Lake Tanganyika riparian states out to ease cargo flows

30Jul 2017
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
Lake Tanganyika riparian states out to ease cargo flows

Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo have agreed to prioritise the development of the Lake Tanganyika Integrated Transport System.

Officials of the three states made this vow at the high level consultative meeting on the development of the central corridor, focused on the Lake Tanganyika Integrated Transport System, held in Kigoma.

Attended by key stakeholders in trade and transport from the Lake Tanganyika riparian member countries, the meeting had the participation of representatives from the EAC Secretariat.

Development Partners involved in the Lake Tanganyika transportation development project are Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank (WB).

The Permanent Secretary for Transport in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, Dr. Leonard Chamuriho said the project comes with the improvement of both the Dar es Salaam and Kigoma ports to enable the seamless flow of cargo to Burundi and the DRC.

He said the country has already commenced the construction of the new Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) while maintaining its exiting meter-gauge railway so that railway transport becomes the common and cheap mode of transporting goods in the country and neighbouring countries.

“This meeting is crucial as it will allow stakeholders to come up with a coordinated approach in the development of the Lake Tanganyika transport system,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Equipment in Burundi Déo Mbabarempore, welcomed Tanzania and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) for their support.

Under CCTTFA umbrella, block trains were launched from Dar es Salaam to Bujumbura resulting in 30 per cent reduction in the cost of moving goods between the two countries, he pointed out.

“We need to come up with a monitoring matrix so that whatever is agreed upon is closely followed up for implementation,” he told the gathering.

Speaking on behalf of the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Ways of Communications of DRC, ministerial official Madame Marie Ngandu Mbwaya said the implementation of the projects will greatly improve efficiency of the central corridor.

The Congo was committed to having the key ports around Lake Tanganyika developed which include Kalundu, Kalemie and Moba to enable the seamless flow of cargo, she declared.