Study on Dar es Salaam-Kigali-Bujumbura railway line starts
Monday, 21 December 2009 Written by JAMES MWAKISYALA
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA -- The African Development Bank will fund a study for a multinational railway project involving the East African Community (EAC) member states of Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The US$8.15 million sturdy will look at the viability of the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali-Keza-Musongati Railway project. On completion by 2014, Rwanda and Burundi traders will have their goods transported faster from Dar es Salaam port as it takes only day for goods to arrive in Kigali, Rwanda and subsequently to Burundi. Today, it takes weeks for goods to move by road from Mombasa or Dar es Salaam ports to both Rwanda and Burundi. It is anticipated to be the fastest train in the East African region with a capacity to carry 25 tonnes on each axle pulling 2,000 wagons at a time. The project is part of the East African Community (EAC) priority investment programme which attaches great importance to multinational poverty reduction projects, through regional infrastructure development and cooperation among member countries.
The study will benefit from lessons drawn from Phase I of the project co-financed by the bank which analyzed various rail alignments with associated physical and technical constraints, project environmental and social impact. The study also looked at the economic and financial feasibility and existing institutional framework. The results were presented to a development partners' and private sector round table held in Tunis in March 2009.
Phase II will focus more on deepening the institutional framework and structuring the project in the form of a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
It will involve analysis of the project's socioeconomic benefits, covering the most vulnerable people who include women, children, rural dwellers among others in terms of business development and enhancement of economic potential. It is particularly targeted at those involved in mining, industry and agriculture and facilitating the low-cost marketing of goods and movement of people. There will be a comparative analysis of modes of transport including road, rail and rail-road and lake-rail combination on the corridors to Rwanda and Burundi. The third component comprises environmental and social impact of the future railway project on climate change, spread of sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS and the impact of rail transport on public security and the private sector participation in financing the project and managing railway infrastructure. The project will provide the governments of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi with data and decision-making tools to facilitate mobilization of financing, project implementation and railway infrastructure management. Four mining sites will be connected to the Keza- Musongati Section by 50 km-branch lines.