Tanzania and Burundi have signed a deal to build a282 kilometre Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Uvinza in Tanzania’s Kigoma region to Gitega in Burundi. 156 km of the SGR will be built in Tanzania and 126 km will be built in Burundi.
Both countries have started seeking finance for the implementation of the project, which is estimated to cost less than $900 million.
The SGR project is intended to link the Dar es Salaam port to landlocked neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Once complete, it is hoped that the new railway will replace the old meter-gauge railway system, reduce road congestion and decrease freight costs by 40%.
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. ■
Meanwhile, Bank of Tanzania has recently revealed that the country’s national debt hit $36.08 billion by the end of November last year, a $5.34 billion year-on-year increase from November 2020. External debt closed at $27.95 billion, a $215.8 million drop from October, attributed to debt servicing payments outweighing disbursements during the month. However, the debt was still higher by $4.12 billion compared with November 2020.