Tanzania to Sign $1.32 Billion Rail Contract With Chinese Firms

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Tanzania will sign a $1.3 billion contract on Thursday for two Chinese companies to build a section of the East African country’s new standard-gauge railway network.

The link covering about 340 kilometers (211 miles) in the northwest of the country will be financed by the government at a cost of 3.06 trillion shillings ($1.32 billion), Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi told reporters.

The signing of the agreement will be witnessed by himself and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, who is scheduled to arrive for a two-day visit on Thursday, Kabudi said.

President John Magufuli, who secured a second five-year term at a general election in October, has pledged to continue upgrading the country’s aging infrastructure, including a 2,560-kilometer railway connecting Dar es Salaam port to land-locked neighbors at an estimated cost of $7.6 billion.

Tanzania awarded two separate tenders in 2017 and 2019 to Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi AS to build more than 700 kilometers of high-speed railway from commercial hub Dar es Salaam to Makutupora in the center of the country at a combined cost of more than $3 billion.

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