Tanzania, Zambia resolve to finance recapitalization of Chinese-built railway

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The governments of Tanzania and Zambia have resolved to finance the re-capitalization of the ailing Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), a statement by TAZARA said on Monday.

The statement said the decision to recapitalize the 1,860-km Chinese-built railway line running from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia was made on Saturday by the 63rd meeting of TAZARA council of ministers in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The statement said the re-capitalization of TAZARA will begin after the TAZARA Board of Directors completed a bankable business plan by March 2020.

The statement said the TAZARA council of ministers comprising of ministers responsible for transport, finance and industry in Tanzania and Zambia noted with concern the poor performance of the railway line.

"The performance of the TAZARA remained below breakeven point and therefore requiring immediate action to improve the situation," the statement quoted the ministers as saying.

The ministers said in order to foster business for TAZARA, preferential policies will have to be passed in the respective countries for at least 30 percent of bulky cargo to be transported by rail, said the statement.

TAZARA was constructed as a turnkey project between 1970 and 1975 through an interest-free loan from China, with commercial operations starting in July 1976.

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