Tanzania and Burundi have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to construct a 282 kilometres-long rail line connecting both countries.
On Sunday January 16, 2022, the finance and transport ministers of Tanzania and Burundi met in Kigoma in Tanzania to sign a historic deal.
A statement that was issued afterwards by the Tanzanian Finance Ministry explained that the newly signed deal would see the sum of $900 million being spent to construct a railway line connecting both countries.
The 282 kilometres rail line would run from Uvinza in Western Tanzania to Gitega, Burundi’s capital city.
The railway is expected to help boost trade between the neighbouring East African countries.
While commenting on the development, Tanzania’s Finance Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, explained that his country and the Burundian Government would jointly seek out financing options for the project. He failed to provide much details regarding said financing options.
He, however, did express optimism that the final cost for the project would most “likely not exceed $900-million.”
Recently, Tanzania has been doubling down on its infrastructure as part of its plans to become a leading regional player in trades and transportation. Specifically, the country has recently focused on building railways connecting some of its landlocked neighbours, including Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This is a clever move by the Tanzanian Government because by building these railways, the country’s neighbours can easily import goods through its seaports and have said goods transported through the rails. This would, in turn, encourage revenue generation for the country.