Isaka-Kigali railway project in the offing

On 11 September 2021 at 01:16

The Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete has said that the construction of a railway linking Kigali to Isaka in Tanzania is set to begin in the near future.

Amb. Gatete was speaking to the media on Thursday 9th September 2021 where he revealed that almost all discussions and feasibility study have been finalized.

“We have made two major steps paving the way for implementation. The first is about meeting all requirements to begin construction of the railway. The second is about making a holistic project study preceding construction. In fact, we have completed all basic preparations,” he said.

“The remaining task is to work with the African Development Bank which helped us to design the project’s study so that we can discuss sources of funds to build the railway, consider how much we have and need as well as determining how best they can be utilized. This is what we are discussing,” he added Amb. Gatete.

He revealed that dates for a meeting bringing together stakeholders to finalize talks on the source of funds are to be confirmed in the near future.

“Construction works will begin right after settling this issue,” said Amb. Gatete.

Isaka-Kigali is a joint 532 km railway project between Rwanda and Tanzania expected to be completed at a cost of USD$3.6 billion.

The project is much anticipated between both countries especially for Rwanda as a landlocked nation.

Sources reveal that Rwanda is required at to pay US$4,990 per single container carrying 25,400 kgs. Once completed, the railway anticipates reduced transport costs by 40% hence positively impacting on Rwanda’s imports and exports.

Among others, the project will be impactful particularly for Rwandan traders considering the fact that 70% of Rwanda’s imported or exported cargos are transited through Dar es Salaam Port.

Rwanda and Tanzania began discussions for the construction of Isaka-Kigali railway in 2000. It will follow the track from Dar es Salaam, through Isaka and Rusumo in Kirehe before reaching Kigali.

Agreements to construct the 532-railway initially expected to be completed at a cost of US$ $ 3.6 billion were signed on 9th March 2018.

On the side of Rwanda, the 532-km railway will pass through Rusumo border to Kigali city (at headquarters of Dubai Ports in Kicukiro). There will be an extra 18-km part of the railway leading to Bugesera International Airport.

The railway on the side of Rwanda will be 138 km with the rest of 394 being on Tanzania side.

Of the total US$3.6 billion estimated cost; Tanzania shall meet US$2.3 billion while USD $ 1.3 billion is required on Rwanda’s side.

It was recently reported that landmarks for Isaka-Kigali railway passage have been erected from Rusumo to Ndera in Kigali city.

Construction of the railway is underway on the side of Tanzania.

It is expected that the railway will be expanded to the democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), once the country’s request is approved.

Apart from Isaka-Kigali railway, Rwanda also joined Northern Corridor countries including Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan for the implementation of a $13.8 billion flagship railway project that links Mombasa to Kigali and the railway expected to dramatically boost East African’s position as a regional economic hub.

The railway project is much anticipated between both countries especially for Rwanda as a landlocked nation.