Monday, January 22, 2018

Ministers deliberates SGR construction

Tanzania, Rwanda transport ministers deliberate implementation plan for ministers responsible for transport in Tanzania and Rwanda yesterday met in Dar es Salaam to deliberate on how to implement the construction of 521 kilometres Isaka-Kigali Railway Line. In the meeting, Minister for Woks, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa and Kigali Minister of Infrastructure, Mr James Musoni, agreed to jointly mobilise funds for construction of the project with each country to meet the cost of infrastructure or through Public Private Partnership (PPP). The meeting came as a response to the directives given by President John Magufuli and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, on January 14, this year, summoning the ministers (from the two countries) to meet within two weeks and plan on how to implement the railway project. Prof Mbarawa and Mr Musoni’s meeting was preceded by the meeting of Permanent Secretaries (PSs) of transport and finance ministries from both Tanzania and Rwanda. The meeting was also attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and Finance and Planning, Dr Augustine Mahiga and Dr Philip Mpango respectively and Rwanda High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ambassador Eugene Kayihura. Speaking shortly after the meeting, Prof Mbarawa said that the Isaka-Kigali Standard Gauge Railway would ease cargo from the Dar es Salaam Port and transportation of passengers. “The Railway to be constructed in a form similar to that of SGR from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro will ensure transportation of cargo from Dar es Salaam Port to Kigali is done easily and timely,” he said. According to the Minister, upon completion of the Isaka-Kigali SGR railway, the train is set to spend 12 hours from Dar es Salaam to Kigali cruising at 160 kilometres per hour for passenger trains and 120 km/h for cargo trains. Prof Mbarawa said that the construction of the Isaka-Kigali SGR railway line was equally beneficial to Rwandans who for a long time have been using the Port of Dar es Salaam to receive their goods. “They have been using the Port for a long time and they spend one to two days transporting their cargo over 1,319km from the Dar es Salaam Port to Rwanda,” he noted. The Isaka- Kigali, according to the Minister, is also set to help in economic growth and improved social services in Rwanda and Tanzania. It will also reduce transportation costs and foster physical Continued from Page 1 integration of transport modes. On the Rwandan side, Mr Musoni said that their government is committed and ready to work with the Tanzanian government to implement the project as required. “Just to assure you that, on our side, we are fully mobilised to work together to make sure this project is implemented as required,” he said, appreciating the government of Tanzania for showing commitment to the implementation of the project. Presenting the report of the meeting, the Director of Infrastructure in the Transport Sector, Mr Rogatus Mativila, said the ministers also agreed to adopt the proposed project delivery method of design and build a railway line similar to that of Dar es Salaam-Morogoro and Morogoro-Makutupora SGR project for the purpose of uniformity of standards. According to the report, the parameters used for the design of the ongoing project will be the same for the Isaka- Kigali Railway Project. The ministers also agreed to adopt the railway feasibility studies which were previously conducted in the two countries. Other issues are to adopt the proposed timeline towards implementation of Presidents’ directives so as to lay the foundation stone by October, 2018. Commenting on the implementation of the project, Dr Mpango said that he will meet Rwandan Minister for Finance on 29th of this month to discuss and deliberate on the ways that they will be used to facilitate the implementation of the project. The meeting, according to Dr Mpango, will come after the meeting of the experts from both Tanzania and Rwanda over the matter. On the other hand, Dr Mahiga said the Isaka-Kigali railway is set to curb transport barriers and further strengthen the trade relationship between the two countries and East Africa in general.

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