17 February 2016

East Africa: Central Corridor States to Fast-Track Railway Line Project

Photo: Daily Nation
(file photo)

Infrastructure projects undertaken by the Central Corridor states, including the railway line, will be fast-tracked, ministers for infrastructure from Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi resolved over the weekend.

The ministers have subsequently approved the plan to fast-track the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza-Musongati railway project along the corridor, Rwanda's Minister for Infrastructure James Musoni has said.

Musoni added that the partner states also signed an agreement as commitment to meet construction, operation and maintenance requirements.

This was during an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss ways on how to implement the projects in Mwanza, Tanzania last week.

The meeting was also attended by Prof Makame M. Mbararwa, Tanzania's Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, and Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana, Burundi's Minister for Transport, Public Works and Equipment.

Musoni, who led the Rwandan delegation, said the partner states also agreed to adopt a common legal framework and operational manual to allow seamless operations.

They will also set up an implementation unit under the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency to oversee the project.

The Central Corridor member states have for almost 10 years been working to improve the route to make it more competitive in the region. The railway line is one of the key projects member states are banking on to help reduce the cost of doing business along the corridor.

Experts say railway transport is the only way partner states can significantly reduce transport costs and make the corridor attractive to the private sector.

The main line, from Dar es Salaam to Isaka, is already in place. So far, the Central Corridor member states and development partners, including the World Bank and African Development Bank, have committed to rehabilitate the existing railway line. They are also working on the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Musoganti project.

Northern Corridor states - Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan - are also working on key infrastructure projects, including a railway to link landlocked countries, like Rwanda and Uganda, to the sea through Port of Mombasa.

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