CHINESE Ambassador to Tanzania Wang Ke has called on the need to carry forward Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) spirit for the future generations to promote wildlife protection and tourism along the railway line.
Ambassador Ke made the remarks in an event to mark 42nd anniversary of the TAZARA project commemorating official handover and operations to the two countries.
"The Tanzania-Zambia Railway is not only a symbolic project featuring China- Tanzania and China-Africa friendship, but also an excellent textbook for the Chinese and Tanzanians, especially the younger generation, to learn the history of China- Tanzania friendship, and to create a better future for our bilateral relations," she said.
She said that in 1960s and 1970s when China made the decision to build the line, the leaders of Tanzania, (the founding father Mwalimu Julius Nyerere) and Zambia (Dr Kenneth Kaunda) were aware of Zambia's dependence on the southern route and its implications visualized that the North East Rail Link was the only way for Zambia to maintain economic and political independence.
She said Chinese Embassy in Tanzania and four Tanzanian ministries of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, have jointly launched and organised a TAZARA Commemoration trip, where invited guests and students from the University of Dar es Salaam, Centre for Foreign Relations, Ardhi University, and the Open University of Tanzania are invited as local ambassadors.
She reminded the contemporary generation and coming that the TAZARA building spirit was about tenacity and perseverance which they should harbour in assisting the country to reach its goals.
"When building the railway line, the level of mechanisation was low and construction conditions was tough, however, with faith, the governments and peoples of the three countries overcame numerous difficulties and hardships, and in less than six years completed the 1,860-kilometre stretch with high quality, which was described by the westerners as a miracle in the world."
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, who represented the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga said the historic event was occasion to remind and to be upheld as unmatched symbol of South- South cooperation.
"Despite the fact that TAZARA was mainly constructed to unlock the landlocked Zambia and support the liberation struggle of the Southern African countries, over the years it has been serving as a vehicle for stimulating the economies of Tanzania and Zambia as well as those of neighbouring countries."
On his side, the Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Atashata Nditiye said Tanzanians who were stealing equipment and sabotaging the railway were not patriotic to the country and were subjecting the fellow Tanzanians to lose lives and property when railway accidents occur.