PUBLISHED ON April 13th, 2023

Tanzania, Burundi eye electric train link

Tanzania and Burundi are planning to build an electrified Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line that will initially connect the two countries and pass through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the countries look to tap the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the world’s largest single market.

The railway line will be about 282 kilometers long and will be built from Uvinza in Tanzania, across the international border along the Malagarasi river to Musongati, and onwards to Gitega, both in Burundi.

According to the tender document, the two governments have floated a tender for designing and constructing the railway line and have applied for construction funding from the African Development Bank.

The estimated cost of the Tanzania-Burundi railway project is $900 million Reuters reported. The project will be financed jointly by the two countries governments, and the financial details of the project will be released soon. The railway project will be implemented for a period of five years.

Upon completion, it will become Africa’s second cross-border electrified rail after Ethiopia and Djibouti launched the continent’s first fully electric multinational railway line in 2016.

Tanzania has recently begun an aggressive push to modernize its railway infrastructure, revamping its aging regional rail networks to facilitate cross-border trade.

The Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi is currently working on the construction of the 1,457-kilometer SGR line from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

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