Tanzania and Rwanda have taken further step leading to the construction of a regional Standard Gauge Railway(SGR) which covers the central corridor with Burundi likely to be left behind in the project.
Ministers responsible for transport from Rwanda and Tanzania met on Saturday to discuss implementation of the Isaka – Kigali Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) phase which is 521km long.
The meeting of Ministers was recommended by Heads of State of Rwanda and Tanzania during a visit of President Paul Kagame to Tanzania.Magufuli on January 14th in Dar-es-Salaam to discuss the project.
Initially, the Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania had collectively decided to construct a new railway line from Isaka to Kigali and from Keza to Musongati via Gitega in Burundi; and to upgrade the existing railway line from Dar es Salaam (DSM) to Isaka.
The existing Tanzanian railway line connects DSM with Isaka (970 km), and the new railway line would connect Isaka with Kigali (494 km) and Keza with Musongati (197 km).
In the ministerial meeting, nothing was mentioned about Burundi, but resolutions that were taken insinuate that the country will not be part of the project for the moment.
The Ministers “agreed on the proposal to adopt the set-up of the existing Joint Technical Monitoring Committee (JTMC) for Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza-Musongati(DIKKM) project reduced to Rwanda and Tanzania,” reads one of the six points that were agreed upon.
Initially, Burundi was part of the Study Technical Monitoring Committee (STMC) alongside Rwanda and Tanzania.
In this joint communiqué that was signed by James Musoni, Minister of Infrastructure of Rwanda and Prof. Makame M. Mbarawa, Tanzania’s Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, it was agreed that the Isaka-Kigali phase will be launched by October 2018.
Pending this launch, a lot of activities will take place and strategic decisions will be taken.
The Ministers agreed to adopt feasibility studies that were previously concluded in both countries – Rwanda and Tanzania.
They also agreed on the replicate of the Design and Build of Dar es Salaam –Murogoro-Makupuro phase to Isaka – Kigali SGR, “for the purpose of uniformity of standards.”
The Ministers also “agreed to jointly mobilize funds for construction and each country will meet the cost of construction in its own territory.
The ministers who were leading a delegation of several other officials from both countries postponed issues regarding train operations and track access to future meetings.