Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Railway Will Revolutionise African Logistics

Construction to start this year
Shipping News Feature

TANZANIA / RWANDA / BURUNDI - Plans to build a $3.5 billion railway linking Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are proceeding well, according to ministers for the three countries. It is hoped that with construction starting this year the new line will be in service by 2013-14.

Rwanda’s Minister for Infrastructure, Linda Bihire, believes that the trans-boundary railway project will change the lives of people in the region. “Transport costs will lower from 42 percent to between 6 and 11 percent,” she says.

Currently, freight from Rwanda and Burundi is obliged to use road haulage. As a result cargoes can take a week to get from Kigali to Dar-es-Salaam. When the new line is built it is expected that the time will be reduced to perhaps as little as eight hours.

The substantial savings for business both in time and money promise to be extremely beneficial to trade in the region. Studies carried out by a consultancy firm on the project indicate the volume of cargo hauled by the train annually will reach 50 million tonnes by 2044.

It is projected that the multinational railway will be able to generate $44.8 billion in 30 years of operation.

(pic: Minister Bihire)