Ministers responsible for the development of railway transport in Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi will be meeting in Kigali, next week to discuss the regional railway development project, a statement from the Ministry of Infrastructure says.
The inter-ministerial meeting scheduled for December 9-10 will be preceded by preparatory discussions by a technical team.
The key objective of the meeting is to share and discuss findings from of a previous feasibility study and seek stakeholder’s opinions from the central corridor member states.
“An American firm carried out a feasibility study for upgrading the Dar es Salaam–Isaka railway, including the analysis of the Central Corridor from Dar es Salaam-Kigali-Burundi, and the main result is that the project is both economically viable and bankable,” reads part of the statement.
The project’s three partner states are planning to implement a 1700 km-long railway connection to provide access to and from Dar-es-Salaam port.
The railway project will provide an efficient common multinational transport network that will prop up regional economic integration and develop zones with high mining, agriculture, industrial and commercial potential in the wider region.
“The project is part of the East African Community (EAC) priority investment programs which attaches great importance to multinational poverty reduction projects, through regional infrastructure development and cooperation among member countries.”
“In particular, the Railway line will provide Rwanda with a direct link to the Sea Port and reduce transport costs by establishing an economical mode of mass import/export cargo transportation between Kigali and other regional countries and the International market.”
It is envisaged that the rail link will also benefit the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Southern Uganda.
The World Bank will consider financing the repair of the Mombasa-Kampala railway line as well as its extension to South Sudan and Tanzania to enhance trade among the East African nations.
According to the immediate former Minister of Infrastructure, Eng. Linda Bihire, the cost of the construction will also be discussed during the ministers’ meeting.
Officials say the project is likely be completed by 2014.