How China rescued the situation

Tanzania and Zambia clearly had the motive to construct TAZARA. But it was also very clear from the beginning that this mammoth project would require huge amounts of funds to take off. The Western countries were first approached for assistance to build the line but as expected they rebuffed the idea, insisting that “the project was economically not viable.” This view, which was equally supported by the World Bank, meant that assistance from that quarter was not possible. The Government of the People’s Republic of China, under the wise leadership of the late Chairman Mao Tse-Tung were approached and readily accepted to support the project. The Chinese leadership saw the wider necessity of the line and thus offered to finance it as a turnkey project. The Chinese offered to provide the finances for construction, expertise and equipment, including buildings, workshops, training school and related infrastructure.

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