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Tazara Stakeholders Set to Meet in Beijing

Government officials from Tanzania, Zambia and China will meet in Beijing next week to discuss plans to revamp the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) railway line, which runs from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.

This is the second meeting after one held in Dar es Salaam mid this year to discuss a report by the study conducted by a team of 140 experts from China to establish challenges facing the jointly-owned railway line.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Dr Leonard Chamriho, said in Dar es Salaam at the weekend that the meeting to finalize the talk on improvement of Tazara will be held in the China’s capital city from 10 to 19 in October.

“The meeting will dwell on the recommendations on Tazara made by the team of experts from China,” said the permanent secretary at a ceremony to mark 40th anniversary of official handover of Tazara railway.

The Tazara railway line was built as a turnkey project financed and supported by China to link the landlocked Zambia. At the time of its completion, two years ahead of schedule, Tazara, also called Uhuru Railway, was the single largest railway in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Chamriho pointed out the delegation in the trip will include officials from Tazara, Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), ministries of Works, Transport and Communications as well as Industries and Trade.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Susan Kolimba, who was the guest of honour at the event, hailed efforts to rehabilitate the railway line.

“The rehabilitation will as well complement efforts and agenda of the government of Tanzania of building an industrial economy as incorporated in the National Five-Year Development Plan (2016- 2020),” she observed.

Dr Kolimba described Tazara as a “great physical icon of the friendship, cooperation and solidarity among the peoples and governments of three countries (Tanzania, Zambia and China)”.

The Chargé d’Affaires in the Embassy of China, Mr Gou Hadong, said China plans to put up six processing zones along the railway line, which will facilitate efforts to increase the volume of cargo transported by the Uhuru Railway.

“Tazara has been facing a number of challenges for the previous years but the future is bright for the railway line,” he said.

source:allafrica.com|4 October 2016

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