor will end in Rwandan capital Kigali where it will ultimately connect to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which lies to the east of Rwanda.
The railway project is expected to improve regional trade and boost the economies of the east African region which has recently made new discoveries of oil and gas but has long suffered from neglected transport infrastructure.
Tanzania’s president John Magufuli, known as “The Bulldozer” for spearheading the construction of roads, is keen for construction on the project to begin within the current financial year.