The Zambian government said the revival of a railway it jointly owns with Tanzania requires a permanent solution and not one that leads to signing more loans, the Zambia Daily Mail reported.
Last week, the Chinese government, which helped in the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), provided 23. 6 million U.S. dollars under the 15th protocol for technical and economic co-operation to revamp operations of the troubled railway firm. China has also provided 42.7 million dollars for the railway firm’s feasibility study to assess the best options to revamp the company.
Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga said during a tripartite meetings between Zambia, China and Tanzania in Lusaka that the railway firm had been passing through challenging situations and conditions.
“The problem of TAZARA can no longer be ignored or postponed to another day...as shareholders we are ready and willing to consider providing fresh seed investment resources towards a comprehensive solution,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.
There is need to look at possible options available to revamp the operations of the firm like engaging additional shareholding, introducing partners on a concession basis or private participation, he added.
The Zambian minister further commended China for cancelling half of the company’s debt, which translates to 37.5 million dollars.
The Zambian government has since set aside about 10 million dollars in the 2012 budget for recapitalization of the firm.
TAZARA is a major bulk transporter linking the port of Dar-es- Salaam in Tanzania to Zambia and the southern Africa sub-region as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.