Tanzania, China in talks over Tazara railway repair

By Catharine James

DAR ES SALAAM – China has promised to fund the Tanzania-Zambia railway [Tazara] that requires major repairs because of its current depilated state.

The new Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Wang Ke, said on Tuesday that her government was ready to fund the railway project that is expected to cost $1.2b.

“It’s a long process and I don’t know when the funds will be disbursed, but we are still negotiating with the government on how the matter will be handled,” the ambassador was quoted by the Citizen newspaper during the joint venture meeting between Tazara and the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism at the Chinese embassy in Dare salaam.

The Tanzania’s Director of Asia and Australian affairs at the Ministry of Foreign and International Cooperation, Justa Nyange said Zambia and Tanzania had planned to repair the railway line but couldn’t because of lack of funds.

The money is replace the line and also purchase new equipment. After the renovation, according to the deputy managing director of Tazara, Betram Kiswaga, the transit time from Dare salaam to Kapiri Mwisho in Zambia along the Indian Ocean would reduce from 48 hours to 24.

The cargo carrying capacity of the railway would also increase from the current 170,000 tons to 600,000.

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