Tanzania, Burundi and DRC have signed an MoU on the implementation of the 939KM Standard Guage Railway project from Uvinza in Northern Tanzania through Mosangati to Gitega in Burundi up to DRC city of Kindu.
According to the MOU signed at the beginning of this week, the SGR will connect the two landlocked countries (Burundi and DRC) with the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.
The 939KM initiative which is an extension of Tanzania’s SGR project will facilitate passenger trains which will be traveling at speeds of 160km/h and the cargo trains of 120km/h.
Tanzania’s Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said the project requires $900 million and it comes as countries are stepping up initiatives to strengthen their trade relations.
Last October, President Samia Suluhu agreed with her counterpart, Evariste Ndayishimiye, to invest in this ambitious project. Suluhu said the project as an opportunity to boost trade revenues through enabling the transport of goods, especially minerals including nickel from the famous Msongati in Burundi to the port of Dar es Salaam so that it can be shipped to the international market.
Musongati in Burundi is also the location of significant deposits of platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, gold and iron.
Uvinza is one of the eight administrative districts of Kigoma Region in Tanzania, Musongati is located in Musongati Commune, Rutana Province of Burundi approximately 177 kilometres (110 mi), by road, south-east of Bujumbura) the financial capital and largest city in Burundi.
Gitega, the capital city of Burundi while Kindu is a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the capital of Maniema province.