Tanzania and Burundi want to boost trade with a new railway link

On Sunday, the East African nations of Tanzania and Burundi signed an agreement seeking to build a $900m railway that would connect them both and boost trade.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Kigoma paves the way for the construction of a 282km line from Uvinza in western Tanzania to Burundi’s capital Gitega. It was inked by both countries’ finance and transport ministers.

The two governments will jointly seek financing for the railway, Tanzania Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said.

Tanzania is increasingly sourcing capital to expand its railway network and become a trade hub for the sub-region. Last December, it signed a $1.9bn contract with Turkish contractor Yapi Merkezi to build a 368km section of standard gauge railway. The project is part of a 1,219km SGR line that Tanzania is already building to link Dar es Salaam with the port city of Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria.

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