The president of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Yuan Li, has expressed interest in undertaking the regional railway project that will connect three countries; Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
Li, who was speaking at the just concluded African Infrastructure summit, noted that he had picked interest in the 1400 km rail project after hearing about the project idea from infrastructure Minister Vincent Karega.
“The idea that Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania are planning a regional railway has excited me and I believe it will bring political and socioeconomic benefits. We want to be one of the contractors for this project,” he said.
“We were also the contractors for the Tanzania-Zambia railway in 1960 and we have railway projects in Nigeria, Algeria and Libya and the Middle East, so we know that we can contribute our knowhow and investment in this.”
Karega appreciated the experts’ interest in the project saying that CCECC would be alerted when the time for submission of proposal arrives.
“I am set to meet my colleagues from Tanzania and Burundi mid-May to assess progress and create new momentum. Certainly I will share this idea with my colleagues so we can see how to kick start negotiations”.
The Minister added that Rwanda is committed to increase trade emphasizing that the railway will be an opportunity for growth as it will facilitate movement of goods.
The connection will run from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, pass through Kigali and finally to Musongati in Burundi.
Shi Xueyong, the East African based Director of CCECC also said that their firm is well known for undertaking other projects in the country such as the new RAMA headquarters and the School of Finance and Banking buildings.