17 December 2012

East Africa: Regional Body Okays Infrastructure Plan

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania has applauded the Infrastructure Master Plan for the East African Community (EAC) partner states towards socio-economic welfare of the peoples of the region as a whole.

This has been said by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of East African Cooperation, Dr Stergomina Tax when East African Business Week contacted her for a comment about the outcome of the recent meeting of five top leaders of the EAC Partner States held in Nairobi, Kenya.

"Our Heads of State had deliberated on the development and financing projects and programmes under railways, ports and roads on realization that the projects under these specific sectors have not progressed satisfactorily," Dr Tax asserted.

The leaders who attended the meeting were President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Yower Museveni of Uganda, Dr Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

The presidents directed the council of ministers to carry out high level promotions and engagements with key partners for mobilization of the required funds and investments to undertake the implementation of the prioritized regional projects.

The said master plan stands to enable Tanzania to rehabilitate the central railway line from Dar es Salaam to Tabora and Mwanza/Kigoma, as well as Kaliua to Mpanda line with a spur to Kasanga Port on Lake Tanganyika.

The project is crucial in linking Dar es Salaam Port with the landlocked countries of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Cost estimate is $1.425bn.

Similarly, she said the country will benefit under the plan the construction of a railway line from Uvinza to Musongati in Burundi, Isaka to Kigali in Rwanda and from Keza in Ngara District, Tanzania, to Musongati via Gitega in Burundi. Cost estimate is $5.1bn.

There will be rehabilitation of the Voi to Taveta line to link Kenya and Tanzania. The cost estimate is $200m.

Furthermore, the establishment of Mtwara to Mbamba Bay line with spurs to Liganga, Mlimba and Mchuchuma is scheduled to connect EAC with Malawi and Zambia. Feasibility studies are planned for 2013/2014. The cost estimate is $2.5bn.

The country stands to benefit from the master plan by modernization of the Dar es Salaam Port which will constitute the construction of a second modern container terminal at berths 13 and 14, deepening and strengthening of berths 1 to 7, as well as establishing Kisarawe Cargo Freight Station. The estimated cost is $1.2bn.

There is development of Maruhubi Hub Port in Zanzibar. This is by fact that it is strategic hub for East and Central Africa due to its deep waters. It is part of the implementation of Zanzibar's Vision 2020 and Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (ZSGRP). The cost estimate is $400m.

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