JPM wants central railway built fast

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday pushed for faster implementation of Tanzania-China joint projects in the country as he met the Chinese Vice-Minister for Commerce, Mr Qian Keming for talks.

The Central Railway construction project was at the centre of their discussion, with Dr Magufuli insisting that its construction should begin this year.

During the talks at the State House in Dar es Salaam, President Magufuli was keen on speedy execution of the projects, noting that his government entertains ‘acting than preaching’, according to a statement issued yesterday by the Presidential Directorate of Communications.

“My government wants to see things happening and bearing results without delay and we would like to see our development partners, particularly China which is the best friend to Tanzania to go with that speed,” he told Mr Qian.

He mentioned the Central Railway Line which connects Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Kigoma and neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Burundi as one of the projects that China should implement at the same speed with his government.

The government had earmarked one trillion shillings from this year’s budget for construction of the railway. “Honourable Qian, we have decided to start the construction and 32 contractors have already applied for a tender to construct a 200 kilometre length of the railway from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro and we will use our own funds,” he said.

“We want this project to start this financial year because a feasibility study has already been conducted, so you just speed up and make the project complete. I want it complete before I step down,” he told Mr Qian.

He said the project was essential for Tanzania and other countries that depended on Dar es Salaam port and thus its completion would largely contribute to Tanzania’s economic growth, hence be in a good position to realise its vision of becoming industry-based economy country by 2025.

Mr Qian showered praise on President Magufuli for what he described as a great job that he has been doing to boost the country’s economic growth, fighting corruption and his outstanding will to strengthen relations between Tanzania and China.

He pledged that China would push for increased speed in the implementation of the development projects, including the Central Railway construction. “Honourable President, I have understood your intention and thirst.

I can even see enough political will inside you. Now what we are supposed to do is to push our experts to increase the speed. I promise you to move at 200 km per hour up from 100 km per hour,” he told Dr Magufuli.

In attendance during the talks were China Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, Exim Bank Vice-President, Sun Ping, Tanzanian Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage and Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango.

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