Tanzania, Burundi sign agreement for construction of 282 km standard guage railway

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Tanzania and Burundi have signed an agreement for the joint construction of a 282-kilometer standard gauge railway (SGR), according to a statement issued by the government of Tanzania.

The statement, issued late Sunday by the Tanzanian Ministry of Finance and Planning, said the rail line will start in Uvinza, in Tanzania’s western region of Kigoma, and terminate in Gitega in Burundi.

The agreement was signed Sunday evening by Tanzanian Minister for Finance and Planning Mwigulu Nchemba, Minister for Works and Transport Makame Mbarawa on behalf of the government of Tanzania, and Burundian Minister for Infrastructures, Equipment and Social Housing Deogratius Nsanganiyumwami and Minister for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning Domitien Ndihokubwayo, the statement said.

Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Nchemba said both countries have started seeking finance for the implementation of the project, which is estimated to cost less than 900 million U.S. dollars.

The rail line will boost goods and passenger traffic between the two countries and the other four member states of the East African Community — Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda, he said.

Mbarawa, the minister for works and transport, said 156 km of the SGR will be built in Tanzania and 126 km will be built in Burundi.

Tanzania is currently constructing a standard gauge rail line covering 1,637 kilometers, from the major port of Dar es Salaam to western and northern regions, and connecting to landlocked countries of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Source: Xinhua