Tanzania and Burundi signed a multimillion-dollar deal to build a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) linking Gitega, Burundi, to the Indian Ocean.
According to a statement released by Tanzania’s Ministry of Finance and Planning, a 282 kilometre SGR railway line will run from Uvinza in Tanzania’s Kigoma region to Gitega in Burundi.
Officials from both countries were present at the signing event, including Tanzania’s Minister for Finance and Planning Dr. Mwigulu Nchemba, Minister for Works and Transport, Makame Mbarawa, Burundi’s Minister for Infrastructures, Equipment and Social Housing, Deogratius Nsanganiyumwami, as well as Minister for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Domitien Ndihokubwayo.
Nchemba said the two countries have agreed to finance the project jointly, and the two are seeking finance for the implementation of the project, which will not cost more than $900 million.
“Today, Prof Makame Mbarawa and I signed a bilateral agreement with the government of Burundi to build a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Uvinza, Tanzania, to Gitega, Burundi,” Dr. Nchemba.
Prof. Mbarawa said 156 km of the SGR will be built in Tanzania, and 126 km will be built in Burundi.
The SGR project is intended to link the Dar es Salaam port to the landlocked neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Uganda, and later on Burundi and DRC.
It is believed that the SGR will help reduce road traffic and decrease freight costs by 40%.