UGANDAN President Yoweri Museveni has acknowledged the economic strides made by Tanzania in the area of infrastructures, and the increase in trade and investment being driven by the spirit of hard work, thereby boosting the country’s economy.
President Museveni disclosed this after visiting the Dar es Salaam Port expansion and the execution of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), to witness the progress of the country’s key strategic projects in Dar es Salaam, on Sunday.
At the Dar Port, he was able to make a tour at berth number 10 and 11 and also witnessed the Dar es Salaam main station built in the form of a Tanzanite mineral, rare gemstone only found in Tanzania.
According to him, transporting freight by means of railway is considered effective, easier and saves time, taking into account that trains have the ability to move large volumes of cargo in a single trip.
“The railway line is anticipated to boost the economies of our East African countries,” said President Museveni, who is in the country for a three-day state visit.
Earlier, the Minister for Works and Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the implementation of the modern railway construction project is going to link the Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania and Port Bell in Uganda, which are crucial for the economies of the two coun- tries and EAC through Lake Victoria.
Prof Mbarawa noted that the process would thereby help fast- track loading and off-loading as well as reduce cargo congestion at the ports.
He went on revealing that the government was continuing with the improvement of railway infrastructure to increase efficiency and capacity at the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC).
“The government is investing in upgrading old infrastructure and building new and modern infrastructure to keep pace with a healthy economy for East African countries,” noted Prof Mbarawa.
Giving a brief summary on the development of the SGR project, the Director General of TRC, Eng Masanja Kadogosa, noted that the first phase of the project is being implemented from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza covering 1,219km.
He said that the execution of the project is expected to boost the economy as well as link the EAC countries through the ports and Lake Victoria by saving travel time and transportation costs by up to 40 per cent.
“Transporting freight by using modern trains is going to be much easier and save time... cargo amounting to up to 10,000 tonnes can be transported in a single trip,” said Eng Kadogosa.
The DG elaborated that TRC has been able to resume oil freight transport services from Dar es Salaam to Kampala in Uganda via rail, noting that the goal is to further continue to improve rail transport service between the two countries in collaboration with the Uganda Railway Corporation in benefitting the countries by using the ports.
“In the previous two months the corporation has embarked on oil businesses coming from the Dar es Salaam Port through Lake Victoria to Port Bell in Uganda.
To date, we have trans- ported 72 tankers equivalent to 3,240,000 litres…we have now returned to business after sometime,” He said.