KIGALI - The technical review meeting on the progress of the regional railway project, yesterday resolved that a Secretariat be set up before end of this year, to ensure the project is effectively coordinated.
The project will see Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi linked by railway.
The meeting that took place in Kigali brought together ministers in charge of transport from the three countries.
“We need to strengthen the mechanisms so that this project succeeds based on the fact that it will help in fighting poverty, reduce transportation costs within the region as well as create employment,” said Infrastructure Minister, Albert Nsengiyumva.
He added that it would also boost trade as it opens routes to the sea and therefore easy access to the ports.
“It has taken us nine years to reach this stage. It is, therefore, better to plan to avoid challenges we encountered in the preliminary stages,” said Engineer Omar Ndungu, the Tanzanian Minister of Transport.
He reiterated his country’s commitment to rehabilitate and develop the railway as well as ports.
During the meeting, participants agreed to come up with a team to determine the requirements for members of the Secretariat.
Currently, the project`s procurement process is complete and the next phase is to identify a potential firm to carry out the detailed technical design.
Funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the project will see the existing 980 km Dar es Salaam-Isaka line rehabilitated besides the construction of a new 494 km Isaka-Kigali line.
A new 197 km line will also be constructed from Isaka to Gitega and Musongati through Keza, in Burundi.