Rwanda, Tanzania agree SGR railway construction deal

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Rwanda and Tanzania have agreed to build a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Isaka (northwestern Tanzania) to Kigali.

The joint project will construct an SGR trade route between the northwestern Tanzanian town and the Rwandan capital, facilitating the transport of goods between the two neighbouring countries.

Rwanda, Tanzania strike deal

The agreement was reached after a meeting between Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Tanzania’s John Magufuli. The two leaders met during Paul Kagame’s one-day visit to the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam on Monday.

Magufuli said that the infrastructure ministers of both countries have been instructed to meet in the coming weeks to deliberate on an agreed financial model and begin planning the project.

“We have agreed to start the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway line from Isaka to Kigali,” Magufuli told reporters on Monday. “We have instructed the Infrastructure ministers from the two countries to meet within the next two weeks to start planning the implementation of the project. We want the construction to start immediately because the feasibility studies and designs are complete.”

Connecting the capitals

The railway project is expected to connect Dar es Salaam with Kigali via Isaka, thus improving the movement of goods between the two countries. According to studies conducted by the East African Community (EAC), the railway project will cost Rwanda up to $900 million, in addition to another $1billion railway project with Uganda.

Rwanda maintains that it intends to push ahead with both routes in order to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of transporting goods.

Featured image: AFRICOM

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.