Dar es Salaam, 16 August 2023 - If equipped sufficiently, TAZARA can offer better services and compete with any route to the seaport because the Dar es Salam Corridor has an edge over other routes, the TAZARA Managing Director, Eng. Ching’andu, has told a visiting delegation led by Mr. Liao Min, Deputy Director, Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, who is also the Vice Minister of Finance in the Government of China.
Presenting a report on the operations of the Authority, in Dar es Salaam, Mr. Ching’andu said that the potential of TAZARA had been proven in the last seven years when the Authority posted an annual growth averaging 19%, despite many challenges.
And the Vice-Minister, who was accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Ambassador Chen Minjian, agreed that TAZARA needed to do better and called for the quick setting up of a joint tripartite working committee to facilitate the discussions to find a consensus on the way forward as directed by the Heads of State of Tanzania and Zambia, who agreed in August 2022, when they met in Dar es Salaam, that the Chinese Investors be invited to revitalize the operations of TAZARA.
“Our growth averaged 19% in the last five to seven years, so we performed well. But that performance was not good enough to breach the break-even point because of not having sufficient rolling stock,” Eng. Ching’andutold the visiting delegation.
The Managing Director observed that the encouraging performance results were against a backdrop of a limited fleet of locomotives averaging 12 per day, far short of the 27 required for the company to reach the break-even volume of 600,000 tons per annum.
“Considering that we have been operating with only 12 locos per day, meaning that after allocating four trains to passenger and engineering trains, we remain with only eight locomotives for freight traffic, each of which can move a maximum of 30,000 tons per year running at 100% capacity, it is fair to say that the volumes moved in the last seven years indicate that TAZARA can perform a lot better, given sufficient rolling stock and timely capitalisation,” Eng. Ching’andu stressed.
He said that even with the emerging of new ports and shorter routes to the sea, TAZARA’s strategic location continued to give it a competitive edge because the market for the major commodities, which TAZARA transports remained in the East, in Asia and the Middle-East,” he pointed out.
He also highlighted that the prospects for TAZARA remained high as the Port of Dar es Salaam continued to improve in efficiency, with the total Port throughput expected to rise from 18 million to 30 million tons by 2030.
Appreciating the report given by the TAZARA CEO, Mr. Liao said that the People of China attached a lot of emotions to TAZARA, which he said was still very important to the relationship between the China and Africa.
“As the pioneering project that ushered in the cooperation and enhanced friendship between China and Africa, it is critical that the life of TAZARA is renewed as a base from which the three countries can build a community of a shared future,” he said.
The Vice-Minister, who was accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Tanazania, Ambassador Chen Minjian, agreed that TAZARA needed support for it to do better.
Mr. Liao said that he had instructions from the Government of China to listen to what is needed for the renovation of TAZARA and that his visit was meant to gather ideas on how Chinese industries could come in to improve the situation of TAZARA.
Following the directives given by the Heads of State of Tanzania and Zambia, H.E Samia Suluhu and H.E Hakainde Hichilema, respectively, subsequent to their meeting in Dar es Salaam in August 2022, the TAZARA Council of Ministers met in March 2023 to put the directives into motion and ordered the formation of the Technical Committees to work on recommendations for the revitalisation of the Authority.
The Technical Committees of the two countries are due to convene in Dar es Salaam to merge their recommendations to the Council of Ministers, after which the Chinese will be invited to begin discussions with Tanzania and Zambia. Ends
Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority
Conrad K Simuchile, Head Public Relations
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