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Tanzania’s Drive to Become Regional Transport Hub Gets Boost From New SGR Deals With Burundi, DRC 

A general view shows the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) train (R) constructed by the Chinese Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and financed by Chinese government stopping at the Nairobi Terminus, on October 16, 2019. SIMON MAINA / AFP

Tanzania Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe signed agreements with both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi to link up their future Standard Gauge Railway lines to Tanzania’s proposed SGR. 

The 1,457km Tanzanian SGR line will connect inland East Africa from Lake Victoria and bring both passengers and cargo to the port of Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania has outmaneuvered Kenya to emerge as the leading candidate to become the East African regional transport hub as it aims to connect new SGR lines in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC with its own new line. 

ONE IMPORTANT DETAIL WORTH CONSIDERING: it is still not clear how Tanzania will pay for this new SGR line. China has said that it may finance part of the construction but will likely not underwrite the entire cost as it did in neighboring Kenya. The World Bank has also expressed interest in the project but, so far, nothing definitive has emerged as to how much it plans to commit to the project.

Read more on Tanzania’s SGR deals with Burundi and the DRC on the Construction Review Online website.

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