The World Bank has approved $300 million to the government of Tanzania for the improvement of the East African Central Corridor and boost trade with landlocked neighbouring countries.
A statement issued on Monday by the World Bank office in Dar es Salaam said the funds would be used to create a reliable open access railway infrastructure on the Dar es Salaam-Isaka section and to strengthen the country’s rail agencies' ability to manage the infrastructure, the traffic operations and the network regulation.
“This project is a necessary first step to the eventual upgrade and expansion of the broader central corridor transport network,” the statement reads in part.
“The location and the size of Tanzania, its mineral and agricultural resources, its tourism potential and its critical role as a transport hub for its landlocked neighbours, provide unrivaled opportunities for the development of modern transport infrastructure and services,” said Philippe Dongier, the Bank’s country director for Tanzania.
“We are excited to support the government's efforts to rebuild its rail and intermodal transport system,” he added.
Dongier said the project will also indirectly help to boost agricultural trade, job creation and overall livelihoods for the country and neighbouring countries' poorest people.
The funds will go to relaying railway lines, building new intermodal terminals, repairing or reconstructing bridges and supporting the institutional transformation of the sector.
Poor infrastructure on the Central Corridor creates delays and high costs for transport of goods between Tanzania and Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and DR Congo.
The Central Corridor links Rwanda to the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.