Tanzanian and Rwanda governments signed agreements to build the railroad that will connect Tanzania’s dry port of Isaka and Kigali on March 9, 2018. The project was formerly a 532-kilometer railway, budgeted to cost USD 3.6 billion.
On the side of Rwanda, the railway will be from Rusumo to Kigali, having a short jut to Bugesera International Airport, 138 km long at a cost of USD 1.3 million.
In a recent press conference, the Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Gatete Claver announced that DRC has joined the project.
“DRC has expressed commitment to join the railway project from Tanzania, through Rwanda to RDC. That is our new plan.”
Gatete said that the three countries and the African Development Bank are in negotiations that are slated to have been completed by March 2020.
He added that many private companies are willing to invest in the project.
In June 2019, President Magufuli announced that he had held talks with his DRC counterpart President, Felix Tshisekedi with whom the discussed extending the railway to east DRC.
“I told him about our project to construct a railway that passes from Isaka, through Rusumo, to Kigali. He liked the project and asked that the railway could reach the east of DRC..”
Every year, 1.76 billion worth of goods pass via the Dar es Salaam port from or to DRC. DRC touches the Atlantic Ocean, so it also uses the Port of Matadi for goods coming from or going to the Americas.
It is costly for DRC to import or export goods to Asia.
The railway will help Rwanda reduce transport costs of imports and exports by 40%