Tanzania and Uganda Sign $3 Billion Railway Deal

Tanzania and Uganda last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a multi-billion dollar Tanga-Arusha-Musoma Railway line.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Minister for Transport Mr. Omar Nundu said “this is an important day for our two countries. This is a continuation of our strong economic relations and cultural partnership, in fostering social and economic development of our two countries.”

Nundu said that Tanzania and Uganda had reached that decision as a way of developing adequate, reliable, cost effective, efficient and joint transport and telecommunication systems to boost railway transport between the two countries.

During the signing ceremony, Tanzania was represented by Minister Nundu and Uganda was represented by its Minister for Works and Transport, Engineer Abraham Byandala.

Nundu said that $1.9b of the $3b will be used to construct the railway project, while $696 million will construct the Mwambani Port in Tanga region. And $ 72.6m will go to Musoma Port, while $320 million will develop the Kampala Port.

In the multi-billion railway project, the two countries have said they will consider a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for the development of agriculture, agro-industry, manufacturing, transport and service sector among others.

However, Nundu said the project of the Tanga-Arusha-Musoma Railway will not cut through the Serengeti National Park, something that had raised hot debate from local and foreign activists who strongly argued that the project would destroy the heritage and ecosystem of the park.

Tanzania has increased infrastructure spending in its budget by 85% to Tshs2.78 tn($1.73 billion).