CHINA has agreed to enter into a partnership with Tanzania in implementation of the construction of 2,561-kilometre railway line at standard gauge level whose tenders are expected to be floated soon.
The pledge was made by the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Lu Youqing, at the State House in Dar es Salaam when he met and held talks with President John Magufuli. A statement issued by the State House noted that Ambassador Lu also handed over to President Magufuli a letter with message from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
During the talks, President Magufuli informed the envoy that Tanzania was committed to urgently indulge in the construction of the railway and that it had already set aside 1tri/- in 2016/17 budget for the first phase of the project. “We hope that this project will revolutionise our economy and other Eastern and Central African countries including Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). That’s why we don’t want to waste time in prolonged talks, we want the works to start and people to start benefitting,” insisted Dr. Magufuli.
On his part, Dr. Lu congratulated President Magufuli and his government for preparations ranging from finances to equipment and human resources in implementing the gigantic project and that the Chinese government, its financial institutions and other companies will accord their total support towards the implementation of the project. “As Prof. Mbarawa (Makame) held talks with the Chinese government, Chinese financial institutions and companies, I promise we’ll work as per laid down procedures and standards of construction. We’ll work with consciousness of time, quality and cost effectiveness,” said Ambassador Lu.
The whole project is estimated to cost 6.8 billion US dollars and will be implemented in phases. In the first phase to be implemented jointly between Tanzania and China, the project will involve construction of 1,216-km from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza via Isaka and Tabora. President Magufuli has already deployed the Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Prof. Mbarawa to China to complete discussions on the implementation of various projects, including the Central Line (at standard gauge). Prof. Mbarawa has said that the next move would be announcement of transparent and competitive tenders for the project to get competent companies for the job.
(from DAILY NEWS)